TV Review – 24: Legacy Series Premiere on Fox

24: Legacy: Corey Hawkins in 24: Legacy coming soon to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

The clock ticks again with the next evolution of the Emmy Award-winning “24” with the new drama series 24: LEGACY. The series chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil – in the same real-time format that has propelled this genre-defining series. Starring Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton”), Miranda Otto (“Homeland”) and Jimmy Smits (“Sons of Anarchy”), 24: LEGACY reunites the original series’ award-winning producing team of Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, Manny Coto and Evan Katz; director Stephen Hopkins; and “24” star Kiefer Sutherland, who all serve as executive producers.

***

If you’re hoping for Kiefer Sutherland to reprise his role as Jack Bauer, toss that hope right out of the window because this reboot is not at all about him. Even better? It works with Corey Hawkins playing the lead, ex-Army Ranger, Eric Carter. 24: Legacy is keeping with its legacy in its diverse casting and this time, it has even cast a Black man as the lead. Bravo! But but but one giant step forward, many giant steps back…or more like stagnant.

Not so good? The enemies are still terrorists of a certain skin color. Brown. So. There’s that. Perpetuating the myth here. Not cool. Back in 2001 when 24 first premiered shortly after 9/11, many viewers did not bat an eye here. But so many Americans have finally opened their eyes over the years and more of the majority are able to distinguish terrorists from stereotypes and (media) bias. Knowing that the writers have been well aware of the shift in America over recent years, it’s unfortunate to see that the show didn’t steer in a different lane on this front. Not every element from the original show should remain the same, especially as a politically relevant show. This series isn’t just pure entertainment. It has a responsibility to tell its story with political commentary of the present day. Why? Because that’s how it established itself from day one. And given where America stands today, with a President who banned Muslims from coming into the country to “keep America safe,” one can’t help but give the stink eye here as what you’ll see in the premiere is the writers holding onto and encouraging a narrative that should be left in the past, instead of showcasing how much the world has grown since 2001. The show does fight back at many stereotypes, just not this one. But a show that centers around terrorism should show all of the faces, all of the colors of terrorism. And it does make an effort here, outside of the larger political terrorist scale at this point in the storyline so far as we can tell, by introducing Amira (Kathryn Prescott, Finding Carter), a student from Chechnya who is planning an attack with a teacher at her school. I am really, really, really looking forward to see how respectfully this is handled.

Now if you’re ready to hold out and see if/how the writers include progression in the narrative as the show goes on, there is a lot to enjoy and anticipate in the meantime. The thrill of the chase will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end as Carter is hunted down by terrorists who have killed everyone in his Army unit and their families. Carter, on the run, must also find a safe space for his wife, Nicole to bunker down until this danger is gone. Who he chooses to leave his wife with…well, let’s just say that there is a lot of tension here. And a love square/rectangle. Hurt feelings may get some people killed. I’m very much anticipating seeing how this plays out. We all know what happened to Jack’s wife in the initial run of the show so to say that I’m nervous about Nicole’s fate is an understatement. That said, Nicole is much wiser, more level headed and more prepared for danger so even if she doesn’t make it out of the season alive, she’s a fighter and that’s the kind of woman we need to see right now. So good job on this. Then there’s the happenings at CTU as well as Capitol Hill. CTU is full of Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) and secrets and digging without clearances and people being framed and intrigue and everything we love about CTU drama… while happenings at the Capitol you can put on snooze until night two of the premiere when it starts to pick up.

That said, one of my favorite elements of the original series was its pacing which was A+ and as a writer, it felt like a master class on pacing alone. I’m happy to say that the same can be said for the reboot. So in the end, there’s both plenty to appreciate and plenty to be concerned about when it comes to the new 24. A lot of good. A lot of bad. I’m going to continue watching to see where it goes and I completely understand why others will not continue watching. I also really hope that if the writers have no intension of progressing with the times, this show should conclude after the first season because we’ve seen it all before otherwise. Only time will tell.

Watch the Two Night Series Premiere of 24: Legacy TONIGHT following the Superbowl and Monday Night at 8/7c only on Fox.

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