For the past week I have been tortured by the screaming, shouting hysterical wailing of one Jack Bauer. Iyawo in her wisdom picked up the latest series of 24 on DVD and it has been hell. Not only is our friend Jack, for me, the worst secret service agent ever, what with being the magnet for all the world's evils but he surely must be living in some sort of groundhog day nightmare. I think this is series 7 and for me there was no difference between this and Series 2, 3, 4, 5 and er 6. See terrorists plan to destroy America, see Jack come to the rescue, see lots of people that have any connection with Jack whatsoever get killed, see Jack being in almost constant danger but he manages to walk through glass, survive bullets, bombs, chemical poisoning and all the other atrocities these "terrorists" throw his way.
I tell you this stuff was riveting in Series 1, mildly amusing in 2, interesting in 3 or whichever series had the black President (a definite precursor for Obama I feel as the actor carried off the role with such dignity and charisma) but by now I am actually on the terrorist's side. I keep hoping that the next explosion, bullet, radio chemical will put paid to Jack but no, like a bad coin he keeps turning up saying the same things, doing the same things, chasing the same ghosts. From the various snatches of this latest series I caught, between giving Iyawo filthy looks and what not, it seemed at one point that he had one day to live. Imagine my surprise when Iyawo came out of her coma after a marathon watching session to tell me that the prat had survived and not only that but the "terrorists" had also captured his daughter (who had made some of the episodes in the other series watchable, cough) so that there would definitely be another series. No Jack please no. You have failed. Go to the back of the class.
Speaking of losers, my condolences go to the supporters of Man U. Delusional as they are and filled with false pride by the Scotsman. The air was slowly, painfully and embarrassingly let out of their balloon over 90 minutes in Rome. As a former footballer and still avid and passionate follower of the sport I cannot begin to tell you how magical it was watching that game. It was like a film. Several times I muttered to myself - this is like a practice match. The sheer domination of the game by Barca was so absolute after the first ten minutes of Ronaldo that I assumed that there was some sub plot wherein Ferguson would do something and then they would go on and win. However, God, in his infinite wisdom saved me from having to suffer the smug Scots's git after match press conference wherein he would blow smoke up his own bottom (a difficult task but he manages to do it consistently). Be quiet Sir Alex. You too have failed miserably.
For me however, the key thing was, and is, the difference between Messi and Ronaldo. On the one hand we have a perma tanned prima donna (the crooked teeth and greasy spotty face are now a thing of the past) who swans around as if he is owed everything and on the other hand you have a small pale genius who glides about the pitch without much fuss doing serious and maximum damage. The second goal from Messi will be played over and over in sport's highlights for years and demonstrates that one can be just as effective in one's work, believe in one's ability and be confident in one's self without having to always shout it from the rooftops.
Someone please tell Mr Bauer as he prepares Season 8 or is it 80?