Sunday, January 17, 2010

24 Season 8: 4PM-6PM Quick Review

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.


J. Todd Hatcher said...

I can't think of a season opener that had fewer "HOLY CRAP" moments in it, aside from the axe kill. Which I think is a good thing, rather than blowing their load at the very beginning (*cough* Season 6 *cough*).

I dunno about a few things - the reporter interrogation just seemed to drag out after we already knew she was a red herring. And like you said, the Dana Walsh/Jenny stuff (was I the only one reminded of A History of Violence?) could be something interesting that ties into the main story, or another SPSPFH (Sandra Palmer Side-Plot From Hell). We'll see.

Ultimately, my favorite stuff so far was everything between Jack, Kim, and Chloe. Ditto on Annie, can't wait for tomorrow!

J. Todd Hatcher said...

Also, the new Jack Sack got a shoutout! "Give him his bag..."

singingdoll said...

Word on the Chloe/Jack exchange. It's about time that girl asked for something in return, considering how loyal she's been to Jack -- and how many times that loyalty has gotten her thrown into holding.

Interested to see what Renee and Chloe have been up to. They alluded that things haven't gone so well for Chloe, but I want to know more.

I actually think the Dana Walsh plot could be good. They seem to be more cautious with characters these days (I hope?).

Still not sure how I feel about Freddie Prinze, Jr. being on this show, but I suppose I'm willing to give him a chance. He seems respectful of Jack at least.

Not liking the douchey CTU head.

Bring on the Renee! (and something to note - Annie Wersching is an alumna of my sister's small liberal arts college in Illinois. She's all over their alumni magazine, thanks to 24!)

Granny Annie said...

I'm not a very discerning viewer. Just run Jack Bauer around in circles and let him say "Dammit" a few times and I'm a happy camper. Plus Freddie Prinze,Jr. is a great addition I think.

Any chance you have an opinion on HUMAN TARGET? I loved the pilot.

nat said...

I agree with a lot of what you said, mostly the familiar territory and lack of urgency issues :(

I haven't been feeling *that* excited for the season (no prequel! no cassar!) but part of me hoped it'd wow away the worries once the season kicked off. It didn't.

It's still good tv, especially amidst all the reality/unscripted crap we see these days, and Kiefer always makes good with what he's given, but... sigh.

BTW, Chase 2.0? *gasp!* FPJr is no JBD! No way ;)

Sunny said...

I'm enjoying the show so far. Although it is a little slow on the torture/kill aspect.

I'm just thankful Jaenene Gawdawfalo aka Grimace was not in the mix. I wish they would show her in prison or something.

I laughed when Cankles said her daugher was in prison. I wonder if we will see any Olivia this season.

Time will tell.

Juan Paxety said...

Walsh was the name of the guy from Division who was killed in the first couple of hours on Season 1. I wonder if Starbuck is any connection.

-D-C-D- said...

I'm gonna say it. I am. I REALLY enjoyed that :D Not an over-the-top intro, but enough tension and a few nice additions to the JBKC (which, as I hope we all know, is the JACK BAUER KILL COUNT.) is all I need for a night in with the Kief.

Yes, I'm happy with it. :)

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