Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tortured Similes: Getting Under New Yorker's Skin

The show’s villains usually inflict the more gruesome tortures: their victims are hung on hooks, like carcasses in a butcher shop; poked with smoking-hot scalpels; or abraded with sanding machines. (Jane Mayer in The New Yorker
on “24,” torture and the man behind it all).

His students were particularly impressed by a scene in which Bauer barges into a room where a stubborn suspect is being held, shoots him in one leg, and threatens to shoot the other if he doesn’t talk. In less than ten seconds, the suspect reveals that his associates plan to assassinate the Secretary of Defense. [Retired Law Professor Gary] Solis told me, “I tried to impress on them that this technique would open the wrong doors, but it was like trying to stomp out an anthill.”

“It’s been very heady,” [“24” writer Howard] Gordon said of Washington’s enthusiasm for the show. Roger Director, [“24” executive producer Joel] Surnow’s friend, joked that the conservative writers at “24” have become “like a Hollywood television annex to the White House. It’s like an auxiliary wing.”

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