Just A Whole Bunch of Dumb Stupid Unadulterated Fun: 24 Lives Another Day

Read the review over at Slant, but in honor of the fact that 24: Live Another Day is airing an entire real-time “day” in half the time (only twelve episodes), here’s the short version: there’s nothing complicated about Jack Bauer. He’s the good guy who gets the bad guys by any means necessary–somewhere between the rough cowboy John McClane and the suave spy James Bond. In our cloudy post-9/11 days, he was a reassuring figure, washing away the complex ethics of torture and questionable intelligence with the power of the almighty American Gut. And while I don’t regret the more intelligent shows that have followed it–namely Homeland and The Americansthere’s something delightful about plopping in front of the television and forgetting my worries for an hour. Especially since this latest season is the tightest, fastest-paced one yet, with Jack still on the run from the U.S. Government, even as he attempts to save the president from a cyber terrorist’s attempts to hack the U.S. drone army. There’s no room for wheel-spinning side plots or plot-stretching “twists” (at least, not after the first two episodes): just an adrenaline rush. As it turns out, all 24 needed to do to improve itself was to act in double time.

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