January 12, 2007

FILLER UP:

"24" is back with a vengeance (Mark A. Perigard, January 11, 2007, Boston Herald)

Suicide bombers are killing thousands across America.

New president Wayne Palmer (DB Woodside) is so powerless, he's driven to negotiate with one terrorist to find another.

And after two years of captivity in a Chinese prison, counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) finally returns to American soil - where the government expects him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

The Emmy award-winning drama "24" returns for a sixth season on Sunday (on WFXT, Ch. 25), with another two-hour bloc airing Monday.

It's network crack, pure and driven, and if you want to keep your dreams clear and free, go watch VH1. Those who welcome an addictive rush, be warned. "24" is back with a vengeance.

Finally got around to watching Season One this summer on DVD and the plot holes, incoherent "moral" choice-making, and seemingly interminable padding of what ought to be a single episode of a show were so annoying I could barely refrain from letting the tiger out of the cage.

MORE:
Timely '24' is a comedy of terrors (Matthew Gilbert, January 12, 2007, Boston Globe)

"24," which begins Season 6 on Sunday night at 8 , is electrifying, and completely silly. It's a show that walks -- no, sprints -- the line between grim suspense and the Keystone Kops . As Jack Bauer wards off apocalypse after apocalypse, the action is as lean-forward-in-your-chair riveting as it is ridiculous, as much a contemporary-anxiety nightmare as a cliff-hanging comic book.

In other words, "24" perfectly captures the mood of America, so poised between global eruption and political farce.


http://www.calendarlive.com/printedition/calendar/cl-et-2412jan12,0,4388670.story?track=tottext>'24': Right back on the clock: Jack Bauer is free after being jailed and tortured on '24.' There's no time for sympathy. (Jon Caramanica, January 12, 2007, LA Times)
From a cold start, it takes about 75 minutes for Jack Bauer to become Jack Bauer. Fresh off a transport plane from China, where he'd been jailed for almost two years, Jack emerges looking like an early '70s Deadhead. He shuffles his feet, has difficulty looking people in the eye, and we learn that he hasn't uttered a word in two years.

Then that clock starts ticking, and before long, a tight shirt has been found, along with a car and a GPS-equipped cellphone, and rather than get mired in the vat of molasses that is sympathy, "24" gets back to business.

That is, if Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) can figure out how to become the world's first emo mercenary. Suffering two years of torture can leave a mark, even on Jack, who begins to wonder if he's still capable of inserting sharp objects at key pressure points to extract information from the unwilling. "Mr. President, the truth is ... I don't think I'm up to it," he tells newly inaugurated Wayne Palmer (D.B. Woodside), when asked to head up the country's search for a deadly terrorist cell. "What'd the Chinese do to you?" asks a frustrated Curtis Manning (Roger Cross), longtime assault buddy of Jack's, when he decides to team up with one known terrorist to stop another.

As ever, Bauer is one part psychosis, one part propaganda -- a man driven completely by force of will and yet willing to sacrifice himself in the name of the greater good of the nation. If only all patriotism were this easy.


Bombers Strike, and America Is in Turmoil. It's Just Another Day for Jack Bauer. (ALESSANDRA STANLEY, 1/12/07, NY Times)
It's morning again on "24," and Day 6 is looking bleak. Among other things, teams of suicide bombers are blowing up buses and subway cars all across the United States.

Every new season of this Fox thriller is another twist of a kaleidoscope: the same pieces -- terrorists; counterterrorists (and, almost inevitably, a mole); an innocent suburban family; and the president, his aides and his family -- are tumbled together to form new patterns around the central figure of the special agent Jack Bauer.

And that makes the four-hour, two-part premiere on Sunday and Monday both comfortingly familiar and strangely gripping.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 12, 2007 7:51 AM
Comments

"24" must be a surreal world for liberals because every situation and decision isn't dictated by the pre-determined party line of political correctness.

I hope the new season expiates their cowardice of making a sea change in the plot a couple of seasons ago because of objections by the "Moslem community." The fate of Moslem family at the center of the terrorist plot was given a swift write off. I'd like to know what the writers had in mind for the future of the young son who was caught between two worlds.

Posted by: erp at January 12, 2007 8:38 AM

Yeah, I also watched season one, which I really liked, but have been unable to face another season. I have a hard enough time committing to a 2-hour movie, much less a 20-hour one.

Meanwhile, I'm in the middle of season one of "Rome," which is really dull (and I can't understand half the mumblings of the actors), but I'm intrigued enough to stick with it for now, I guess.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at January 12, 2007 8:59 AM

Erp,

I was unaware of the controversy, though that does explain some thinks. The fact that the family met their fate so early in the series wasn't a surprise as they do tend to shift about midway through, but the fact that there was zero follow-up on the kid was surprising. I was hoping it meant that he would pop up at a later date like they did with that lesbian planebomber who pops in from time to time, but it sounds like it's more a victim of political correctness. To date, Season 3 remains the only one where the enemy was actually a Muslim terrorist. It seems they couldn't even follow through on that without making some sort of sacrifice.

Posted by: R. Alex at January 12, 2007 9:37 AM

If you watch 24 for coherence and tight logical plot you'll be sorely disappointed.

In reality, its a comic book. Like Superman, with an invulnerable superstrong hero who if felled by green rocks and girls that wink.

The illogic and plot holes are so bad that I can't watch more than 3 episodes (DVD) in one sitting. But during that 2 1/2 hours your heart-rate never goes below 120 and you have to dance in your seat because you CANNOT STAND to take the time for a bathroom break.

Posted by: ray at January 12, 2007 4:59 PM
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