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Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "24," "Lost," "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Friday, January 09, 2009

"24" Review: It's Back, Baby!

Tonight, Oklahoma and Florida played for the BCS National Championship.

But the cheers that could be heard in my living room tonight were not for the Sooners or the Gators. They were for a guy by the name of Jack Bauer as I watched the four-hour premiere of “24.”

Oh yeah. I love this job…

The first two hours are a bit of a slow build as new characters are introduced and the stage is set. But then the third hour came…

I gasped, I cheered, I even laughed as I saw some of the best TV I’ve seen in a while, including one scene “24” fans are sure to save on their DVRs and watch again and again all season long. Plus, Jack does one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen him do.

At the end of the third hour, I was really sorry I didn’t have anyone to hug.

“24” is back, baby, and it’s about daggone time…

As the season opens, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is defending himself not against bullets, but against the tough questions of a Senator (Kurtwood Smith showing off his dramatic acting chops). Jack has been subpoenaed by a Senate committee to defend his use of torture at the now defunct Counter Terrorist Unit.

But Jack’s testimony doesn’t last long as FBI Agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) swoops in to steal him away to once again help his country. Several thefts and a kidnapping have exposed a serious domestic terrorist plot. Agent Walker believes that Jack can be of help because one of the men involved in the plot is none other than Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), Jack’s best friend, who died in his arms in season five.

Jack, of course, doesn’t believe that Tony is a terrorist and he agrees to help—mostly to figure out what’s going on with Tony. But the FBI has rules and guidelines that don’t fit with Jack’s style. And once again, Jack is forced to defend his actions—actions that saved the very country that now wants to persecute him…

Meanwhile at the White House, President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is facing a serious international crisis as she prepares to send U.S. troops into Sangala to stop the genocide occurring there. And her husband (Colm Feore) is still trying to deal with the suicide of their son, which he believes was not a suicide…

With so many new characters and the absence of CTU, it really seems like we’re watching a totally new show. And even though it may seem like in the beginning that the show is trying to give us Chloe 2.0 in the FBI with Janis Gold (Janeane Garofalo), Garofalo actually brings a totally new—and entertaining—perspective to things.

And don’t worry. The original Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is still around. It’s just a little while before you see her.

Wersching’s Agent Walker is probably the most well-rounded female character the show has had since Michelle Dessler as she struggles to walk the line between her boss’ (Jeffrey Nordling) straight-laced ways and Jack’s more radical approach. And let’s face it. She’s one bad you-know-what…

However, if you want to talk strong females, then that discussion begins and ends with Cherry Jones, who is phenomenal as the new president and who will no doubt add an Emmy nod to her already impressive resume.

But the real reason to get excited here is the return of Tony (Carlos Bernard)—no matter what side he’s on. Bernard gives the performance of his career in these four episodes and seeing him and Sutherland back together again is well worth the wait. The chemistry between the two is amazing…

Which leads to an important question. How is Tony back?

I wouldn’t dream of spoiling that for you here. I’ll just tell you that the story does make sense. But in all honesty, does that really matter?

Because of the Writers’ Strike, the “24” writers had much more time to map out the entire season and I think it shows in these first four episodes as all of the storylines are truly connected.

However, right now, I couldn’t even guess where the show is going. But I know it’s not going without me…

Let me say it again, folks. “24” is back! Maybe you can tell that I’m a little excited about it.

But I still don’t have anyone to hug…

“24” premieres with a four-hour two-night event Sunday, January 11th and Monday, January 12th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Photos Credit: Kelsey McNeal/FOX