(S06E17) *Warning, spoilers from the latest episode ahead.*
You see that giant question mark hanging above my head? (Humor me. Just nod and say, "Yes.") It represents the multitude of questions that abound following the latest episode of 24.
Not that the episode was bad, mind you. In fact, I think it was quite good. I was riveted throughout the whole thing. I didn't laugh or smirk. Well, I kind of did, when Milo Pressman started whining because he was jealous that Nadia Yassir showed compassion toward Mike "The Brawler" Doyle after Doyle was injured during a faux-scuffle. That bit was annoying.
But Milo aside, it was a strong, if not strangely ending episode that now leaves me questioning where we go from here and whether we've now entered the phase of 24 that sets up the next season, although it seems way too early for that, so I'm willing to entertain arguments that I'm wrong.
TV Guide critic Matt Roush said he's been receiving a lot of complaints from fans of 24 wondering what in the heck has happened to their favorite drama this season.
Between wasting the fabulously compelling return of the Logans -- Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart -- and the recently cutback on the number of scenes containing the fair-haired American hero Jack Bauer, Roush said he must concur with many fans' assessment that, 16 hours into this season, it's not looking too good.
What does 24 need to do in the remaining eight hours left in season six to redeem itself? Roush says, "A change of scenery, a change of personnel, something, anything to rouse 24 from the dead-end torpor it has found itself in this season."
Schroder described Doyle as someone who lives for his job, has "no personal life," is "ruthless" and doesn't care who he hurts. (Kind of like Jack Bauer, only, without the heart that Jack sometimes exhibits to children and women who are romantically interested in him.)
Schroder, who played a cop on NYPD Blue, said the sets have similar atmospheres. "On NYPD Blue, it was relentless, the pressure . . .  is a much more organized kind of environment. But the intensity is similar."
I'm still waiting to find out what his character did in Denver to which everyone, including Nadia Yassir and Milo Pressman, keeps referring.
New York Magazine -- which has been running a weekly 24 "Absurd-O-Meter" to mock scenes the writers find ridiculous -- interviewed actress Reiko Aylesworth whose character, Michelle Dessler, was killed at the beginning on the fifth season, shocking many fans.
When asked whether she'd ever read an unrealistic "What the hell?" type of script for a 24 episode, Aylesworth said yes, pointing to a season when her character was supposed to become suicidal in a single day. She added that a lot of proposed material that she and others found absurd didn't wind up in the episodes.
"The entire show is a series of, 'Oh come on!'s," Aylesworth said. "It's really James Bond on crack. They do have a lot of realistic elements, but the show is complete fantasy."
A 35-year-old fan of 24 agreed to allow himself to be hooked up to a heart rate monitor in a hospital while he watched 24 to find out just how stressful viewing an episode of the counter-terrorism drama really is, a Fox TV affiliate reported.
Unfortunately for the folks at Fox -- who likely would've loved to have found the guy's heart pound wildly during a tense Jack Bauer scene -- "his heart rate and blood pressure barely budged," according to MyFox Austin. I wonder if he was watching one of the recent, lackluster 24 episodes. If he'd been watching the amazing first four hours of this season, however, I'll bet they'd have different results.
*Spoilers from the latest episode ahead*
While I greatly missed Chloe O'Brian in this episode -- blink and you missed her -- and longed for more screen time for Jack Bauer, there were still moments of amusement in the sixteenth hour to behold:
Quote of note: Chloe's three-week winning streak in this category was broken as she barely appeared in this episode. (I choose to believe that she was busy re-charging her Taser for use in a future hour.) So the quote of note award this week goes to President Wayne Palmer who, in a nod toward irony, said in a cabinet meeting while struggling to remain conscious, "I'm in complete possession of my faculties."
Um, I'm not so sure of that Mr. President.
*Warning, spoilers for the latest 24 episode ahead*
(S06E16) Okay. This episode was a bit better than hour 15. Not substantially better, but somewhat better. Although I must say, about halfway through this episode, I was complaining bitterly that Jack Bauer seemed like, as some critics have complained, a guest star on his own show. He barely appeared in the first 30 minutes to do anything more than chat on his cell phone.
The episode's conclusion -- not including the bit with the renegade former Russian general Gredenko, who had given the suitcase nukes to the "bad" terrorist Abu Fayed -- did wake me from my bored stupor. Sick of seeing new story lines or potential conflicts abruptly introduced and then, just as abruptly resolved in a simplistic fashion, this unexpected turn at the end of the show was at least entertaining.
The Counter-Terrorism Unit on 24 can be a very stressful place, what, with the responsibility of trying to stop nuclear bombs from detonating falling onto their shoulders and all.
No wonder actor James Morrison -- who plays Jack Bauer's boss, CTU chief Bill Buchanan on 24 -- practices yoga to decompress. "I'm a yogi and that's what I try to bring wherever I go," Morrison, a certified yoga instructor, told the New York Times.
Morrison -- who has worked as a truck driver, landscaper, a circus clown and a tightrope walker -- told the Times that "workers relate to this guy [Buchanan] because he's willing to question his own decisions and allow the people around him to blossom and to be themselves because he trusts them." But if Jack calls Bill a third time saying he needs to break into another embassy, maybe Bill should just say, "No."
(S11E04) This was a hilarious episode, and yet I couldn't help but feel it's the sort of episode that comes easy to its creators. The "snuke in Hillary's snizz" gag wasn't exactly inspired, considering the very first episode centered on a gigantic satellite in Cartman's ass and just last season another episode focused on Oprah's "minge." Then there was Cartman's fart torture and the scene toward the end where the Queen shoots herself, both of which I laughed at quite uproariously but that still seemed a bit too easy by South Park standards.
That didn't stop the folks at Geek Monthly from putting 24's fan favorite on its cover.
The Q&A is quite amusing. When Rajskub couldn't really provide answers to the techie-oriented questions (like, "What's your favorite Linux distro?"), they resorted to asking if she knows what a mouse is.
They also asked whether her on-screen character is autistic. Her response? "I've heard about this. Let's just say I'm a genius and leave it at that. And that I can talk to dolphins."
*If you haven't watched the new episode of 24 yet, don't read any more, unless you want to find out what happened.*
Viewers are getting restless. And they're grumbling. Across the blogosphere. Among TV critics. And the buzz isn't good. People are hoping that things turn around for 24 and their boy Jack Bauer soon. 'Cause the most recent episode . . . well, 'twas disappointing.
Nonetheless, I'll try to be positive (and snarky) as I recap four select moments from this week's episode:
Quote of note: It's a Chloe O'Brian "quote of note" victory. Again. Three weeks in a row. "We all thought she was guilty. This is gonna be awkward," our gal Chloe said as Nadia Yassir prepared to rejoin her CTU colleagues after Yassir was briefly detained for suspected treasonous behavior.
Kal Penn, best known for playing Kumar in the flick Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, is going to be hanging around the University of Pennsylvania campus next spring. And not to search for the perfect American meal, Philly-style.
Penn, who just wrapped Harold & Kumar 2 and was most recently seen on TV playing a teenaged terrorist on 24, will be teaching two courses tentatively named, "Images of Asian Americans in the Media" and "Contemporary American Teen Films," according to a UPenn press release, which said his real name is Kalpen Modi.
RedEye announced today that Battlestar Galactica's Capt. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace seriously trounced 24's illustrious terrorist hunter Jack Bauer by getting 3,061 votes to his 777.
Whoa. I did not expect the seemingly invincible Bauer to be defeated by anyone. In just this season alone, Bauer has deactivated a nuclear weapon, wielded a cigar cutter as an amputation device against a Russian diplomat and used plastic wrap as an interrogation tool on his own brother. Just mere hours after being released from a Chinese prison. I guess Bauer has met his match, and it's not in the form of a terrorist.
(S06E15) *Warning, spoilers from recent episode ahead*
It's really sad when the best part of a show is the last minute of a program, when you have to slog through 59 minutes of other material of so-so quality that seems very much like filler in order to get to something good.
That's how I felt about this new episode of 24. Did anyone in their right mind really believe that Nadia was a mole? Of course not, but I didn't expect her story to be resolved so quickly and simply, in less than an hour.
Former President Bill Clinton said even though 24 is run by "an uber right-wing guy" (referring to producer Joel Surnow), he thinks the show is fair in making both Democrats and Republicans look equally evil, according to a Reuters article.
Of other contemporary programs, Clinton said he's fond of Boston Legal and that his McFavorite is Grey's Anatomy. (Wonder where he stands on the Callie-Izzie contretemps?)
The Hollywood Reporter also said Clinton likes watching TV Land -- I Love Lucy, All in the Family and Bonanza -- because his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is frequently away campaigning and it gives "me something to do at night."
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