RANT: “Technobabble” In Movies and TV

You might know that I have a problem with the tons of technobabble that appears on TV and the movies these days. You might even have read the page that I dedicated to the subject on this site. But the thing is, all the gobbledygook on 24 is really starting to get on my nerves. So much so that whenever someone on the show talks about “opening a socket” or “telnetting into the BIOS”, Lisa automatically looks over to see if I’m rolling my eyes… and I usually am. Sometimes I even try to translate the technobabble to her literally or try to explain why some technological feature won’t work – such as why parabolic microphones (especially ones without the parabolic part) won’t work through a combined 6 feet of concrete.

Sure, 24 has always had some plot and\or logic holes – just how many moles can get jobs at CTU anyway? And how can Chloe go from eating cereal in her pajamas to walking on the the floor at CTU in a business suit in less than seven minutes? – but lately it’s just getting to be too much. “Suspension of disbelief” can only take you so far. When the premise of the show – tracking a moving car via satellite – simply cannot happen… it makes it far less enjoyable. I *did* make a mention on my “Hollywood Tech” page about how it’s all well and good for me to dis technobabble on shows but accept legal or medical technobabble on others. Again, I’m not saying any other show is perfect. Glenda Alvarez and I were once talking about CSI and she beat up on that show with far less mercy and eloquence that I do with my geek shows.

But still… will this be the season that 24 jumps the shark? Everyone at Ars Technica is just waiting to see…

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