Perhaps the best thing I can say about “24” right now is that I know for a fact I only wasted one day of my life on it.
Obviously, watching the show requires a suspension of disbelief. (Jack BROKE HIS RIBS a few weeks ago, which is really only a few hours ago. I’ve never broken any ribs, but I have to assume, from what I understand of the word “break,” that not only is it quite painful, but that it takes more than a few hours to heal. I can’t think of anything that heals in a few hours. I’ve had hurt feelings that last longer than a few hours.) I’ve always been willing to partake in the suspension as long as it was for a good cause. It was like a handshake deal: You kill people in brutally innovative ways and yell entertaining catchphrases all over the place and in exchange I let it slide that from the time you got off the cargo plane from China until the time when you were leaping off an exploding oceanic oil tower, you hadn’t eaten anything. I mean, I’m sure they didn’t feed you on the plane, and that’s what, like a 15 hour flight? So that’s 40 hours without eating? Do you have any idea how many calories you burn fighting terrorists?
Anyway, my point is that when I was done crying and calling my mom to tell her I loved her after the final touching scene, I got to thinking: this isn’t right. It’s too wild, too contrived and too unbelievable. Moreover, the format is too creative to ruin with another season of terror-who? and kidnap-what? So I came up with a few ideas for what they could do next season to improve the show.
1. Jack on a farm.
Jack moves out to a farm in Middle America to escape his haunting past. We see him riding a horse, herding cattle, feeding chickens and living a simple life. He falls in love with the cashier from the local soda shop. The morning after they first make love, she goes to work. A gang of country street thugs robs her store and kill her. Jack exacts his revenge by killing the whole crew, eventually slaying their leader with a hay baler.
2. Jack in Mexico.
Jack is a drunk in Mexico. He keeps to himself during the days, but at nights, when it hurts the most, he drinks tequilla and gets kicked out of bars for starting fights. One night after getting thrown into the street, a young girl helps him to his feet. She offers him the last drops of a bottle of tequila discarded on the road. Pained that this is what it has come to, he refuses and vows to get sober. Suddenly, a Mexican gang of organ harvesters steal the girl and sell her organs on the black market. Jack vows revenge . . . and gets it. With a side of guacamole.
3. Jack living in a casino.
Jack takes a job as head of security at a small casino off the strip. The owner, a father-figure who takes Jack under his wing, has refused to sell his historic establishment to a greedy real estate mogul who wants to demolish it and build a hotel. Fed up with the old man’s resistance, the real estate mogul sends a crew of thugs to kill the old man. Jack must defend the casino and its owner against the invasion, all while battling a crippling gambling addiction.
4. Jack as a bodyguard.
Jack hires himself out as a bodyguard to celebrities. He never gets personal – until he is hired by Victoria Devonshire, the highest profile movie star in Hollywood to protect her against her powerful though deranged husband, whom she is divorcing. He falls for her, and when she is kidnapped he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. The final episode takes place in an abandoned film studio, where someone is shot while blinded by a projector.
5. Jack as a traveling salesman.
Jack tries “normal” life. He travels around the world selling software. In London, he inadvertently witnesses a brutal execution by a powerful IRA leader. Now Jack is on the run in a foreign country, with no one to trust except himself and no way to call for help because his wireless provider refuses to give him the unlock code for his phone . . . and a sales quota to meet.