Unlike Jim, I'm happily engrossed in the current season of 24. It could all fall apart at any time, of course, and as Heather Havrilesky observes, "even when it's firing on all pistons, it's also uneven and dorky and campy and leaden and obvious." Like Heather, I think that's why I like it. It's pure guilty pleasure.
And I think Kevin is on to something here:
In seasons 1 and 2 we watched in order to find out just how comically farfetched the "Kim in peril" scenes could get. Last season we were spellbound by the bizarre and ultimately unfathomable torture fest. This season we have....
No, not datamining, although we do have that. What we have this season is President Charles Logan, possibly the most worthless excuse for a fictional leader of the free world ever. Just how much of dink will they make him into? Will he eventually panic and order the assassination of Jack Bauer? Start rolling around on the floor and chewing the carpet? Or will the scriptwriters chicken out and allow him to redeem himself with some unexpected act of moral bravery at the end?
That's what makes this season worth watching: basking in the utter worthlessness and steady emotional deterioration — on Fox! — of Republican President Charles Logan.
I can think of at least three other reasons to watch as well. Since they're spoilerish, they're beneath the fold.
1. Do the bad guys have an actual reason for wanting to hang a frame on Jack Bauer, a man whom only four people even knew was alive, or was that just a convenient plot device to bring about a shocking opening scene and get Jack back in the game? Why frame him and not simply kill him, assuming they knew where to find him? And how did they even know he was still breathing?
2. What did David Palmer want to tell Mrs. Logan? If it really was a matter of national security, and Logan himself had (understandably) shut Palmer out, why not try contacting Mike Novick? Surely Novick, whose political compass far outstrips his moral one, would at least take his call.
3. Will Chloe's boy toy turn out to be evil? It wouldn't be the CTU if there weren't at least one mole, right?
Answers to these and other burning questions coming up in the next 20 weeks. I hope.
UPDATE: Looks like I called #3. Poor Chloe.