Tuesday, May 6, 2014

To Live Another Day...

I'd never thought I'd get to say this again, but here goes: Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it's that time again! It's time for terrorists to quake in their boots, evil hackers to hide in their Matrices, and bad politicians to go on extended vacations... That's right, boys and girls, JACK IS BACK!!! I can not convey just how awesome it was to be watching another season premiere of 24. Just hearing the sounds of speeding up countdown clicks as the familiar digital "24" appeared on screen gave me goosebumps. It was pure epicness. And that was just the intro. Now, let's get into the episodes!

One of the things that the producers of 24 always talked about was how tiring the show was to make. After 4 years of rest, they came back STRONG. The show picks up in real time, 4 years after we last saw Bauer on screen with a London based CIA station tracking a "high value target". Gee, I wonder who THAT could be? And in a reference to the last time we saw him (on a surveillance screen pixellating to nothingness), the first time we see Jack is on, you guessed it, a surveillance screen. Now sure of their target, the CIA team thinks that they have the upper hand and break in to get Jack. They rush to his location and he's gone. Duh! There's a shootout, a bit of a chase, and then surprisingly, Jack gets captured. This starts off a series of events that eventually leads to Jack revealing why he was in London, and why he LET himself get captured in the first place. (No, I'm not going to tell you, WATCH THE SHOW to find out!)

Kiefer Sutherland has not lost a single step playing Jack Bauer. Seeing his face, hearing him speak in those frantic whispers, and watching him kick the CRAP out of the guy talking about how Jack was good "back in the day" all felt smooth and natural. There were no kinks at all. Mary Lynn Rajskub comes back to Chloe O'Brian just as smoothly, but I don't really like the "Goth" look she has now. There was a moment in ep 2 where Jack questions whether Chloe really believes the stuff she's saying and the look feels the same way. It's like Chloe went Goth to try to impress some one more than she did it for herself. But still, the attitude was perfect.

I must admit, I liked seeing James Heller again. He was a good man and William Devane picked up playing him just as easily as the other returning members. It was also really cool to see Audrey Raines (Boudreau?) back up to a regular human being. I always felt really bad about what happened to her, although Kim Raver played the "destroyed" Audrey amazingly well. But it was good to see Audrey back on her feet again.

As good as the returning members were, the NEW talent was really good. My first bit of kudos going to Gbenga Akinnagbe (I hope I spelled that right!) for jumping right in to the action and holding his own. I look forward to seeing a lot of great things in this season with him. I'm also loving Yvonne Strahovski. I've only seen her as Hannah McKay from Dexter, but I'm enjoying her performance as Kate Morgan a great deal! Here's hoping she can keep up with Jack for the rest of the season!

I was surprised at how much I empathasized with Tate Donovan's character, Mark Boudreau. His speech of what he went through supporting Audrey during her recovery was very powerful, but I really gained respect for him during the scene where he grilled the president. It takes some serious guts to do that to your boss. Especially in front of his daughter/your wife! It's not the same as Jack torturing her ex in front of her with a lamp, but still!

And then there's Benjamin Bratt. He has this habit of playing no nonsense, but fair people in the roles he chooses. And Steve Navarro is no exception. I love the combination of strength, intelligence and fear he played in his limited screen time these first couple of episodes. I can't wait to see what he does next.

I also want to give a special shout out to Michael Wincott. I haven't seen him in a long time and I was surprised to see his name in the credits. When he came on screen as the leader of Chloe's group, I was ecstatic! I'm hoping he appears more in later episodes. The man is amazing!

I'm not going to say much about Michelle Fairley, right now. It's too much of a spoiler. But, I've seen her in Game of Thrones and in Suits. She is an acting POWERHOUSE. That she's been tapped to play the villain here speaks VOLUMES as to how real this show is going to get.

And speaking of real, I like the relevancy of the story of this season. For much of the series of 24, the United States was treated as more of lone nation as opposed to a part of a global community. Moving the action to London puts the US in a more realistic position, especially when the real action starts heating up! I can't wait until next week!!

Oh, I have one final thing to say. Now, I freely admit to watching a lot of television. And I mean A LOT of television. Seriously, I do. If you don't believe me, check out this post. Anyway, the point is I watch a lot of TV. But, there are only a few shows (no more than 10) that I'm really addicted to watching. One of which is 24. When the show ended, I had some SERIOUS withdrawal issues to deal with. I posted multiple blog posts about the show, bored my friends to tears about the final season, and even sat in bed praying for one more season. One more chance to see my main man, Jack Bauer take down the bad guys. And my prayers have been answered!!

I could not have hoped for a better return of 24. Many thanks to all of the people in Hollywood and around the world for making it happen! What do you think, my dear readers? Did you skip the show? Did you not like it? Or are you going to be like me and be glued to your TV set next Mon? Sound off in the comments below!

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