24fans.com previews what Season 7 might have in store for us…
A few words from a post-rehab 24 addict, seventeen minutes into season seven
Hello, my name is J_A and I’m an addict. A 24 addict.
Or well, I used to be.
I have been addicted to 24 from the first second of season 1; actually, even before that. I saw a commercial for it and instantly knew that this was my show. Then, when the pilot actually aired, bang, I was hooked. Addicted. Going down a one-way street into a very cool habit.
I was indeed one of those fans who’d live, breathe and bleed 24, whose weeks would run from 24 to 24 instead of Monday to Sunday, who’d turn off their phones whenever watching the show, bore people to death with talking about how great the show was, I’d spend my spare time re-watching 24 episodes, eventually knowing all dialogue by heart; I missed 24 during the hiatus so much that I started my own chain of 24-like events by writing fanfictions, I would have applied for a job at CTU if it hadn’t been a fictional agency, and I most definitely would have elected David Palmer into the Office…
What was so addictive about it, apart from its complexity and the breakneck speed with which it raced through the season? When 24 first hit the screens in 2001, it was simply the most innovative, gripping and thrilling series to ever air on TV. The format was unique, the writing superb, the casting perfect, the acting motivated, the characters had depth and the storyline was one big arc, revealing itself little by little.
I couldn’t tell you exactly what my tastes in TV are – they change and evolve, and I often have a hard time describing them beyond “I like good TV.” Just what is good? It’s simply too subjective a word.
Well, in 2001 I was given a helping hand: a new show started airing and I could point to it and say “That’s what I like”: 24.
Perhaps it’s a bit tedious to list the reasons I liked it. It’s been done by so many other people so many times before. But I will try anyway, in the off chance I might mention something new: it was fresh, it was cool, it made you think and it did truly break the mould for TV at the time, something which is very hard to do.
You mulled every episode over for a full week. Some people thought of that week as a curse; it was in fact a blessing. You needed seven days to recover and to fully play back all the key points in your head and analyse and plot possible future developments. When the new episode finally arrived you compared your projections against the actual happenings as the plot thickened. That was the ritual.
When series one finished, I wasn’t sure at first if there would be a second. Then I heard that there would be but they might not use the same characters. People thought that was crazy – after all, we’d just spent so much time getting to know these rich three dimensional characters. Viewers wanted to know what happened to them. What would Jack do after the death of Teri?
Personally, I would have perfectly understood them not using the same characters. After all what I truly enjoyed was the unique format, and the characters were a product of that format, not the other way around. This feeling meant I’ve never quite fallen into one of the “Jack is 24″ or “Almeida is God” camps.
It’s not that I don’t love Jack and Tony as characters – I do. When they lose a loved one in a terrorist plot, it hurts, when they get betrayed, I’m angry. Yet I don’t need these characters to be the centre of attention to enjoy the show, I’m much happier when the show as a whole is stronger.
This is why I enjoyed series five, why I could view it as something other than a betrayal of the faithful audience. It had a lot of similarities to the original, often going for silent menace over loud bangs. Gregory Itzin’s President Logan was a joy to behold, Jean Smart as Martha perfectly cast and plus a well written central arc to the series which slowly boiled up, right to the finish. It’s true that it required too much of a sacrifice to get there, and Tony’s exit was botched, but on the whole it was good, very good, and so with a lump in my throat I’d accepted his death as a penance that had to be paid.