Thursday, 16 January 2014
Loosing Patience With 24
Many of the academic texts I have been reading regarding post 9/11 propaganda feature television series 24 as key points of discussion. So that I could discuss this in a more informed manner, I ordered the complete season one on dvd. Although the show is heavily criticised for being ridiculously right-wing, I went in with an open mind, thinking that although maybe I was against the present ideologies of interrogation and surveillance culture, I would maybe find interest in the characters and narratives. Unfortunately, I found neither to be remotely engaging. The premise just seemed silly. At the drop of a hat anti-hero Jack Bauer would suddenly knock a superior out cold, or chop a terrorists thumb off. You'd think that this would be to challenge us and make us question his chaotic character, possibly being the whole idea of the show, but instead every acton Bauer takes is successful in apprehending terrorists.
Personally I prefer the show Homeland. The narrative similarly addresses counter terrorism and surveillance culture, but in a much more ambiguous and challenging way. The central character in the show is actually a former U.S Marine turned terrorist. We learn that while being held hostage by terrorist Abu Nazir Soldier Nicolas Brody develops a close bond with his abductor's son. The Child is later killed by U.S Military drone strikes, and the reports that they destroyed schools full of innocent children in the east are covered up by American news broadcasts.
It seems that Homeland gives a move rounded and honest view of terrorism and Surveillance Culture, whereas 24 celebrates the notion of torturing terrorists and spying on society.