March 6th, 2009


A 24 Midpoint Review

I hate to do this, because it's so typical of anyone who reviews anything - sporting events, movies, books, TV shows - they always like to rely on the same theme: (blank) is the greatest (blank) in the history of (blank).

I guess that's not really what makes me cringe. Truly, what's most annoying is that first (blank) almost always co-incides with something that has JUST happened. You see a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and all of a sudden last night's game was the best game ever, completely forsaking PLENTY of quality games with even more tremendous buzzer-beating 3-pointers and even that one time where it was a buzzer-beating 4-pointer.

Super Bowl 43 was the BEST Super Bowl EVER. How soon we forget Super Bowl 42. Or how about any of the first two Super Bowls New England won? What about Rams/Titans? Bills/Giants? 49ers/Bengals? Dolphins/Redskins? Jets/Colts?

The latest U2 album is their BEST album EVER. (I know probably nobody would ever say that, but then again, Rolling Stone did just give it 5-stars, and I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened before for U2). Of course, most sane people would say The Joshua Tree, a few stragglers would say Achtung Baby or Boy. Personally, I would say War or The Unforgettable Fire are both superior albums, but what do I know? Except that anything U2 has released since 1991 has been hit-or-miss and anything released since 1997 has been downright unlistenable. That, my friends, is neither here nor there.

Anyway, it pains me greatly to say this, since I know damn well that Season 5 was probably more bone-chilling, and season 6 was on pace through 12 episodes to eclipse even that (until it unceremoniously retreated to retread storylines and totally crapped the bed by the final hour), but here goes:

Season 7 of 24 is the BEST season of 24 EVER!

Since I've put a moratorium up for anyone who uses the phrase "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit", I'm going to invent something completely different: "I just crapped in my pants a little bit and then managed to retract the feces back into my anus." It's a work in progress.

Why is Season 7 the best, you ask? Well, for one thing, it's never taken an hour off. There's been almost non-stop action and suspense and intrigue. And the female FBI agent playing opposite Jack Bauer through most of this season has not only been the hottest female the show has seen since ol' First Lady Milk Jugs back in Season 5, but she's truly been the first female to not simply take what Jack Bauer's dishing out. She's giving back! Those two slaps to the face last week as she pleaded with Bauer for an answer to the question of whether or not he feels anything can attest to that. Of course, Jack Bauer put her in her place when he snapped back, "The next time you pull your gun on me, you better intend to use it." Really, Jack Bauer is only going to take so much from a dame before he re-asserts his dominance.

Of course, Season 7 has the usual elements to any 24 season: people in a position of "authority" questioning and doubting Jack Bauer. Bauer's uncanny ability to knock out even the biggest security figure with one or two punches at the most. Chloe breaking laws - or at least some moral codes - in an effort to please Jack. The number of times Jack Bauer has been arrested: 3. The number of times Janeane Garofalo's character has gone behind the back of someone to screw them over and in the process annoy the piss out of me: at least 4. The number of times Tony Almeida's sexy voice has caused me to prematurely ejaculate: 18. The number of times Jack Bauer has said Dammit: 247.

There is still no Edgar Stiles replacement. Of course, there really never will be, though I had high hopes for Billy Walsh until he turned out to be evil. I still kinda had high hopes for Billy Walsh even when he was evil, but then he got caught 10 minutes later. And the fact that Morris only made a brief cameo was too much of a tease for me to handle.

Nevertheless, the alternate storylines have been good. The whole president's son/suicide angle was interesting. I'm enjoying the female president tangling with her emotions and remaining strong. Red Foreman as a terrorist-hugging liberal is pretty fun to watch. And Aaron's back in the secret service fold!

But, any good season of 24 is all about the villains (and Jack Bauer). And the villains (and Jack Bauer) are in rare form in Season 7. You've got Dubaku and Juma, rebel Africans wreaking havoc on American soil. You've got planes crashing into each other, you've got the dad from My So-Called Life sacrificing his life in some sort of toxic plant meltdown in Ohio, you've got African soldiers BREAKING INTO THE WHITE HOUSE via some underwater shenanigans! The president is being held hostage going into next week's episode! How can you stand it???

It's only been, what, like 12 hours. For all I know this season could tank faster than Jimmy Fallon hosting Late Night, but I don't think so. They've had over a year to tinker with these scripts thanks to that writer's strike. I think it's only going to get better and more mind-blowing. Season 5, you're on alert!