Three Jacks

This week is kind of a nexus for television-land in America, as it signifies the end of three well-loved television series.  A send-off to three guys named Jack.

I started watching Lost during the first season, but soon stopped.  The show was compelling, to be sure, but there were many times I missed it, and it's one of those shows that is impossible to follow if you miss something.  I figured I could only spare the time to invest myself in one television series, Battlestar Galactica was it, and Lost, well, lost.   I would still watch it from time to time, but never really bought into the whole mythology of it.  I did watch the finale, though, and found it quite compelling and understandable, even for a casual viewer.  I thought the resolution was a cop-out, though.  Far too much was left hanging, and the viewer was never really satisfied as far as the nature of the Man in Black, the island, the Source or (really) anything else.   I do like the idea that Heaven is independent of time, and that when we arrive, everyone we've loved will be there, regardless of when they died.  

Jack Shepherd is about as different from Jack Bauer as possible.  Bauer is the dude you don't mess with, the guy who could make Chuck Norris cower.  The final twenty-four hours of 24 were a compelling, thrilling ride, with enough turns and twists that even the most seasoned viewer was left wondering what was going to happen.  Although it was predicable that President Taylor was eventually going to take the high road, there was a level of uncertainty right up to the end.  And, of course, the producers of 24 are betting on at least one film, so their endpoint is different than Lost.  While we have seen the end of Renee, Dana and Charles, there will be more of Chloe, Cole and Jack.  Jack Bauer is a modern-day Odysseus, destined to never rest while there are monsters to fight.

If Jack Bauer fights monsters in the streets, Jack McCoy fights them in the courtroom.  And, like Jack Bauer, I doubt we've seen the last of Jack McCoy.  After all, there are still two current (and one upcoming) iteration of Law & Order in America.  (and the UK and France, and Russia, and...) And creator Dick Wolf is not going gentle into that good night.  He's still shopping the series around for a possible home.  So the finale wasn't really a finale per-se.  Still, it was one of the better episodes of the last couple of seasons.  And like a typical episode of Law & Order, all meat, with very little filler.

So the American television landscape changes once again, and we lose our three Jacks, at least for a while.  Maybe there should be a Jack on Caprica


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