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“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    "24" still brings it. Yes, it's the eighth season and the whole concept is getting old. Yes, the writers recycle plots more than the most earnest environmentalist recycles his garbage. And when I mentioned the show to a friend of mine a few weeks ago he sputtered in righteous indignation: "It's violent! It glorifies torture! It's xenophobic!"

    Yes, yes, and... well, I'd debate that last one, but for the sake of argument let's say yes. I don't care; I love this show. Last weekend, feeling somewhat jaded, I sat down to watch the beginning of Season 8 and got sucked right back in again. Keifer Sutherland just rocks the house as Jack Bauer. The poor guy, after surviving the Neurologic Virus of Death last season and enjoying a little down time with his granddaughter, had a wounded terrorist knock on his door and got pulled back into the mess again within an hour.

    A few thoughts: After viewing the first four hours, I have to say that S8 holds promise for being the best season since S5 - though of course it's early days. Season 6 was, frankly, terrible. S7 was better, silly but fun (the White House was invaded by frogmen swimming up the Potomac River, and Jon Voight chewed the scenery to splinters, plus we got lots of heroic Agent Aaron Pierce who was back from retirement).

    Jack just wants to get on a plane to L.A. and get the hell away from CTU. Former FBI agent Renee Walker has gone, to put it bluntly, completely batshit - she cut the thumb off a guy under house arrest so that she could liberate him from his tracking bracelet. The President of Unnamed Middle Eastern Nation is played by Anil Kapoor, the game show host from Slumdog Millionaire, and Cherry Jones is back as the U.S. President (I thought she was great last season). I am hoping that her loyal sidekick Ethan will get to make some time with her now that she is divorced. Chloe the geek genius is still around with the New York branch of CTU and strangely is not completely conversant with their current computer system - I guess this passes for character development on this show.

    As of Hour Four we have the Russian Mafia working with the Mideast President's traitor brother and a plot involving U-235 fuel rods. But who knows where it's going to go from here? Hang on for the ride! And maybe if we're lucky Jack will kill another guy with a fire ax to the chest (as he did in the second hour). We can only hope.




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