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The End Is Nigh for ‘24’

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Posted on Mar 10, 2010
Jack Bauer

So long, Jack Bauer: It’s a wrap for actor Kiefer Sutherland and his “24” cohort, according to reports.

Jack Bauer made a good run of it, but it’s looking like this eighth season of “24” will be the last for one of the top TV relics of the Bush era. Variety reported Tuesday that “20th Century Fox TV and Fox appear ready” to pull the plug on the show, but according to James Poniewozik of Time, “24” might morph into a movie franchise.


Then, of course, 9/11 happened—after 24 was scheduled and the pilot made, but before it premiered—and suddenly this innovative show was also a show about the country’s single greatest concern, terrorism. This made it a lightning rod for criticism, for, among other things, making it too easy for Bauer to torture information out of suspects. (True enough, though I think it owed as much to the demands of the thriller genre as to the conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow. Action shows are biased toward ticking-time-bomb fantasies.)

24 never shied away from raising the stakes and stoking the fear—chemical, biological, nuclear. But even early on in the post-9/11 era, 24 complicated its view of international terror. Season two, concurrent with the invasion of Iraq, had a plot to undermine President Palmer and hoodwink him into a war with a Middle Eastern country.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, June 11, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Just ask the question, WWAND*? And see if it fits the likes of Bush, Obama, Cheney etc. and move on from there.

*What Would A Nazi Do? Torture, mass murder, lie, manipulate people not caring what happens to them? The USA fits it now as well as during the previous 8 years.

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By jack, June 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well so-called ‘nazis’ may love the ‘torture that always works’ but they have to
work pretty hard to hide from the terror that always leads back to manipulative
global intelligence networks, virtually always directed by a shadow faction capable
even of inserting a POTUS from HELL, Nixon knock off or better yet the Black
Water knock off who directed the terror in Season 7, primarily motivation: job

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, March 14, 2010 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

I liked the idea of the serial being reborn for the 21st century. Adding a black president, then his brother and then a woman president gave and interesting twist to the fantasy world where torture always gives forth true and correct information. That and multi-layered conspiracies to the stories were interesting. But maybe 8 years are enough. Especially without enough of the legendary outsider Jack Bauer called in to save the day time and again. Great fun but those Nazis that kept using it as a real life example to support Nazi polices like torture was too much. They only wished they operated that way without criticism. Embarrassing really. It is only a TV show after all.

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By jack, March 14, 2010 at 1:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Got hooked on the real-time premise, but stayed for the plots - usually the
terror leads back to a rogue network within one or another US intelligence
networks, frequently collaborating with a foreign rogue network - in several
seasons it leads all the way to the POTUS, with moles aplenty continually
subverting Bauer and the few he can trust - half the time Bauer has to run
outside the agency to avoid the moles - the damed thing is more realistic than
most people can imagine - you got your patsies, moles, professional
executioners, just like the big time - last season the terror was instigated by a
Black Water clone to provoke a reaction that would snare it perpetual security and
even bigger contracts - the writers know things most people don’t - incredibly it
broadcasts on FOX - what’s happening here is the sort of subtle between-the-
lines messaging like artists in the former East Block so artfully honed to get
past censors - reading these screen-plays in a Left-vs-Right prism is a total

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By cyrena, March 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

...(Action shows are biased toward ticking-time-bomb fantasies.)...

True enough, with FANTASIES being the operative word here, since that’s all a so-called ticking bomb scenario could ever be. Every time I hear about a ticking time bomb I think of Popeye having to hurry and rescue Olive Oil from the train tracks that she’s been tied to by the evildoer.

He always got there just in time.

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By hidflect, March 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment


Seconded. Watched about 3 minutes to confirm my suspicion and that’s it. Utter bullsh*t program. The squierliest (sic) dweeb in the office was a huge fan and that already spoke volumes to me.

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By samosamo, March 11, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Proud to say I never watched an episode of this dribble. I have
read several of vince flynns books where this ‘24’ stuff most
likely came from, and at first liked it a lot especially the first
book, ‘Term Limits’ when some disgruntled special forces people
started knocking off several of the crooked congressmen for
their transgressions, but in later books that had what appears to
be the ‘get bad with the terrorist’ crap, it all faded when at the
time I was reading the ‘REAL’ news and how our government
were the liars, terrorists and criminals, I just had to give up the
fucked up hubristic fantasy old vince flynn was pumping out as it
had no basis other than corporate cheer leading.
Once again, proud to never have seen a ‘24’ episode.

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By diman, March 11, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

I hope this phony terrorist-fighting agent dies in the
end, you know, for his country.

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By mlb, March 11, 2010 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

But without Jack Bauer, who will there be to make Americans believe in the absurd “ticking clock” terrorist scenarios that keep us so afraid?

Kiefer Sutherland knows better than this.  He knows it’s b.s., as he’s made clear in statements.  But he can’t claim it’s “just a role”.  This show has served a cynical and manipulative political purpose and he has been an accomplice to it.

At least the people who teach at West Point should now have less work to do de-brainwashing their entering freshman, many of whom have actually believed that ‘24’ bears some resemblance to reality.  It got so bad that the dean of West Point actually paid a visit to Fox to ask them to get real.  (

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By ardee, March 11, 2010 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

I guess, having watched only about five minutes of one episode before getting sick to my stomach at this apology for torture and fear mongering, I am not really qualified to critique this show.

Kiefer, enjoy the money you sellout!

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