Sunday, May 09, 2010

24N24 – Completed

My initial Season 1 viewing schedule was wrong, and I noticed it when I finished my first disc a little before 3:00 am. Each disc was nearly three hours long, and with six discs, the total time was closer to eighteen hours than the original sixteen that I had anticipated.

I changed the plan to watch two discs in three viewings with a two hour break after disc two and a four hour break between disc disc four and and five.

I got home from work about 6:30 and went straight to bed. I was afraid that I would not get any shut eye, but amazingly, I did. Cindy woke me at 11:40 when the alarm clock went off.

The six hours was a lot easier than I thought. Maybe it was the anticipation of knowing that I had a whole day ahead of me and this was just the beginning.

At 6:00, I took my first two hour “sync break.” The show was already at 08:00. During the break, I made breakfast for my family and saw them off for their weekend trip.

The next six hours was considerably more difficult and I felt my head nodding from time to time. I ran out to grab some take out lunch and finished up before three.

During my second break, I had the opportunity to go and congratulation a friend of mine for graduating Regent Law school. By that time, I think I had a thousand yard stare. On the way back, I stopped in a very busy Starbucks for a venti Ice Coffee. No sleeping during the breaks.

The final six hours started at six. By this time, I was ahead of the 24 time (which was now at 16:00), and so it was catching up to me, instead of the other way around. This was by design so that I could conclude the show at midnight. I took a quick “sync break” before the last episode so that I stated at 23:19 and ended right on time.

What was it like watching an entire season of 24 in one day? When watching them on broadcast TV, I often lost details of story arcs because the time compression is so tight. A minor character is introduced who suddenly disappears and three weeks later, you are trying to remember what happened to them. In the continuous viewing mode, the story makes a lot more sense. However, it also servers to point out that the show does not really happen in “real-time.”

For example, at 18:59, Jack and Walsh are in an empty field walking down a hill. When 19:00 starts, a shot of the sun establishes that it is going down, and we pick up with Jack and Walsh now walking in darkness. So, between 18:59 and 19:00 we completely skipped dusk – it was as if someone had flipped a switch.

It also seemed that the writers had trouble knowing what to do with Jack’s wife and daughter once they were rescued at noon. They go to a safe house, which is compromised, the mom gets amnesia and thinks that the daughter is dead and both characters wonder around for the next several episodes. Once the Palmer story resolved around the 21:00 mark, it seemed like there was some difficulty knowing how to keep him around for the next several hours.

I think that one 24N24 is enough for me. It is something that I can now scratch off my bucket list.