Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Denette Wilford

GET UPDATES FROM Denette Wilford
 

'24: Live Another Day' Review: Jack's Back, And Better Than Ever

Posted: 05/01/2014 3:45 pm

The concept of "24" has always been simple enough -- Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is trying to live a normal existence but then all of a sudden, the next 24 hours of his life become a day from hell. Despite the clock winding down and Jack's days getting horrifically worse (and a premise that may seem tired, to some), "24" still managed to suck viewers in, and that's not about to change now.

I have watched every episode of "24" (all eight seasons, the two-hour movie "Redemption," and, now, the first two hours of "24: Live Another Day"), my cell still has the CTU ringtone, and I have a Jack Bauer action figure (complete with gun and his oh-so-masculine man-purse), so needless to say I'm a little obsessed with the series. So like every other true "24" fan, I couldn't be more pumped that Jack is back, but the way the show ended the first time around, it's understandable that I, and many others, would be wary. Thankfully, there is no need to be, because "Live Another Day" does not disappoint.

24 live another day

Set four years after the events of the final season, the concept -- which, unsurprisingly, still works -- will be altered a touch. "Live Another Day" is only 12 episodes long, so while each episode will correspond to an hour, there will be jumps in time throughout the series. But that doesn't change the fact that it's yet another crappy day for Bauer, perhaps the crappiest one yet.

If you remember the final moments of the final hour of "24," Jack was forced to flee the U.S. because he was being pursued by American and Russian agents. CTU was in control of a drone; Jack looked towards Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) via the drone, and they shared a sweet moment (he asked her to protect his daughter, Kim, and her family). Chloe promised, of course. Jack told Chloe that when she first came to CTU, he never once thought it was going to be her who would have had his back all these years, and thanked her before taking off. So it's only fitting that "Live Another Day" involves both a drone and some insight into what Jack and Chloe's bizarre relationship has become, which is much more combative this time around.

Perhaps because of its London setting or maybe because it's just been too long without Jack Bauer, I had goosebumps, and it wasn't from the first five crazy minutes. It was seeing "24" becoming digitized on to the screen, seeing the lovely words and hearing Sutherland's voice say: "The following takes place between 11:06 a.m. and 12:00 p.m." and "Events take place in real time." GOOSEBUMPS.

Like with every other season premiere, the first hour here begins true to form: it's action-packed, no-holds-barred, and full-out. It hits the ground running. Because it's being told in 12 episodes rather than 24, "Live Another Day" is bursting with fruit flavour and is as edge-of-your-seat as it gets. Jack has been on the run for four years, but if you thought he had gotten rusty while in hiding, think again. Bauer is sharper than ever and luckily for him, the people after him are just as dim-witted -- with the exception of savvy CIA agent Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski). No one's really listening to her so, for now, Jack is safe. While to us he's Jack Bauer, flawed hero, to everyone else he's the bad guy, so the world Jack inhabits now is a very different one.

James Heller (William Devane) is President now; his daughter and Jack's ex-girlfriend, Audrey (Kim Raver), is now married to his Chief Of Staff, Mark Boudreau (Tate Donovan), and there is no CTU, at least not yet. Rather, it's an office of the CIA -- headed by Steve Navarro (Benjamin Bratt) -- that has their hands full with Jack. After watching so many shows (every season of "24," "Scandal," "The Following"), I'm already wondering who the mole is (I have my suspicions) but, really, there are enough bad guys around so it would be refreshing for a season of "24" to be mole-less.

But it's Jack we care about, Jack whom we've missed. His reasons for resurfacing should come out at some point and the "good guys" are going to realize they need him. All won't be forgiven and he still has to pay for past events, but Bauer has never been about the glory. He is the ultimate selfless hero, and he's at his best when he has nothing to lose. We might not be OK with it but Jack doesn't think he deserves a happy ending and, quite frankly, after everything he's been through, it would be a little weird if he wasn't running around guns blazing, instead living in the suburbs with his wife and babysitting his grandkids. So if he wants to keep playing superhero, fine by me.

It's this Jack, the one whose purpose it is to rid the world of bad guys and nobly save the day, who makes for great television -- and with "Live Another Day" reminiscent of the early, groundbreaking days of "24," it's going to be a fantastic couple of months.

"24: Live Another Day" premieres with a two-hour event on Monday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET on Global and Fox.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the 2014 G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on January 11, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    Actress Yvonne Strahovski visits the SiriusXM Studios on January 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 13: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives to the 2014 Fox All-Star Party at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR SHOWTIME - Yvonne Strahovski seen at PaleyFest Previews: Fall Farewell with Dexter, on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Invision for Showtime/AP Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 10: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the 3rd Annual Australian Academy International Awards (AACTA) at Sunset Marquis Hotel & Villas on January 10, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 24: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the 2nd Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala at Intercontinental Hotel on October 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Australians In Film)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 24: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the 2nd Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala at Intercontinental Hotel on October 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Australians In Film)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at Entertainment Weekly's Pre-Emmy Party at Fig & Olive Melrose Place on September 20, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 14: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the InStyle Summer Soiree held Poolside at the Mondrian hotel on August 14, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for InStyle)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'I, Frankenstein' press line during Comic-Con International 2013 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel on July 20, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. host Superman 75 party at San Diego Comic-Con at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego on July 19, 2013 in San Diego, California. Celebrities, executives and comic book creators packed the Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Bar in downtown San Diego Friday night to celebrate 75 years of Superman. The guest list included a who’s who of Hollywood elite and Superman lore, from its current comic creators to the original 1978 film to the current Man of Steel, Henry Cavill. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for DC Entertainment)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 19: TV personality Camille Ford L) and actress Yvonne Strahovski attend the 'I, Frankenstein' at the Movies On Demand Lounge during Comic-Con International 2013 at Hard Rock Hotel San Diego on July 19, 2013 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for ON DEMAND)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 15: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the Showtime Celebrates 8 Seasons Of 'Dexter' at Milk Studios on June 15, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 27: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at Australians In Film Awards & Benefit Dinner at InterContinental Hotel on June 27, 2012 in Century City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AIF)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 26: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the premiere of Paramount Insurge's 'Katy Perry: Part Of Me' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15: Actors Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski arrive at 13th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 14: Yvonne Strahovski arrives for the 9th Annual G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie gala on January 14, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives to the NBC Universal 2012 Winter TCA Tour All-Star Party on January 6, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 10: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at 'Killer Elite' Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the NBC Universal TCA 2011 Press Tour All-Star Party at the SLS Hotel on August 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 30: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at the Paris Las Vegas to celebrate her 29th birthday July 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 23: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the Premiere of Universal Pictures 'Cowboys & Aliens' during Comic-Con 2011 at San Diego Civic Theatre on July 23, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. 'The Hangover Part II' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on May 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski poses in the press room at the 25th Anniversary Genesis Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on March 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at NBC Universal's 68th Annual Golden Globes After Party held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea in Association with The Four Seasons and Bombay Sapphire at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles on January 15, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at Audi and Designer J. Mendel's Kick Off Celebration of Golden Globe Week 2011 at Cecconi's Restaurant on January 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 14: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at Walt Disney Pictures Presents the Premiere of 'Tangled' at the El Capitan Theatre on November 14, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on September 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on September 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: Yvonne Strahovski poses for a picture at the 8th Annual BAFTA/LA TV party held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on August 28, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 08: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 8, 2010 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 30: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives to NBC Universal's 2010 TCA Summer Party on July 30, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD - JULY 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the 2010 VH1 Do Something! Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium on July 19, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for VH1)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: TV personality Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the 52nd TV Week Logie Awards at Crown Casino on May 2, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Actress Yvonne Strahovski poses in the 52nd TV Week Logie Awards room at Crown Casino on May 2, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 27: Yvonne Strahovski attends the premiere of 'I Love You Too' at Event Cinemas George Street on April 27, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Yvonne Strahovski attends the premiere of 'I Love You Too' at Village Jam Factory on April 23, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LAS VEGAS - MARCH 21: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the Tabu Ultra Lounge at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino early March 21, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Tabu)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    LAS VEGAS - MARCH 20: Actress Yvonne Strahovski appears at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino March 20, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 17: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the InStyle and Warner Bros. 67th Annual Golden Globes after party held at the Oasis Courtyard at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 17, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 10: Yvonne Strahovski arrives at NBC Universal's Press Tour Cocktail Party at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2010 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 20: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives to the premiere of 'The Canyon' at Screamfest at Grauman's Chinese Theater on October 20, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 20: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at InStyle Magazine's 8th annual Summer Soiree held at the London Hotel on August 20, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    PASADENA, CA - AUGUST 05: Yvonne Strahovski arrives at NBC Universal's all-star press tour party on August 5, 2009 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the InStyle/Warner Bros. after party for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Oasis Court at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski attends the Prada Los Angeles screening of 'Trembled Blossoms' at Prada Beverly Hills Epicenter on March 19, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

  • Yvonne Strahovski

    HOLLYWOOD - JANUARY 19: Actress Yvonne Strahovski arrives at the G'DAY USA Australia.com Black Tie Gala held at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom on January 19, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images)

 

Follow Denette Wilford on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DenetteWilford

FOLLOW ENTERTAINMENT