Tuesday, May 6, 2014

24 Revisited


For the first time in four years, I sat down in my living room with the Fort family to watch a live episode of 24. We were all a bit nervous since it’s always difficult to revisit a fond memory from your past. Sometimes during a second look after the passage of time old shows disappoint. It’s like the time I stumbled upon a rerun of The Rifleman a couple of years ago and was dumbfounded at how horribly dull it was. But when I was 12 years old, it was riveting television. Don’t you just hate growing up?

Anyway, there we were last night in our familiar seats when the ticking sound pounded through the screen with the yellow highlighted number 24 flashing like a warning. Then the famous split screens filled with sinister men of varied ethnicities skulking about with bad intent, and just like that, I was hooked. These guys were up to no good in London’s south side and one had the feeling that pretty soon somebody was going to get spectacularly killed. Sure enough, within 5 minutes of the opening credits, there was Jack mowing these pathetic wannabees down with nothing more than his trusty Glock. But wait, just as Jack is about to wiggle off the hook, he pulls the classic bonehead mistake of NOT heading for the roof, clearly his preferred escape choice from Seasons 3,4,5,7 and 8. Something wasn’t right. Was he getting old? Had he lost a step? I blurt out instinctively, “Jack wants to be caught! It’s a setup.” When he is arrested and hauled into the London headquarters of CTU somebody else says, “Yep, Jack’s got em just where he wants em!”

And herein lies the problem with the new season of 24. After eight years, and 238 confirmed kills, 37 miraculous escapes, and 28 bullet wounds, is there anyone alive who believes that the Brits are going to be a match for Jack Bauer? If Jack could make mince meat out of the ChiComs and the Russians, not to mention everyone of Arab descent thrown at him, we’re supposed to believe he’s being put in mortal danger in a land where even the cops don’t carry guns? The scariest part of the first episode had nothing to do with any danger Jack faced, it was Chloe’s new Goth haircut and mascara.

No, the writer’s have their work cut out for them coming up with a villain sinister enough to actual threaten Jack. By hour number two, Jack has already received his first bullet and killed at least 4 lesser henchmen, and the bad guy seems to be a woman, and we all know what happened the last time a woman tried to get the drop on Jack. Yeah Nina, how did that work out for ya?

So far, the safest person to be is President Heller, since he’s the guy Jack is trying to save. The best the writer’s have right now are drones…somebody has figured out a way to commandeer American drones for nefarious purposes. Drones? That’s all you got? Flying technological wizardry armed to the teeth with precision guided missiles that can be fired from miles away at unsuspecting targets…vs. Jack Bauer?

Relax people. The President is safe.