Derek Johnson Muses

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Resetting 24’s Clock

I enjoyed the nearly two year wait between 24‘s sixth and seventh season, not just because the sixth season was terrible, but because I’d gored myself on endless rewatchings of the show on DVD. After I waited for the eighth, I wished to myself that show could come out with a new season every two years instead of every year.

Guess Fox has taken the hint.

24 was the perfect show (along with Alias and Lost) to move television into the DVD and online age. Built around cliffhangers and every little plot twist, you had to get the show on DVD if you missed an episode. And when Netflix started streaming episodes without commercials, 24 was the perfect show to sell it. Combined with contemporary themes about terrorism and riffs from twenty years of classic action yarns, the show was like a mini-action movie every week.

I’m not betting that Fox will for sure bring 24 back. Honestly, where Jack Bauer was left at the end of the series was a good way to end things (or to move into a film franchise that wasn’t to be.) There was talk that JJ Abrams and ABC would revive Alias, sans Rambaldi mythology and Jennifer Garner, and that was just talk. This talk, I kind of buy because  Netflix probably is involved, and if Netflix raised the critical darling but seldom watched Arrested Development out of the abyss of canceled shows after seven years, reviving 24 should be a cakewalk. (And who knows how much Netflix has said they’ll pay Fox for more 24.)

Bringing Jack back into action will be like the how can still be called 24 if the timeline is broken after twelve hour (as is reported by David Fury on Twitter), or however long it runs. (Fox almost split the show’s seventh season into two halves, after seeing the eight so-so episodes produced before the writer’s strike halted production.) Listen, people: don’t think about. You still watched 24: Redemption, and it was just two hours. Just enjoy the fact that, if a season is terrible, the door to a reboot is that much closer.

And with a 12 episode series, the season plot doesn’t need three or four levels of conspiracy, each one more preposterous than the next. The show could get by with two, or at the very most, three. No more seasons ending with trying to nail the super-villains with a recording, or thinking “really, there was a guy behind Jon Voight or Ramon Salazar?” And maybe they will even be able to do the story without a mole.

And if you are wondering about the memories of your favorite show getting ruined, just watch the second half of The Following‘s season this year and say to yourself: that the best Fox can do, a 24-wannabe that can’t even make the FBI believably competent. Might as well bring back 24. Murder, She Wrote and Dallas movies that followed the conclusion of those series. In a way, the short run series has become what the TV movie was back in the 80’s and 90’s. Thanks, Netflix.

And with the going on three years that have passed, there’s new stories that 24 could do a take on, like a politician trying to cover up the government’s failures in a terrorist attack, ALA the current Benghazi scandal. Now that wouldn’t be interesting TV, would it?

Ready for more?


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