24: Live Another Day ReJacktions – Episodes 1 & 2 (11AM-12PM & 12PM-1PM)

After a four year absence, 24 is returning to TV in the form of a “limited series.” Shortened seasons for broadcast shows are in right now. Big-network programs like Hannibal, The Following, Sleepy Hollow and Under the Dome are taking a page out of the British/Premium Cable model, offering shortened seasons of around 12-15 episodes without the traditional option of extending the season. 24 is embracing this model as well, cutting Jack Bauer’s “day” in half to (theoretically) tell a tighter story and keep costs down. How well 24 translates into 12 remains to be seen, but there is no denying of the excitement of having Jack Bauer back on the small screen.

As a limited run companion piece to our series-spanning Dead Series Discussions we – Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix -will be posting reactions to each episode of Live Another Day as it airs. These “ReJacktions” are not as long or formal (ha!) as our other posts on the series, but instead give us a chance to add some reflections and observations for each episode. Once the season has ended, we’ll give Live Another Day a proper Dead Season Discussion before bidding farewell to 24. At least until Jack comes back again.

This week’s ReJacktion is focused on the premiere episodes of Live Another Day, “Day 9: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.” and “Day 9: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.”

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24 and strong language. Parental discretion is advised. Discussion occurs in real time.

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Patches
I tell you what, guys. It took me about five minutes into the premiere to get me jacked (*wink*) for Live Another Day. And true to form, the two-hour premiere had “dammits,” torture, sweet accents, and recycled plot points. Overall, I’m pumped, mostly because 24 is back, but also because I like this season’s characters so far.

Jack is still Jack. Chloe is still Chloe, except that she’s got some Goth Edward Snowden/Julian Assange thing going. I hope her whole family died because I can’t think of another reason for her to abandon them to use her hacking skillz for evil.

Benjamin Bratt’s Steve Navarro is the CTU Director equivalent for the season. He’s smart, empathetic, and reasonable, but a little too smart for his own good sometimes. Chris Partlow is a good field operative whose ambition might get in the way. I hope he has a protege who shouts “Yerp!

Yvonne Strahovski is this season’s FemBauer. She quickly figures out the situation but no one believes her, causing her to go rogue. Have I mentioned I’m in love with Yvonne Strahovski? (Hopeful reaction)

James Heller is now President of the United States because no one can become president on 24 without being tangentially related to some other president. Also, he has Alzheimer’s or something. 25th Amendment, anyone?

Audrey Raines returns as the Prsadkn.hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sorry, I must have dozed off there.

So, gentlemen, what did you think of the premiere of Live Another Day? Continue reading

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Dead Series Discussion: Last Rites for Last Resort (Part 3)

Title CardLast September, the television show Last Resort premiered on ABC. The show starred Homicide alum Andre Braugher as the captain of the nuclear missile submarine USS Colorado, given orders to nuke Pakistan. The Colorado is attacked by American forces after Braugher’s character refuses to fire. A chain of events is set in motion that leaves Colorado in control of a nearby tropical island, attempting to expose the truth of the US government’s involvement in the attack.

Despite a favorable critical reaction, the ratings were never where they needed to be. As a result, the show was canceled after thirteen episodes. For a look back at the show, I am joined by my esteemed colleague, Jeff of Slazenger1. After Monday’s series overview and yesterday’s discussion of what worked, today we look at what did not work for Last Resort.

Jeff: My list of things that didn’t work about the show (for me anyway) is definitely longer than my “praise” list, but I’ll try to keep this to a reasonable length. One of my first big problems with the show was that it never took the time to give us anything worthwhile on the mainland/US side of things. Sure we got awful Kylie stories and dead-end Christine stories, plus we got small mentions of an unstable but highly approved president, however, we never really had a sense of the other side of the major conflict of the series. Yes, the island stories featuring infighting and trouble with the locals were okay, but I don’t think we ever got a true “big bad” for the series. Curry (Jay Karnes) did a little bit, but not enough to make me think he was the villain. I think the writers dug themselves into a hole and were taking their time trying to get out of it, incorrectly assuming that these one-off stories (with consequences that were often conveniently forgotten/brushed aside by the next episode–rape riots anyone?) were going to keep us entertained until we got to the true meat of the show’s central conflict. Continue reading