Critic: 24 is anti-family
When I watch 24, I don't expect to see depictions of families trying to figure out whether it's time to bring the minivan in for service. I'm not expecting to see characters drinking copious amounts of java while revealing their angst to one another. That's what Grey's Anatomy is for.
I watch 24 for its depiction of counter-terrorism and of what U.S. agents might face when trying to protect the country, as well as for its dramatization of the political implications of fighting stateless bands of terrorists. Plus it's fun to watch Jack Bauer kick some bad guy behind. So why in the world would a New York Times critic assail 24 for being anti-family and for the fact that the program doesn't demonstrate "ordinary social intercourse?"
While arguing that 24 is viciously anti-family, a Times critic said, in the world of 24, family is "an impossible and even dangerous illusion" and that "parenthood . . . is on 24 a grotesquely compromised institution."
Then, near the end of the essay, writer Ginia Bellafante skewered the program for the fact that there's no regular social interaction. "The idea that two people might sit down for a cup of coffee is as contrary to the show's internal logic as the idea that polar bears might someday learn to sing," she wrote.
But who tunes in to 24 to watch people share a casual moment over coffee? Who watches it to gauge where American culture is regarding the status of modern parenthood? It's a program that showcases a twisted world based on what transpires during 24 hours of a day when the fate and lives of people are jeopardized terrorists. Who has time for niceties? Or Starbucks?