These impressions contain spoilers for the first episode of 24: Legacy.
Get out your timepieces. 24 is back, baby. But do we really need it? Jack Bauer is finally off the scene and a new challenger approaches in this spin-off series with Corey Hawkins as ex-Army Ranger and all-round badass, Eric Carter.
I’ll first explain my fatigue with the 24 series which may help put my impressions in context. I’ve watched almost all of 24. Not in order believe it or not. I jumped on late and then went back to see the earlier seasons. I started the mini-series 24: Live Another Day, the last starring Keither Sutherland set in London. It was only 12 episodes (compared to its usual 24, geddit?) and I fell off after two or three. Despite its new location it was the same old 24 and I wasn’t going to keep watching just for consistency.
So, good timing to show Muslims as terrorists again huh? In this political climate it’s a little on the nose. Make that a punch to the nose. I know the series was completed before this year for what it’s worth but continuing this stereotype (and well worn 24 trope), it’s almost like it’s helping defend Trump’s Muslim ban.
24 has made steps forward in representation before; consider the first black and women US presidents. And now a black lead. But not when it comes to Muslim characters.
I’m not even going to go into recounting the plot here. There’s a guy on the run, shooting terrorists, presidential political stuff, CTU hi-jinx, and a McGuffin; a USB stick. Another goddamn USB stick. Haven’t you heard of the Internet?
As well as the tired terrorist stuff, they’re pulling out their same old bag of tricks. Of course there’s a mole inside CTU. Who knows, they may undercut it in a future episode? Like the reveal of the high school teacher as a terrorist that feels like it was just added for shock value. I can imagine the writers jumping up and down, “See, we tricked you! We didn’t signal this at all. You didn’t have a clue!”
I know that falling cylinder is supposed to be this awesome set-piece (you can see in the trailer), but the CG of it falling, and then it rolling and crushing a dude just looked ridiculous. I know 24 is a heightened action drama often leading to potential world-ending events, but c’mon! It was like something out of Austin Powers.
The real-time gimmick is still cool; a ticking clock, and split-screen so you can see different angles, or others scenes happening at the same time. It was a landmark for its time and still feels fresh today. It’s a shame the stories and characters are just the same old rehashes.
So, the new guy; Eric Carter. Does he make a better Jack Bauer? Well, he definitely likes to shoot guys. And unfortunately the dialogue in this episode was so cliched and boring, I couldn’t get into any of the characters. I don’t know much about Eric or his wife for that matter. They had one soap opera argument and then got shot at before I even got to care about who they were. Thankfully Eric’s wife wasn’t killed off to incite a vengeance arc, but I can see a future plot putting her in danger. I’ve been through the playbook. It’s just so predictable. It’s just so 24.
Verdict: For those who have never seen a 24, maybe you could jump on here? I honestly don’t know, the brand of 24 has far passed interest for me. I’m not going to waste my time with any more. 24 had 9 seasons. It had its time.