Monday, November 24, 2008


Originally intended to be called 24:Exile, perhaps the producers of 24 realized that it was redemption they were searching for in the relaunch of 24. I say relaunch because it has been a year and a half since Jack Bauer last graced the small screen after the writers strike led to the scrapping of season 7. The 24:Redemption two-hour tv movie was meant to serve as a bridge to the new season which starts in January, setting back story and introducing characters. But while it was more than enjoyable to see Jack Bauer back in action, I still can't say I'm confident about the show's return for the new season.

The show followed two slightly connected plot lines, one being Jack's attempt to save a bunch of children from an African warlord and the other being the inauguration of Allison Taylor, the first ever female president of the 24 world. The Jack plot in Africa is great, albeit a bit lacking in substance. It's not as though there were too many loose ends, only that there was a lot more story there- particularly with all of the African characters- that it's a shame we won't get to see. That being said, what we saw was great- the look of the show was amazing, having been filmed on location in South Africa and it was just plain fantastic to see Jack in action again. As a Lost fan, I couldn't help but think of Mr. Eko, who's life basically mirrored those of the young boys seen at the start of the episode. But it's not as though the use of children by militants is at all cliche at this point, so I don't say this to take anything away from 24.

However, one of the complaints of season six was that there was not enough Jack and I almost feel like last night suffered from the same problem. To quote Homer Simpson,

Whenever Poochie's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking "Where's Poochie"?

It's a joke, but as always, there's some truth there. Characters have never been 24's strong suit, and they killed off the one other guy in David Palmer who was capable of carrying the show. (I'd say President Logan was close to that level, which was why season 5 worked so well.) But until the writers can come up up with another worthwhile character, then the show is about Jack and when he's not onscreen I know I'm asking, "Where's Jack?"

To get back to last night, once again, it was awesome to see Jack in action yet again- conflicted, forced into the role of the hero, and absolutely deadly to his enemies. As I've been saying, the popularity of the show is about the man, the myth and the legend that is Jack Bauer and it's too bad the writers don't realize this.

The Africa story should have been more than enough for a two-hour tv event on it's own, but rather than spend the time on what was enjoyable, the producers decided to avail us with the new characters, new conspiracies, and new intrigue that awaits us this new season. I was uninterested last night in the President, her son, and whatever Jon Voight's character was doing and can only hope the new season does something to get me more interested. In the age of Obama, the novelty of a woman president seemed less intriguing than it might have been, and in the age of Obama, a canned speech from a fake president was less than inspirational.

At this point, the inclusion of the President seems almost forced, as if the show can't survive without the ever present inclusion of our government overlords. The truth is, it's not needed, and shouldn't just be slapped on because someone thinks it's part and parcel of 24. Season one worked well enough without a President. And season three struggled in parts because of the forced inclusion of an unrelated plot concerning David and Sherry Palmer and a presidential scandal. It has me more than a bit worried that in addition to the fact that Tony is supposedly returning from the dead as a villain, the new season of 24 is also going to be about all this garbage we were forced to watch last night. Hopefully at some point the writers will realize that all viewers want is Jack.


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2:39 PM  
Blogger McMc said...

Two things:

- Redemption was fun, but the Jack in Africa plot reminded me a lot of the movie TEARS OF THE SUN, in which a group of Navy SEALS escort a group of refugees to the border while militants chase.

- Season 7 looks different in the previews and if it weren't for the whole "Tony" thing, I think we'd be in great shape. Being out of L.A. opens so many doors. The preview for Season 7 has me excited, except of course for Tony.

7:51 PM  

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