Tag: Keifer Sutherland

“24” moving to New York City

The city so nice they named it twice is about to get a taste of a little Jack Bauer, according to EW.com.

Sources confirm to me exclusively that 24 will be relocating to New York next season — at least on screen. (The show will still be primarily shot in Los Angeles, with some NY location footage mixed in.)

Production on Day 8 gets underway next month, but already details are emerging. In addition to the move to the Big Apple, CTU will make a comeback under the leadership of a new, yet-to-be-cast male character by the name of Brian Hastings. Described as an MBA type with a razor sharp intellect, Hastings will be joined by two new twentysomething agents (one male, one female), as well as Mary Lynn Rajskub’s returning Chloe.

New York City has been pretty ignored in the world of “24,” as a show about terrorist strikes in the Big Apple probably hit a little too close to home. The producers have apparently deemed it the right time to make the move.

TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: “24”

As readers of David Medsker’s weekly blog are already well aware, “24” is back on Fox in a big way, and the show was back at the January TCA Tour in similar fashion, earning its own panel this time around. (The decision in July to relegate the series to a half-hearted “24”-sponsored luncheon, with critics being forced to fight from scrum to scrum in order to get their questions answered, earned my ire in this entry.) From the questions being posed, it was clear that, after a less-than-stellar sixth season, many in the audience have found themselves becoming fans of the show again in Season 7. In particular, it seems that the little moments are what’s doing it for them, such as the scene in the car with Jack and the cop, where Jack acknowledges that maybe they were right in questioning him.

“I think Jack Bauer is certainly in a position where he’s questioning a lot of the things that he has had to do either by his own choice or by orders,” said our man Kiefer Sutherland, “and certainly at the beginning of the season, you see him in Africa, very disconnected from the United States. And so he is wrestling with his own history, about what he actually believes was right and fair and whether or not he was, in fact, the kind of person that should have been put in the position to do these things. It’s a through-line that really travels all 24 episodes this year. And so there’s this constant balance of defending, for instance, in the Senate investigation, his own actions. On a much cleaner level and a much more personal moral level, he questions those things greatly, so this inner struggle is something that carries him through all 24 episodes.”

Of course, if you’ve been watching this season, then you’ve probably already noticed how many times Jack has been standing up for his actions after being condemned by others. This might…just maybe…be a case of the show’s writers lashing out at their critics.

“I would be lying if I said there wasn’t some of that in there,” said producer Howard Gordon, with a laugh. “Obviously, there was the conundrum of how do we do a show that had taken quite a bit of heat for allegedly advocating this way of law enforcement and this way of countering terrorism. It was a nuance and it is an evolving question that plays, as Kiefer said, throughout the entire season. So I counsel patience, and I hope people have the patience and the appetite and the desire to watch through the whole season, because I think the answer to these questions will not be known until the very last episode.”

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24 7.1-2 – I see dead people

First off, a thousand lashes to the exec at Fox who thought it would be a good idea to run the season premiere of “24” opposite the Golden Globes. I don’t care if you had the date booked years before NBC decided to host the awards that night; you move the show back a week. Or even a day. But you don’t run a premiere against an awards show, and not just an awards show but one of the biggies. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Having said that, hats off to Mickey Rourke and “Slumdog Millionaire” for their wins.

As season premieres go, “24” has certainly had more explosive openings, but I liked what they did here, and also what they didn’t do. The show had gotten way too insular in terms of everything happening in Los Angeles, so moving the show to the east coast is a nice change of pace. Even better, the terrorist plot involves a threat that would actually affect the entire country. (No power or drinking water? Yikes.) Yes, it’s a riff on the plot from “Live Free or Die Hard” – and there is absolutely no way that they would ever get those planes synced up so that they would both hit the crossing point of two runways at the exact same time – but if it means that we don’t have to worry about a nuclear weapon this season, that can only be a good thing. They were also smart to acknowledge what a walking cliche Jack Bauer had become. “WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?” (*stabs man in genitals with spork*) That couldn’t have been easy for the producers to admit, but it needed to be done.

“Mr. Bauer, do you swear to kick the butt, the whole butt and nothing but the butt, so help you God?”

However, I’m still trying to wrap my head around Tony Almeida as this year’s villain. We still don’t know why he switched teams – and that’s good that they haven’t revealed that yet, that was the ‘what they didn’t do’ that I was referring to – but I’m not sure they can possibly come up with a rationale that will satisfy me. At the moment, he appears to be a free agent of sorts, a contract guy that offers his services to anyone willing to pay for them. God knows he wouldn’t be doing the bidding of a mass murderer like General Candyman any other way, right? And are we really to believe that Jack is only now learning that Tony is still alive? Yes, he was kidnapped by the Chinese hours after Tony’s supposed death, but he came back…years ago. I’m thinking the first thing someone at CTU would have told him is that Tony is not dead. They better have an answer for that as this season unfolds.

And man, did they stunt-cast the bejeezus out of this season. Janeane Garofalo as an easily stressed techie? Please tell me that Chloe O’Brien literally eats her alive at some point in the season. Bob Gunton, aka the warden in “The Shawshank Redemption,” is on Madame President’s staff, and Colm Feore is the First Man? There’s no way I’m looking at him without thinking of “Storm of the Century.” Bonus points if they work the phrase “Give me what I want, and I’ll go away” into the dialogue. Lastly, the great Kurtwood Smith is the senator that is trying to bring Jack to “justice.” Now, I like Kurtwood Smith, but did they really need him to play that part? You get the sense that the suits were nervous, so they snagged as many name actors as they could. It’s overkill, of course, but that’s Hollywood for you.

For those of you playing the “24” drinking game, The “Damn it” counter is at three, though Jack only said one of them.

All in all, not a bad way to start the season. Not great, but who knows, maybe that’s a good thing; in years past, they would blow the doors off the show in the premiere, only to implode six episodes later (ahem, abandoned plot involving Jack’s “nephew” in season six). The ads for hours three and four even hint at a big bombshell dropping. Maybe they finally get it now: the premiere is useless if everything that follows is shit. Yep, that’s what blogging a show will do to a person: turn them from a fan to someone who simply hopes that he’s not blogging about shit. Sigh.

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