Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pilot Review: 24: Legacy

24: Legacy (FOX)
Premiered February 5 at 10:30pm

I’m not sure whether to classify this is a pilot or a season premiere, but, sadly, it’s a shadow of a once-great thriller and therefore should be considered as part of that original show. Granted, it’s not as bad as “Heroes Reborn,” partially because “Heroes” was never as good as “24” was in its first season, but it doesn’t have much to recommend it. Now, I should note that the first season of “24” was incredible, seasons two through four were pretty good, and everything after that was absolute garbage which pretty much defines jumping the shark, over and over and over again. What we have here is an attempt to reboot a show that signed off long after it stopped being engaging, and it’s back without its best asset, Kiefer Sutherland, love him or hate him. The real-time aspect is cool, sure, but when it’s a truncated twelve-season episode that doesn’t actually chronicle a day, the appeal is reduced considerably. The bigger problem is that the story is far from intelligent, and it’s only thrilling because there are people running around with guns and the music is fast-paced. We’ve gone from Jack Bauer insisting that people had to trust him to Corey Hawkins’ Eric Carter deciding that he’s the only one who can trust. In such an insular world, it’s hard to get attached to anyone. There are a few familiar faces in the cast, like Miranda Otto playing a somewhat similar role to the one she played on “Homeland” last year, Jimmy Smits, Dan Bucatinsky, and Teddy Sears. I think it’s probably better than I don’t start watching this show, but given my initial enthusiasm for “24,” I’m going to give it at least one more hour.

How will it work as a series? Just in this first episode, there have been at least a dozen people executed for no reason, which doesn’t make this storyline inviting, we have a poor student-teacher-terrorist plotline, and Otto’s Rebecca essentially did the same thing to the head of CTU that Jack did in the first-ever hour of the original show. That doesn’t suggest much potential for strength and quality in the future.
How long will it last? The reviews aren’t great, but that’s partially because I don’t think anyone was really clamoring for a reboot of this show after it went off the air less than a decade ago. Sutherland’s absence doesn’t help. Scoring the headline “lowest-rated post-Super Bowl debut in years” doesn’t recommend its enduring nature, and performing equally unimpressively in its time slot premiere in episode two is bad news too. Twelve episodes will be all this show gets.

Pilot grade: D

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