I'm a bit of a TV junkie, and one of the ol' standbys is FOX's real time thriller 24. Ridiculous, often implausible, but always exciting, the show rests on the shoulders of tried and true American Jack Bauer (played like a mad dog by tried and true Canadian Kiefer Sutherland), whose methods are controversial but often necessary to protect this great country of ours. We've seen Jack torture and maim to get information, diffuse bombs, sacrifice friends and family and cut off a colleague's hand, all to get the job done. Sure, he's extraordinary, but there's lots of other things I'd like to see Jack Bauer do, and I'm afraid I'll never get to. So, in the hopes that Joel Surnow or others pulling the strings at FOX happen upon this page, here's my suggestions:
--Let Jack stop off for some Pinkberry. You can't tell me that Jack doesn't eat (though I don't think I've ever seen it). Fro yo and counter terrorism = ratings sensation. Seriously, does he ever chow down? If he can get from Burbank to Santa Monica in 10 minutes (and in the past seasons, he has), surely he can grab some In n' Out in under 15 seconds and scarf down a double double. He's gotta be famished.
--Let a song get stuck in Jack's head. It's bad enough having to deal with moles at CTU or at the White House, but can you imagine Jack trying to take down a vicious dictator while the Pussycat Dolls' version of Jai Ho rattles around in his noggin? Or how much more irritable he'd be if he can't stop humming Flo Rida while he defends his methods to Kurtwood Smith?
--Put Jack undercover in an improv class. This would be riveting TV. Sure, we know Jack can pull off pretending to be arms dealer or a user in a drug cartel, but could he handle the pressure of yes and-ing a guy pretending he has snakes for arms for six minutes at The Groundlings? The smart money is on "no."
--Give Jack a cool new catch phrase. It's the perfect opportunity. Everyone loves Jack, he's on screen for nearly every minute of the season. We need something to put on a T-shirt, other than an American Flag or Jack Bauer for President. I was a fan of "Who are you working for!!" in Season 1. Just spitballin', here's a few that could work: "I've got the kill shot, holmes." "Torture schmorture." "With all due respect Madame President, I make this look good." (That last one has a little Will Smith in it).
--Assign Jack new partners every couple of episodes. Yes, he usually gets a new one every season, but that's not frequent enough. We need 'em hourly. But here's the kicker--make them all of his old Young Guns co-stars. Start off with Lou Diamond Phillips (I know he was on Season 1 briefly, but bring him back and this time give him an array of knives, a la Chavez y Chavez). Have a stray bullet get him. Then bring in Casey Siemaszko, who can get caught in a cougar trap. Then it's time for Dermot Mulroney, etc. And as they die, they can shout "Regulators! Mount up!" Or maybe this is just my sad, sad attempt to drum up interest for Young Guns III ("You took our farm, Mr. Chisum!...Yet Again!")
There's so much more to Jack than we ever get to see. What kind of milk does the guy buy? Does he enjoy carnival rides? What's on his iPod--is it all Rocco Deluca and the Burden? Hopefully, some of these things will be answered in Season 7...or the terrorists have already won.