TV Series Review
It's all there: the ticking clock, the oh-so-sleek CTU offices, the action, the moles, the threat that the whole show could jump the shark at any moment and still make its fans tune in next week.
Yep, 24 is back, and it has everything that made it one of television's buzziest series.
Well, everything except Jack Bauer, of course. Perhaps he and Chloe are enjoying a platonic retirement together in Aruba.
Ba-bum (beep!) … Ba-bum (Beep!) …
The new hero of 24: Legacy isn't Jack Bauer. In fact, he's not even an employee of the United States' Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU for short). Eric Carter's an ex-Army Ranger who, some time ago, led a squadron of elite soldiers to take out a notorious terrorist. Yep, Eric would already be a hero … if the world knew who he was. His deeds of derring-do never became public; the identities of the entire squadron were kept top secret, known only by a few high-level bigwigs.
But man, terrorists always seem to have a few high-placed informants in government (at least if that government is part of a prime-time action show). And sure enough, it's not 15 minutes into Eric's longest day before his cover's blown, his life's in jeaporady and he's on a frantic mission to save the world. Jack would be so proud.
Eric can't trust any official power structure, of course—not when a part of that structure is apparently in cahoots with some no-good terrorists. But he's not working wholly alone. Rebecca Ingram, who masterminded Eric's old op but stepped away from CTU some time ago, is helping him the best she can (with the help of a few trusted confederates). Eric's drug-dealing brother, Isaac, is keeping Eric's wife, Nicole, safe from the terrorists … for now.
But hey, let's not kid ourselves. The weight of the world is on this guy. He'll be called on to dodge bullets, kill bad guys and somehow unspool the Byzantine plot that could well spell the end of the nation as we know it. Could this conspiracy run all the way to the White House? No telling, but we can guarantee one thing: The problems in getting wherever the show's going will be huuuge.
CTU Stands for Content-Teeming Undertaking
Yes, I know many of you were die-hard 24 fans, and that's fine. But let's be honest: Whatever its merits, this franchise has never skimped on problematic content. Indeed, the original 24 was famed for its graphic depictions of torture—often acts perpetrated by its protagonist, Jack Bauer. Some have even credited and/or blamed the show for influencing public policy. The series (as a 24 fan and friend of mine once said) was always about one thing: just how far Jack would go to save the world.
24: Legacy seems, so far, to steer away from the original's reliance on torture—at least when it comes to the good guys relying on it. Terrorists are the only folks thus far trying to bleed information (literally) from their captives.
But that doesn't make 24: Legacy much easier to stomach. Blood still flows in abundance. Indeed, Eric kills five evildoers in the very first hour. According to the site birthmoviesdeath.com, it took Jack 12 episodes to polish off his fifth bad guy.
And if you think the show's too preoccupied with saving people and killing others to dabble in sexual content, well, think again. Sexual relationships and illicit affairs are very much part of the complicated relational webbing here. And one of Eric's main CTU allies, a Stanford-educated computer whiz, is gay.
All that said, 24: Legacy is, if nothing else, a known quantity. While the twists and turns might be different, the problematic content is much the same. And while many have found this show navigable, others may find that it makes for a very long day indeed.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter; Miranda Otto as Rebecca Ingram; Charlie Hofheimer as Ben Grimes; Anna Diop as Nicole Carter; Keddy Sears as Keith Mullins; Ashley Thomas as Isaac Carter; Dan Bucatinsky as Andy Shalowitz; Coral Peña as Mariana Stiles; Sheila Vand as Nilaa Mizrani; Jimmy Smits as John Donovan