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Hey look! That thing that we have all known would happen for more than two fucking months now finally happened!
Nonetheless, Clinton still hasn’t conceded, and I expect that even as I write these words she is lurking in her dank lair, scuttling up and down the walls and hatching diabolical plans to run as an independent candidate.
Keep dreaming, you crazy bitch. The rest of us will live it up here in the real world, the world of cold hard facts, where we will in no way stretch our perception of the proud Democratic candidate to fit into any kind of perfect, charming, previously established persona.
So, there’s a trailer out for 24’s next season, which I have previously moaned about. I won’t bother linking to it, since as usual the FOX Corporation is aggressively deleting all the YouTube clips of it. God knows why, since TRAILERS ARE A FORM OF ADVERTISING, but if you want to see it then just go find one that was uploaded less than ninety seconds ago.
Sadly, one of my five predictions has proven correct. Tony is evil. This was my genuine reaction upon discovering this:
To top things off they’ve given him a shitty Chase-style shaven head and he looks completely retarded. Oh, Tony. We wanted you back, but not like this!
Not like this!
I’m a huge fan of 24. It’s easily my favourite non-comedy on television, and is one of those shows that has impacted my life in tiny, almost imperceptible ways. I notice time a lot more, always curious to know exactly when a news event happens, and demand to know why George Bush went to sleep on the night of September 11. I’ve come to appreciate the concept of utilitarianism, working it into my personal philosophy and including it in my own stories. I also torture complete strangers with the conviction that they possess the knowledge I need, and lose a small part of my humanity each time I do.
After the dizzying, critically acclaimed heights of Day 5, the show took a peregrine nosedive this year with the worst season it has yet produced. Outside of the first four episodes, Day 6 was a laughably unentertaining bucket of recycled concepts, ridiculous storylines and contrived situations. Well, more so than the average season, in any case. Somewhere between Buchanan being fired for letting Fayed escape custody years before he was even considered a threat, and the Russians calmly informing the US that they would logically have to invade Central Asia if they couldn’t get the circuit board back, I lost interest. I still watched, of course, because I’m a loyal fan, but every Wednesday night viewing was filled with bitterness and contempt.
Season 7 premieres in January. But I’m understandably apprehensive. Here’s the five reasons why. Note that, as is standard practice, my single source is Wikipedia, infallible oracle of the 00’s.
(SPOILER WARNING FOR SEASONS 5, 6 AND 7)
1. Disbanding CTU: a foolhardy attempt to give the show a fresh spin
Along with the change of setting to the East Coast, the producers decided to inject some pizzazz into 24 by removing the Counter-Terrorist Unit, the government agency which has been the focus of the show during its entire run. Sounds interesting, right? After all, if there’s no CTU, then presumably the entire focus of the show will change, with completely new plots and…
Oh. Guess again: three CTU-associated characters will be returning (Chloe, Buchanan, and Morris), and there are no less than four “FBI Agents” listed in the main cast. What, exactly, was the point of disbanding a fictional government agency only to replace it with a real one? Drumming up interest, that’s what.
Still not convinced? Still think they’re gonna “revamp” or “reboot” the show, and completely revitalise it? Here’s what’s lined up for the first episode:
“In the premiere, Jack will hunt down Gabriel Schecter for information. This upscale man in his early 40s is a supplier of illegal contraband.”
WOW WHAT A FRESH AND ORIGINAL IDEA
I WONDER IF JACK WILL TORTURE HIM
2. Another wasted opportunity
I, along with many other fans, optimistically predicted Day 6 to chronicle Jack’s odyssean escape from a Chinese labour camp, possibly aided by an outside team of people who care about him or owe him a favour: Heller, Audrey, Chloe, Chase, Wayne Palmer, maybe even Aaron Pierce. It would have been a safe bet for change. If it didn’t rate well, they could have Jack return to CTU for Day 7. If it did rate well, Day 7 could have been anything (my personal favourite: Jack as a wise yet nihilistic soldier of fortune in Mongolia). Instead, Day 6 fed us another round of JACK TRIES TO STOP A NUKE BUT THE SOULLESS BEAURACRATS FRUSTRATE HIS ATTEMPTS SO HE GOES ROGUE!
In the same vein of “wasted opportunities,” Day 7 will apparently feature a main villain who “[isn’t] a terrorist at all. And the character is fascinating, someone with a supremely dark past who’s done something horrific and whose ambition is to regain his stature in the world.” I think that describes Jack quite well, which would make for a very cool season, but of course they’ll be going with the “corrupt businessman/politician” or something equally unoriginal. And I swear to God if it’s Logan I’ll kill something.
3. Poor timing
Day 7 will take place three years after Day 6, which by default places it just under twelve and a half years after Day 1. Guys, stop making seasons take place so much later. You don’t have any good reason to. Apart from rocketing the show’s timeline into 2016, it’s getting inconsistent with the characters’ ages. Kiefer Sutherland looks pretty much the same as he did in the first season.
Day 7 will also begin and end at 7.00 am, just like Day 4 and Day 5. Yawn. Start seasons at more interesting times, like Day 1 and 3 did. We all know that you’re only starting them in the early morning so that you can end each season with the sunrise, symbolising a new beginning, which is getting massively cliché. Not to mention that you usually fuck it up. The first episode of Day 6 had Jack stepping out of a Hercules at about 6:15 into pre-dawn darkness. The final episode showed it as already light at 5:59.
I know this seems rather trivial but I’m pedantic about such things, and also needed to pad out what is still a very minimal list. High five!
4. Jumping on the climate change bandwagon
I do actually believe global warming is a problem. No, switching off the light every time you leave the room isn’t going to make a difference, but we really should clamp down on all those industries pumping shit into the atmosphere. Even if it’s not doing anything on a global level, it sure as hell isn’t good for the local environment.
What I don’t like is people who watch An Inconvenient Truth and then jump on the bandwagon and start spouting out shit about “carbon credits” or whatever. Unexpectedly, FOX has thrown their lot in with these impressionable morons:
Measures will be taken during filming and production of season 7 to save energy and reduce enough carbon emissions throughout the season to make the season finale “carbon neutral”. Howard Gordon said that 24 cares about the issue of global warming and takes fighting climate change seriously. A number of ways that the production intends to save energy are listed on the site, some of which are: using a combination of petroleum diesel and biodiesel instead of regular diesel fuel, creating a series of PSAs with Kiefer Sutherland and other main cast members to educate the public on what they can do to help with the issue, and, when appropriate, applying the issue of global warming and reducing carbon emissions to the storylines.
Emphasis mine. Once again, in case you didn’t grasp it:
…applying the issue of global warming and reducing carbon emissions TO THE STORYLINES.
5. The resurrection
I saved this till last because I’m quite conflicted about it.
Tony Almeida will return in the premiere of season 7. Show-runner Howard Gordon explained that Tony’s “uncertain fate” left the door open for his return and cited the lack of a silent clock as a deliberate move to keep his death ambiguous. “We didn’t give him the silent clock because we always wanted to keep alive the possibility for some kind of (admittedly) miraculous resurrection … which we will explain,” and followed up with “He’s definitely NOT the Almeida we once knew.
Tony’s demise at the hands of a semi-comatose senior citizen was one of the few mistakes Day 5 made. As Progressive Boink put it in their excellent 100 Greatest 24 Moments (#16: “Tony Goes Out Like A Bitch”):
Palmer… was pretty much sidelined anyway once his presidency was over. Tony, on the other hand, had many more years of buddy cop adventures with Jack ahead of him. Personally, I think Tony’s death was one step too far in kill-happy season five.
I want to be happy about the return of Tony. I really do. After George Mason, Tony was my favourite character on the show. I would have done anything to undo his death scene, and I’ll be happy enough about his return that I’ll overlook whatever ridiculous hand-waving exposition they throw us about how he miraculously survived.
What really irritates me is Gordon’s bullshitting. No, dude, you did not keep his death “ambiguous” with a silent clock. You killed him. Period. You had Jack clutch him in his arms, sob uncontrollably, and then you covered his face up with a sheet. As much as I hated the method of death itself, I think killing off characters is an important thing to do. It keeps the audience on their toes and keeps the show realistic. And we all know that the only reason you’re bringing him back is not because of any long-term plan dating back to his ignoble expiration in the charnel-house that is the CTU clinic, but rather because Day 6 was panned by even the most devout of fans, and you’re desperate to avoid having your show cancelled and being taken out behind the FOX studios to be shot.
Not to mention the ominous words, “He’s definitely NOT the Almeida we once knew,” which makes me groan wearily. Presumably this relates to Michelle’s death (Day 4 already showed us the pathetic shit-hole that is Tony’s life without Michelle), and it would actually make sense for Tony to become a hollow shell of a man after losing his wife to his job. He’d be following in Jack’s footsteps. But rumour has it that the producers originally considered making Tony the ultimate, shadowy antagonist of Day 7, and I fear that there might still be lingering shreds of this vile idea hanging around the studio.
So, will I watch Day 7? Of course I will. Will I keep watching it as it marches on through boring political plotlines and uninspired story rehashes that make Day 6 look like Day 2? Again: of course I will. Because I’m a bitch. But at least I’ll be able to say with satisfaction “see, I told you it would suck.” And if there’s one thing that life has taught me, it’s that keeping your expectations low usually results in a pleasant surprise.