Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Jack Bauer, You Magnificent Bastard
"Tell me where the device is. . . . TELL ME WHERE THE DEVICE IS!"
The truth cannot hide from the concentrated intensity of Kieffer.
So after a year or so off the air, 24 has made its triumphant return to TV. For all intents and purposes however, 24 hasn't been on TV for two years since the last season totally sucked. I only watched the first couple of episodes. When the tyrannical genius that was the architect of all the terrorism in the world (you can tell he's bad because he talks into a blue tooth headset) turned out to be Jack Bauer's brother, the show crossed the line into that ridiculous comic book level of villainy and it lost any connection to reality.
But 24 loses a little bit of its impact every year. The first season was just about the best piece of television my fat ass has ever seen. It was new, intense and Kim wasn't irritating as all hell, yet. But, it suffers from the Die Hard syndrome. In an effort to recreate the magic of the original, they just tell the same story every time. Sure the second Die Hard was a way cool movie. Any movie where John McClain kills a guy by stabbing him in the eye with an ice cycle is alright with me. But there's just no way all this crap would happen to the same guy twice. Much less three or four times. It relies too heavily on coincidence especially when they have to find ways to bring in all the secondary characters. His wife was on the same plane as the asshole reporter? Bullcrap. That's just lazy storytelling.
Likewise in 24, they felt the need bring Kim back every year for no good reason. She's kinda hot but not hot enough to compensate for her annoyingness. Is annoyingness a word? I don't care, I'm going with it. When they decided to stick her into CTU in the third season and have her date Jack's partner, I just about lost interest. But I stayed with it. I even stayed on when they made the President the ultimate villain. You remember the guy that conveniently looked like Nixon and was married to the lady from Designing Women? Not the leader or the fat one or the lesbian. The boring one. You know. But when the blue tooth sporting Dr Romano from ER turned out to be the Cain to Jack's Abel, I finally jumped ship. However, after a few years I'm back on board.
Is this the seventh season now? It's been on for a while either way and as a result the formula is pretty predictable. Of course there's a leak in the FBI. But you also new that it wasn't the one suspicious looking, greasy haired dick. It would be too obvious. He was just worried about his wife. But with that red herring out of the way, the question remains. Who is the leak? My money is on Janine Garafolo. We all know she hates America.
And was it really a shock when they revealed that elements in the White House were on the bad guy's payroll? When they cast the warden from the Shawshank Redemption as the President's Carl Rovian aide, you new he was going to be a backstabber. They haven't come out and said that he's a mole. But they will. I'm waiting for the president's pussy husband to call him "obtuse" and then get sent to the hole for a month.
Also, I'm glad they have completed the world tour in blood thirsty villains. They began it all with Dennis Hopper as the Eastern European (Yugoslavia or something) warlord. Since then, they have had the following as their villains; those wacky Arabs (actually it was a stupid white girl working in league with Islamic terrorists), South American drug cartels (always fertile ground to pick your villain from), Arabs again (but I'm going to include India on this since Kumar played one of the parts), the Chinese government (that was before the Olympics displayed China for the transparent people's paradise that it is), corrupt and powerful Americans (gotta sprinkle in a little self loathing to justify vilifying everyone else) and now we have genocidal Africans. Have they left anyone out? I'm a little surprised Germany has survived this long without hatching a plot against Jack Bauer. They are the most convenient villains of all. Well, that's season eight right there.
In honor of the glorious return of Jack Bauer I now post an episode from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that contains one reference to him in 22 minutes. I don't care, it's a funny show. Although fair warning: the opening scene contains a smiling, masturbating bum. Yeah. Not the most high brow entertainment you'll see today. But Charlie dressed like Serpico always cracks me up.