24 – Episodes 8-1 & 8-2 Review

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Just remember, it’s not a purse, it’s a satchel!

So this season we once again get a new setting, this time New York City. I’ve been arguing for years that the show should move to the city, which I believe is far more suitable location for the terrorist attack premise. The whole Los Angeles thing always seemed a bit off to me. In all of paranoia and terror threats since 9/11, has there any been a substantial warning against LA? What exactly would they be attacking, anyway? The Hollywood sign? Having last season take place in DC was a step in the right direction, but I think the city is the place to be.

So if last year is any indication, the season doesn’t really pick up until the end of the second night of the two day premiere, so much of my comments will be saved for tomorrow night. Nonetheless, here are my initial thoughts to the season eight premiere of 24.

I have to say, I loved Jack’s quiet, “I hate this place” after Hastings blew off his concerns. It was just such a succinct (and efficient!) way to show how tired Jack is of this constant and continual process of making another person in charge take his advice seriously. And I know we’re not supposed to like Hastings, but man, did he not look like the biggest tool in the world wearing that stupid earpiece 24/7.

It’s somewhat refreshing seeing Chloe portrayed as something other than this computer geek techie god that everybody worships. Honestly, I’ve never been a huge fan of the character, so it’s nice to see her taken down a notch or two. Plus, much like the location, after a while you need to make a change or else the character will become stale – even to those who really like her.

I know most people don’t like Kim (and really, people need to get over that cougar thing), but I thought it was nice to see her. For one, she’s pretty much the only thing at this point that humanizes Jack’s character. Sure, every year we get the obligatory tender hearted Jack scene, but Kim’s mere presence reminds the viewers of all that Jack gave up, and that he’s still a father capable of love and affection. Besides, Elisha Cuthbert is hot, her daughter on the show is absolutely adorable (although a terrible artist), and she’s married to Stefan from The Vampire Diaries! Not too shabby.

The one thing I do find dreadful about 24 is their incessant need to give auxiliary CTU characters a shady backstory, because it always ends up being a very painful and mind numbing obstacle later on. Remember Sean Astin’s character and his white trash sister? Or that woman – what was her name? Erin, I think – with the bipolar daughter? Or Edgar wanting to save his mom from the nuclear bomb? The best characters to emerge from CTU – the Tony Almeidas, the Bill Buchanans, the Michelle Desslers, the George Masons, and yes the Chloe O’Briens – are the ones whose characters were built and developed within the confines of the building, not because of their zany antics after hours. I couldn’t help but shudder when this whole name change thing came up.

Oh, and one final note: I like that we’re beginning the season at a new time. Aside from the first season, which began at midnight, pretty much every single season has kicked off sometime between, like, six and eight in the morning. Starting things off in the early evening will really change up the show, if for no other reason that things will really start picking up in the sunlight (which hasn’t really happened since the first season).

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.

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