T.V. Time with Bob: One show flourishes, another flops

Robert Taylor

“24:” Another one bites the dust

Fox, Mondays at 9

Over the course of two episodes, three major fan favorite characters have been slaughtered, and if this is kept up, the viewers will feel nothing but numbness toward the remaining troupe of good guys.

How can the writers think it’s a good idea to keep characters like Kim, Audrey and Curtis around while killing off Edgar, Lynn and Tony like they were day players? All Kim does is moan about her daddy issues, Audrey moans about her love life with Jack and Curtis . well . Curtis doesn’t do anything but lead teams in when Jack is otherwise engaged.

Edgar’s death could have held so much more power if only they would have built up his relationship with Chloe for a few more episodes. Lynn was such a great character because he could never handle the pressure and Sean Astin did a great job portraying Lynn’s madness. And as for Tony, he manages to survive four seasons of near-death experiences, nuclear explosions, moles, viruses and naked assassins to be killed by not being able to stop a seemingly comatose villain from injecting him with poison. Talk about letdowns.

Don’t get me wrong, unexpected deaths are part of what makes “24” so enduring. The deaths of Teri, Sherry, Nina and President Palmer are some of the best moments of the series, but only because they had purpose. Just whacking off regulars for the heck of it leaves the viewer afraid to care about the remaining actors.

“One Tree Hill:” When did this show get good?

The WB, Wednesdays at 8

Since its inception, “One Tree Hill” has been one of the worst shows on network television. The acting has been atrocious (Nathan’s “I love you Haley, but things can never be the same” spiel isn’t any better the fourth time around), the story lines so hackneyed my cat could come up with better plot twists (Dan’s dead! No wait, he’s the mayor!), and the product placements so blatant (Brooke Davis’ clothing line) that it is one of the most enjoyably bad experiences of my life.

So when the advertisements for a very special episode with a school shooting started popping up, my friends and I were making bets about the clich‚s that would be trotted out for the episode.

But then, to my great surprise, the episode was amazingly well done. The story line was not a bunch of contrived clich‚s but an involving and intimate character piece. There was actual suspense. The stars can actually act! And the death was shocking, unexpected yet fitting.

Episodes like this usually either are really corny or really overdramatic, but the writer, Mark Schwann, used the opportunity to look into the isolation and sadness that comes with being in high school, and the themes he touched upon can hit home with any viewer.

But now that the news is out that the creators and actors can do a great job with the series, it’ll make the regular episodes all the more laughable. What a shame.

Contact ALL reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected]