Television's long and storied history is filled with game and competition shows that pit their contestants in a physical, psychological and gastrointestinal showdown, most of which were lost to the ravages of obscurity. Well, it's "filled" if you only look at the last few years or so when the economy tanked and people turned to humiliating themselves in the national media to keep from having to hunt small rodents for sustenance. That's how 'The View' got started.
These are the shows that not only tortured contestants, but also their viewing audience unless Dick Cheney happened to be watching any of them.
We feel for the guy, but he always manages to spring back into action and overpower the bad guys. If '24' (Mon., 9PM ET on FOX) is on its last legs, we suggest that Freddie Prinze, Jr. take over the saving-the-world duties. We love you, Jack, but let Freddie carry some of the burden! And Cole Ortiz is a really cool name, too.
Watch the video after the jump.
Next week, he welcomes 24 star Kiefer Sutherland to the Late Night studios in the wake of his latest assault charge in which he allegedly head-butted a fashion designer outside of a night club. I'm calling it "Butt-Gate" because I won't get that opportunity again until Jennifer Lopez and Shakira get into a fist fight.
The question for Fallon is how hard will he interview Sutherland on this latest incident that could land him in jail on a probation violation. This could be a defining moment for Fallon as a late night host. Granted, he's not interviewing the head of the Saudi Royal Family or even the head of the Hilton family, but it could either give him and his show some juice or take some away.
Whether you agree with that assessment or not, you must admit it has become a gathering place for serious and healthy debates about issues that aren't addressed in the mainstream news filter. You must also agree that it's also become a show that Craig Kilborn curses for leaving with every step he takes on his piece of Earth.
Stewart's debate/lecture on torture with Cliff May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, deserved far more press than the Jim Kramer showdown. It was an insightful, thought-provoking and frank discussion of an issue we should have had four years ago that bubbled over the top, but never boiled over the way Bill O'Reilly's "debates" do over meaningless issues like the War on Christmas, the Massacre on St. Valentine's Day or the Aggravated Assault on Lincoln's Birthday.
Remember "Chuck Versus the Suburbs," when Andy Richter's corpse was dragged away in a body bag? Well, he wasn't resurrected on Fringe, like one commenter suggested. No, he's dead and his body included a belt that contained some top-secret data, most importantly, the identity of the Intersect, i.e. Chuck.
The timing of the discovery couldn't be worse, though, because Chuck had just decided to "dump" Sarah as a fake girlfriend, feeling that they had no fake/real future. Of course, be careful what you wish for, Charles. More after the jump.
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.
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