Jack Bauer is back and ready to save the world single-handedly, one hour at a time. Again.
The dogged Kiefer Sutherland — whose career playing bad boys continues to act as an interesting, stark contrast to that of his father, Donald Sutherland, who always plays the sensitive guy – must have realized that he’s forever going to be remembered as the guy who always saves the country in one day, because after some failed attempts at distancing himself from the role with which he’s become synonymous, he’s back, and, as Matt Zoller Seitz so keenly puts it, trusting no one, as usual. “This long-delayed, 12-episode revival of Fox’s action hit is, like every other season of 24, obsessed with plot, plot, plot, plot, plot. If I even tell you who’s in the damn thing, I’m ruining something,” he wrote. (Zoller Seitz gave the show a fairly positive review.)
24′s abridged season — it’s been cut in half, from 24 episodes to 12, which is odd, given the 24-hour gimmick – has been pretty well received so far, with the usual complaints (the show never changes) and praises (the show never changes because it works) populating early reviews. Fox News absolutely adores the show, but the show airs on Fox, so that makes sense.
The bread and butter of 24 has always been Sutherland as Jack, as well as the supporting cast of characters who serve one of two purposes: help Jack or get destroyed by Jack. As Zack Handlen of the A.V. Club puts it: “We find out soon enough. 24, for all its pulpy twists, has always been a show that’s relied on a handful of basic character archetypes and structural ideas.”