Monday, July 16, 2007

inadvertent Spanish lessons

I've skipped Seasons 2, 3, 4, and 5 of "24" and have been watching Season 6. The intensity level is still high, and the acting and scriptwriting remain sharp. I'm not sure how they manage to sustain the suspense, but Jack Bauer is still a man on the edge, and he's still fun to watch. I also like the CTU team they've assembled for Season 6; each of those actors is doing stellar work, and some-- like the actress who plays Nadia-- are quite easy on the eyes. The actor playing Morris O'Brian takes the cake, though: he's some of the best comic relief on that show, and he's versatile enough to do pathos well.

I'm far enough along Season 6 to know that the first suitcase nuke has detonated in Valencia, California, and that poor Morris was tortured into prepping the remaining nukes by programming the detonator. Sometimes I feel that Morris is our Everyman surrogate-- he can't withstand a year of torture like Jack Bauer can, nor can he fend off three "hostiles" the way Milo did while defending Graem Bauer's wife. I'm not far enough along in the series to know whether Morris will redeem himself or, as seems likely, kill himself, but I'm rooting for his character. I mean-- what would you do if a terrorist starts puncturing your back with a power drill? It's easy to say, "I'd stay loyal to my country," but you can never know until you're in that situation.

The TV Links site has two sets of Season 6 links to watch; one set is from the Stage 6 DivX site, and that's the set I'm watching because it's got a crisper image.* Whoever uploaded the episodes chose to grace us with Spanish subtitles, so I've been learning Spanish in spite of myself. I took a semester of Spanish back in 1991 and found it to be fairly easy, thanks to my French background, but it's obvious I know precious little Spanish vocabulary: as it turns out, many Spanish words are not cognates with French words. Italian is actually easier for a French speaker to decipher. On paper, anyway.

Thanks to the subtitling for "24," I now know expressions like "matar" (to kill) and "listo" (ready) and "seguro" (sure, certain). I also see that some Spanish expressions are very similar to French. For example, I now know that "de acuerdo" means "OK," which is the same as the French "d'accord." Some Spanish expressions are fascinating for their links to English words. For example, one says "discúlpame" in Spanish when one means "pardon me" or "excuse me." The astute observer can see that the Spanish verb looks a lot like the English verb "disculpate," to remove from guilt or suspicion, to exculpate. Veddy eenteresteeng.

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Korea (jae-heon jeol, Constitution Day), and it's likely I'll be back in the office catching up on "24," Season 6. Woo-hoo!

*Stage 6 is basically a high-end version of YouTube. Larger files, better image quality.



Anonymous said...



daeguowl said...

OCN is showing all 24 episodes in one go from 10pm Monday to 10pm Tuesday...

Kevin Kim said...


OH, NO!!!


Too bad I don't have a TV.