24 and Torture
I gave up on 24 a couple of years ago after I realised that the show was becoming increasingly dedicated to the aestheticisation of torture. Things haven’t changed much. Here’s Slavoj Zizek in The Guardian, writing on the same issue:
Therein also resides the lie of 24: that it is not only possible to retain human dignity in performing acts of terror, but that if an honest person performs such an act as a grave duty, it confers on him a tragic-ethical grandeur. The parallel between the agents’ and the terrorists’ behaviour serves this lie.
On the other hand, the show also seems to now be mixing its pro-torture aesthetic with a strong anti-Bush critique:
What we have this season is President Charles Logan, possibly the most worthless excuse for a fictional leader of the free world ever. Just how much of dink will they make him into? Will he eventually panic and order the assassination of Jack Bauer? Start rolling around on the floor and chewing the carpet? Or will the scriptwriters chicken out and allow him to redeem himself with some unexpected act of moral bravery at the end?