Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Surfing Through "24" and "Prison Break"

I know the shows are doing well together commercially, but clearly 24 and Prison Break should be broken up. Prison Break should be the fall cliffhangar show. (It'll be interrupted by post-season baseball before the finale in November of course.) And 24 should be the spring entry. (There's no doubt that Lost needs to switch to the no-repeats format itself to stop audience erosion.) 24 has definitely turned some sort of corner for me. It's very entertaining and I wouldn't miss it, but the plot twists are making me giggle instead of gasp. I also can't help thinking I'd make a great interrogator: all you have to do is shout a lot. Two supremely silly moments this week. In one scene, we find out Edgar's replacement was sexually harassed by Stephen Spinella. Then -- in what has to be the most ludicrous moment in a show BUILT on ludicrous moments -- we see a boss compliment her work when he walks away with a thoroughly minor and professional pat on the shoulder. She gets a strange look in her eye and says in a monotone to Chloe, 'Did you see what he did? That wasn't right.' (I'm paraphrasing.) So a perfectly reasonable backstory -- bad blood between her and Spinella -- becomes this absurd case of literally a crazy woman seeing sexual harassment everywhere. It was truly a godawful, laugh out loud moment. The other absurd moment? In a typical Perils of Pauline moment, it looks like Jack is blown up at the end of the episode. Then, in scenes from next week, we don't see a glimpse of Jack, only other people wondering if he's okay. Are we really supposed to be in suspense as to whether Jack is dead? Prison Break was its usual silly fun. But I just noticed Dominic Purcell -- who looks like a professional wrestler or Sgt. Rock -- has top billing over the clear lead, Wentworth Miller. Did they really think Purcell was going to be the heart of the show when Miller is better looking than all the other men on the series COMBINED?

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