May 11, 2007, - 11:19 am

Goodbye, “24″; Hello, “Traveler”

By Debbie Schlussel
For the last two seasons, “24″ has been dull, stale, and silly. And uninteresting, too. The show has jumped the shark. And that’s aside from its unwillingness to ever make Muslim terrorists the perpetrators. They’re always working for the White corporate man, the Russians, or some other divergent party.
But, now, ABC has something that’s far more exciting than “24.” Last night, the network debuted “Traveler,” about two 20-something friends who are framed for a terrorist attack by their former roommate, “Will Traveler”–who is not the guy they thought he was. The show is fresh and entertaining. And that’s not because the two stars are fairly good-looking (which is actually a diversion).
I like the show for now and will watch this ABC summer series when it officially debuts on May 30th. It’s unfortunate the show has been dumped in the summer schedule garbage can. But so, once, was “American Idol.” ABC has only ordered 8 episodes, according to USA Today, but I hope there are more based on what I’ve seen thus far.

pc24.jpg

PC “24″ Artwork by David Lunde/Lundesigns

I have one huge objection to the show. The two framed, wrongly-accused terrorists keep invoking “Guantanamo Bay” and “enemy combatant” disignations as reasons they won’t turn themselves in. But, as we all know, the men in Gitmo are not only hardened terrorists (like Bin Laden’s chauffeur, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, charged with terrorism yesterda), they are NOT American citizens.
That’s why they’re held there without full American Constitutional protections (but, despite “Traveler” depictions, they all have lawyers–most from some of America’s top law firms). The scriptwriters on the set of “Traveler” clearly didn’t do their homework, as the accused in this show are American citizens on American soil, not candidates for Gitmo.
Ditto for the “enemy combatant status” and denial of a lawyer, invoked on the show. As we all know, the only American citizen designated as an enemy combatant, Abdullah Al-Muhajir a/k/a Jose Padilla, is currently enjoying a full circus trial in Miami, complete with a jury and Ito-esque Judge (Bush appointee and liberal Marcia Cooke). The Bush Administration gave up on fighting for the right to bestow enemy combatant status on anyone.
On the contrary, Americans–who are real terrorists–are treated with kid gloves. Examples: Suleyman Al-Faris a/k/a Abdul Hamid a/k/a
John Philip Walker Lindh; and–even–Yaser Esam Hamdi, a hardened Saudi Arabian Al-Qaeda terrorist and anchor baby, who was born in America but has no other connection to the country (he was raised in Saudi Arabia).
Given these facts, as opposed to the phony propaganda exercised on “Traveler,” it makes the shows writers seem sadly out of touch.
Otherwise (aside from that huge caveat), I like the show . . . so far. I predict I will ultimately not like who is behind the blowing up of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) or why. There was even a gratuitous line by an Arab Muslim parking attendant, last night, about how “they’re looking for two terrorists, and they’re not looking for Muslims. Imagine that.”
But I still found the show entertaining, nonetheless–again . . . so far.

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7 Responses

Once Jack shot and intentionally killed Curtis I was done with “24″. One US agent killing another for the sake of a (supposedly former) terrorist who was at odds with another terrorist let me know things had gone too far down the road of “lame”.
If such ever happened in real life we’d all be pretty upset at the agent that fired the shot to kill a fellow agent that would have given his life for A US AGENT, NOT A SUPPOSEDLY FORMER TERRORIST.

IndependentConservative on May 11, 2007 at 11:56 am

IndependentConservative,
Regarding the scene where Jack killed Curtis to protect the “reformed” terrorist, Jack did what I hope every real life agent would do in that situation.
At that moment, Assad was the only lead they had on finding the nuke. When Curtis had him at gunpoint he was risking the safety of the nation to satisfy his own personal vendetta. If this were to happen in real life (very, very, very unlikely, but for the sake of argument) I would hope that everything would be done to protect the only lead to finding the bomb.
And Debbie, to correct you regarding 24 never having Muslims be the source of the terrorism. On season 4 the entire threat was from Muslims (with the only exception being of the defense contractors trying to cover up the fact that the Muslim terrorist worked for them. Other than that they weren’t involved in the plot).
DREK:
WRONG. IT SEEMED THAT WAY FOR MOST OF SEASON 4, BUT IN A SOP TO WHINING CAIR, MPAC, AND OTHER MUSLIMS, IN THE END, THEY WERE ULTIMATELY WORKING FOR AND WITH THE WHITE CORPORATE MAN. JUST ASK SULTAN KNISH, THIS SITE’S RESIDENT “24″ EXPERT. ALSO, TALK SHOW HOST MICHAEL SMERCONISH WROTE A WHOLE CHAPTER ON THIS IN ONE OF HIS BOOKS, FOCUSING SPECIFICALLY ON SEASON 4.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

D*Rek on May 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Maybe the writers of this series actually want to use the GITMO and enemy combatant “errors” as a tool. If they say it enuff, people will start to believe it. I can’t believe the writers did not research this, I believe they have an agenda of deception.

TheOmegaMan on May 11, 2007 at 12:14 pm

season 4 however was the exception and it was followed by season 5 which tried to pass off ‘russian seperatists’ as non-muslim terrorists
…that kind of abuse of the patriot act and gitmo debbie mentioned is par for the course for lazy left wing writers

sultan_knish on May 11, 2007 at 12:15 pm

Guess you missed the lessons that should have been learnt from COINTELPRO and Stalin???
Skip the politricks though…ABC had a GREAT show called “Invasion,” and i stumbled across “Traveller” last night and said to meself—OY GEVALT—here we go again.
THIS is perhaps the best conspiracy show ever made, so far, but as with “Invasion” ABC-Disney will soon start playing scheduling games that will WEAKEN the potential for it being a hit simply because programmers today don’t have a clue how to develop a show…and there’s always the chance that the writers might WIMP OUT as the writers of “Jericho” did!!!
“Jericho” was a damn good idea, but somehow the Okrah/Dr Phil touchy-feelers gor hold of the script and made THAT show a lamer version of “Ghost Whisperers”…certain shows REQUIRE ACTION…and i hope the writers of “Traveller” don’t fall into trying to turn it into a faggy soap opera, but i won’t hold my breath.

EminemsRevenge on May 11, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Looking forward to seeing “Traveller” when it comes out.
Debbie, if you get BBC America on your TV, you should watch “MI-5″ when they start rerunning the episodes this summer (used to be on what was the only good show on that awful, trashy so called “Arts and Entertainment” channel. Though you won’t find the show “perfect”, they are a lot less “PC” than “24″ (or for that matter the real British gov’t and services). If you don’t have the channel, you can rent or buy the episodes on DVD

hairymon on May 11, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Since when has 24 been PC? Just because they have villains who aren’t Muslim, that makes them PC? So I guess it’s PC to torture anyone and everyone who might have information?
And besides, why do Muslims have to be the sole villains anyway? How does that detract from the show? Are you people so insecure and bigoted that unless Muslims are the only enemy in a show then it’s “PC” and therefore not worth watching? (side note, I do agree that this season of 24 hasn’t been that great, but it’s not because of their choice of villain, rather it is because it is a “greatest hits” of plot points of seasons past)
Oh and Sultan, regarding your quip about “lazy left-wing writers”, 1. why do you assume that they are left-wing, and 2. why don’t you give us some examples of right-wing writers who aren’t lazy (so you can show us how, in your mind, writing should be done).

D*Rek on May 11, 2007 at 3:08 pm

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