Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TV: 24's Seventh Season Rocks!

As of today, yours truly has gone through 24's seventh exciting and amazing season. Unlike the sixth season, which was almost devoid of depth, this season does a good job in incorporating two useful elements: being smartly unpredictable and deeply character-driven. Besides, I don't regret purchasing it today although I followed the TV series on Global.


Four years after the events in the sixth season, the American government had disbanded the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) and the action now takes place in Washington, D.C. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is hauled before a Senate subcommittee for the use of torture throughout his career. However, his presence at the hearing is cut short. In fact, FBI agent Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) believes that Jack's experience might come in handy for preventing the most terrifying terrorist plots ever attempted on American soil. Besides, for another exciting day, Jack feels the need to save the USA when he learns that his old brother in arms, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), is not only alive, but working with the enemy.

Guess what? Although I didn't like the sixth season for its total lack of realism, I thoroughly watched it. Why? Because I'm a huge fan of the show.

Now, after I had seen the trailer a year ago, I had high expectations and wanted the show to reborn the same way a phoenix does. By the way, my wishes, in my opinion, were granted! As a matter of fact, unlike the sixth season, which tended to present uninteresting characters in a black-and-white world, this season was surprisingly built on many layers of depth that force the leading characters (i.e. the nice guys) to think about their principles.

Despite being against torture, how much does Renée Walker admire Jack Bauer's achievements? What's the meaning of casualties in a war according to Jack? Do most characters act the way they do because they're bad? In some case yes (i.e. the bad guys), but as for the "nice guys" it's way more complex than we think. With the characters' questioning of their own values comes a great performance by the cast. Therefore, my two thumbs up are in honour to:

Annie Wersching: That's one actress I'll be keeping my eyes on not just because she's so gorgeous, but also because she adds so much dramatic depth to this season. Her strongest moment? When Renee cries and slaps Jack in the face while asking him if he feels her slaps the same way he feels the weight of someone's death on his mind. That was the most memorable moment from this season.

Sprague Grayden: Strange name, but definitely has a nice future ahead of her. You'll notice her for depicting Olivia Taylor's fragility in the season finale. At the same time, with the confidence (if not the arrogance) that she gives to Olivia, I'm convinced that she has the skills to give to a villain so much substance, something that is needed in the 21th century.

That's it for now, I've got a novel to read for fun. Moreover, if you haven't seen the seventh season on DVD, watch it! If you haven't seen the first season of 24, I beg you to discover it if you like espionage TV series! If you know that you'll like this, go buy it on DVD! It just came out today. All in all, I don't know if the TV series will be nominated at the Emmy Awards for best dramatic TV series, but I'm sure that the cast's performance won't be unnoticed.

Rating: 4/5

***

Other TV series I have my eyes on

Ever heard of the drama/comedy Being Erica, one of this year's big hits? Although I'm a fan of thrillers, police and espionage dramas on TV, I was glad to discover such a gem fuelled by Erin Karpluk's charismatic presence. When will the first season come out on DVD? Sorry, no signals for now. Hopefully, the honchos at CBC renewed it for a second season despite the low (albeit passable) ratings. Hey, at least critics acclaimed it.

Here are other TV series I'm looking forward to discover: The Shield, True Blood, Flashpoint (no release date announced for the first season on DVD for now), Murdoch Mystery, The Line (not released on DVD yet), ZOS: Zone of Separation (not released on DVD yet), The Wire and Intelligence.


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