Is there such a thing as too much conflict in a storyline?
Recently, the Audience channel has been showing episodes of 24, that shoot ‘em, All-American TV show about Jack Bauer chasing bad guys, saving his daughter, fighting his co-workers, and trying to convince everyone that, yes, the bomb is about to explode. The unique premise is that each season occurs within a 24-hour period. Each episode is about what happens within that one-hour, real-time period. That alone increases the tension.
Saving the nation from atomic bombs, terrorist plots, co-workers with a god-complex, and poison gas is a high threshold for most people. For Jack, it’s all jammed into this single day.
24 debuted in 2001 and ended 2010. I didn't start watching until the sixth season but it hooked me instantly. Now, with the re-runs, I finally get to watch the earliest episodes that I missed.
I love this show. The very realistic violence is difficult to watch; torture or the idiots who impede Jack’s mission. It is all the same to me.
However, sometimes the conflict is too much.
The president has to make a decision about whether to retaliate against several Arab countries, thwarted by his vice-president when he makes the wrong move, a cabinet member learns of the conspiracy and tries to warn the president but is kidnapped and injured during her attempt to escape. Meanwhile Jack is on the receiving end of torture and his daughter is in police custody.
And Holy Cats, all this in about fifteen minutes.
By the end of this episode, I feel wrung out and ready for a break.
So when is too much conflict a problem? As the witness is shot when he tries to relay the location of the bomb? When Jack discovers he cannot expect help from his friends due to government bureaucracy? Or when two gals working surveillance get into a catfight over a broken love affair?
When is too much conflict a problem?
Btw, my DVR is about to explode. And crap, Justified starts next Tuesday. AiEEEEEEEE.