Eagle Four: Afghanistan's 24 Hit TV Show

Supported with US aid money, styled after the Jack Bauer-like hit American TV show, 24, Eaglr Four has become Afghanistan's most popular TV show in the Kabul area. TV? They have TV? Still no Internet, but TV, yes.

Like the 24 show, there are four main characters and a Jack Bauer like Afghanistani actor determined to take on al-qaeda and the taliban in the streets of Kabul with cunning and as always, in the end, success!

Eagle Four comprises of a two man and two woman police force. It is filmed in the streets of Kabul and broad-casted on Tolo TV. The unit is actually modeled on the specially trained Afghan, Sensitive Investigations Unit, to counter terrorists. Because of the culture, filming and having a co-ed situation has made it at times, "difficult" to shoot, as some women have been threatened. The US has sponsored it because it hopes to promote the Afghan police force into a much better light than it is now-corrupt and pathetic. So, it is a propaganda piece and PR but it is also training the young Afghan TV industry about producing their own shows. Like 24, there is a 13 week season with one show captivating the Afghan viewers. Unique because there are only Afghans in the show, no Americans, no NATO.

Behind the scenes are Austrailans with TV skills who are treaching the Afghan men and women how to produce, film, and act in their own shows. Filming in the streets has its own dangers from those who do not realize a TV show is being filmed and then intervene! Many times, the production crew had to shut down before "real police" arrived because they were shooting in "taboo" situations. Mobs tend to gather when women and men are together in alien situations. The Afghan women actors cannot perform after 5 pm due to husband objections. One Afghan actress learned her trade and make-up by watching YouTube videos.

The Jack Bauer figure in Eagle Four is  Kamran, a clone of the Jack Bauer character, except he is Afghanistan. His sidekick is actually a HS teacher during most days. In the show, Eagle Four always wins in the end. TV fans only lament that they wish it was so in "real life".

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