Let me first start by saying that my wife and I do not watch television. Itâ€™s not the hardware â€“ we do rent movies â€“ itâ€™s the content. I am a big fan of the new media, and am a regular listener to talk radio.
I first heard of â€œ24â€ on the Rush Limbaugh Program. I remember â€œAmericaâ€™s Anchormanâ€ spending a big chunk of broadcast time talking about the show. He told about visiting the set, and generally yucking it up with Kiefir (is â€œkiefirâ€ a type of liquid yogurt, or marijuana pollen? I forget) Sutherland, the writers, and the directors. I made a mental note.
Within a few weeks, Hugh Hewitt, talkshow host, author, constitutional law professor, and blogger extraordinaire discovered the show. People called in to share in his excitement, and described themselves as being â€œhookedâ€ on, and â€œaddictedâ€ to the show. A few days later, Hewitt sounded almost giddy when he reported that some blogger of prominence described him as the â€œJack Bauer of talk radio.â€ At the time, I had no appreciation of the magnitude of the compliment â€“ for those of you who donâ€™t know, Jack Bauer is the hero/protagonist of 24.
So, when it became time to rent a movie, I said to my lovely wife, â€œLetâ€™s try something different. Letâ€™s check out this television show about which everyone is talking.â€ She said, â€œO.K.â€, and our fate was sealed.
Our intent was to try an episode. After forty-five minutes (no commercials on DVD), the first episode ended. We looked at each other, and without saying anything, I punched up the next episode. We watched all for episodes on the disk â€“ and would have continued on had we disk number two.
8:08 P.M. Nine days before the California primary
I rented disk two. My wife cried desperately, â€œWill there be any resolution at the end !?!â€
â€œNo, it never ends,â€ I said flatly. My hands trembled slightly as I placed the disk in the player. The haunting techno theme music began.
â€œO.K.,â€ she said with a hint of fear in her voice, â€œbut I canâ€™t watch just this from now on, weâ€™ll have to watch a chick flick.â€
â€œOf course,â€ I said, doing whatever was necessary to buy some timeâ€¦ Jack would approve.
9:28 P.M. Nine days before the California primary
Things seemed to be going well, then, after a mere two episodes, a wrenching twist in the plot: â€œI have to get ready for bed,â€ she said as she rose from the couch, then added, â€œI donâ€™t think I can keep watching this. You know, the things you see affect you.â€
I had to think fast. â€œYou know, if you stop us now, you will never know how the season ends â€“ Iâ€™m your only chance,â€ I said.
She gave me an odd look, â€œIâ€™m not saying that we can never see it again – â€
â€œNina, there isnâ€™t time â€“ â€œ
â€œDid you just call me â€˜Ninaâ€™ â€“ â€œ
â€œLook, I promise everything is going to be O.K. I have to go now, Iâ€™ll call you back when I know something.â€
â€œAre you alright? When was the last time you meditated?â€
Cue the theme music