The clock starting ticking several weeks ago for 24. We’ve know for quite some time that the show was canceled and that the remaining episodes would be Jack Bauer’s last.
24 premiered in 2001 and truly was a ground-breaking show. The real-time, serialized concept centered around a single day’s extraordinary events was something that was completely unique. (I still find it cool that the clock on the show matches the clock on my cable box.) Every episode is crucial to watch and the the show brought back appointment viewing. Way before the complex plots and mystery of Lost, there was 24.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t an early watcher of 24. I got hooked the summer before season four. I remember going to Blockbuster and blowing through discs, three to four “hours” at a time. On DVD without commercials, those first three seasons are more addictive than crack. Go. Watch them now if you haven’t already.
It was evident from the first season and the epic final scene cliffhanger that 24 dared to challenge it’s viewers and push the envelop. The show developed excellent characters and realistic plots. In my opinion, Jack Bauer is one of the greatest characters of modern television. We’ve followed Jack through heartbreak, assassinations, CTU moles, drug wars, biological threats, terrorist plots and now his own personal revenge. People like to dismiss Jack as just a crazy and violent parody of himself, but his motives and morals have always been in the right place.
While it’s easy to criticize the direction the show has taken over the past few seasons, I cut them slack. It’s an impossible task to try to maintain a consistent level of excellence in television. The problem with creating a superior product is that you set up immense expectations that cannot always be met. Still, the writing and producers have always made the show entertaining. Yes, the whole lazy Bauer family angle of Season 6 was terrible, but I still watched. The frequent unreal plot twists and insane violence became laughable, but I still watch. They killed several of my favorite characters, but I still watch. Aaron Pierce, Bill Buchanan, Tony Almeda, Chloe O’Brien, President Palmer–all great characters that made me still watch. And let’s not forget the incredibly sexy Elisha Cuthbert. Any episode featuring Kim Bauer is a favorite of mine.
In the end, 24 will always be about a special concept and Keifer Sutherland. There is talk of a movie that will continue the saga. I am excited for the possibility, but question how they will incorporate the real-time element that is so crucial to the television show. All that is know is that there is a script. This movie news has certainly impacted my thoughts and expectations leading up to the two-hour series finale. The biggest question of all is ‘Will Jack Die?” If there’s a movie to be made, my gut tells me he lives. You can’t do a Hollywood spin-off film without the star character. But this is 24 we’re talking about here. I have the feeling that they’re going to want to go out with a huge splash. I think they want to prove a point and do something shocking. Whether it’s a cliffhanger or an ambiguous Soprano’s-like ending, we shall see shortly. Beep…Beep…Beep…