24 is probably the only TV show that I watch consistently. Last night, Jack was in a real jam, hiding out in a sporting good store as a group of bad-guy commandos approached him. All seemed lost until two brave young men, the owners of the store, took up arms to help Jack (and the American government) in their battle against terrorism.
These two men were also Arabs. And Fox was going to make sure you knew they were Arabs by inserting patriotic speeches about their father and America and 9/11.
I thought it was pretty cool, somewhat necessary, and a lot corny.
The moment was so “Public Service Announcement” that it almost seemed as if all the commandos stopped approaching and took a cigarette break just to allow these good citizens to finish their speeches. I think it would have been better if these two young guys just helped out without much banter and then after the battle, Jack goes to shake their hands.
Jack: “My name is Jack.”
Mohammed (shaking hand): “Mohammed.”
I would have gotten the point. But Fox clearly wanted to counter-balance the charges that they are portraying Arab-Americans in a negative way on 24.
Let’s see — the Araz family are members of a sleeper-cell out to kill millions of Americans. How likeable should they be?
Dina Araz, the mother clearly shows a human side in wanting to save her son, Behrooz. The son is Bin Laden’s nightmare, a true believer forever softened by the California sunshine and his blond girlfriend. Is that the next problem that needs solving?
Next Week on 24: Behrooz decides that his days of carousing with decadent American surfer girls are over and he is ready to settle down with a traditional bride from Yemen.