Sunday, January 17, 2010
Well, this was not what I was expecting.
24 premieres are traditionally insane, all-out television events that create lots of noise. Instead (and keying off of last season's finale) we got a different tone- something more subdued and wrapped up in suspense.
Jack Bauer has gone from reluctant hero to downright resentful guy between seasons. And you can't blame the man for being fed up with the government that has employed him through the worst experiences of his life. I'd be pretty angry at Uncle Sam if I was in his position as well. But before "Grandpa" Bauer can check out to the West Coast, he's got to make good on some favors he owes Chloe O'Brian. Her confrontation with Jack was, to me, the best character moment of the first two hours. I always appreciate when a series relies on its long history to strengthen the believability of its characters and their relationships. It may seem like an obvious point but I'll say it anyway- Jack and Chloe are the best characters being written on this series- period.
As for the plot- an assassination attempt to stop a peace accord is an old story- movies from Gene Hackman's "The Package" to "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (and dozens of others in addition) have gone over this territory. I'm not expecting "24" to reinvent the plot wheel, but this one on its surface seems a bit too familiar to me. But it's too early to judge, and I don't have any problems with where it's going so far, but I'm not that "terrified" of what's happening yet. I don't feel any urgency, that's my gripe.
The new characters seem alright. Katee Sackhoff's tech guru has some personal problems, which could either become tension-building counterpoints to the bigger story or distracting silliness (again, too early to say). Freddie Prinze, Jr. seems earnest in his role as "Jack, Jr.", (or is it "Chase 2.0"?), Mykelti Williamson is effectively slimy as the bureaucrat running CTU: NY and John Boyd is weird and typical of a CTU tech as Arlo Glass.
I will attempt to give the first two hours another look later tonight, maybe I'll have some additional thoughts later. I will say this- "24" needs Annie Wersching back as soon as possible. Tomorrow night's two-hour block promises to make good on that matter.