24's MacNicol needs to make viewers forget The Biscuit
I must admit, I was worried when I read that Peter MacNicol would be joining the cast of 24 this season. And I was mighty skeptical.
I knew MacNicol only as John "The Biscuit" Cage from Ally McBeal, a role which scored him an Emmy. (Yeah, yeah, I know he's been on the show Numb3rs since 2005. But I don't watch Numb3rs.) For years, I watched as the "funny little man" dazzled fictional Boston courtrooms with his odd antics and did strange things in his law offices, like "dismounting" from the co-ed bathroom stalls, utilizing a remote toilet bowl flusher and saying that he was "drawn to" various females.
So when I watched the first three hours of 24 this week, I kept waiting for MacNicol's chief of staff character, Tom Lennox, to ask if he could "take a moment" to contemplate the gravity of the terror attacks, or, after disagreeing with President Palmer II, uttering, "Bygones."
But none of those things happened. I was just about to buy MacNicol as a hard-nosed presidential advisor. Until hour four. That's when I thought he started gesturing like John Cage. Maybe it was a contemplative look he gave. Or the Biscuit-like kind of way that he rubbed his face. Then the illusion, at least for me, was shattered.
I'm not the only one. One writer said he had to try to "shake images of the petite chief of staff dancing to Barry White tunes" while watching. But a blogger from Blog Critics Magazine said, while she knows MacNicol for his Biscuit role, she thinks Lennox shows no signs of behaving like the Ally McBeal character.
I'm not so sure, but I'm willing to try to see MacNicol as Lennox, the chief of staff. But if he says anything in the neighborhood of, "This policy pleases me," that's it. He'll be known as The Biscuit from then on.