Four years after the clock ran out on 24, Jack Bauer is back. Fox has relaunched the franchise with a 12-episode “event series” called 24: Live Another Day. I only wish the show was closer to the show’s exhilarating early seasons rather than the formulaic later ones. As I wrote in my Daily Beast review,
Aside from the thrill of seeing Jack—and Sutherland—back on the clock, barking orders and unleashing new methods of ass-kicking (for his next trick, he’ll do it with the hands cuffed behind his back!), 24’s absence hasn’t made me grow fonder of its tropes. This time around, many of them—Jack being underestimated by everyone around him, his first anguished utterance of “Dammit!,” the first of what will be many double-crosses—seemed more dutiful than inspired. The later seasons of 24 indicated that all the format’s tricks had been exhausted, and so far, Live Another Day’s writers haven’t indicated that they’ve discovered any new ones.
Four years after the clock ran out on 24, Jack Bauer is back! Kiefer Sutherland’s former CTU agent will return to Fox May 5 in 24: Live Another Day, a 12-episode limited series. At TCA winter press tour, the cast and producers talked about the show, which I wrote about for Quartz.
Yet despite Bauer’s significant backstory, “you can pick this series up without having seen season 8, or the show at all,” said executive producer Manny Coto. That said, it’s not just you: Not even the producers can keep track of all the show’s various twists and turns over the years. “Sometimes we have to check Wikipedia” to see if the characters are still alive, says Coto.
I also spoke with executive producer Howard Gordon about why the show, which has faked previous locations like New York City and Washington, felt it was essential to film on location in London.
I returned to The A.V. Club for a story about how much the depiction of political leaders have changed on TV from the days of The West Wing’s Josiah Bartlet. As I wrote,
Seven years after The West Wing ended its run, audiences now gravitate toward political shows like House Of Cards, Scandal, Veep, and the new Alpha House, which are all marvelous (okay, maybe not Alpha House, though John Goodman provides the hope that it might find its way), but revolve around presidents and other leaders who are either despicable, incompetent, or both. In other words, they’re just as selfish, sleazy, and/or stupid as we perceive many contemporary leaders to be.