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There are these bad habits in life that one just cannot really control: smoking, eating ice cream, reading Stephen King books and watching “24”. Actually, at any given time I am a frequent user of 1 tv show at max. Usually I hate them, primarily because they don’t have one conclusive story, but pretend to have one every week, they don’t have one line of tension, but one every week, the kind of pretend to build primarily on the characters they deploy. Admittedly, I am not very interested in these people haunting “Desperate Housewives”, “Aly McBeal”, “CSI” or the “Sopranos”. I don’t even know how to spell them correctly… I like 24 because it is not a tv show. It is one film, a bit over-lengthy, but that’s alright, I also like Angelopoulos. Thinking about it, the only tv shows I ever really liked in the last decades (with the possible exception of the X Files) were those that did have a weekly format, but only to the annoyance of the audience, as they were really one long film: “Twin Peaks” most prominently, or the German “Heimat” masterpiece. This specific preference of mine disallows me to watch them on tv, of course. That would be akin to stepping out of “King Kong” after one hour, with a ticket to come back next week for the middle part.

Ah well: 24… Not much to say without spoiling the fun, apart from stressing that every single one of our favourites is back in play, some for longer, some for shorter periods. Fortunately, among the short appearances is Kim Baur, the nerv-killing daughter. Tony and Michelle, Chloe and Edgar, Audrey and her daddy, the president and the ex-president. I still keep wondering whether either Nina Myers or Palmer’s wife (whatshernameagain?) might turn around the next corner soon, but the script spares us this. It might be worth checking the IMDB entries whether everybody is actually played by the same actors, as there are some very-short-term appearances and I was wondering whether the actors had already checked out before shooting and needed to be replaced for a short getting-killed take. Oh yes: some people get killed, most tear-jerkingly at 6:55 pm, if I remember correctly. It is interesting to see how the makers have improved on their abilities to make some characters come alive. I am thinking of Aaron the White House security guy in particular, who had always been some form of sympathy pillar, but now the pillar turned from stone to flesh.

The Emmy nominations have given many reviewers the opportunity to stress that this season may have been the best one. I am not sure, but I am sure that they need to be very careful with the pattern they use, with the succession of issue-resolution-new issue-another resolution-etc. It worked excellently for me this time, again. It only felt a little bit as if next time, it might wear off a bit.

Eternal truths: (1) a happy end after 24 hours of catastrophes is a bit too much to expect, (2) there is no room for humour of any kind when you are busy saving civilisation as we know it.

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