Sunday, March 22, 2009

24 Portrays Women as Dumb Decision Makers

This weekend I wathced a bit of a minimarathon of 24. We had around 6 episodes that we had not watched, so we sat and watched them all back to back. Watchng them all, back-to-back I noticed that the writers of the show seem to hate women.

Consider the female character's on show and their not very wise decisions. There is the girl, Marika that was dating the evil Dubaku. After being completely duped about who he was, she is finally let in on the secret that he is a murderous warlord type. Still she agrees to go meet him. Not sure why, but not that smart. Then after he gives the baby
baby you know the real me speech, she says she'll go with him. Now maybe she was being brave or acting out self preservation, but poor decisions on her part got ther to that point.

The second character who is not that bright is the FBI agent and computer lady, played by Ever Carradine, who is duped by shifty eyed co-FBI guy to plot against the government. 'Baby baby, trust me, you're the one. Now just do this for me. I'm gonna leave my wife for you, I swear. Please continue committing treason. Oops, sorry gotta murder you.'

Next up is one of the stars fo the show, played by Annie Wersching, agent Renee Walker is a tough girl. So, she smartly figures out that an hospital orderly is not who he says he is. Then she smartly tracks him 
back to a wearhouse, the staging area of a massive terrorist attack. She calls in to say, hey, the bad guys are here. This is where the smart stops for Agent Walker. Bad guys are getting ready to go, and they hop on a boat. Instead of hitting redial, she seizes the moment and jumps on the tale of the boat, landing poorly. Her phone gets all wet and she drops her gun in the water. Now she and the terrorists are on the way to do the job and she has no way to stop them or to call for help.

Not a big player in the whole thing thus far, but the president's daughter, Olivia Taylor, played by Sprague Grayden. She enters as this self-serving, whiny little daughter. She has a little temper tantrum before agreeing to go see her father, who has been shot, at a sceret service agent's behest. This is on the same day that two planes crash. The president sends the secret service for you, don't you check the attitude and go? Then she is being walked around the West Wing of the White House, protected by Aaron the long-time secret service agent, who must protect her with his one gun.

Ms. Taylor, I need you to hide where you will be safe while I go signal for help. 'No, I'm going with you.' Making his job that much harder Aaron the SSA is shot. He tells her to go into a room and get a flashlight and signal out the window to come and save them all. So she goes into the room, gets the flashlight. She doesn't lock the door. Bad guys come in and grap her before she can signal. Now she is captured and bate for the president to come out of hiding.

You would think Janeane Garofalo (FBI Agent Janis Gold), being the independant minded lady she is, would not appreciate having the writers give her ditzy moves. So on the day of a big terrorist attacks, FBI moles, and at- large terrorists, she decides to get proprietary about her job. When Chloe O'Brien is brought in to run operations, Garafalo suspects that she has been brought in to replace her in her job. This is after she has done nothing wrong. So she borrows the network key (highly sensitve equipment)
and uses it to hack the main frame. She taps into a phone call, with Bower saying, we are tracking Dubaku, he is trying to leave the country. Losing sight of the ball, she is more concerned about Chloe, who her boss brought in, and in Jack than she is in Dubaku who is already responbile for hundreds of deaths of American citizens.

Next on the list is Cherry Jones, who plays President Allison Taylor. She hims and hawes so much it's a wonder she is able to make a decision at all. But let's focus on just one decision the write rs made for her. Terrorists have captured the White House and the president's daughter
among others. Madam President come out or I will kill your daughter. Now of course daughter's are important, but once your the president don't you start making decisions for the entire country. Ok, so she comes out and the terrorists capture her. Bad guys say your're going to make a video, the last thing you will ever do. President
Taylor says, OK, I will make this colossally embarassing and stupid video which would embarass the United States for decades and decades, but you have to let the terrorists go first. Has anyone ever heard of being dragged kicking and screaming?

Finally let's look at the normally sure-whitted Chloe who somehow forgot she was running a backup system and thought she'd lost the entire list corrupted by two FBI moles. What computer person forgets they have a backup system?

This is just a small list, but I'd be willing to bet it goes back all the way to the beginning of the season. I guess I'm only noticing this because the plot this time around seems so rediculous. What African warlord could get such a foothold of power within the United States, such that he could launch a stuningly successful attack on the White House and taking the President Captive?

Is there a new writing team working over at 24?

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