The Clock Finally Stops for ’24′

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For the past two days, it seems all anyone can talk about is the finale of Lost, and while I respect the rabid fan base of that show, I must admit that I do not watch it and therefore have focused my attention on a different, but no less worthy series: 24. This venerable espionage thriller has more or less served as a companion piece to the turbulent 2000s, and as such, it’s sort of a shame that its grand finale has been totally overshadowed by those shenanigans over on The Island (same goes for Law & Order, whose historic twenty-season run ended Monday night too with barely a send-off from NBC).

I suppose one reason why 24 didn’t garner as much buzz leading up to its finale is because unlike Lost, it wasn’t setting out to answer a myriad of questions that had been lingering for years on end. Sure, there are definitely questions out there (where is Mandy????), but they stem more from curiosity, not a simple desire to know WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Perhaps even more significant is the widespread awareness that 24 will soon head into phase II of its life as a movie franchise. Sure, we’re saying farewell to Jack, Chloe, CTU, and countless others, but there’s a comforting feeling that this isn’t goodbye, just see you later. That being said, I did get a touch emotional at the end of this final episode, and quite honestly, I don’t care what the haters have been saying about the season: the 24 finale was truly excellent, and in many ways it was one of my favorite series finales of all time. I felt utterly satisfied (save for my constant desire to see past characters incredulously resurface), and ultimately, my only complaint is that we don’t have another season to look forward to.

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24 RECAP: A Gut Wrenching Episode

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We’re in the final stretch for 24, and it seems like the producers are pulling out all the stops. No, they haven’t resurrected all my favorite characters from the dead (we can now add Dana Walsh to that list, le sigh), but in what seemed like an homage to its controversial past, the show provided us with what may have been the most graphic torture scene ever in the series’ run (not to mention in the history of network television). If you want to be spared the bloody details, chances are you should stop reading now. Continue reading

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My Wishlist of '24' Characters I'd Like To See Make One Last Appearance

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Over the years, 24 has collected a rather extensive stable of characters who have come and gone with the sort of frequency truly not seen on any other television show out there. Some faces are fleeting (Kal Penn as a terrorist baddie) and some forgettable (pretty much all the guest stars on season six). Others, however, have made an indelible mark on the 24 canon and truly deserve one last appearance before Jack Bauer’s day finally comes to a close in just a few scant hours.
Of course, I’m not sure how the producers would be able to fit in all these characters. Maybe a last minute birthday party in the situation room could be reason enough to gather a bunch of randoms from CTU’s storied past. And let’s not even talk about what we could do with a dream sequence. Heck, we could get Nina and Sherry Palmer in on the action then. Note to producers: DEFINITELY have a dream sequence.
But assuming there are no resurrections, here is my list of the faces I’d like to see one last time.

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24 RECAP: Damn Those Russians!

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Oh my. Things have gotten out of hand on 24, and in the best possible way. It’s still hard for me to accept that in about six weeks, Jack Bauer & Co. are going off the air. Many people complain that it’s the same tricks over and over again, but when those tricks are utilized to such great effect, who really cares? 24 is still one of the best shows on TV, and last night’s episode showcased some wonderful, intense acting — perhaps the caliber of which we haven’t seen since the series’ high point: season five. Not so coincidentally, season five centered around the mischievous President Logan, played deliciously by Gregory Itzin, who made a triumphant return last week and has been chewing up the scenery since. Give this man the guest actor Emmy he deserves because through his performance alone, he was able to generate so much tension in last night’s action-lite episode that I found myself clutching my pillow for no real reason.

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24 RECAP: Girls Gone Wild!

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24 has been on a roll. After last week’s heart-pounding episode, FOX delivered us yet another gripping installment that left me wanting to grab a megaphone and yell over Los Angeles “HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT??” I must admit that I was curious to see how the producers could come up with a second top-notch ep in a row, but when I received an email from IndianJones at 10 PM simply saying “oh. em. gee,” I knew I’d be in for a treat.

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24 RECAP: Mommie Dearest

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My friend IndianJones sent me a message last night bemoaning the latest episode of 24. He called it “boring.” I think he’s on crack. Sure, last night’s ep wasn’t the most intense installment of all time, but it certainly had me excited, especially with a nifty moment taken right out of The Hurt Locker. I won’t say any more in this paragraph, lest DVR viewers haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but needless to say, I was pleased with the hour.

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State of the '24' Union

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Back in January, I shared a drink with avid B-Side Blog reader Jennifer30309, who all but threatened me with my life should I neglect to cover 24 this season. It was a scary moment — one full of fleeting rage and violent undertones — and as such, I promised her that I would most certainly be diligent in my 24 writing this season. Well, I have failed tremendously on that front, and every week, when I think about how I’ve once again missed a chance to write about the show, I’m reminded of Jennifer30309′s eyes flaring like Gloria Swanson, her hands all but reaching through cyberspace to grab my collar and give me a good talkin’ to. And so I offer humble apologies to Jennifer30309, as well as to everyone else who may have been hoping for more offerings than just a mock-up Renée Walker Facebook page (which, for the record, I spent like three hours making, thank you very much).
Anyway, I now have an awkward amount of time to kill this afternoon, and it occurred to me that this would be the perfect opportunity to pontificate a tad on the new season of 24. And oh my, there’s so much to say. I even scribbled down a few notes to make sure I didn’t overlook anything. First things first: on the whole, I’d say this season has been very good so far. It hasn’t reached the peaks of seasons one, two, or five, but thankfully, it’s been nowhere near the nadirs of seasons three or six. It’s instead solidly holding its ground, happily recycling some of its favorite conceits in what some may deride as lack of imagination, but what I call tradition.

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'24' Goes For The Gut

Don’t want to get ahead myself here, but this may be an early contender for the most shocking 24 scene of the season. At the very least, it’s certainly the defining Renee Walker moment thus far. In other news, I think this passes as a casual fantasy Sly has about jash from time to time.
Parental discretion, etc.
And, you know, spoilers.

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Renee Walker's Facebook Page!

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Click to see larger (spoilers from last night’s ep!)

Exciting news, 24 fans! I found Renee Walker’s Facebook page!! Click on the pic above to see a full-sized image of the page (or at least as much as I could grab with a screen shot). If you haven’t seen last night’s show, however, be warned that there ARE spoilers!!
P.S. — I’m finally caught up on the season. A recap will be forthcoming…

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EXCITING THINGS: B-Side Blog Attends The '24' Finale, And Yes, It Was Awesome

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I haven’t written about 24 in a few weeks, but that’s not to say my love for the show has been waning. This seventh season has been great, and in a lucky turn of events, I nabbed an invite to a special advanced screening of next week’s season finale of the show. Out of respect to Fox and the viewers, I won’t spill a single bean, but I will say that the finale is great, with the first hour being particularly exciting (the second hour is still strong, but it’s more dramatic than intense — which is totally fine). And yes, several questions are answered.
Of course, one of the reasons why I may have thought the finale was so awesome was because I was in a theater filled with a thousand or so people. I’ve never watched 24 en masse before, but I can say without a doubt that it’s a fantastic way to take in the show. Everyone there was a 24 fan, and as such, there was plenty of cheering and booing and laughing, which only served to elevate the experience. There’s nothing like watching Jack Bauer viciously kill three people in a row while a teeming mob of viewers claps along. I really think Fox should organize special screenings of the show from time to time because it’s really quite a noteworthy theatrical experience.
As if seeing the finale a week early wasn’t awesome enough, there was another surprise in store for us (and no, it wasn’t standing in line at the theater in front of John Tesh — although, that was preeettty awesome too). The shocking turn of events was that this screening wasn’t just a screening. It was a full-on red carpet event. Who knew? Since I had a plus one, I brought fellow 24 enthusiast IndianJones along, and we were both surprised to see that this wouldn’t be a mere case of us taking our seats and watching the big shew. No, there was press and media and — most importantly — hors d’oeuvres. If there’s one thing that can trump celebrities and fanfare, it’s free food. I kid you not, IndianJones and I basically zipped past JON VOIGHT in an effort to get our dirty little paws on some turkey wraps and pulled pork sandwiches (the latter was very tasty).
Yes, this event was significantly more high profile than we had expected (plus, there was a Q&A with the entire cast afterwards), but at the same time, it was exceedingly lax with security. No one checked our names, and there were no cell phone and camera policies. Literally every single screening or taping I’ve been to has been amazingly hostile about bringing in recording devices. When I saw Benjamin Button, guys with infrared goggles patrolled the audience. Well, since there was already such a huge line when IndianJones and I showed up, we decided we’d save some time and leave our cell phones in the car. Heck, I didn’t even bring my camera to the event because I assumed security would be so tight (and I didn’t know there’d be a red carpet either). WELL. No one cared, and as such, I missed a golden opportunity to take pictures of Kiefer, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Elisha Cuthbert, and pretty much everyone else. Plus, we wound up sitting next to President Logan (who was wearing a dumb fedora). SO MANY TWITTERING OPPORTUNITIES LOST!!! IndianJones took great joy in telling me the rest of the night that I was experiencing an “Epic blogging FAIL!” Alas.
So, instead of coming to you with pictures of Kiefer et al., after the jump please enjoy some shots of the annoying pigeons that are preparing to roost on my neighbor’s balcony.

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