Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I really like the TV show 24. If you have not seen it (or don't like it-my wife does not care either way), and you like a spy/cop/CIA type show, I would recommend.

Melinda Penner over at Stand To Reason had this good blog on the morality (and difficulty) of making difficult moral choices in a fallen world with many different facets. Not all moral decisions are black and white. Many are, but many are not.
Some moral dilemmas present no good choice, yet a choice must be
made. The running theme of the show is the price that is to be paid for
having to make such impossible moral choices and the ethical and personal cost
of doing such. No one is off the hook.

In the past, she notes that Jack has often made the right choice even though on their own the choices would be something less moral. But in the face of a worse choice. The not-so-good choice is the better choice. This is like the argument that lying and murdering is wrong, but if you were to save a Jewish life (like in WWII) by lying, you would be making the "moral" choice.
In last night's premiere of "Day Five" Jack killed an admittedly guilty
assassin, who was dying already. It appears that Jack did this purely out
of vengeance. While it might have been emotionally, satisfying, it was
morally troubling. There were no exigent circumstances that required him
to kill the confessed assassin. Only Jack's anger at Palmer's
assassination seems to have motivated finishing off the criminal.

I could not have said it better. I like the distinction between emotionally satisfying and morally troubling. I know for me personally, when watching a "vengence-type" movie or program (one where a loved one dies, and the "good" guy tracks down and kills the one who did it), I am drawn into the drama and silently cheer the lead character when he kills the bad guy (go ahead, make my day). This is part of the delivery of the story.

However, as Melinda points out, this is morally troubling. We know, in real life, this is NOT the way things are supposed to be. We know this. However, in a show where often the right choice is forced by other circumstances, this may not be a good thing.

That is troubling. Does it hint at a more personally-motivated, visceral
hero this "day" who has lost his moral compass? I'm worried.

I hope this does not turn into a "morally neutral" show because I am glad the folks who produce and direct this show have showed that there are consequences to choices good and bad; personally and professionally.

Plus, how can you deal with a show that kills off two main characters in the first 10 minutes. So unpredictable. Though not necessarily for this show; that is what is so engaging about it. Edge of your seat suspense.

Here is the link for an earlier article Melinda wrote about why she likes 24.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

24 is my favorite show too!!!