If you ask most people, the idea of being President of the United States is likely one of the best jobs ever. Every little kid is told if he or she works hard, some day they could be the Commander in Chief. And yet, if you have been watching the eight seasons of '24,' there is probably no worse career choice than running America while Jack Bauer is handling a CTU assignment. In fact, when you look back on the presidents who have inhabited the White House during Jack's tenure, being the most powerful world leader is a high-risk profession that's not for the faint of heart.
Unlike other television series that have taken viewers inside the Oval Office, '24' presents the president in crisis mode, so perhaps it's a bit unfair to compare. Still, if you had your choice, you'd rather be Jed Bartlett on 'The West Wing' than Wayne Palmer or any other '24' president. Here are three reasons why the worst job on '24' is President of the United States:
(S06E18) *Warning, spoilers from the latest episode ahead.*
Who among us did not see this turn of events coming?
I mean, come on, when has life ever been easy for a Palmer politician? And who didn't expect another Jack-Bauer's-gone-rogue story line to surface, particularly when the love of his life's safety hangs in the balance?
Not that seeing these predictable plot twists play out lessened my enjoyment of this 24 episode, but I found the White House and CTU politics a bit too abrupt for a single episode.
* Warning: Spoilers ahead from the latest episode.*
The suitcase nukes have been located. Audrey Raines is alive, but in peril. Jack Bauer is likely going to be coerced into making a horrendous deal in exchange for her safe return.
While 24 fans mull these new developments, here are four choice moments from hour 17:
Quote of note: "My God! They were lying to us all the time! Withholding information. And you knew it!" an incredulous chief of staff, Tom Lennox, said to the uber-tricky President Wayne Palmer after Palmer pretended to launch a nuclear missile attack in order to get the Country Whose Name We Shall Not Mention to cough up intel on a terrorist.
The Chicago Tribune's TV critic Maureen Ryan thinks that the sudden appearance of Gregory Itzin, reprising his role as the corrupt and evil former President Charles Logan on 24, is a rare shining moment in a rather lackluster season, the first hour hours notwithstanding.
". . . [I]t's as though the writers are flailing and scraping and doing all they can to come up with compelling stuff, but unfortunately they're only partially successful at best," Ryan said, as she sliced and diced Jack Bauer's sixth day, including calling the idea of having the late President David Palmer's brother Wayne become president " a big mistake."
People, especially critics, looove to make analogies, trying to compare TV or movie characters to real people.
Thus the attempts by some to liken this season's president on 24 to two flesh and blood politicians both of whom have sought (or likely will seek) the Oval Office.
Describing a man as a youngish, untested African-American politician who enjoys the public's "good will," Chicago Tribune blogger Maureen Ryan wrote, "Does it sound like the hypothetical presidency of Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois' own presidential hopeful? Well, it's actually the story of Wayne Palmer, the president on the current season of 24."
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