Hey folks, Rickey here doing a little guest blogging.
You gotta give it to FOX, ever since the creators of "24" starting doing these four hour season kickoff super happy fun time bonanzas, they've delivered the goods. Those first four hours of "24" are probably a whole lot like when Jack Bauer shot up heroin for the first time prior to Season 3. They're deliriously good at first, but it all goes downhill when you wake up three days later and realize you haven't shaved, showered, you've shat yourself, and you're under the thumb of the Mexican drug cartel. Such is a day in the life of the average "24" fan.
Yes, the Sunday and Monday night episodes will singe your eyebrows and seriously fuck your shit up. Crazy stuff will happen: assassinations, WMD detonations, waterspouts, the Cloverfield monster might even drop in for a snack. Jack Bauer will once again begrudgingly make the switch from being blissfully retired to the superheroic civil servant with a penchant for hacksaws who we all know and love. And at the end of those four hours, you'll say to yourself "Now THIS is the show I remember! To hell with the Geneva Convention! Connect that swarthy fellow's genitals to a car battery! Queue up the fireballs!"
But after thrilling those four hours are up, twenty additional ones remain (are you not awestruck by Rickey's masterful math skills?). And in those twenty hours, there's an awful lot of ad space needing to be purchased. Those Dodge Ram pickup trucks aren't exactly selling themselves these days, you know? So how does "24" manage to remain entertaining and draw a weekly audience? Two words: stunt casting.
See, sometime around the middle of the first season, the producers figured that we'd enjoy this show even more if the casting department were to dredge up the oddest collection of has beens and freaks from entertainment industry exile. And it totally works, because if allows Rickey to immerse himself in pop culture triviality and connections. Need a charismatic fellow for "Vault Security Guard #4?" We hear Lou Diamond Philips is available! How about a weasely advisor for the President of the United States? Dude, Peter MacNichol is outside washing your car right now! Is Tobin Bell taking a break from filming "Saw MCMLVII"? Get him in here, right fucking now, cost be damned! What about a nefarious drug cartel leader? Quick, get me the bad guy from "Clear and Present Danger"! He actually sold me weed the other day!
But by far, the biggest pool that "24" draws on for it's cast is middling actors who once appeared in "Robocop." We're talking Peter Weller, Ray Wise, and Paul McCrane (whose toxic demise at the end of the movie never ceases to remind Rickey of the Mets' conclusion to the 2007 and 2008 seasons). Kurtwood Smith is even in the upcoming season for chrissakes. Who's left to include? Ronny Cox? You know he's sitting by the phone right now waiting for a call. Miguel Ferrer? Dude's been collecting UI checks ever since "Twin Peaks" went off the air. Nancy Allen? Her IMDB page says she was born on June 24, so hey, it's entirely possible. We're telling you, the Robocop/24 bond is a force to be reckoned with. Don't be too surprised if Paul Verhooven stops by to direct an episode of Season 7 and turns Jack into a cyborg. Hell, Rickey would buy that for a dollar.
Anyhow, enjoy the premiere of "24" folks. Like you, Rickey is rooting for it to be good. We've waited 18 months for this (ironically, the same length of time Jack was imprisioned in China) so it damned well better be. And if it isn't, well, at least we'll all have something to talk about.