The Who2 Blog

Jack Bauer Returns

Kiefer Sutherland is set to return to TV in an updated 24. Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.

Fox Television has announced that in 2014 they will begin airing a rebooted version of the series 24, which originally ran for eight seasons from 2001 through 2010. 

In the show, Kiefer Sutherland starred as anti-terrorist agent Jack Bauer. The terrific gimmick of the show was that the entire season took place over the course of only one day. Each individual episode happened in “real time,” and fans of the show are already hearing the beep beep beep of the digital clock ticking away, as Bauer thwarted evil plots against the United States of America, using any means necessary.

The show was a pop culture phenomenon, too, coming on the heels of the September 11th attacks in 2001. Critics charged that the show tried to justify torture, and saw the show as some kind of way to dismiss the ethical questions around that approach.

As the seasons progressed, Jack Bauer became more desperate, more crazy and more depraved. In the season finale, he disappeared while being hunted by his own government and by the Russians (the Russians!).

Another gimmick of the show was the ostentatious display of technology. Jack had the coolest cell phone — it never needed to charged, and he got four bars wherever he went. Hell, he probably got FIVE bars.

The show spawned plenty of parodies, also, including this one that poked fun at the technological angle:

I’m guessing this will be the hardest thing for the producers and writers to work with. Sure, Jack Bauer is a grampaw now (really!), and he’s been on the lam for 6 years, and he’s an international criminal, and a cold-blooded murderer, but we can still embrace him as a hero. We love him because he’s just so darned determined and self-sacrificing (he offered to kill himself more than half a dozen times over the years).

We love him because he’s able to retain his humanity while still torturing and killing innocent people. Which, of course, doesn’t make any sense. As has been pointed out, if Jack Bauer can do all those terrible things and still be a good father and friend, that says he’s a psychotic danger to the whole world, not that he has “retained his humanity.”

But how will Jack Bauer handle being in today’s world of social media? Will he have a Twitter account? Will he be yelling at the folks back at the Counter Terrorist Unit that he meant for them to check his Instagram and not his Facebook? Can you run through back alleys and jump over fire escapes while wearing Google glasses?

I look forward to finding out.

Meanwhile, here’s what Kiefer Sutherland has been doing lately — directing a music video for the Max Gomez song, “Run From You”:

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