UK Muslims livid over ‘hostile’ US TV drama

“Muslims in Britain are raising a hue and cry over a new series of US drama 24 that depicts followers of Islam as terrorists,… the Muslim Council of Britain, has described it as “unremittingly hostile and unbalanced” and is likely to foster Islamophobia… …”We are greatly concerned by the unremittingly hostile and unbalanced portrayal of Muslims,…At a time when negative stereotypes of Muslims are on the increase we feel that Sky – as a major UK broadcaster – has a responsibility to challenge these insidious views, not help to reinforce them.” said Iqbal Sacranie, the council’s secretary general.”

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Don’t lose that number

“Pay close attention to the phone numbers used on your favourite TV shows. They could be real… …The incoming number flashed on the cell for a split-second. But some viewers — especially those with digital video recorders — were able to pause the frame and jot down the Los Angeles-based number…

…Minutes after 24 aired on the East Coast, the cellphone belonging to one of the show’s technicians started ringing…The number — 310-597-3781, if you’re curious — has received more than 50,000 calls since the episode aired last week. Bemused staff now refer to it as the ‘fan phone’…

…Initially, when the calls started pouring in, the technician cancelled the number. But the reaction was intriguing and the line was reconnected…”

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Jack on the box

“…These choices of theme and hero have always given 24 a sense of topicality, a feeling increased because, unusually for a through-plotted drama, many of the episodes are written while the series is on air… …Yet the series’ claim to contemporary realism is complex. While 24 depicts America under permanent attack from terrorists – the fabric of California taking the scale of pounding London suffered in the blitz – the fact is, since 9/11, there has been more terrorism on American TV than American territory…

…The White House may claim that the lack of attacks is proof that the real Kiefers are succeeding in their work but it gives 24 a rather uncomfortable air of impatient fantasy…

…To be really topical, 24 would deal with America as international aggressor rather than defender against terrorism and there are welcome suggestions that series four has at least been influenced by the events at Abu Ghraib jail…

…The problem, as throughout the four-year first term of 24, is the suspicion that Jack’s behaviour is being justified in the defence of America from Arabs. But, though now as far from the heart of American politics as John Kerry, 24 remains a sleek storytelling machine that risks stealing from us another six months of Sundays…”

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Sky snaps up nissan sponsorship

“Sky One has sold an unprecedented sponsorship deal for three of its Sunday night primetime TV shows ’24’, ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘Dream Team’ to carmaker Nissan for £1.5m….All three programmes offer the highest ratings for Sky One….The deal was negotiated by Nissan’s media agency Manning Gottlieb OMD. The trailer and break credits will be used to promote five new cars to be launched by the Japansese car maker throughout 2005….Nissan will also sponsor interactive zones for each programme, where viewers can access additional content about the programmes and new car launches.” So what does this all mean?, it means, instead of stupidly annoying adverts for nivea littering the show when it’s shown on skyone, we’ll have stupidly annoying adverts for nissan littering the show.

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Sutherland is the sentinel

Kiefer Sutherland,….will headline the Regency Enterprises drama The Sentinel,….as a Secret Service agent who’s having a covert affair with the First Lady. When another agent turns up dead, Sutherland’s character becomes the prime suspect and slowly get entangled in a plot to assassinate the President,….Michael Douglas is producing the project through his Outlook Pictures. Filming will begin this May in Toronto.”

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’24’ has momentum but no depth

“…Nothing else on TV zips along at such a breakneck pace,…That rush is the drama’s best, and worst, attribute. Keeping both eyes clearly on the speedometer means treating the characters as little more than crash-test dummies that might not survive the next collision. It’s all whoosh and no wit… …All that said, “24” is never boring. Split screens haven’t been this effective since the 1970 film “Woodstock,” and I’m tempted to buy the soundtrack, if only to have the warped tick-tocking on file. It sounds like someone dripping acid on the “60 Minutes” stopwatch…

…But I’d give up a few moments of nonstop action and camera tricks to find out a little more about Bauer. What are his hobbies? Does he enjoy long walks in the moonlight? Ginger or Mary Ann? Perhaps then I’d care a little bit more about what happens to him and treat “24” as more than just a lap around the track…”

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Kiefer begins another bad day

“Four years ago, television audiences were introduced to Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and his motley counterterrorism crew, who, in each season, save the world (or do they?) over a 24-hour period… …Of course, one doesn’t watch 24 for its connection to reality. No, one watches 24 because it is the synthesis of all of the absurdities of reality television mixed with classic, obvious potboilers…

…Should you watch the new season of 24? Ask yourself three questions: Do you have the time on Monday nights to devote your full attention to a silly show? Have you been watching from the beginning? And do you care? If you answered “yes” to all three questions, then by all means, watch the new season of 24. If you got hung up on one of the first two questions, follow my lead and just wait for the inevitable DVD box set that will come out in August…”

International fansite dedicated to TV show '24'