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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"24" blog: Clock strikes zero on extremely entertaining era

Jack Bauer is on the loose again.

Fitting, because "24" closed the 8-season run of the ground-breaking, real-time series with a lot of loose ends.

But, after a little reflection, I am OK with that. Especially if it is setting up the proposed movie.

Look, "24" didn't end with some happy ribbon that wrapped everything up neatly. After eight heart-thumping seasons, that kind of neat little package couldn't be expected. Bauer is free, but hunted. The Russians and the American government would love to have a little chat with the iconic Kiefer Sutherland character. President Allison Taylor is more than likely headed for prison. President Charles Logan has a bullet lodged somewhere in his head. Jason Pillar has half an ear left after Bauer went Mike Tyson on the agent running point for Logan.

All in a good "day's" worth of work for this show.

You could dissect the series finale and pick out all the shortcomings and unanswered issues. But why?

At the end of the DAY, at the end of each season's 24 hours, isn't it about being entertained?

I don't know about you, but I was thoroughly entertained, even if it wasn't totally fulfilling or satisfying.

Sutherland owns the character and the screen, even when some of the actions seem to stretch possibility and reality. The toughest man in history got shot in the shoulder and yet rallied to stay alive long enough for President Taylor's attack of conscience to save his butt and release him into the world yet again.

I have some issues with how it all ended. I am sure hard-core fans will, too.

But how much can you complain? The show continued to entertain and keep you riveted until the final second ticked away and we faded to black.

Now, the reality of the situation is this: No more terrorists or CTU or moralistically-challenged presidents on Monday nights. We have to wait for the movie to see Bauer again. Probably, resurfacing in Europe, hiding from the Americans and the Russians.

Suspend disbelief. Forget nitpicking the obvious holes.

"24" is over, Bauer is dead in terms of TV drama, but on the loose in the fictional world we all love.

If only there were more time to appreciate good television entertainment.

The experience in the movie theater for 2 1/2 hours won't be nearly the same, but to see Bauer do his thing yet again, I'll be there and so should you, "24" fans.

Have your issues with the final two hours and how some things too neatly came together. But never lose sight of what Jack Bauer or this series stood for.

What we will do on Monday nights from now on?

- Bill Tilton


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