Sunday, January 11, 2009

24, season seven, night one open thread

Fire away with any opinions on the first two hours of "24" season seven. TELL ME WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE!!!!!!

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Shaping up to be the best season yet.

Eric said...

I think you went too hard on the show in your original review.

Sure, Jack gave his usual "I don't regret anything" speech to the senate committee investigating him, but this was before his world was rocked by the reemergence of Tony as a good guy turned bad.

If Jack really WAS prepared to jab that guy in the eye with a pen, it had more to do with his own personal relationship with Tony than it did with the developing national security crisis. Agent Walker was the only one who cared about securing the firewall-hacking thingamajig on the boat---Jack just cares about Tony at this point.

Great start to the season.

(By the way, the show was never BAD because of the use torture. I don't know who these whiners are who believe that. Season 6 sucked for just about every other thing besides torture.)

Eric said...

Also, THE SHOW IS NOT BAD BECAUSE JACK YELLS!!!!

Tony Dayoub said...

I'll eat my shoe if Tony doesn't turn out to be "deep undercover".

marakara said...

1. Janeane Garafolo is distracting because it is Janeane Garafolo in the FBI and not her character.

2. Tony managed to do nothing overly evil tonight. Didn't kill any FBI agents, didn't cause the planes to crash (very "Die Hard 2" by the way) and if he helps get the chip back, I'm sure all will be forgiven.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I know I'll probably get yelled at for being some crazy liberal (which I'm not), but seriously, I couldn't make it through hour one.

24 has always been almost laughable in the way it has taken very current issues of terrorism, torture, etc., and worked it in there, with, obviously, the more conservative viewpoints dominating.

But seriously, in the first hour, it was so painful to watch one cliche line after another, delivered with atrocious acting, that I had to turn it off.

The notion that torture, gets you the answers, that it is excusable, etc....

they turned a great show into nothing more than a propaganda piece for FOX. Too bad.

Richard said...

The only thing that might keep me watching for a few more episodes is that I'm mildly interested in how the writers explain Tony being alive and also a villain.

Other than that, it seemed pretty bad, but perhaps better than season 6. Although, I couldn't watch more than a few episodes of season 6.

Other than being in DC and Tony returning from the dead, 24 is doing the same old same old cliches they've developed.

A mole inside a federal agency was exciting the first season or two, now it's just ridiculous. It stretches credibility beyond belief that terrorists or terrorist sympathizers are able to frequently penetrate the federal government with apparent ease. From a storytelling perspective, it is old. It's just silly at this point.

I don't like the new President. What kind of leader requires a resignation from a cabinet member for having a dissenting viewpoint? She must be a Republican.

The political overtones seem a little stronger than usual. The justification of torture, the obviously evil and Democratic Senator daring to question Jack, the foreign intervention story and blatant insult of the UN, etc. Maybe I just didn't pick up on it in prior years, but the conservative ideology seemed a lot heavier. I was able to overlook it before, but it annoyed me this time around.

The problem with 24 is that they keep trying to make the same tricks seem exciting. They've done it all before. The enemies having access to some sort of ridiculous technological item that allows them to have access to US systems is remarkably similar to the season 4 plot where terrorists acquire a ridiculous technological item that gives them access to all of the US nuclear power plants.

How many times have terrorists kidnapped some high level government official or tech guy and forced them to do something?

How many times have the terrorist on the inside?

When you know the style of this show, nothing is really shocking anymore, because you just expect something shocking to happen in every episode.

Joan said...

What kind of leader requires a resignation from a cabinet member for having a dissenting viewpoint? She must be a Republican.

This read differently to me. There's a time to express your opinions, but once the President has made the determination to move ahead on something, the time for dissent and questioning is over. If the President asks for an after-invasion report and you don't give her one, you're in dereliction of duty -- you're not doing your job, and if you're not going to do the job she needs you to do, she's right to ask for your resignation.

I found Janeane very distracting also, especially when she said she was a cheerful person. Her public personality is too large for it to be easily subsumed into a nebbishy tech. Can't wait to see Chloe again.

Tony's gone bad the same way Two-Face went bad in Dark Knight. I shudder to think that so much was riding on their fragile psyches... I intensely dislike that stand-up guys are being turned so easily. Guys used to be tougher than that in fiction -- we certainly demand it of them in real life.

Drew said...

Not many thoughts yet, aside from Alan's order to comment made me laugh harder than I have in a long time.

Mike said...

Wow, amazing how quickly the Bureau morphs into CTU. Let's see:

- We've got a mole inside the FBI
- Jack is forced to Go Dark because he can't trust anyone
- A ridiculous scheme which begins with the terrorists taking over the Air Traffic control of the nation (God only knows what the Master Plan is of which this is only the first step)
- Bad guy escapes the CTUFBI "perimeter"
- Everyday-citizen-who-is-also-an-expert is forced to do something to help the bad guys (does this ever happen in real life?)

In 2 hours, they've recycled just about every plot line from previous seasons possible. How could anyone possibly like this stuff all over again?

Richard said...

My predictions:

1. The cougar from season 2 will return, and it will turn out that it is in fact a genetically engineered intelligent cougar designed for anti-terror purposes. When it attacked Kim, it was doing so for the purposes of an undercover operation. It will now be revealed that the cougar has been reprogrammed by the Vice President, as part of a nefarious scheme to claim the Presidency for himself, and in a shocking twist be revealed that THE COUGAR KILLED THE PRESIDENT'S SON.

Jack will therefore relate to the President, because the cougar also tried to kill his own child.

2. A sequence of twists regarding the motivations of Tony Almaeda will be revealed:

A - He is deep undercover, and not actually a villain.
B - He IS a villain, but his villainous organization is at odds with the villainous organization he is undercover in.
C - Tony Almaeda is a robot.
D - The real Tony Almaeda is being held hostage, conveniently in Washington DC.
E - The real Tony Almaeda that Jack knew had ALWAYS BEEN THE ROBOT VERSION, and the REAL Tony Almaeda IS a villain.
F - The Real Tony has a twin brother, but Jack has to kill him because of some sort of ultimatum.
G - Robot Tony is reprogrammed to his old self.
H - Real Tony commits suicide.
I - ...or DOES he?

3. Jack will have to do something morally reprehensible to an innocent person or somebody close as part of a temporary concession to terrorists.

4. Jack Bauer will never have to use the restroom during a 24 hour period, and will suffer a bladder infection in episode 23.

5. The terrorist scheme in the first half of the season will be revealed to be only a diversion to help set up the REAL terrorist scheme.

6. The FBI will realize that terrorists only attack LA when Jack Bauer is in LA, and only attack DC when Jack Bauer is in DC, and come to the startling conclusion that Jack Bauer is in fact the ultimate terrorist mole who has been masterminding every terrorist scheme for the past 7 seasons.

cgeye said...

Pfft.

Same 'ol, same 'ol. And y'all forgot the asshole stooge as boss trope (with the memorable sexual-aid wearing boss from DIRT). Cash money says he's slept with the hottie FBI girl who's paired up with Jack... and he'll have a modestly-redeeming death by mid-season.

And chaining Ms. Garofalo to a paycheck as a substitute Chloe does no one good....

Craig Ranapia said...

What kind of leader requires a resignation from a cabinet member for having a dissenting viewpoint? She must be a Republican.

Richard: Ever watch The West Wing?

Of course, your real problem may be that in pop culture (as in life) when a political leader who has a penis instead of a vagina takes no s**t, that's strong and decisive leadership which is a good thing. If your name is Alison Taylor or Laura Roslin you're obviously some power-mad psycho-bitch cooked up by a pack of politically correct Hollyweird man-hating liberals.

Rick McDermott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

23.

Richard said...

Craig...

That isn't what I meant in the least. Good leaders who have selected good advisers should always be willing to listen to different viewpoints. That's why Obama, for instance, has brought in people like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. He doesn't a want a bunch of Yes-Men sitting around telling him whatever he wants to hear.

I don't think this President on 24 displayed good leadership in that scene, and her gender has absolutely nothing to do with that assessment.

And I love Laura Roslyn. She's great. I'd certainly vote for her in an instant, particularly if she were running against Gaius Baltar!

Fred App said...

There are a couple of things that are required to enjoy "24."

1) You must completely suspend disbelief. Is our country's infrastucture really so insecure that it's protected only by a "firewall" that can be breached by one nerd?

2) You must not read too deeply in to anything. The plot points are not designed to make any kind of grand political statement. They're designed to, you know, advance the plot. This is a TV show. It's not the Bush administration.

3) You must forget everything that happened in previous seasons. Because they're going to happen again.

I think this first episode was better than the previous couple of episodes. But I also think "24" is a show that was not built for longevity. The concept definitely has a shelf life, and seven years is well past it.

amysusanne said...

I enjoyed it much more than season six and I'm actually interested in the new people, so that helps. I'll go down with the 24 ship, whenever that might be, partly because once I'm able to suspend disbelief it's a lot of fun and partly because it's been on so long that it's fun to mock the world of 24. It's entertaining both as a show and as a "talking to the tv" experience. Plus, you know, wildly unbelievable or not, I'm glad to see Tony Back.

@Tony Dayoub: the person I was watching with thought that Tony was behaving very much like someone undercover what with his insistance on getting all of the information from his coconspirators immediately. I think it's a decent theory, though I would argue that Tony worked at CTU long enough for that to be his default. Still, I would prefer Tony not be totally evil.

One moment I did really like was Nick Chinlund, one of my favorite creepy and evil tv bad guys, was all "are you seriously going to do this?" to Tony. Because if Nick Chinlund thinks you're taking things too far then you've really gone to the dark side.

Anonymous said...

This episode was pretty bad. I think the boat on 24 has sailed.

The female FBI agent tells Jack to "do whatever it takes" to get the informant to talk, and Jack's strategy is to grab the first object in sight and try to stab the guy's eye out?

What if there wasn't a pen nearby? What would he have done then?

Why not start with like, a finger or arm or something?

A_Writer_for_24 said...

Richard said...
My predicitons...


Damn it, Richard, you know Alan's "No Spoilers" policy!

Sincerely,
Head Writer for 24.

Maura said...

I'm with Fred App on pretty much everything, but I disagree that we should forget everything that happened in previous seasons. Part of the fun is guessing how quickly a perimeter will be broken and who the mole is. Also, how long will the FBI agent live. She has to go eventually, because Jack Bauer works alone.

24 is indeed a parody of itself, but that's one of the reasons we watch.

A - He is deep undercover, and not actually a villain.
B - He IS a villain, but his villainous organization is at odds with the villainous organization he is undercover in.


Ha. I was also thinking it's one of those. And notice that the only people Tony had killed were bad guys. No one seems too interested in killing the man they kidnapped, even though he saw their faces.

I think this was a great start to the season. It was as straight forward as 24 can be. What I don't want is for Jack to spend the entire season apologizing for his past actions. Yes, he's done some awful things. But Jack is a badass. You don't get to be a television badass by behaving like a choir boy. The only other TV badass I can imagine kicking Jack Bauer's ass is Jack Bristow. And that would be a close fight.

Also, when are they going to blow something up?

TheLoneConservative said...

Tony Almaeda is the final Cylon!

RichC said...

I think the most unrealistic thing in the first 2 episodes was that a Congressional hearing began at 8 am on the dot.

happy_go_lucky said...

So the writers are still clinging to the "dangerous Macguffin in the hands of terrorists" storyline after six years?

2. Nuclear Bomb
3. Virus
4. Magical Nuclear plant shut down device as another nuke.
5. Nerve gas
6. Nuclear Bomb(s) yet again. (24 writers are an original and creative lot aren't they?

I also love how they're trying to apparently make Bauer a martyr for torture. See kids the interrogators at Abu Ghraib/Gitmo aren't wrong because they're brutalizing people and flagrantly violating the law, its because they're not so open about it.

K J Gillenwater said...

"they turned a great show into nothing more than a propaganda piece for FOX. Too bad."

"What kind of leader requires a resignation from a cabinet member for having a dissenting viewpoint? She must be a Republican."


These quotes just crack me up. What's wrong with a tv show that takes the OTHER side as the good side for once? I'm tired of these movies and tv shows that trot out the destruction that is sure to come to us because of Global Warming, 'interfering' with Iraq, etc. Always with the hammering that conservative ideals are horrible and 'unenlightened.'

As for torture getting the job done, at least in Jack's fictional USA that is the case. He's gotten the info he needed time and time again to defeat the bad guys. So, in his world, this is factual.

I love the fact that Jack is unapologetic about the way he gets things done. That's what makes him an interesting character to watch. If he were some kind of peace-loving, Al Franken-voting character, the show would've been cancelled the first few episodes.

If you don't want to watch an action show about bad guys who get what's coming, then don't watch.
I liked the first 2 hours. It was a breath of fresh air to be out of L.A. and in D.C. with whole new set of characters in the FBI office to find out about...whom can he trust? Barely even noticed it was Janeane G. Liked FBI Agent Renee who gets why Jack is a good person to have in your corner.

Kelly said...

I'm a crazy liberal, but all it took was Jack's flying tackle, and I was in lurv all over again.

Hatfield said...

Ahh, Nick Chinlund. If only he had shot straight maybe we'd still have him. What a waste of a classic villain, by the way.

As for the show, I loved it and mocked it at the same time. I don't know what kind of re-imagining it would take to make this series feel fresh, but this ain't it. The writers obviously only know one format for characters, and they moved it to the FBI. Still, I'll watch because it's "24" and I've loved it in the past. That love never really dies, only takes a beating like a suspect at the hands of Jack Bauer.

pgillan said...

I agree that the move from L.A. to D.C. was a nice change of pace. I'm also glad they disbanded CTU; since season 1 I've been wondering if were forced to come up with a new agency because none of big ones (FBI, CIA, NSA, DHS) would let them use their name.

Also, I love how Jack tosses his gun away so he can tackle Tony at the end of the episode. How, in all my years, have I never found a gun lying around on the street? TV and movies would have us believe they are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

You know, I watched 24: Redemption, and I know the president's son was in it, but I can not think of what he did. Is there something we are supposed to know about him?

Ten minutes into the episode, I called that Tony is either undercover or a clone or something.

amysusanne said...

Did Chinlund actually get shot? I didn't care enough to rewind to see who got popped, but Jack and New Girl's choreographed shooting was most excellent. I like her so far.

The President's kid was the one in the movie helping out the "loser" friend who found out that Jon Voight was doing...whatever it was that Voight was doing that was dirty. I totally forget. He died (the friend) and Roger (the son) went on to the Innauguration. Carly Pope was the sort of cold, pain in the ass girlfriend who I'm assuming we'll find out more about tonight and I'm assuming that we'll see Voight again somewhere down the line.

Craig Ranapia said...

That isn't what I meant in the least. Good leaders who have selected good advisers should always be willing to listen to different viewpoints. That's why Obama, for instance, has brought in people like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. He doesn't a want a bunch of Yes-Men sitting around telling him whatever he wants to hear.

Certainly not. And since you brought up Hillary Clinton, I doubt you're ever going to grow old waiting to hear her opinion on any subject. There were clear policy differences between her and Obama during the primary, but (as she'd be the first to admit) she's not there to run a Clinton State Department but reflect and implement the policies of an Obama Adminstration.

And if she can't -- or won't -- do that, I hope Obama fires her arse.

As for the cheap shot about "she must be a Republican", well I brought up 'The West Wing' for a reason. Jed Bartlett was a Democrat -- and a very liberal one, at that -- but there are endless occasions in that show where he's quite happy to listen to advice from a very strong collection of smart and passionate people. But he's not shy about drawing a line where he's the President, and whether they like it or not the buck stops with him.

And you may think Alison Taylor showed "poor leadership", but I'd respectfully suggest that if any POTUS on '24' showed perfect judgement at all times there wouldn't be much of a show.

Anonymous said...

Man, I hate it when this place turns into a political forum.

Kensington said...

Folks, take it over to Daily Kos, for crying out loud...

Dan Coyle said...

"whatever it was that Voight was doing that was dirty. I totally forget."

He was, for whatever reason, backing Juma's coup in Unspecifiedistan. The ex-druggie friend had discovered Voight was laundering money through his firm to buy guns.

I didn't see anything from with Taylor dressing down her cabinet member like that. She DID apologize afterward.

jim treacher said...

It stretches credibility beyond belief that terrorists or terrorist sympathizers are able to frequently penetrate the federal government with apparent ease.

What are you doing on January 20th?

I gave up thinking of this show as a drama somewhere in the middle of the pilot. As long as you can appreciate it as an absurdist dark comedy, it's a lot of fun to watch.

Putting words in Garofalo's mouth like "I'm a cheerful person" was fun to watch. Maybe tonight they'll make her say something even more ironic, like "God bless America."

Nicole said...

Anytime Colm Feore is on American TV he plays a bad guy, so I figure that he will be revealed as the ultimate villain at some point. Unless it's the cougar.

Any issue I have had with 24 has always been more with the writers not thinking very far ahead in terms of what should happen as opposed to using torture or not. I will overlook a bit of silliness if the overall story works, and it did work most seasons, except the last one, where I was bored and stopped watching. I will give this another shot if only to see how they resolve the Tony issue.

Anonymous said...

24 is the best show going right now. With an actual hero who only cares about results and not some wimps or peoples feelings

Brandy S said...

BARK BARK!!!

I am a talkin and intellectual dog, by the name of Brandy S! Arf! I'm a golden retriever, hee hee!

I just want to say that Jack Bauer is an American hero and he is my greatest idol!!!! Us dogs don't cowtow to no terrorists, we know how to get vicious indeed! Us dogs have great respect for Jack Bauer!

24 is my favorite documentary on television! Yay 24, woof woof woof!!!!

I DONT LIKE TONY!!!! GRRRRRRR. Bite him! We dogs don't take kindly to false deaths and traitorism.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Sigh... and here I thought we were done with all of this after SNL stopped doing the Sarah Palin sketches.

I'm gonna say this one time, and if I come back and find that things haven't improved, I'm shutting the comments down and I'm not going to bother with any more "24" open threads:

This is not a political blog. Talk about the show, not about your feelings about Bush, or Obama, or Guantanamo, etc. The show. Period.

If you can't behave, I'm turning this blog right around!

Hatfield said...

Hooray, Alan regulated! Warren G ain't got nothin' on you, Alan.

Mark B said...

Since season 1 I've been wondering if were forced to come up with a new agency because none of big ones (FBI, CIA, NSA, DHS) would let them use their name.

Maybe, but with fictional agencies, they can write without having to deal with "that could never happen" in a real agency they might have named.

Craig Ranapia said...

This is not a political blog. Talk about the show, not about your feelings about Bush, or Obama, or Guantanamo, etc. The show. Period.

Fair enough, so this is a serious question about '24'. As far as I'm aware, they've gone to considerable lengths not to put party labels on any President (or other politician) within the show. And while you can argue 'The West Wing' (a show I like enormously) does, I think it's fair to comment that Jed Bartlett is a far from flawless character, and there are plenty of flaky, unprincipled or downright jerky folks on both sides of the aisles. And thank heavens for that, because while it would be nice if everyone was a paragon of virtue who got along with everyone else, it would make hellishly dull TV. :)

Kaiser said...

I haven't made it to the second night yet, but I'm confused about Juma's second in command being there to get the magic chip that hacks into Homeland Security from Tony's boss.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the last time we saw him, wasn't he five feet from Robert Carlisle - standing on a landmine that exploded - in "Redemption"?

I'd say that's a more miraculous recovery than Tony Almeda.

dez said...

The notion that torture, gets you the answers, that it is excusable, etc....

It only works if it's Jack Bauer and it especially works if the perp knows Bauer because he knows how far Bauer is willing to go :-D

Maybe, but with fictional agencies, they can write without having to deal with "that could never happen" in a real agency they might have named.

I'm not sure what's it called/acronym'd, but there is a counter-terrorism unit in LA (may be part of the LAPD). An old friend's brother works for it. If I run into the friend again, I'll try to get more info. One thing I do recall him telling me was that if we knew the kinds of things the real-life CTU deals with/thwarts, we'd all be freaking out all the time =:^0

Anyway, to answer Alan's edict: I THOUGHT IT WAS A FUN START TO THE SEASON!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but the last time we saw him, wasn't he five feet from Robert Carlisle - standing on a landmine that exploded - in "Redemption"?


I thought that was his brother.

Alan Sepinwall said...

No, Jack killed his brother in the earlier shoot-out at the school. I, too, thought that Mubaku was blown up by Carlyle's landmine, and am puzzled about how he's still around here -- especially since these early episodes were written and filmed before "Redemption," and therefore the producers knew when they made "Redemption" that he'd be alive and well with no explanation when the season began.

dez said...

I don't recall "Redemption" well enough to remember who was standing next to Carlyle, apparently, d'oh!

Was anyone else waiting for Kurtwood Smith to call Jack a "dumbass"? :-) Oh, and all those senators who want to pillory Jack for using torture seem to conveniently forget that Jack's own government let the Chinese keep and torture him for two years. So it's not like Jack doesn't know what it feels like.

jim treacher said...

Was anyone else waiting for Kurtwood Smith to call Jack a "dumbass"?

When Agent Walker, er, walked up to him with the subpeona, I wanted him to say, "Bitches leave."

I had completely forgotten that the brother was standing next to the landmine. Well, then never actually showed it blowing up, I guess...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Gordon said Mubaku's line about "they killed my brother, and they tried to kill me" (which they shot and inserted after "Redemption" was made) was supposed to explain that he survived the landmine, but admitted that it did a very poor job of that.

dez said...

^Poor job, indeed! Dubaku should at least have scars or be limpin' or somethin', gaaah.