Anyone who knows anything about me knows how I feel about Jack Bauer. I love me some Kiefer, and I LOVE me some Jack Bauer. So when Fox decided to reboot one of my all-time favorite shows, without Kiefer, I was dubious.
But I am not some kind of weird purist, and once i heard that Jon Cassar, and a good chunk of the original producing crew (including Kiefer as an Executive Producer) were back on board, I figured I’d at least give it a shot.
It’s very… 24. This is both good, and bad.
The cast is full of heavy hitters: Gerald McRaney, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits, and our beloved Tony Almeida, played by Carlos Bernard is soon to appear. Corey Hawkins, the person who is filling the biggest shoes of them all, is so far pretty capable. He can run and shoot and seems fairly intense. Will he have the emotional depths that Kiefer had that made Jack Bauer so much more than a running-and-killing machine? We shall see. Is it fair to compare an actor like Kiefer, who has chemistry with any actor or set piece or prop or ANYTHING that he encounters, to any other? No, it’s not, but you took this gig Corey, so deal with it. 😉
There are the usual mix of shady CTU employees, politicians, and of course, Arab terrorists. Our hero’s brother is, of course, a drug dealer; and we have irritating teenagers. Why must we always have irritating teenagers on this show?? So, while all of these things make the show feel familiar, they also make this show feel dated and stale. With a chance to reboot a franchise such as 24, a show that had its finger right on the mood of the nation back in the early 2000s, could the producers have at least tried to move the bar a little? Making the lead character black is great, but saddling him with an inner city drug-lord brother made me roll my eyes. Jimmy Smits character being bi-racial is nice, but does every Arab/Muslim character have to be a terrorist (or so it seems so far)? Why does CTU gets so much taxpayer money that they are able to completely re-do their headquarters every couple of years? (Seriously, their offices get more makeovers than an Upper East Side Housewife)
The show has a familiar pulse pounding pace to it, and even after only two episodes, enough crazy escapes, Road Runner style flattenings (that giant rolling pipe came directly from the Looney Tunes vault), an endless supply of bomb makin’ components in Eric’s backpack, a mole at CTU (or maybe not? Eh, probably.), and magical journeys across a city that is known for its gridlock to make it feel like old times. I just wish, after all of this time, we had something that felt new and fresh along with the familiar. I’ll keep watching. We’ve already gotten an Old Skool shout out to poor Edgar Stiles – his cousin Mariana Stiles works as a CTU analyst – and I am sure we will get more once Tony shows up. Maybe that will give me enough time to warm up to our new hero.