24 Is Back — Please Kill The President

So the best show on TV — 24 — is back for a sixth season. If you missed last night’s two hour premiere, try and download it somewhere and then tune in tonight for hours three and four. This season, like all others before it, starts out with the sort of high drama that draws you in almost from the opening minute. I won’t give anything away for those who may have missed it, but I do have some concerns about season six so far:

  1. First and foremost, who the hell decided to cast D.B. Woodside (“Wayne Palmer”) as the President of the United States? Especially after last season’s great performance by Gregory Itzin. Woodside has been by far and away the worst actor in six seasons of the show and his portrayal of the president is laughable. Chloe O’Brien would be more believable. The actor’s previous career highlight was a largely inconsequential role in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The only rationale I can think of is that 24’s writers sometimes try to mirror things to real life and since we now have a less-able relative of a former president in the White House, maybe they thought it would be cool to do the same thing on the show. Bottom line: I hope Wayne Palmer is dead before the end of tonight.
  2. Early in the premiere I grew a bit worried about how Muslims would be portrayed throughout the season. In the past, 24 has not shied away from casting religious and ethnic minorities in questionable light and this season started out no different with Islamic radicals and suicide bombings dominating the plot. You can already see, however, that there will be efforts to separate these sorts of people from the U.S. Muslim population as a whole… and that’s good. For instance, one of the past terror leaders has already “turned peaceful”. Hopefully, by the end of the season, the public will come away with a higher opinion of U.S. Muslims and not a lower one. I think it is the show’s responsibility to keep the portrayal honest and socially constructive.
  3. I love seeing Kal Penn of “Harold & Kumar” fame in the cast! Although he plays a serious role as a complicit instrument of terrorism, I can’t stop picturing him with a joint in his mouth. Go Kumar!

Between the start of 24 and the restarting of the third season of Lost in a few weeks, 2007’s TV season is off to a great start.

42 comments on “24 Is Back — Please Kill The President”. Leave your own?
  1. Sean Madden says:

    What I can’t get over is the guy they cast as the FBI agent. Do you remember? Can you place him? He’s the guy who gets embarrassed by Matt Damon in the Harvard bar in Good Will Hunting, the fellow Mini Driver refers to as a “Michael Bolton Clone.”

    “Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you’ll be servin’ my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.”

    Love it!

  2. Mike D. says:

    Ha! Also, what’s up with the Ally McBeal guy being the new “Mike”. I just can’t take that guy seriously.

  3. Adam Hobson says:
    1. I knew the new President seemed familiar. He was a pretty bad rogue demon hunter on Buffy and he is now a far worst President on 24. Though now I am forced to contemplate who would win in a fight, Buffy or Jack Bauer. I’m leaning Buffy’s way for now.
    2. I find it funny that the token “racist white guy” could have actually prevented whatever the big crisis is that I am sure is related to that package hidden in the wall.
    3. I am not going to be able to take Kal Penn’s role seriously at all. It would be as if they casted William Shatner as the National Security Adviser. The whole time I’m going to be looking for unintentional comedy rather than living in the suspense.
  4. I personally think the Muslim terrorist storylines are getting a bit boring. Can’t they come up with anything else?

  5. Josh Byers says:

    And what’s up with highlighting relationships we (or maybe just me) don’t care about??? Does it seem remotely improbable and a little ridiculous that Chloe is in a serious relationship? And what’s the deal with Karen Hays and Bill Buchanan – what’s the point?

    The only reason I can see is that either Bill or Chloe is going to die in some spectacular way tonight.

  6. Mike D. says:

    Josh: Aha! I bet you’re right. Buchanan is long overdue for a death ticket. Also, I bet Nadia’s role gets bigger as the season progressed. She spoke to the terrorist guy in Arabic which means there’s a bigger story behind her life.

  7. Kevin Crawford says:

    SIFR text is searchable, right? You just popped up on the hot list of Homeland Security with the “Please kill the President” blog title.

    Keywords: kill the president, Muslims, Islamic radicals, suicide bombings, complicit instrument of terrorism

    Long live the first amendment.

  8. Adam Fortuna says:

    At first I was thinking “wow, are there going to be Chinese terrorist attacking us, and the government is sure it’s Muslims instead? Great!”.

    Little disappointed when it went in the direction of all Muslims, but the fact that there are good and bad ones sheds a whole new light on things. Back in season 3 (i think it was?) there was the Muslim family the white girl was marrying into, who happened to be the terrorist, while the family wasn’t at all guilty. I’d like to think 24 isn’t casting all Muslims as terrorists, although everyone pulls something different from the show.

  9. geoff says:

    Canadians with recognize Chloes’s boyfriend as one of the cast members of Little Mosque on the Praire (which just start last week) and a fairly regular fixture on FoodTV Canada.

  10. Dave Metcalf says:

    You are right, Mike. Right out of the gate this season’s plot is completely riveting.

    D.B. Woodside’s president isn’t as good as his Buffy character. Here’s what I can’t figure out is: how did he become president?
    Last season (20 months ago in the show’s timeline) he was David Palmer’s assistant. Since then, he apparently was elected to some office (governor? senator?) that put him in a position to not only run for president, but win. How does Wayne Palmer just stroll in to the White House?

    And all the other mid-grade “celebrities” are throwing me off: the Ally McBeal guy, Will Smith’s wife from Enemy of the State, the guy from Oz, and Kumar (yes, he’ll always be Kumar), though he isn’t actually that bad. However, I really like the addition of Dr. Bashir from Star Trek DS9.
    And thank god they cast a new hottie!

    Easy predicitons: Chloe’s boyfriend will be a constant pain in the ass. Bill and Karen’s relationship will be sacrificed for national security. Wayne Palmer will continue to be ineffectual (think early President Logan) but will end up making the right call (probably after a dream sequence recalling some prophetic advice from his brother).

    And are you really excited about more Lost? They aren’t giving us anything but more confusion. They have the rest of the season before I give up and just wait to hear what happens when it’s all over.

  11. Kyle Warner says:

    I think it’s funny that everyone keeps referring to him as the “guy from Ally McBeal”. I would never expect 24 to draw the same audience as Ally McBeal, but what do I know? All I see is Dr. Larry Fleinhardt, from Numbers.

    And doesn’t anyone remember Kal Penn as Van Wilder’s assistant?

    But as far as the show goes, I think there’s more “relationships” in an effort to attract more female viewers. I mean, We’ve seen more about relationships in the first two episodes of this season that the last two combined! It’s all just an attempt to add another level of drama to the show.

    Atleast the show is back on! Yea for that!

  12. kenrick says:

    hmm this season already jumped the shark for me with Vampire Jack Bauer.

    Can’t this guy just headbutt people?

  13. Max says:

    Here are my questions/concerns/observations:

    1) Why was Chloe dressed like a cheap prop date? Please don’t try to make her pretty because she’s not. She looks best when she’s a drab, snippy nerd.

    2) Where is Audrey??? I want to jump her bones like a priest jumps on a 12 year old.

    3) I agree: bad choice for el presidente. Maybe John Kerry could have been cast instead? Or William Jefferson Clinton?

    4) I also agree that the vampire action was WAY over the top. He’s Jack, not Hannibal.

    Tick, tock, tick, tock….

  14. Mike D. says:

    Totally agree about Audrey. She is the hotness. We need her back yesterday.

  15. Steve C. says:

    Personally I find Bauer being a vampire very exciting. Because if he can, like, transform into a bat, and fly around, and stuff, that opens up a whole mess of possibilities for the show.

  16. paul haine says:

    “I think it’s funny that everyone keeps referring to him as the “guy from Ally McBeal”

    Me too, but only because I think of him as Dr. Janosz Poha from Ghostbusters 2.

  17. Joe M says:


    Good observation on Ghostbusters II. I heard that they are trying to figure out how to have Audrey back on the show but there are scheduling difficulties, she is a main character on another show now.

  18. Scott N. says:

    “Me too, but only because I think of him as Dr. Janosz Poha from Ghostbusters 2.”

    ‘Vy am I drippings with goo?’

    I’m glad I’ve never seen 24, because he would kill anything serious show for me.

  19. Dave Metcalf says:

    Audrey? Seriously?
    She is a walking skeleton. I guess if you like them with some bones on their meat…

  20. Dave Metcalf says:

    … and I refuse to discuss Ghostbusters 2.

  21. Adam says:

    I liked the vampire scene – it reminded me of th Keifer as a Lost Boy! :)

    “Come on, Micheal”

  22. Mike D. says:

    Fun fact: My mom taught Keifer Sutherland at Crestwood Hills Elementary School in the late 70s/early 80s.

  23. gb says:

    Can they just kill everyone in the show off this year and be done with it? I lost interest a long time ago…

    *hides behind his chair before someone throws a beer bottle at his head*

  24. Mike D. says:

    Ok, I just watched hours three and four. Not so impressed with this season so far, upon further review. Thank god for the blast at the end of the episode because it was kind of a stinker up until that point. I seriously do not know how long I can go watching D.B. Woodside and the Ally McBeal guy dominate this season. And did anyone else catch the bit about Chloe and Milo making a sex tape? Hello? TMI!

  25. Jon says:

    Kind of a stinker? Taj got shot, and Jack shot one of his close friends in the neck to protect a terrorist. Ok, so all that happened right before the blast.

    Also, the role of Al-Assad is being played by Alexander Siddig, better known as Dr. Bashir on Start Trek: DS9.

    /geek moment

  26. Superbadfriend says:

    Riveting first four hours! But I am surprised Chloe is dating yet another coworker at CTU? Also something is off with the Alley McBeal guy. He must be a red shirt.

  27. Josh Byers says:

    Totally agree about hours 3 and 4. It really seems like they’re reaching to shock us. Tony and Michelle’s death was effective without going over the top – does anyone really care about *the guy who died last night*? And does anyone think that Tony and Michelle are really dead?

    I am now fast-forwarding all scenes with Palmer and AMcB guy.

  28. My damn VCR failed last night in recording hours 3 & 4. I definitely need Tivo. Anyone know where I can watch online or download the show from Monday? BTW, the first two hours weren’t that impressive to me either.

  29. I think I need to watch some 24 episodes and give this show a go once more. I previously gave it a shot but found it to be more of a comedy than anything else. Anyone else agree?

  30. Mike D. says:

    Jon: See I wasn’t a big fan of the deaths last night. Number one, they shot fucking Kumar and that just ain’t right. His story could have been an interesting one to follow, and besides he scores the killer ganj. Number two, I thought shooting Curtis was not believable at all. The guy’s been a rock, and again, his history with Assad could have developed into a pretty interesting story line. But now he’s dead and everyone is SO quick to call Jack up and basically say “Don’t worry about the black guy. You did the right thing.” Fuck that!

  31. Jon says:

    I agree that the Ahmed (Kumar) and Curtis character stories would have been interesting to follow, but people expect that. 24 is notorious for plot twists that leave you in the “wtf” mode. They spent the first 4 hours of this season setting up sub plots that looked promising only to suddenly tear them down at the end of hour 4. The sub plots were part of the hook to get you sucked into the rest of the season. It makes me think that they’ve got bigger and wilder sub plots to build on the ones they just ended.

    What if Kumar isn’t really dead?

    What if they flipped Kumar into helping CTU?

    How will Jack’s forced actions against Curtis affect his ability to work with Dr. Bashir… I mean, Al-Assad?

  32. David says:

    I may regret saying this, but a bad season of 24 is still better than the best seasons of most other shows. That said, I think Dave Berry is right about the Wooden Dialog Machine.

  33. Dan says:

    Best show on TV?!?

    Perhaps its because I’ve only come in on this season, but best show on Tv, please. How about Entourage, Rome, Lost, Battlestar Gallatica? Each one runs laps around this weak story lined race baiting show.

    The plots are amazingly thin, the choices the ‘President’ faces are retarded. I agree with you this guy would never be President, he shows a lack of character and ability to make a decision. He’s weak and indecisive and just plain annoying to watch.

    Spoiler Alert
    He’s going to give up 100 terrorists because the guy that just lied to him and hour ago promises to stop bombing if he does??!! Who is this asshat? How did he ever make it past county commissioner?

    This President Palmer, makes the current President look smart and decisive. And thats hard to do.

    Sometimes it feels as if the writers just gave up halfway through a show and figured the audience wouldn’t care if the plots or characters motivations make any sense.

    Perhaps previous seasons have been better, but 24 feels like a sugar high, it sucks you in, theres a quick rush but in the end it leaves you hollow and burned out. I feel cheated on the 4 hours I spent watching this show …. and I want them back.

  34. Mike D. says:

    Dan: Ok, couple of things —

    1. “Best show on TV” refers to “up to this season”. 4 of the previous 5 seasons were spectacular. The only one I thought was unimpressive was, not surprisingly, the *other* season that involved Middle Eastern terrorists. I think it was Season 4.

    2. I definitely put 24 ahead of Entourage and Lost, although I love both of those shows. Haven’t seen Rome or Battlestar, but I was sitting at an entire table full of people recently who said Battlestar was the best show on TV. I think I’ll check it out.

    3. You may feel like “in the end” you are left hollow and burnt out, but keep in mind, this was just the first 4 hours. 90% of the show has yet to play out.

  35. Dan says:


    As you say the ‘Best Show’ refers to the previous seasons. I must admit I can’t really evaluate that statement until I’ve seen those seasons, but honestly I’m not holding my breath. But I’ll take a look as I’ve been reading the site for years and I have found being shown I’m in error is often a greater gift then beening proven right.

    ‘Best show’ is a very subjective term, as I think we can both agree. But I would deffentetly recommend both Rome and Battlestar. Both have excellent acting, writing, and directing. Each season feels more like a 10 or 20 hour movie and less like a classical TV show.

    I also find them commenting on the present time in the world. Strange as it may sound, as one is in the western worlds ancient past and the other in a far future? Something honestly I didn’t find at all the last two nights with 24. I’m disturbed by how this war of terror is being portrayed. Very little is given the viewing public to help them understand the reasons behind these attacks or a successful strategy. Instead terrorists are evil and hate us all… honestly it feels exactly what was said about the Soviets when I was a kid…

    True 4 episodes do not a season make, and I feel very wary in watching another episode of 24. Though it could be because I don’t have Tivo so I have to slog through those annoying ads. Why must they suck so bad…

    Great site btw.

  36. Willi says:

    Battlestar – I recommend watching the 2 hour pilot, and then the first season, and then not wasting your time with the rest of the series. The pilot is brilliant and it kept me interested in the series for many episodes but overall the remaining series is a sequence of hit and miss episodes that slowly but surely loses the brilliance of the opening moments.

    But then I would say the same thing about Lost.

    I need to check out 24 (numerous friends have recommended it), but my standards are high due to shows like Rome and Deadwood, plus a limited amount of time to follow more than a handful of shows.

  37. anyone else recognize Milo? i thought Nina killed him in season 1 or 2.

    yeah, the subtleness of Chloe’s sex tape was … uh, yeah.

    bring Audrey back, that’s fine – just give her fewer lines. and someone tell Jack that he’s not a 900 number operator. he doesn’t have to be so breathy when he talks. is he that out of shape?

  38. kenrick says:

    yeah about battlestar, that show just took a huge crap on itself. so sad because it had so much promise. i wouldn’t even bother getting into it, you’ll just be disappointed with the season 2 mid finale. first show that i ever said OMFG HOW LAME over and had to call someone about.

    lost needs to pick it up quick or i think that show is done.

    heroes is fun for now.

    i consider the 4th hour the finale for this season’s 24, i think that show is done too.

    at least there is still the office, as they as they don’t “shrute” it, it will be fun for a long time to come.

  39. Mike D. says:

    I just watched hour five. So far, I’d put this season at second-to-worst, just ahead of the Habib Marwan season (season 4?). Possibly dead last, considering the acting.

  40. Sammy says:

    IMDB reports Audrey is due back at 10pm. Only a few more hours. Lucky us.

  41. Mike D. says:

    Sammy: Sweet, looking very forward to the return of the hotness that is Audrey.

    On another note, it looks like I basically got my wish last night as the president is now either dead or incapacitated beyond the ability to continue his speaking role on the show. Thank. God. And how awesome is it that Charles Logan is back!!!

  42. brad miller says:

    Is Kiefer going to be more than a bit player this season. I think I’ve seen more of Bill and Chloe than Jack. The show is supposed to revolve around the day in the life of Jack Bauer. Please let Wayne be dead, his acting is almost as bad as Chad Lowe’s. If they didn’t want to do the show right they should have quit last season. The only bright spot is Powers Booth and he isn’t going to help enought to bring this season out the hole.

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