Monday, November 28, 2016

10 Ways the Producers of "24" Can Save Jack Bauer and the Show This Season

Last season’s “24” was by far the worst season of the show. From the detonation of the nuclear weapon in California, the rest of the season was a mishmash of cliches, rehashing of old plot points, dead ends, and sheer stupidity. So how can the producers of “24” save this season of the show?

1) Plot the entire season before starting

It was clear from a quarter of the way through last season that the writers had no idea where they were going. After detonating a nuclear bomb (essentially, the ultimate climax), they floundered through the rest of the season, trying to make tracking down yet another Middle Eastern terrorist exciting. There seemed to be little cohesive narrative from episode to episode, and several plot points (such as the stabbing/death/disappearance of President Logan) were dropped without ever addressing the consequences after they’d provided their essential shock or plot point. Even in the previous season, believed by many to be the show’s best, the ending seemed lazy, not sewing up many of the main conflicts.

2) Hire better writers.

I followed the alleged spoilers and fan speculation for all of last season, and it was obvious the fans were putting more energy and effort into writing a more satisfying plot than the writers of the show, including Josh being Jack Bauer’s son and an ending in which an allegedly dead character from the past returns to to let Jack know the conspiracy runs much deeper than he ever imagined. None of these are that great, but they were better than Jack getting all sad because Audrey’s brain has been fried.

3) Kill the “24” Cliches

No more moles or security breaches in CTU. No more “you’re fired”…… “come back” staffing decisions. No more sending someone from “division” to run the place. No more Presidents facing mortal danger.

4) Add some humor

I find it incredibly hard to believe that people facing mortal danger and the scum of the earth aren’t full of black humor. Only Chloe seems to provide comic relief. Doesn’t Jack or anyone around him joke?

5) Move FAR away from Los Angeles

Haven’t these people suffered enough? Jack’s supposed to be a super agent, why not send him somewhere more exciting than the same boring locales of LA? After 6 seasons, I’m thinking the people of LA have probably all relocated to the Eastern tip of Canada.

6) Stop with the icky, silly, love relationships.

The Buchanan/Karen Hayes relationship and the Milo/Nadia relationship seemed to appear out of nowhere, and in the case of Milo/Nadia, seemed only to serve the purpose of some poorly written romantic tension with Rick Schroeder’s character, and to attempt to add some emotion to Milo getting capped by the terrorists.

7) If the 24 hour gimmick won’t work, stop using it.

If ever a season seemed stretched, it was this past year. The fact is, people are tuning in to see a great action show,not because it is in supposed real-time. If your plot won’t work over 24 hours, don’t force it.

8) Make the President a minor character.

As mentioned above, the President doesn’t have to be in mortal danger every season, nor does he/she need to be a major part of the plot. 007 didn’t have to check in with the prime minister every five minutes, so why does Jack?

9) Find a better villain.

James Cromwell’s Phillip Bauer and Adoni Maropis’ Fayed were two of the most lackluster villains in the series’ history. Fayed was your chrome dome terror psycho, and James Cromwell almost looked embarassed to be playing the role he was playing. The result was that they were more annoying than sinister.

10) Remember, a good ending can trump a lackluster season

The killing of Fayed last season was the best sequence all of last season. Unfortunately, there were still several episodes to go. Rather than show Bauer satisfyingly dispatching his dad or Cheng, Jack kills neither, and we have a half an hour of him feeling sad about Audrey. A difficult season to slog through was capped with an ending that does NOT make me want to tune in this fall.


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