The Five Worst Things About This Season of 24 So Far

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24 used to be one of my favorite shows on TV. As recently as last season, I was still enjoying it years later, and thought I would be content watching Jack Bauer kill terrorists until 2020.

But this season so far has convinced me that the show may be all but washed up. I can barely think of one thing this season has done right, and I made this list to put all my rants about the show in one place, so my roommate doesn’t have to keep hearing me yell them at the TV.

Fundamentally, I think 24 should continue on with MUCH shorter seasons, and possibly even getting rid of the restrictive “real time” format. I know taking away these two things are “key” to the premise of the show, but let’s be honest, all we really want to see is Jack Bauer f*cking shit up. Right?

Check out my issues with season eight below:

1. The Queen of All Useless Subplots

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NOTE: You cannot introduce a new character we’ve never seen or heard from before, give her a backstory and take 25% of the show and devote it to her useless problems, even if she IS Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica.

I was super pumped to see Katee Sackhoff on the show this season, but when I saw the whiny, weepy, idiotic pushover that “Dana Walsh” was, I wish she’d turned right back around and walked the other way. It would SEEM her subplot about some stupid ex-boyfriend who knows she’s an ex-con and made her rob things for her is over, but it was a solid waste of pretty much two entire episodes when you add up all the time that was devoted to it.

24 always is obliged to throw in at least one of these kind of subplots each season, but usually it’s about characters we somewhat give a shit about (aka Kim Bauer fighting mountain lions in season two). But really, it’s just time filler, and further proof that 24 episodes is too tall an order to fill.

2. Freddie Prinze Jr’s Face

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I was willing to give Freddie Prinze a chance this season. I mean, it’s been like ten years since I’ve seen She’s All That, so I thought maybe in a decade he’s learned how to change his facial expression.

WRONG.

I do not understand why anyone thinks to cast this man in anything. His face a permanent mix between concern and confusion, and the rumors that he’s been brought into the show as a possible future Jack Bauer replacement ARE F*CKING LAUGHABLE.

CTU has had many badass sub-Jacks come before, Curtis, Tony, and my personal favorite, Chase Daniels, but Freddie Prinze’s acting is so bad it’s distracting any time he’s onscreen, and I want “Cole Ortiz” to have a nuclear rod shoved down his throat as soon as possible.

3. The Idiotic Republic of Kamistan

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I’ve been referring to the vague middle-eastern country that Jack Bauer has been fighting for years as “Unspecifistan” for a while now, but it appears someone got the message as now the bad guys are from “The Islamic Republic of Kamistan,” which is like Iran with a slightly more sane leader.

The plot this season has revolved around the lamest threat in 24 history, the delivery of nuclear rods to Kamistan so they can be a nuclear power. This led to six or so episodes without any real danger in them, unless someone got too close and started throwing up blood.

Now, the terrorists have gotten it in their heads that instead of smuggling the rods out of America, they’re going to blow them up in New York, showing how strong their country is. This, of course, would cause the United States to instantly nuke the entire middle east from orbit, a fact the terrorists seem to think “will happen anyway” making them officially the dumbest villains Jack Bauer has ever faced.

4. Insane Renee

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What the f*ck happened to Renee Walker? She was a welcome addition to the cast last season, and was like a version of Jack Bauer I found myself OK with being sexually attracted to. Sure there was some death and drama at the end of last season, but nothing a female Jack Bauer shouldn’t be able to handle right?

Nope. Like any love interest Jack’s ever had, she’s now a shell of her former self (remember Audrey Raines?) and has been shoehorned back into the plot with a ridiculous side-note about her being a former undercover operative in the Russian mob, despite her not having anything near a Russian accent and her undercover name being “Renee.” Seriously?

24 shits all over its female characters. Time and time again, they have the chance to introduce a strong female lead, but make them useless and weak (Dana) or social retard (Chloe) or a borderline mental patient (Renee). I miss Nina Williams.

5. A Chicken Without a Head

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It’s nearly a third of the way through the season, and we have no clear villain behind this looming threat. The main baddies have all been killed or captured in a very short amount of time, and we’ve only seen brief flashes of some Kamistanian general somewhere in the Middle East giving orders on a phone.

The villains, now that Iranian Jason Schwartzman has flipped sides yet again, appear to be some rag-tag group of nobodies with some mornic plan to blow up nuclear rods and subsequently wiping their entire nation off the planet.

Every GOOD season of 24 has a strong villain we can all hate and wait for Jack Bauer to shoot in the face. This time around, the Jack’s beating up CTU guards and strangling female lawyers and is rarely given the opportunity to kill the shit out of some real bad guys. I’m tired of 24 thinking “bureaucracy” is a worthy foe for the show, but I guess we just must be running out of supervillains at this point.

Pick it up 24. Finish strong.

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19 Comments

  1. you failed to mention freddy prince jrs accent which comes and goes so often, we didn’t notice it until episode 4 or 5…

    he is a miserable actor, once you’re in a lifetime movie you should be banned from anything but commercials for the rest of your career…

  2. YES, OMFG, YES to ALL 8. With a very special emphasis on “Dana Walsh” ie. Jenny what-ever-the-hell-your-name-is. She is without a doubt the single most useless pointless character ever introduced in 24. She makes Kim elevated to Nina-status.

    I agree on Renee, but I’m less annoyed about that among your list. My main gripe is it was so easy to break her in last night ep, I expected much more from a “female Jack Bauer”. It took a whole 5 minute with some b*tch from “Justice Dept” to break her? Seriously?

    Crowning moment of awesome (we need more of this, like you said): “You better put that down before you hurt yourself son”

  3. Paul, as a fellow dedicated 24 watcher, I couldn’t agree with you more on this list. The show has been just BAD this season. How bad, you ask? Anytime they show Dana or Ortiz, I find myself thinking BRING BACK KIM. That’s bad.

    I think the worst part about the season so far has just been how repetitive everything feels. Jack was out, now he’s in. CTU botches the job or won’t do it, so Jack jumps in to save the hour. They finally track down a lead, only for him to die or give them useless information after being granted immunity. Some asshole at the White House starts giving CTU orders behind the President’s back to save his own ass. I could go on like this…

    It’s pretty clear that the plotlines for the show have dried up. As good as it used to be, I think it’s time to wrap it up since the show really jumped the shark probably around the season where David Palmer was assassinated.

    And for the record, my prediction is that the villain will be the President’s ex-husband. Either that, or it’ll be Tony. We haven’t seen him yet this year anyways. Him and Jack can have a “gravelly voice-off” to end the show.

  4. I don’t know who wrote the article about Jack Bauer and a zombie apocalypse on this site, but I loved it. Seriously, this season is absolutely terrible so far. They need to completely jump the shark and either have a zombie virus infect everyone or do an alien invasion. It would at least be original, and give Bauer more room to pull off stunts of pure badassery.

    -I pray to God that the whole Dana Walsh thing is over. Sackhoff’s character, along with Bella from Twilight, are shitting on feminism. Freddie Prinze Jr. needs to die.

    -Jack and Renee may become an item? Would Jack scream “DAMMIT” every time he ejaculated prematurely? Spare me.

    -That Indian (Indian Jason Schwartzman, hahaha) guy’s haircut is an abomination to the Middle East and my eyes.

    -I swear to God if Mykelti Williamson doesn’t mention shrimp at least one time they’ve completely wasted his character. It’s a bit tacky, but in a season full of utter crap, it’d be hilarious.

    -Jurgen Prochnow gave up far too easily. He’s one of the scariest looking people ever, but, oh no his son’s in danger, he’ll be a good guy now. Fuck that. It’s a complete role reversal from when he basically euthanized his youngest son. I understand he appreciates family, but he’s a goddamn villain (or IS HE? DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNNN)

    -Also, who in hell working for such an elite team like CTU gets to up and leave without telling anyone? Thanks for protecting America, assholes.

    -I love how Wade+his crony grossed out strippers. THEY’RE GODDAMN STRIPPERS.

    -I predicted during the very first episode that Jack’s granddaughter is a sleeper agent. Dear writers: DO THIS.

    -Cole Ortiz? Really? Was his father an Irish rogue who, after a bad stint with the IRA, was sent to Tijuana and fell in love with a waitress? Arguably the stupidest name I’ve ever seen.

    I’m done. I’ll continue to watch, and maybe take a shot every time Jack kills someone or Prinze tries acting. Who wants dibs on my eulogy?

  5. I’d really like to think that the Dana Walsh sub-plot is over but I seriously doubt that it is. If her stupid ex-boyfriend is still alive there’s going to be a bunch of her wanting to save him and Freddie Prinze Jr. ‘brooding’ about the state of their relationship.

    Mondays episode, and more specifically the way it ended, just bugged me. I don’t care about these characters, you haven’t given me any reason to, yet you end the show on them? It was just annoying.

  6. Interesting but couldn’t resist…

    Chase Daniels = Chase Edmunds

    That one is forgivable.

    But “Nina Williams”?

    It’s Nina Meyers, d00d. Unless i’m missing an inside joke.

  7. and who believes:

    1. That Dana would just slide past all background checks and they’d put an ex con into CTU…sure.

    2. That some parole officer would be able to wander around CTU during a “protocol”….sure

    3. That drones are wandering around NYC…what is this, 2050? Congress would still be fighting over this even if it was 2110.

  8. I agree completely. The last few episodes have been utterly predictable and rife with highly distilled fail. The only thing my roommate and me didn’t predict would happen was the whole ‘parole agent’ storyline which stretches belief even for this show. A damn parole agent nagging a prominent employee of the major counter terrorist organization in the middle of a crisis at fucking three in the morning? And getting face time? Come on!
    A timed EMP-device in a car driven into CTU that nobody noticed. Why the hell did it have a time fuse anyway? What if she stopped for a Big Mac? Would the McDrive have been EMP’ed?
    While I’m at it, I would like to nominate her for the worst actress this show has ever seen. Whats more the terrorists could have just posted as a parole officer or an ex-con and driven their bomb straight into CTU without the need for such a complicated and Big Mac sensitive plan.

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