Monday, November 24, 2008
So I watched the 24 movie on Fox last night, and now I can't help but wonder something.
After the Bush administration came to power nearly eight years ago -- and certainly following the 9/11 attacks -- the popularity of The West Wing began to plummet. Some thought it was simply too depressing to watch a show which offered a noble, Capra-esque vision of government after the controversy of the 2000 election and the fact that the new ruling party preached the gospel of government as the ultimate unnecessary evil. Some just figured that the show suddenly seemed hopelessly dated. Either way, the direction of the political winds in this country, as they so often do, had a profound effect on the pop culture zeitgeist.
Now we're left to wonder: What will become of 24?
With the arrival of Barack Obama and the seismic shift in America's political landscape, I can't help but wonder if torture and terrorist threats and underhanded governmental skulduggery isn't so -- Bush years.
Really, is Jack Bauer still relevant?
I ask this while acknowledging that 24 has been one of my favorite shows since its debut in 2001 (timing which ironically helped to inextricably link it to the Bush era). I'm sure it will still be exciting and dramatic -- a blast to watch week to week -- and that there remains a large audience out there for it. But as a cultural phenomenon -- can it hold up?
It's already got the year-and-a-half-long break to contend with (which, on the plus side, might have provided enough time to get the rancid taste of last season out of the public's mouth), but is it now, like The West Wing before it, hopelessly dated?
Only time will tell.