Ten Ways To Improve 24
Posted on Thursday July 26, 2007, 14:49 by Nick de Semlyen in Small Screen
The unprecedented lameness of the latest season of 24 has got me thinking about ways the writers can save my favourite show...
1) Stop with the torture. Jack Bauer has now electrocuted, stabbed or injected agonising truth serums into his girlfriend, his brother, 80 percent of his workmates and the entirety of LA's Muslim community. It's not only getting old, but implies that torture is a good thing, especially in that dodgy episode where Jack beat up an amnesty organisation spokesperson.
2) Move the action out of LA. Six seasons, six terrorist conspiracies, and they ALL go down in Los Angeles? Die Hard managed to spice things up by using three different cities — why not take Jack to China, London or Brazil during Mardi Gras? Recent rumblings suggest that this will indeed be the case with Season 7 — though producers nixed moving Bauer to Africa for budgetary reasons, it's hinted that he'll spend his next horrible day somewhere on the East Coast.
3) Keep things focused on CTU, or — even better — at some new government agency with all-new characters. Cut all the political crap, which worked when David 'Gravitas' Palmer was President, but not with Wayne 'Soul Grooves' Palmer in the hot seat. Forget nukes, dirty bombs and White House take-overs. Concentrate on making the story smaller, more intimate, on agents doing some actual agent-work, and their personal stories. Which brings us to...
4) Make the characters cool again. Hands up who misses Tony? Nina? Hell, even twin slimeballs Ryan Chappelle and George Mason were more likeable than the non-entities that passed for major characters in Season 6. Arse-chinned Milo "dropping the pressure" on that Muslim chick was the final indignity. Have the cougar return to eat the whole CTU office and then bring in some great character actors who have more to offer than being young and mildly photogenic. Scary-voiced Powers Boothe was a good start.
5) Kill Jack. A hugely risky move, that might backfire, but it would at least restore some of the show's dangerous feel from the early days, when it felt like the writers would do anything — and off anyone — in the service of the story. There's no tension when Jack goes into an operation anymore, because we know he won't get killed. (He's actually died at least once already, and been brought back to life). So surprise us - make him actually dead. I was hoping they were setting up Curtis, aka Black Jack, as his replacement, but that's obviously not going to happen now.
6) Send Bill Buchanan into the field. With a shotgun. Ideally two, strapped to his back, Ash-from-Evil-Dead-style. The Silver Fox has brooded in his office long enough — it's time to set him loose on the mean streets of LA. Ratings would instantly double.
7) Better bad guys. 24's most long-standing problem is with its villains. Season 1: Dennis Hopper with dodgy accent. Season 2: can't even remember. Season 3: Rent-a-Mexicans and well-spoken Brit baddie (so 1990s). Season 4: The bloke from The Mummy. Season 5: Okay, the exception, Logan rocked. Season 6: The bloke from The Mummy's nephew. Probably. Come on, bring in someone who can give Bauer a run for his money. Like Jet Li!
8) Make the characters get tired. Only Season 1 had a scene where Jack napped for a bit. Since then, there's been almost no indication that people stop functioning at full capacity after staying up for hours and hours and hours. It would up the tension considerably.
9) Bring back Aaron Pierce! Properly, not in a five-minute scene involving kiwi fruit (shame on you, Season 6 writers!) Preferably with shotguns.
10) Introduce Chuck Norris as Jack's new partner. This would be the most awesome thing in the history of the universe, and the terrorists would have no chance.
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Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 17:17
I completely agree....with the exception of killing Jack.
Smaller stories, better characters.
I'd like Jack to get a new partner. Someone for him to play off a la Chase. Kevin Bacon perhaps? Or hell, Kevin Bacon as the villain.
Either way Season 7 better be something special.
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 17:25
CTU must be destroyed, no more petty office politics or tech guys with magic solutions, real character arcs and problems. Move things to the East coast and give Jack a mission to complete rather than just chase and torture
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:34
heard they are moving to washington for season 7. jack has to answer for disobeying orders or something. whilst i agree 24 needs a bit of a kick up the wassey i still love the show
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:59
24 is still the best show on tv even with the lackluster day 6, just give jack a gun and have chloe and Buchanan provide the support, i say 2 improve series 7, bring back chase edmunds and kim
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:37
Have Chloe killed at the hands of CTU...Send Jack into a (more) murderous rampage. Failing that have Jack develop a personality disorder which sees him trying to stop the one person that cannot be stopped..........himself......dun dun duuuuun
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:40
Shame on you for not remembering the bad guy in Season 2 - the final bad guy was Tobin Bell, aka Jigsaw from the Saw movies! So far, Jack has faced off against Dennis Hopper, Jigsaw, Harry Dresden, The Mummy, Robocop and Dudley Smith* in six seasons! Season 7 must be Megatron, or Lord Voldemort!
* It's better than saying Farmer Hoggatt. Or Zephram Cochrane, for that matter.
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:47
Totally agree about the season 1 moment when Jack falls asleep. It added more vulnerability to the character and the show was all the better for it.
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:47
I say kill Kim, in a horribly slow and drawn out way. I would watch it...i would watch it again and again and again and again...
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:47
on't kill jack but part from that go for it - the bill thing in perticuler that could b funny
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 22:29
Kill Jack only if you replace with Jason Bourne,if not possible with Aaron Pierce...
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 22:32
Get Chloe out on the field with Jack partners-style, then have Jack mess up and Chloe dig him out - via a laptop naturally....
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 23:28
Have a computer blue screen for change, or maybe have a file take 20 minutes to load to jack's PDA and just show the loading screen for that time.
If Tony was still alive I would agree with the whole killing jack off idea, as I'd love to see the Tony Almeida Power Hour. But alas that is not to be.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 00:01
Kill the show. I would be surprised if they can make it go uphill again. Other ideas...
1. Go back in time! For an entire season let us see what made Jack such a tough guy in the first place, one of his first missions. Featuring '70ies moustaches.
2. Do a Memento style season. Each hour is the one before the hour of last weeks show. No more, 'what happened before on 24' at the beginning of an episode! Of course, he should die (for real) in the first episode.
3. Give him a pet monkey which follows him around. Could give glorious comedic value.
Darn, more Nick-genius wanted!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 05:55
HERES ONE MORE SUGGESTION...HAVE JACK STOP SAYING "PLEASE".
"Please". "Please Bill You have to do this for me"......"Please Mr. President, you must trust me on this"....."Please you have to let me out of here, please, I have to stop them..,,,,etc. Listen for the word if you watch this past season again, it was overused......
Better yet PLEASE listen for the constant use of the word. Thank you.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 09:05
Let's get Jack over in the UK for a season. Having him running around London kicking ass would be great! No more use of the phrase 'DAMN IT!' either!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 09:17
I wanna see a series where Jack doesn't say: "trust me"...
x x x
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 09:27
No more CTU (inc. no more Chloe; a character who has completed her 'arc') & no more political intrigue. Just Jack, out in the field, pursuing a predefined objective (possibly of world changing significance but not necessarily) against the clock.
By all means add in some personal interplay. Give Jack a potential love interest who he meets in the course of the operation to add in a personal element if you must. Bring back Bill Buchanan, Aaron Pierce or create another non-useless, proactive, professional character to provide support if you need to widen the cast list. Just don't resort to multiple one dimensional supporting character clutter with soapy subplots.
Oh and no more torture or techno-geekery. Its boring. Pistols, rifles, grenades, bombs & the odd cell-phone should be the extent of the 'hardware'.
Finally, make it tense again. Put the audience on the edge of their seats. Go on, you can do it...
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 09:40
I agree, move it out of LA - anywhere - but DON'T lose Chloe or Bill!
The stupid move they made was to kill off Tony and Michelle - they were great characters - and having not seen series 6 yet (waiting for the DVD set) I presume, from the blog, that Curtis bit the big one too.... dammit!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 10:06
I agree with moving the series out of LA - move the show to London!!!
Or better still, to Springfield - Mr Burns as the terrorist threat anyone?
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 10:10
After all he's done for the US of A, his government, they seemed to do nothing about getting him out of the hands of the Chinese until they needed him to save the world again. This is bound to piss him off. So, make Jack the bad guy in the next series, or at least until episode 21.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 11:19
Get rid of CTU,and the whole political aspect of the show.Bring back ALMEIDA.He ain't hurt.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 11:39
its confirmed that the setting of season 7 is D.C. a new president which will be female and the story line is alot more smaller and personal to jack bauer, chloe obrian will return , ctu has been shut down by the US government and the writers have shed light that tony may not be dead , i dont know how that is going to work but should be interesting
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 11:49
get geena davis to play the president with vice president should be samuel l jackson with a purple lightsaber. now there you have a dream team
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 11:56
What about the pictures of Keifer running around outside Number 10 with a Gun all Jack Bauer like?! I'm sure they were like in the papers and crap a few months ago!! I'm still scarred after he kicked Robocop's ass...who next? Surley Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal would be awesome! How's that for a comedy trio - one who plays by his own rules, one who was the best of the best and plays by his own rules...a renegade...oh wait...
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 12:05
24 needs to go back to basics and not be so reliant on CTU, which based on previous comments, it has done. More importantly, it needs to stop being so lazy and use more field work/detective work etc rather than running the shoe print of a terrorist through the CTU database and coming up with a profile of the series bad guy including his exact location (within LA no doubt) via satellite imaging. At the start of Season 6 when Jack was legging it round with the guy from Deep Space Nine, I thought it was going to be a "buddy" (Die Hard 3 esque) season which would have offered a bit of range in the same old scenarios, but sadly not. Jack was back on his own again SHOUTING every line he had to deliver. Hopefully Ricky Schroder will return though as I thought he was a decent character and combined with Jack could make for an interesting day.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 12:07
1. No more LA!
2. No more so-called "political intrigue" and White House shennanigans (no one cares).
3. No more recycling old scenarios (torture, middle-east villains, CTU under attack, nukes)
4. Give Jack a worthwhile enemy again - and don't just introduce them in the last four episodes. Season 5 managed quite well with this.
5. More personal storylines please. Ever since season 1, it's been hard to care for Bauer and co. Season 3's drug addiction was a good idea. If anymore terrorist plots have to hinge on Bauer's involvement, I'll cry.
6. If the plot DOES have to go political, then how about some kind of coup or mercernary operation that Bauer MUST accomplish or else (think Commando mixed with Dogs of War).
Those are my suggestions. I've been with 24 from the first episode and would hate to see the next season go down the toilet.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:10
But isn't it a Chuck Norris fact that he'd kill all the terrorists and save the world in about 12 minutes 48 seconds? Now, I know you'd like to see the series shortened, but I'm thinking that getting Chuck in to deliver the pain through some serious roundhouse kicks might just obliterate the show completely. Remember this is the man who's tears can cure cancer. A shame he's never cried...
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:10
I totally agree. 24 needs to reinvent itself if it was to maintain the audiences it has built up over the years. I have mainly been a diehard 24 fan but season 5 was a washout for me and season 6 even though good in parts was still lacking originality and genuine tension.
I would have suggested a writing competition for fans to come up with ideas for a new season. Trust the people that love the show and it's characters to come with something great for a new 24 audience. There needs to be a complete overhaul of the show and I for one will go insane if Fox expect us to believe that a modern terrorist cell in the 24 universe will attack both LA and CTU for the upteenth time!!
Don't worry though, I am sure JACK WILL BE BACK!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:14
And stop with the convenient resolutions at the end of every episode!!! 24 used to have me sleepless for at least 5 nights after an episode because the tension didn't let up - season 6 might as well have had a Masters of the Universe style "today Jack learnt that Jingoism and xenophobia are a good thing - even at the expense of intellegent narrative" epilogue. The resolutions were too easy to keep the stupid American audience tuned in next week.
Oh and another thing. In season 6 Jack acted like a complete tw*t with the botched Audrey rescue! I actually wanted to see him get interrogated by CTU's resident syringe psycho agent, just for being such a pillock. I hate that they made me want to slap my hero. I want psychotic, gun-toting, "You've read my profile you know what I can do!!!" Jack back. But the sponsors don't like violence, they just want America's war of terror (a Boratism) to sell Pepsi so I guess we can all forget about 24, it has just become the A-team!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:30
Leave Jack alone! If Jack Dies, You Die...
The show has always had it's weak points from season 1 - His unfeasibly stupid daughter Kim.
I want the "Berlin" thing to resolve itself.
Lose some music! What's great about The Shield is that the filmmaking tells the story not endless chunks of "intense" music. Or is it that the sync sound is soooo awful?
The less said about Season 5's Garageband Secret Agent loop, the better...
Keep the political intrigue! - As long as Americans recognise that some of it's problems are domestic the easier it is to watch. I couldn't hack a 100% US good guy 24, it'd be like 24hrs of National Treasure.
Personal Stories? Nah. Just turns into Soap (Remember when Casualty was all about the setup for the Big Accident and a little bit of character?)
Make 24 about CTU, take Jack out of CTU and have dark versions of Jack doing dirty deeds. A variety of stories about different targets with the 24 just being a time period not a deadline.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:19
I say kill Chloe! She is so annoying. And yeah, less politics this time. Anyone notice that there was far less emphasis on Jack last season?
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:23
Have Jack start behind a desk, out of shape. Look at how his world had fallen apart at the end of the last series.
Then he gets a call, someone close in trouble (Kim, Chloe, some lost son), so he turns to the only person who can help, his old trainer - Chuck Norris.
They take 2 days to solve the case - ie 2 series.
You can also have flash backs to Jack's training (with a younger Jack of course), including things like flatliners, where they 'practice' coming back from the dead, and other 'amaizing' things Jack has done in the past.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:26
You can't have flashbacks in a realtime series. Bummer! It's either entirely set in history, or no looking back at all.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:35
How about Jack is really a cyborg and instead of killing him, he gets "shut down." Kim finds out he's not her real dad and comes back to work at CTU to find out who is behind the government conspiracy (mom's dead so who knows?). Enter Nina... And Sherry... Or their clones... Since Jack is buried in an unmarked grave, the bad guys are going through cemetaries looking for the bionic sleep-mode body of Jack. Finally, Chloe finds some trigger (via satellite) and Jack wakes up only to find him kick butting the earth trying to get out of his coffin.
Whatever the writers do, DO NOT BRING BACK RICKY! He made the show a complete farce last season. My spouse stopped watching because of his horrible acting.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:44
Keep the idea behind 24 alive, but give it an entire different premise. No government controlled office with a tough guy who just won't die (for real).
Use the realtime aspect in for example:
A bank robbery gone bad
A group of conman pulling of a big job
The escape of a rhinoceros out of the London zoo (upping the ante by the fact it's a zombie rhinoceros)
Classic premises could get a whole new twist by the realtime factor. If this sounds a little far fetched. Keep the Jack Bauer stuff, but let the camera stay with him the entire 24 episodes. He's in the dark, has no means of communication, has to improvise on the fly. This would need some creativity from the writer's side of production.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:44
You could use flashbacks the same way they use advert breaks, for all the dull times - Jack having a break, a kip or just travelling from place to place.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:48
True, but wouldn't that further break the realtime idea. The commercials take a lot of believability out of it already. The included dull times could be improved by some character establishment. Give him a partner or a person to protect or get somewhere and let them talk while driving somewhere. Hell let them go to the bathroom for once, on camera.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 16:01
Maybe they could be DVD extras, instead of the ads, so keep the ad breaks, but show flashbacks. Thus keeping the DVD episodes an hour long too.
I like the idea of the loo breaks, could have coffee breaks, waiting at Starbucks, or going to drive thru's.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 18:10
Bring back Mandy. The bisexual hit woman.
Maybe she could be living with Kim Bauer.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 19:44
Basically, Season 7 should just be '24: The Bill Buchanan Years'. Cos he is the best character now by far.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 23:14
First thing they need to do is get back to character and not event. The first season was just about Jack and David Palmer trying to stay alive and protect their families. It wasn't about a nuclear bomb or nerve gas. It was highly personal and believable. And because you empathized with the characters, the episodes were much more intense. They need to get back to making you care about the characters and getting you emotionally involved.
Which brings me to the second thing: stop killing everybody. It's hard to get emotionally involved when you know your favorite character is likely to get killed off. Doing it once in a while is one thing, but they're doing it on a regular basis now and it's backfiring. I think a lot of viewers were upset to see Tony, Michelle and Edgar die in season 5, as well as Curtis in 6. Viewers are at the point now where they're detaching themselves from the characters, and that's bad.
Also, I completely agree about Buchanan. Give him a gun and cut him loose.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 23:14
Have Chuck Norris as the villian - Jack versus. Chuck: Awesome!!
Also, I think you have a bit of a shotgun fixation, but I do aswell, so right on!
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 10:03
I think you all have a Chuck Norris obsession, you loons!
Im not as up to date as some of you guys and girls, but by the sounds of it the last season sucked.
The writers have to go back and see what made the earlier series so good - They shouldn't kill off Bauer as 24 is nothing without the guy!
Why don't they they mix it up a little and send him back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination or big brother ever getting greenlit?
Think of the opportunities!
PS I was kidding with that last part.
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 11:03
3 point plan...
1. Jed Bartlet as President
2. Get some of the Heroes involved
3. Ray Winstone as a baddie. Ray is trying to export Football Hooliganism to LA Galaxy by organising a friendly with a British club...But he is using this as cover for a huge terrorist attack. Jack Bauer v Millwall FC on the streets of LA...
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 14:36
1. Stop having gunfights every single episode (Jack has up to this point killed more people than William Shatner's music), and start concentrating on more suspenseful set pieces. With a sprinkling of shotguns.
2. Let's see more utilisation of Jack's full arsenal of skills. It's obvious he's an expert marksman, interrogator and manipulator, but let's see more fisticuffs (remember the fight in the season 2 finale?) , detection and surveillance.
3. Make the writers work out the entire 24-hour plot before they start writing the first episode, thus hopefully coming up with a cohesive whole. Basically the opposite of season 6.
4. Stop the relentless attempts to shock and awe the audience with cheap tricks such as randomly killing off major characters. Constantly. We, the audience, are not surprised by it anymore and find it very annoying. If you have to kill off a major character treat the scene with care and make it relevant to the story (George Mason, Ryan Chapelle).
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 14:52
5. Put some funk into the script. The series as a whole has been almost bereft of humour and memorable dialogue. Little things such as Morris saying "don't worry it's a blend" about his shirt after Ricky roughed him up (season 6) go a long way.
6. Put Bill Buchanan in the field alongside Aaron Pierce as the elder badasses, and give them significant screentime. And shotguns.
7. Get Paul Greengrass in to direct some episodes (at least the first two).
8. Get John Powell in for some new music cues.
9. Move the action out of L.A. (at least this aspect is guaranteed).
10. Make the episodes 60 minutes long.
Posted on Sunday August 12, 2007, 22:55
Ever since Teri got Amnesia in the first season I've found 24 to be either ridiculously contrived or completely predictable.
Also, keep a consistent cast! I'm sick of meeting new characters every season who dont really work and having others disapear without much reason.
Apart from Dennis Hopper [although I agree his accent was slightly dodgy], 24 does lack quality villains that boosted such great shows as Miami Vice.
However, its still one of the best shows on TV for sheer high-octane, brilliance.
Posted on Monday August 13, 2007, 16:33
Agreement with some, disagreement with others....especially killing Jack. Just bring in characters we care about so we can worry about them dying like back in the day (Season 1 & 2). But not Jack. Never Jack!
However Jack and Chuck....what a combination. Although the combination of these 2 may cause numerous fans to die from testesterone overdoses...But it would so be worth it!
Posted on Tuesday August 14, 2007, 22:02
i agree, but dont kill jack!!! how about a crossover with the west wing? bauer and bartlett? fucking brilliant!! but yeah move it out of la, give chloe a smaller part (her and morris will be due to baby and all) or how about (with reference to the emire pole) bring in john mclane!! nw that wud be a great fight!
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2007, 11:31
Does anyone think it would make a good movie? Or should it remain on the small screen?
Posted on Wednesday August 15, 2007, 12:58
I loved Season Six......er.....the first half a dozen episodes anyway. Then it degenerated into the usual 'let's blow up the USA, let's conspire to overthrow the president' shit.
As for a movie, I would leave that alone for now, the producers really need to shake things up for day seven, stop killing off major characters every few hours and totally change things around. Jack and Bill Buchanan out in the field is a great idea, Jed Bartlett for President is an even better idea!
Mrs Landingham! What's next?
Posted on Sunday August 19, 2007, 11:16
More stopping for cups of tea and biscuits....
and the napping idea I liked that
Posted on Tuesday August 21, 2007, 20:10
Reason 10 is the best idea ever but lets face it chuck norris doesnt need 24 hours to foil a terrorist attck - he would just round house kick everone in the face...
Posted on Saturday August 25, 2007, 03:20
Throughout the whole of Season 6 I was convinced (maybe I just convinced myself) that at some point, Jack was going to get a phone call or something from that sinister chinese guy who held him hostage, be told a trigger word and then his programming would kick in. You know, the brain washing programming that the Chinese did to him in the 6 months they had him in custody. That would have been so cool because then Jack would have BEEN the bad guy!
Posted on Monday September 10, 2007, 10:33
1. Character take a shit during Ad breaks
2. Background Characters should be checkin bids on Ebay and flicking paperclips at each other.
3. If Jack asks a minor character to do something, they call him a Wanker. But only after he is out of earshot.
4. Have a canteen at CTU.
5 As soon as Jack reappears . Everyone starts booking emergency holiday. (because it either gets blown up or someone gets killed)
6 Fox News is not the only source of information in 24
7 No More fucking Viruses
8 No more disguised Muslem Terrorists
9 No more undisguised Muslem Terrorists
10 wayne palmer insists the Presidential Car has rims, and the Stereo needs pumping up on that mutha fucka
Posted on Monday August 11, 2008, 12:12
The better part of the first half of season seven was filmed from about this time last year with the intended air date of January 2008. The writer's strike meant it was ultimately bumped until January 2009. Had it aired on time the female president would have seemed quite topical, now though it may seem a bit dated. Hard to say really. This show has already had two black Presidents after all.
I'm quietly confident about the new season. There's plenty of behind-the-scenes buzz about how they've used the extra time from the writer's strike to plan out the season in advance and make things deeper, something they've not done in recent seasons. With this, the new D.C setting and several new characters, it should initially feel quite fresh. It remains to be seen if they can actually think of some original storyline though.
I think Pelle is right about the adjustments being made with the current political climate in mind. The new President is a idealistic Democrat according to the producers. Jack is going to be challenged over his use of torture and this will be a major theme (although the trailers indicate he's unapologetic). Arguably the most right-wing writer has also left the show, although he had contributed to some of the episodes for the new season before then.
Please be aware that there is a major spoiler over a returning character in the trailers. You have been warned...