24: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episodes 1 & 2 (11AM-1PM)

Inline image 1After a four year absence, 24 is returning to TV in the form of a “limited series.” Shortened seasons for broadcast shows are popular right now. Big-network programs like Hannibal, The Following, Sleepy Hollow and Under the Dome are taking a page out of the British/Premium Cable model, offering shortened seasons of around 12-15 episodes without the traditional option of extending the season. 24 is embracing this model as well, cutting Jack Bauer’s “day” in half to (theoretically) tell a tighter story and keep costs down. How well 24 translates into 12 remains to be seen, but there is no denying of the excitement of having Jack Bauer back on the small screen.

As a limited run companion piece to our series-spanning Dead Series Discussions we—Patches, Zach,Jeff andMegaMix—will be posting reactions to each episode of Live Another Day as it airs. These “ReJacktions” are not as long or formal (ha!) as our other posts on the series, but instead give us a chance to add some reflections and observations for each episode. Once the season has ended, we’ll give Live Another Day a proper Dead Season Discussion before bidding farewell to 24. At least until Jack comes back again.

This week’s ReJacktion is focused on the premiere episodes of Live Another Day, “Day 9: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.” and “Day 9: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.”

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time.

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Patches

I tell you what, guys. It took me about five minutes into the premiere to get me jacked (*wink*) for Live Another Day. And true to form, the two-hour premiere had “dammits,” torture, sweet accents, and recycled plot points. Overall, I’m pumped, mostly because 24 is back, but also because I like this season’s characters so far.

Jack is still Jack. Chloe is still Chloe, except that she’s got some Goth Edward Snowden/Julian Assange thing going. I hope her whole family died because I can’t think of another reason for her to abandon them to use her hacking skillz for evil.

Benjamin Bratt’s Steve Navarro is the CTU Director equivalent for the season. He’s smart, empathetic, and reasonable, but a little too smart for his own good sometimes. Chris Partlow is a good field operative whose ambition might get in the way. I hope he has a protege who shouts “Yerp!

Yvonne Strahovski is this season’s FemBauer. She quickly figures out the situation but no one believes her, causing her to go rogue. Have I mentioned I’m in love with Yvonne Strahovski? (Hopeful reaction)

James Heller is now President of the United States because no one can become president on 24 without being tangentially related to some other president. Also, he has Alzheimer’s or something. 25th Amendment, anyone?

Audrey Raines returns as the Prsadkn.hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sorry, I must have dozed off there.

So, gentlemen, what did you think of the premiere of Live Another Day? And what do you think would be the worst possible lede for a story on 24’s return? I’m leaning towards “if you thought you’d seen the last of 24, then you don’t know Jack” as this music hits over the London skyline.

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Jeff

My first thought after two episodes: “Welcome to the new 24, same as the old 24.”

That’s both good in that we get more 24 and bad in that all of the stock characters and tired tropes worn out over eight 24-episode seasons return as well. Of course, now we only have 12 episodes to squeeze them all in.

I feel the same about these premiere episodes as I did about the premiere episodes of seasons seven and eight. In all three seasons we have to deal with a boatload of new characters in new settings. While this holds some promise, we quickly find out that DC’s FBI, NY’s CTU and London’s CIA are all just LA’s CTU with different wallpaper. The staff are the same people with different faces, and less emotional investment on our part.

Steve suffers “suit from Division syndrome” in the first episode, not listening to Kate, who is clearly this season’s Renee/Jack. Jordan’s the Chloe/Adam/Edgar. Erik is Curtis-lite with a Ronnie Lobell complex.

Outside of the CIA we get Derek Yates, a “hacker” with a drone control program that calls to mind season four’s Dobson Override and season seven’s CIP device (not to mention the potential future storyline of Jack hunting drones like in season six or the same way he hunted virus couriers in season three). Yates also has a treacherous blonde girlfriend who doesn’t want to move to Greenland (Palm Springs?).

I sound like a hater, right? I don’t mean to, because the above is what I’ve come to expect from 24 since season six. I think the new cast members, despite some stock traits, are acquitting themselves nicely (no Mike Doyles here!). I think giving Heller dementia is novel, sad and potentially moving (though forced if they have him completely lose it in 12 hours).

Live Another Day didn’t blow me away with its premiere, but it’s definitely meeting my expectations so far. Plus, it’s comforting to have 24 back on my TV, with its familiar beeps reminding me when I need to run back from the kitchen or bathroom.

As for a bad tagline, I’d just like to hear the familiar CTU boop-boop-beee-doooo ring and have a caller ID read “London Calling,” on a phone lying next to a gun. Then Jack picks both up and prepares for action while The Clash starts to play.

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MegaMix

Wow. I don’t even know where to start guys. Bottom line is this: 24 is back MOTHER F*CKERS!

Jeff, you sound like someone who has recently watched and then thoroughly examined every moment of 8 seasons worth of 24 episodes. I think you need to take a step back (that gif is way harsher than I intend to be, but I thought it was funny) and just try to enjoy this opportunity that most fans never get to experience with one of their favorite shows.

OF COURSE the tropes are going to be back. There’s only SO much that can be reinvented. Does it feel like the old 24? Hell yes! Because it’s 24.

I, like Patches, was TOTALLY on board even less than 5 minutes into the premiere. Everything they did (more or less) was entertaining and had me close to the edge of my seat. What more can a 24 fan ask!?

My only complaint about the entire two hour premiere was the final moment’s reveal of the blonde (redhead) being Ms. Stark’s daughter. My initial thought was “What the F*CK!? Why do they have to be related!?” But other than that, I’m SUPER F*CKING EXCITED!!!

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Zach

Ah, 24, how I missed you.

I was giggling like a little kid when the episode started. Speaking of which, the 24 splash screen: is that lens-flarey-shardy nonsense new? Or did I just always skip over that in my rewatchings through the year?

There were a few things that I thought were major improvements, and a few things I thought were serious and unnecessary regressions. Positives first: it seems that we are poised to have not just one but two fully capable, ass-kicking, major-player women in this season. While I don’t share Jake’s permaboner for Starahovanovaski, she has been a very pleasant surprise, in my opinion, so far. Very JB-esque. I REALLY hope they don’t bend that into some weird relationship story.

For the love of all that is good and holy, D O    N O T    D O    T H A T    P L E A S E.

The second new character I am jazzed about is the east-end reincarnation of the estimable Catelyn Stark (for whom, I must admit, I *do* have a temporaly agnostic permaboner). I love her in the place of power-broker villainess. I also really, really hope she doesn’t get shelled out as merely the front of some dude-heavy conglomerate of former PMs and newspaper moguls (speaking of which: evil Rupert Murdoch will almost inevitably be a guy right?).

Ugh. That all felt uncomfortable. Let’s get back in my comfort zone. Things I didn’t like: kudos, writers, for getting Chloe into this season because she’s my fav, but really? This Anonymous / Snowden / l33t haX0rz story is like two years old and also not really necessary. I loved the whole breakout sequence and the JB’s-got-a-mfing-plan aspects of the story, but why not just have Chloe as inexplicably-motived as Jack is? Why does she need some separate story to be legit when Jack doesn’t (whether or not he does is up for debate, but *I* don’t care, do you?). All it does is introduce this RiDiCuLoUs group of hacker-goths to pop up conveniently as some rogue CTU. The IT Goonies. Might be some folks’ cup of tea, but not mine.

Audrey and Heller are, as mentioned above, boring. WHY, WRITERS, MUST I BE AT ALL FAMILIAR WITH THE PRESIDENT?

Finally, Chris Partlow bugs the shit out of me. Love the actor, but he’s just this season’s stupid resistance. It’s like they can’t introduce the primary “versus” quick enough so they have to have one lying around at the start. What does that character become? The guy who finally gets it by the end? snooze.

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PARTING SHOTS

Patches

Jeff knows me well enough to know that I can’t allow military inaccuracies to pass by without a thorough nitpicking.

First of all, THIS is what a MQ-1 Predator drone looks like, not THIS.

Also, President Heller is negotiating to renew the lease on an American military base on the British-controlled island of Diego Garcia. Tied into this through the protests is drone support for Coalition forces in Afghanistan.

diego-garcia

It’s never really stated if the protests are against American drone policy or if the Middle Eastern drones are actually launching from Diego Garcia. I hope it’s the first because this is how far the drones would make it to any actual target.

Jeff

Richard Ayoade, is that you?

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MegaMix

As anyone that has read my posts on this adventure can attest, I am big on the relationships the show creates. JB and Chloe is at the top of this list.

The two hour premiere had two AMAZING moments for me.

First, when Jack is confronted by his new sidekick about Chloe being his friend he states with trepidation “I don’t have any friends” while he looks to the sky as if to ask god WHY!? I got chills when I first experienced the moment and again while I just typed it. SO GOOD!

Second, along the same lines, were two things that O’Brian says to Bauer at the dark layer of nerdiness. First, she states what everyone was thinking in “You are my friend, you should’ve just asked.” Okay, fair enough Chloe. THEN she says “I know you, for better or worse” to Jack. The audience can see how much that hurts Bauer to hear from her, and yet he clearly agrees with the sentiment. JEEZUS LAWD I LOVE 24!

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Zach

I actually really liked the way they dropped hints about Kate’s past. In previous season Bill Buchanan and Karen Hayes would have had a quick rap sesh about her torrid and mistake-riddled past. This year it was heavy handed, I suppose, but it didn’t feel like it was heavy sledge-hammered. Positive velocity.

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Episode 3>

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One thought on “24: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episodes 1 & 2 (11AM-1PM)

  1. Pingback: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episode 3 (1PM-2PM) | slazenger1

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