5-4-Friday… 5 Jack Bauer (and other TV) Myths

Last Sunday I had to do a little bit of work at home. All I had to do was complete three documents that I couldn’t be arsed finishing before I left on Friday. I then had to mail them back to colleagues ready for an 8am Monday meeting that I would not be attending. The first bit was easy and then my broadband connection decided to pack up completely for the first time in ten years, leaving me email-less. Just when I needed it most, it packed in. Brilliant! It was the kind of thing that never, ever happened to Jack Bauer.   

“Send it to my screen, Chloe!”chloenot only did Jack never suffer an unreliable broadband or wireless connection, he also benefited from the most seamlessly intelligent technology known to man. Schematic diagrams of even the most complex of office suites would be displayed on his lap top, phone, car windscreen or wrist-watch within a split-second of the tortured Chloe back in the office issuing the keyboard equivalent of a magical piff-paff-poof! Jack could open and interpret every document that appeared whilst driving one-handed at seventy miles per hour around busy city streets hitherto completely unknown to him. Obviously, he had a Sat Nav to help him; a Sat Nav that never once told him to “turn round when possible” or spend twenty minutes calculating a new route when he tore done yet another blind alley after the bad guy.    


On Demand TV david palmerJack, as we know, was very fond of phoning the President for a chat. Not only is it preposterous to have us believe that the President would take calls from this rogue agent every five minutes, but also that he was actually available to take them at the drop of a hat. Surely the leader of the Free World would occasionally attend a meeting that simply could not be interrupted? And on the subject of Presidents, how many times has a President been urged by an aide to turn on the news to see a breaking news item and, when they do so, find that the piece was right at the beginning? How could that be? Surely, if the aide had seen it start, it should be at least part way though, the amount of time elapsed relating directly to how far away the aide was from the President’s office  when the news item began? Also, it’s uncanny how they always switch on the TV and it is already on the right channel. Does the President only subscribe to one channel? If not, how come his TV is not still tuned to Babestation or Sky Sports News from the night before?   

Public Services hospitalJack was never shy of drawing on the resources of whichever law enforcement agency’s affairs he happened to be meddling with at the time. He would call on the LAPD to bring him a helicopter and it would miraculously appear, like Mr Benn in the Costume shop. I’m not sure how many choppers the LAPD has but it can’t be that many. So how can it be that there is always one available for Jack and it appears in seconds? A similar thing happens in Grey’s Anatomy and other hospital dramas; why are patients always admitted to the ward without the need for a frantic search for a spare bed? If Grey’s was set in Wigan Infirmary, as well as needing sub-titles, the ad breaks would have to be twenty minutes long while some over-worked and under-paid porter dragged the hapless patient around Christopher Home looking for an empty gurney or sent him up to Wrightington in a taxi because they might have a bed there.       

Personal SafetybagsJack was generally too busy and too hard to worry about his own personal safety, but you would think that other mere TV mortals should probably be more careful with their possessions and personal health and well-being. In TV land, it is apparently acceptable to not apply the hand brake or lock the doors when you exit your car. Similarly, people rarely have to unlock the front door before entering their empty house and, unless the script calls for a would-be assailant to be lurking inside, all the lights in the premises will already be on. On American TV in particular, no-one seems to think it prudent to check that their dog isn’t lying dangerously behind the door waiting to trip them up, especially when they insist on entering the house carrying a ludicrously bulging, yet handle-less, brown paper bag in front of their face.    


Bedroom BollocksmakeupApart from that blonde bint with the face like a horse in the last couple of series of 24, Jack never had much of a love-interest. If we had been privy to his televisual bedroom activities, I am prepared to bet we would have seen some, or perhaps all, of the following occur. His partner would go to bed wearing a full-face of slap with a blatant disregard for its impact on the freshly laundered pillowcases and sheets. After sex, which without fail will be mind-blowing and the best either has ever experienced, there will be no ‘cleaning-up’ process before they retire to sleep for the night. There will be no subtle manoeuvring to avoid lying in the wet patch and, despite neither partner setting the clock for the following morning, the alarm will still go off and wake them up ready for the day ahead. And, of course, the woman’s make-up will be perfectly intact and there will not be a single hair on her head out of place. What a load of old bollocks.

Enjoy the weekend – Griff        



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