Thursday, 15 June 2006

Jack's Back

Channel 7 are popular rant material (as are the Australian government) because of their ongoing selfish indifference to the wellbeing of the charges they have sworn to serve. Notwithstanding the excellent TV commentary (below), another feature which will appeal to the Good Lady Wife if no other, is the return of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in 24 next week (Wed & Thu 7 930P). An early comment I have read regarding this latest series of 24, series 5, is that it is a rehash of series’ 1 to 4 and doesn’t offer anything very new. It seems you just can’t keep a good man down though.
Meanwhile, back at the rant, Channel 7 have decided in their great programming wisdom to fatigue their viewers with two double screenings on sequential nights. Now that just beggars belief. Do they believe that 24 episodes is just to much (stretched over 24 weeks) or doesn’t fit into their ratings periods – couldn’t they have started sooner ?
Or do they believe that regular viewers are just so desperate to find out what happens next that they can’t wait an ordinary week like every other TV drama ? I find that hard to believe. If any punter is bursting with that much energy he should a) go for a run b) get on-line and order it from the US c) go for a run on a Malaysian beach and then purchase a ripped off copy from a street vendor for a whole lot less than US RRP.
Who has two hours, two nights in a row, to watch something that you might otherwise commit to over a season ? Isn’t there a greater chance that viewers who can’t hack the gruelling pace set up ch.7 give up thereby defeating the channel’s purpose of engaging more viewers ? I don’t doubt that there will be special “encore” (read : “repeat”) screenings tucked in over the following weekend to give those who missed a chance to catch up but me thinks they overestimate their capacity to entertain. The first, much hyped season of a series ? Yes possibly it will generate that much interest. The fifth season of a show that has run its course ? Probably not.
One last thing, why, when the (ridiculous) gimmick of 1 minute of show time equates to 1 minute of real time, would two hours of TV show only be scheduled to run for 1 hour 45 minutes ? On both nights, Jack Bauer is programmed from 930P to 1115P. Less advertisement breaks by channel 7 ? Well, maybe to get the punters in but I do find that hard to believe that they wouldn’t be milking one of their marquee shows for all it is worth. Channel 7, get over yourself.

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