24 for people in hermetically sealed bubbles

I thought I’d post a quick plug for the Slate spoiler specials podcasts (RSSiTunes). The idea of the spoiler specials is to discuss something, be it a film, book or TV show, for the benefit of people who have already seen or read it.

Right now, among their other duties, they’ve been discussing episode by episode, the latest season of 24. It’s kind of fascinating if you’re a fan of the show, particularly if you’ve been watching it from the beginning.

It’s possible to get inured to the silliness of 24. You take for granted its tissue-thin characterisation, its plot conventions, ridiculous over-acting, et al. They’re all givens now. Even if they occasionally penetrate your consciousness, the bracing speed of 24 means you’re swept along by the tide of its other delights.

Not, however, if you have 15 minutes each week in which a bunch of people who’ve either never watched it before or who use words like Chekovian when trying to discuss the merits of each episode. Was Jack more or less believable as a character than he was last week? Why didn’t those Russians speak Russian to each other this week like they did seven episodes ago? Or more entertainingly cluelessly, do grenades go off only a few seconds after their pin is pulled or might they go off next episode instead?

It’s a nitpickers’ paradise, populated by people who have lived in hermetically sealed bubbles bereft of televisions. Amusing, a wake-up call and a warning not to take things too seriously. Go listen when you have a mo. They do other things too.

PS One of the women – for they are all women – has a very odd accent. Is she a Scot who’s lived in the US for a long time? Is she Canadian? What?

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