TV I'm beginning to wonder if anyone on '24' is going to sleep. The average snooze is five hours -- can the show stand a major character disappearing for that length of time? (although it would be fun to see the odd cut away to someone turning over under duvet). Superlatives have been heaped on this show from everywhere, but I do wonder if there is enough plot to sustain the whole series. I've written before in a review of 'As If' about hyper-narratives, the playing of a events at a excellerated speed. There is enough plot in the first three hours to fill a whole series of a lesser show. What is remarkable from a writing perspective is the integration of exposition. More than most shows we have characters standing around telling each other information they already know (and in some cases we know), but we somehow don't care. It's almost as though we're happy that they are sitting down and explaining the plot.

But what of the cast. Kiefer Sutherland needs few introductions; it's extra-ordinary though that unlike to some film actors 'slumming it' he hasn't toned down the range of his performance, which is of feature film quality. It's interesting however that for now his is the most recognisable face -- unless you're a Star Trek fan and you'll be sitting there shouting it's Kassidy Yates, Kassidy Yates. Hiring largely unknown but talented poeple keeps the costs down, but also makes the show easier to watch. We tend to see film and television actors through all of their previous performances. When there isn't anything there, we are likely to care more (although it should pointed out that Elisha Cuthbert (Jack's daughter) has been knocking around TV for years as a reporter for 'Popular Mechanics for Kids' -- a sort of US 'How?').

So yes, we have another show to be excited about. Whether this is a passing infatuation (like 'Party of Five') or a marriage ('Buffy') we'll see. Just hope it doesn't end in divorce ('Friends').

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