Balloons fall -- and Stephen yells, and lifts his arms in victory. The combat phase of the Iraq War is officially over! And now that it is over, Colbert remembers to give credit where credit is due. And the person who deserves all the credit? President George W. Bush.
The show has already drawn its share of controversy as governmental officials say it could interfere in ongoing criminal and espionage investigations. Media critics are all over it, too -- calling it stunt journalism.
But, NBC is no stranger to such claims. Its investigations into alleged pedophiles on Dateline (To Catch a Predator) went from gritty reporting to police support to sensational pop culture phenomenon.
The last minutes of Jack Bauer's day, 6.0, have ticked off the clock. Now you get the chance to weigh in. Below are eight categories for you -- the illustrious readers -- to select the best and worst of 24 in a TV Squad poll.
1. Best villain. (The guy you really loved to hate.)
a) Cheng Zhi
b) Abu Fayed
c) Phillip Bauer
d) Dmitri Gredenko
e) Noah Daniels
When I watch 24, I don't expect to see depictions of families trying to figure out whether it's time to bring the minivan in for service. I'm not expecting to see characters drinking copious amounts of java while revealing their angst to one another. That's what Grey's Anatomy is for.
I watch 24 for its depiction of counter-terrorism and of what U.S. agents might face when trying to protect the country, as well as for its dramatization of the political implications of fighting stateless bands of terrorists. Plus it's fun to watch Jack Bauer kick some bad guy behind. So why in the world would a New York Times critic assail 24 for being anti-family and for the fact that the program doesn't demonstrate "ordinary social intercourse?"
*Warning, spoilers ahead from this week's episode.*
Will the 24 season finale answer viewer questions, like what in the world Papa Bauer wants with his grandson, whether Jack will thwart his daddy's evil deeds and whether former President Charles Logan is among the living?
Who knows if we'll get satisfactory answers to these questions, but, before we turn our sights to the final two hours, here are a few more moments from hour 22 to savor:
Stop the presses!
Jack Bauer will be around for two more days, according to a new Fox press release. Not that this is a surprise, given that last spring Kiefer Sutherland signed a $40 million, three-year contract for his role as a terrorist hunter.
Meanwhile, it looks like 24 -- winner of 5 Emmys and 51-time nominee -- will likely move its Jack-tion out of LA, according to Hollywood Reporter.
Howard Gordon, showrunner and executive producer, told the Reporter that Jack Bauer's seventh bad day will be completely unlike his sixth. "We're recreating the series," he said.
[Via Futon Critic.]
With the two-hour 24 season finale days away, I thought it'd be a good time to start thinking about the best and worst moments of Jack Bauer's bad day, version 6.0.
I'm looking for viewers and fans to help me come up with nominations for the eight best/worst categories below. Next week, after the finale and after I read through reader comments, I'll post the nominations for each category.
If you've got some favorite moments, characters or lines you'd like to nominate for a category, mention them in the comments section below. Here are the categories:
(S06E22) *Warning, spoilers ahead from latest episode.*
If you're a fan of gunfire, dim lighting and foot chases through tunnels and dank warehouses, the latest installment of 24 was right up your alley. Sure, there were still campy moments. Like Jack Bauer's sister-in-law Marilyn sobbing and losing her composure, and Jack's "nephew" Josh being squinty and whiny. Again.
However the name of the game in hour 22 was action, shoehorned into nearly every tick of the 24 clock. And if there's one thing for which I was grateful, it was that there were no scenes with Chloe and Morris "Drill-Bit" O'Brian saying insipid things to one another.
*Warning, spoilers from this week's episode ahead.*
The Bauer family players are back. Jack Bauer will eventually have to face off with Papa Bauer. Chloe and Morris "Drill-Bit" O'Brian are done, I tell you, done! Finis! And as for Milo Pressman, well, let's bow our heads in a moment of silence as Milo joins Curtis, Edgar and the long line of CTUers who've gone to meet their maker.
But before leaving the action-packed 21st hour of 24, here are four more moments to consider:
Noting that the show's creators are friends of his who have been swamped with work, including other projects, Limbaugh told a caller who asked if 24's salad days were behind it, that he expects next season will be thrilling. "They're going to be back next year with an entirely different concept about this in a whole lot of different ways," Limbaugh said.
Acknowledging complaints from many fans (I'm raising my hand here) that Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart were wasted this season as the Logans were only given but fleeting screen time, Limbaugh urged fans, ". . . [D]on't give up on it."
[via TV Tattle]
Apparently Jack Bauer has been having a rough time of it.
In the last 21 hours, he: Has been released from Chinese custody where he was tortured for months on end, learned that not only was his brother evil but he's now dead (after he tortured him), learned that his father is evil, learned that his beloved girlfriend was also tortured in China after being abducted while on the hunt for him, blew a plan that wound up giving his Chinese captors Russian defense technology and had to violate direct presidential orders, thus getting himself arrested.
And, to top it all off, 24's critics and fans have been dumping on him.
So the folks at Blogs4Bauer decided to soothe Jack's battered soul and declare today Jack Bauer Appreciation Day.
(S06E21) *Warning, spoilers ahead from the new episode ahead.*
In order to enjoy the 21st hour of Jack Bauer's sixth bad day, I had to suspend reality and stop myself from wondering:
a) How in the world CTU could possibly be so vulnerable, b) Why a presidential chief of staff would be hanging out in a surveillance van, c) How a confused looking teen with a mop of blond hair could suddenly take on such importance, and, d) Why on God's green earth should I care about the romantic bickerings of a divorced couple with no chemistry?
But, once I decided to stop asking the why's and the how's I was able to enjoy this hour for what it was: An odd 60 minutes with surprising moments and real, actual dramatic tension.
* Warning, spoilers from this week's episode ahead.*
While 24 had been critiqued left and right this week -- including in a new Entertainment Weekly piece (in the dead tree version) which gives this season a C -- let's mull over some choice moments from the twentieth hour:
Quote of note: "The only thing he cares about is pushing his lunatic agenda," aide Lisa Miller told her lover, lobbyist Mark Bishop, about her other lover, Acting President Noah Daniels. Apparently Daniels was concerned about more than pushing his agenda.
Responding to criticism in a recent Los Angeles Times piece that this season's 24 is lackluster and that viewers are tuning out, a co-executive producer of the show said failing to chart out story lines and sending several characters to sleep with the fishes are largely to blame for this predicament.
"You try to keep things interesting, find new ways to tell the story, and unfortunately we wound up repeating ourselves somewhat," David Fury, co-executive producer told TV Week. "I still would claim that regardless of the quality drop-off that people are saying, the show's still very strong. It's still one of the best things on television."
Now if you ask me, I'd say that former Defense Secretary Heller's quip on 24 this week -- "You're cursed Jack. Everything you touch, one way or another, ends up dead." -- was a throw-away line, not an overarching statement about Jack Bauer's entire existence.
But folks have been chattering throughout the blogosphere and wondering whether Heller has a point: Is Jack Bauer cursed?
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