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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.