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  • Vanberge 12:03 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dead to me   

    The Death of 24 

    As I previously posted; I have been very unhappy with this season of 24.  More so than in any other previous season, and with greater and greater intensity.

    I had decided about 5 episodes in that I was giving myself half of the season; and if 24 did not improve or show signs of turn-around, then I was going to cease watching it forever. (as Vanlandw has stated; I have said this before – sometimes it’s been an idle threat.  But, I did not and will not ever finish watching Season 6).  Well, episode 12 came and went; and all I got was more and more angry at how ridiculous the show has become.   So, while episode 13 was airing last week, I played my new Nintendo Wii.   While episode 14 was airing yesterday, I was watching “Religulous”.  Let me tell you, it feels SO good to disconnect from this show.  I have jumped ship and I will never ever make any effort to swim back.

    I can’t help but feel a little bit of sadness here, but the more I think about it –  the more my sadness becomes anger.  24 was a truly ground-breaking series and was undeniably top notch television in it’s prime.  There are few other television programs that can rival 24 in it’s golden years – but the simple fact is that Fox just utterly destroyed this program.  It changed from a gritty drama to a laughable ratings-whore composed of LITERALLY trash.  Well, Fox, the public noticed…  You managed to alienate and infuriate the most loyal fan-base of all time;  Even they can only keep their hopes and dreams up for so long, and Season 8 has proven to be the last straw.  The ratings have dropped, the quality has continued it’s downward tailspin, meanwhile the only thing that has gone up has been the show’s production budget.   Finally; arguably 3 years too late, Fox has decided to put 24 out of it’s misery and cancel it.

    So, what went wrong?  What happend?  Why did 24 limp into mediocrity?  Let’s run a comparative; Looking at a semi-similar series: “The Shield” on FX.

    The Shield is also a gritty drama.  The Shield has a similar “bad ass” main character – Vic Mackey.  And, it has similar struggles of that main character as their job and life effect their friendships and families.  Yes, the settings and plots are sometimes very different – but 24 could have learned alot from how The Shield bowed out.  The most important thing:  The writers of The Shield never changed the heart of their show.  They never changed plots to try and cater to the masses.  In fact, they gave us scenes that we didn’t even want to see (Lem).  They gave us a final two seasons that were literally gut-wrenching, made me feel sick to watch at times, and genuinely brought me to tears.  It was utter downfall…

    But, it was a most epic and decisive series finale as can possibly be had.

    24, your death is brought not by skilled and emotional content like The Shield; but rather by your own greed and lust for your success.  The higher your ratings went, the further and more over the top you felt you needed to push the show.  It didn’t take long for you to push too far, to the point where it became a cheesy satire of it’s former self.  You searched for meaning in more/larger explosions, exploitations of your main character, and trying to find the charm you once had.  You killed off the characters that everyone liked while keeping around all the characters that everyone hates.  You bring in new characters to fill in the same old roles.   You put a mask on recycled plot lines hoping nobody will notice, while you combine them and cram more of them in each season.  Well, you did it – and you failed.

    You straight up blew it.

    You’re on your death bed and I’m not coming to visit you.  I don’t want to see you this way, and I have no desire to see how you meet your end.  I don’t owe you ANYTHING.  You un-deniably suck.  You managed to turn away your best friends at the most critical part of your life, and as far as I’m concerned you can fall into oblivion alone; reaping exactly what you have sown.

    Good riddance; gtfo

     
    • Jeffrey 2:04 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink

      For the record, male on male rape scenes ruined The Shield for me.

    • Vanberge 2:36 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink

      Oh come on Jja… 😛
      We all know that was your fav scene.

    • vanlandw 4:56 pm on March 30, 2010 Permalink

      I’m not as forgiving on The Shield as most people as much as constantly there really hasn’t been a better show IMHO maybe other then Six Feet Under. Season 4, season 5 minus the last episode and 6 are pretty much skip-able (not saying they arn’t good but if I was to recommend somebody to watch the shield you don’t NEED to watch those seasons to “get” how it ends).

      Television is a HUGE time commitment that I’m sure most reading your site have had less time to dedicate to media and honestly I’m glad 24 is finishing up too. I’m also glad Lost is done that means there is nothing left on tv for me to watch (Well Rescue Me and Mad Men but I’ll do that on DVD) and that is a good thing. I will watch 24 to finish what I started but as I’m sure I’ve commented on here my enthusiasm for 24 has pretty much dropped to nothing. Honestly with season 8 you are about right on everything. 24 has now ran into the dreaded “for every one thing they do right there is two things that are worse”. 24 is the only show I’m watching right now so it’s an hour a week commitment. I’ll finish it up and be done with it.

      Vanbergs prob will agree with me minus a few things 24 season six really isn’t that bad and is a better watch on DVD then weekly. Season seven isn’t “that” bad either. Season 8 is alot of what you talked about tho. The episode that Dana was revealed as the newest “mole” was horrible I hated that episode and I haven’t watched this weeks yet but I will prob will catch up in a few weeks somehow. The New York setting has been a series of backdrops and fakes as I read they did no filming on location. After a strong start having Jack work with CTU is another cop-out. There is some good stuff from this season but I’ll prob write my own post when the season is over in May.

      24’s largest problem has been what made the early seasons good is what’s killing them now. Too many main character deaths and putting worse people into way to familiar roles is their downfall. Also Chloe is terrible as is Renee. 24 women have mostly always been terrible (there are exceptions but that doesn’t matter here) and the show is clearly a three character show now with sadly two of them being women I find unlikeable and unrelatable. There isn’t anymore stories for Jack and he was more interesting in the early seasons when there was plausible reasons for him to be in the thick of the shit. He’s been a “special consultant” for the government for like 20 years 24 time now. The show never showed the stories we wanted them to show and has become way to familiar where it couldn’t be like a standard cop drama that can’t be that regard.

      The stuff I’ll hopefully be able to remember about 24 is the good stuff. Watching the season 1 dvd’s in Laker Village. The large groups of people I was able to watch the show with for years after that. Nina’s death and the good finale parties from seasons 3-5. I actually had a lot of fun watching season 7 with Brian at the Hideout drinking good local beer and chilling out laughing at the show more then taking it seriously. For somebody new to the show I would suggest to watch 1-5 and six up to episode 4 and Redemption. Season 8 has had it’s moments and some episodes have been good but overall the season is uneven and all the characters minus Jack kinda suck. Look for a post on my blog when it’s all said and done and when more comments come though if they do I’ll make sure to post some more

      Nobody is going to read all this brb

    • Vanberge 9:06 am on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      Apparently vanlandw you have posted DEFINITIVE comments that beckon no other responses.

      Part of me wanted to keep watching and finish the series; but then I kept telling myself “NO – ef it… you dont owe anything to a show that continuously dissapoints you”.

    • Kramer 9:50 am on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      I agree and disagree with Wes about needing to watch 4, 5 and 6 of The Shield. If someone who had never seen the show before went straight from season 3 to 7, I think they’d be really lost. You could probably get away with skipping 4, other than maybe the episode where Rawlings starts the IAD investigation, but I think you’d need 5 and 6 to explain 7.

      I will keep watching 24 just to see how it ends. I’ve already put this much time into Day 8. I might as well see it through. I will say it’s stopped being must see TV though. If I miss it on Monday nights, it’s not that big a deal. I’ll just watch it online or on the DVR. Really, they should have ended after Day 5 and the show would have gone out on top.

    • vanlandw 1:28 pm on April 6, 2010 Permalink

      Honestly your right Kramer. I do like those seasons (five was my least favorite i didn’t like kavanaugh at all). For the time pressed you don’t NEED to watch those seasons but they are absolutely worth watching.

      This weeks two parter was actually really pretty good. I like 24 much better during the day episodes so the rest of the season will be a lot better for me personally. The comment I wrote came after the worst episode of the season (dana revealed as the mole, bauer getting tapped in the chest, renee trying to be a badass) and I loathed that episode.

      I liked this weeks episodes and I should be OK finishing out the season and I’m seeing it though too. After all this time I must see the end. I’m a completionist sadly on television. I’ll actually prob watch season 4 of Prison Break now that it’s on netflix instant watch. lol?

    • Vanberge 2:10 pm on April 6, 2010 Permalink

      Everyone makes good points but everyone also knows that I’m a stubborn asshole.

      When a TV show crosses me, it’s dead to me. I stopped watching Prison break I believe in late season 2. I stopped watching Rescue Me after the house fire (season 2? 3? I dont even remember). I stopped watching Nip tuck after the carver. etc etc etc.

      I gave 24 a little more credit based on it’s previous profound impact on my person; but enough become enough this season and I’m done wasting my time with it.

      I don’t think there is ANY way possible on this planet that the season could possibly end “well”… hell, even end “satisfactory”. Once I heard that horse mouth Dana Walsh was a legitimate mole in CTU I knew I had made the right decision.

      I also heard something today that has CONFIRMED that I made the correct decision but I dont want to announce it yet as I believe it was on the “next week on 24” scenes.

      For everyone that sticks with it, I hope it ends well and you enjoy it… But I’m done regardless. 24 should have ceased existence a long time ago.

    • vanlandw 10:24 pm on May 17, 2010 Permalink

      After watching the last episode before the series finale to a degree I retract a lot from my large comment above. Since the episode that made you quit watching (one I actually dislike alot) this season has done a huge turnaround in my opinion. The last four weeks episodes has be a huge departure for the show and been really dark and to a degree kinda fucked up for network television.

      It’s sad that the first half of the season was so blah because the final hours have been season 5 caliber.

      When the show comes on netflix pick up the final hours (starting with episode 16) and I bet you like them and going into the finale I can’t imagine it’s going to suck. I was early to judge and I agree with you on the episode that made you quit. Dana as the mole was a horrible reveal but since then it’s been good. Ultimately I’ll prob end up liking season 8 more then 6-7 but only for the second half of the season because it’s been pretty good. Next week I plan on hopefully writing a very fare and heart felt post regarding the show.

      brb

    • Vanberge 7:14 am on May 18, 2010 Permalink

      Vanlandw, I dont care how this season / the series ends. It is impossible to make up for the first half in my opinion.

      24 doesn’t get un-conditional love from me anymore.

      I’m never watching the last half of this final season 8. Ever.

      There is LITERALLY nothing on the planet that 24 could do to entice me to watch a series of episodes in which Chloe O’brien takes over charge of CTU. It’s a ridiculous show.

      Jack Bauer can’t say nuclear correctly and that literally bugs the shit out of me. NEW. CLEAR. PUT. TOGETHER. NOT NUKE-YOU-LAR.

      I am glad those that have chosen to stick with it are not continually disappointed with the show – but there is no way on this planet I’m ever watching any of this series again.

  • Vanberge 2:05 pm on March 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Diving in to P90X 

    The Backstory…
    As an attempt at motivation, my wife wagered that if I could lose half of the amount of weight that she gains during pregnancy; then I can pick out and purchase a television of my choosing. So, that started me down the path of getting unbelievably motivated to lose some weight, and eat healthier…

    I started a basic calorie cut in February. I ate grain cereals, more fruits/veggies, and overall just cut down on portions. I stopped drinking soda comletely, I started drinking water, and I went from 254.2 pounds down to 242.2 in roughly 1 month. But, my completely sedentary lifestyle seemed to only want to let go of 12 pounds of it’s “backup” – so it was time to find some exercise to keep this going.

    The problem with that is: I hate exercise. Plain and simple. I hate running, walking, biking, jogging, etc etc etc etc. Really it boils down to the fact that I enjoy physically moving as little as possible.

    With my stubborn and compulsive nature, the P90X program did seem like a perfect fit. I have a coworker who shed 40 pounds with the program, and one of my cousins has seen results very early on as well. I read some reviews and researched online a pretty fair amount; and it all seemed to only confirm that P90X really does work… There’s no BS to it, it’s just freaking hard core working out to get results. And the thing is, I could actually see myself pushing through a hard 90 days to get those fast results. In fact, I’d much rather do that than to go running 3 times a week. I literally hate running so much that I’d rather do 6 hours plus of working out than to go running one time.

    The Beginning…
    A good friend loaned me their copy of P90X so I could try it out. It gives you a full diet plan, a lot of information, and a set of DVDs containing the workouts. I used the information to do a little prep-work, create a spreadsheet to track my progress, plan my eating habits, and get some groceries.

    With the pre-flight check taken care of, I started P90X on 3/14/2010.

    I am so out of shape it is really pretty sad. During my first workout, my body responded with creaking, popping, and snapping sounds as I used muscles that rarely even think about flexing. I had to make sure to start slow, pace myself, and ease into P90X because it really is an intense workout. It’s designed to take already fit people that last mile and really change their bodies. So, I have to modify the techniques on many exercises (girl pushups, lower weights, fewer reps) in order to even do them. But, I am doing them…

    I honestly haven’t done any exercise like this in probably 10 years. I went through phases of biking, treadmilling, and even trying jump rope – but those were all short lived phases that did little more than elevate my heart rate temporarily and make me angry.

    Now 3 days into P90X, my entire body is stiff and sore – so I’m positive that it’s working. I’ve made it into a routine to start my day waking up at 5 am, pound out the P90X workout (1-1.5 hours), and then eat an egg-white omelet with fruit and whole grain toast for breakfast. Oddly enough it has been a very simple routine for me to adopt.

    The Story Thus Far
    As I’m sure my good friend will want their own set back, I’m definitely going to order my own set of P90X and make sure to stick to this program. With the amount of work it is, I just can’t imagine it not making significant change to my person very quickly.

    Even being only 3 days in, I can feel the changes. I can tell my metabolism is jump started working out in the morning, so I use that and capitalize on it by eating better. I also haven’t drank any coffee since starting because I feel more energetic throughout the day. My weight hasn’t gone down at all yet; but it has stayed exactly the same vs a daily up/down fluctuation that I was dealing with. I think that is a good sign that I’m eating steadily vs the feast or famine mentality.

    I fully expect that this first week is all about my body adjusting to this new and heavy workload…
    I’m definitely keeping it up, tracking my progress, and looking forward to seeing some results.

    BRING IT

     
    • chouse 6:57 am on March 17, 2010 Permalink

      GG vanberge, developing a habit is the key and then it’s not that big of a deal to keep it going! Now if only I wouldn’t get paged at 5am…

    • Vo 11:37 am on March 17, 2010 Permalink

      Honestly, I have or can quickly make back up copies of every disk if you want them. I made them right after I got the disc to protect them.

    • Vanberge 1:26 pm on March 17, 2010 Permalink

      You are a good man Vo.

      How far into p90 are you?
      are you enjoying it? lol

    • vanlandw 2:33 pm on March 18, 2010 Permalink

      I wish you the best of luck vanberge.

      You should get a Wiifit as well.

      If you ever want to go jogging please let me know.

      If my memory serves me right the last time we jogged you did so with a camel light on your lip LOL

      brb

    • Vanberge 8:09 am on March 19, 2010 Permalink

      Lol vanlandw that was a pretty funny day.

      “Sure, let’s jog to the wellness center and smoke while doing so”.

      :-/

    • Kramer 8:49 pm on March 21, 2010 Permalink

      GG, Vanberge. I have thought about doing the p90x as well. My one big problem is I hate getting up early to work out.

    • Kerbob97 3:06 am on June 20, 2010 Permalink

      So are you still doing the X?

      I just got started, and am trying to find a way to track everything via my BB. Or at least plug everything into the calendar…

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