Tuesday, September 4, 2007

11 reasons why 24: Season 6 sucked

I'm a fan of 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland. The show has offered up some great television and, at least at first, some original and gritty excitement. The show has had its ups and downs - after a killer first season, the second season left little to be desired for. But then it picked itself back up again and delivered some quality subsequent seasons, culminating in the extraordinary Season 5, which had twists, turns and everything else in between.

Season 6 showed so much promise, but by part way through the season, I was considering leaving. I stuck with it - a bold move on my part, and a move that ultimately wasn't worth the risk. With 24: Season 6 coming to DVD December 4th, here are 11 reasons why 24: Season 6 sucked:

1. 24 failed to capitalize on the Chinese abduction. At the end of Season 5, Jack gets kidnapped by the Chinese and is shown being shipped away to the mainland inside a cargo container. The sixth season could have taken place in China, for once taking the show outside the U.S. and giving us some fresh scenery. Instead, Jack returns in the first episode so he can face off against -yes, you guessed it - Islamic terrorists!

2. 24 tried to wrap up loose ends from Season 5. Why did Season 6 have to involve the seedy, Nixon-like President who was taken down in the season finale? Why did we have to get subjected to his annoying and psychotic ex-wife, who ends up actually going psycho and stabbing and presumably killing the former President? It was a pointless side story that was about as far from believable as things can get.

3. 24: Season 6 played the family card. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a show introduces the main character's family as a way to stretch the story and the character. Alias did this and flopped because of it. Other shows have done this as well, though I can't think of any off the top of my head. When it was revealed that Jack's brother (Paul McCrane) was a villain we had seen over several seasons, it was a bit cool, but also rather stomach churning. When his father (James Cromwell) turned out to be an even worse guy, believability just went right out the window.

4. They kill off Curtis. Season 5 started off by killing off nearly half the cast. While it was disappointing that some great characters were killed, it was also pretty "cool". But enough is enough. In Season 6, Curtis, a bad-ass with a cool temper, goes crazy and nearly kills a former terrorist. Jack, to protect information, kills Curtis. It doesn't make any sense, ruins the reputation of one of 24's best characters and kills him off early in the game.

5. CTU gets invaded once again. How crappy is CTU's security? Their headquarters have been invaded at least two times, if not more, not to mention the constant informants and spies who sneak inside. After Season 5's approach to a direct assault, Season 6's version pales in comparison. It's just ridiculous.

6. James Cromwell isn't used to his full potential. The addition of James Cromwell to the cast, especially as villian, should have been the highlight and focus of the series. Instead, he is given the role of a psycho father who is trying to defect to China. He disappears for most of the season and then reappears at the end after the writers failed to come up with fresh ideas. What a waste of a good actor.

7. Paul McCrane is killed off way too early. McCrane, who was my favorite actor on E.R., had shown his weaselly face over the last few seasons, but it wasn't until this season that he was given a more prominent role and revealed to be Jack's brother. Unfortunately, he gets killed off so early in the season that we don't get to see him do much at all.

8. Jack's nephew is an idiot. Season 6 introduces a young teenage boy who is the complete antithesis of Jack Bauer: he acts stupid, looks stupid and gets himself into more trouble than his uncle, but doesn't have a game plan on how to escape. The character becomes more important toward the end of the season, thus making the end of the season all the more painful.

9. The meandering storyline was too meandering. 24 is known for its moving storyline, as the writers, over the course of the season, key in on stories that audiences react to and veer away from stories the audiences don't like. However, it is clear that in this season, the writers 1) didn't know what they were doing, 2) didn't listen to the audience after the first couple of episodes and 3) were so strapped for ideas that every couple of episodes they decided to throw something new at us with hopes that they would stick (and none did). The plot of Season 6 starts out with Islamic terrorists, moves to a showdown with the Russians, circles back to some crazy Chinese diplomats and eventually ends on Jack Bauer's dad trying to kidnap his own grandson. Are there any bad guys left in the world?

10. Morris sucks, and ruins the Chloe character. Chloe, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, has slowly become one of the most popular characters on 24, despite being portrayed as weird, bitchy, nerdy and not all that attractive. Still, her bluntness and don't-take-shit-from-anyone attitude is great. Nonetheless, this year the writers tried to expand on her character by putting her at the center of a love triangle, and it blows up in our face. The love triangle isn't interesting or believable, and we get stuck with a whiny baby by the name of Morris as her ex-husband.

11. They make William Devane an asshole. Devane, who played the Secretary of Defense a season or two back, was awesome. He was a bad-ass who liked Jack Bauer and controlled every scene he was in. In the brief time he appears in Season 6, he kicks Jack Bauer while he's down and shows no sympathy toward the man who loves his daughter. What the hell?

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

I think Season 6 sucked too and they are going to have to rethink some things are far rehashing story lines in Season 7. Season 5 was the best one so far and hard to follow up. Jean Smart and Gregory Itzin had a lot to do with that, and especially since the Americans where the enemy in this Season. They should have continued right from where they left off instead jumping the shark and trying to add new characters that had nothing to do with extending Season 5 plot lines. I totally agree with you Season 6 should have been in China with a special ops team saving Jack, instead of him coming to everyone else's rescue. People like consistency and probability, not horribly planned seasons. Barely any loose ends tied up from Season 5. Hopefully Season 7 will not be in LA because I find it highly unlikely that terrorists would have anything to do there. Think East Coast 24 creators.