Was writing a response to Blue Rook about 24: Legacy on my talk page and it spiraled into a full review/rant about the current state of 24 as a whole. I never really blog on here but I figured I'd post it separately, feel free to weigh in or vent as well if you like:
- Weird enough, as I was watching the first five or six I actually enjoyed Legacy for the most part. I thought the pilot and the initial premise was a strong start and different enough to overlook the simple fact that it's basically just retreading the same few plot devices that 24 always has. That's not even a bad thing, necessarily. In my opinion the show lives or dies by its character writing, the plot has a certain level of repetition that seems to be part of the deal at this point. But in this season, there's maybe three characters that are written and developed worth a damn. The finale hinges on the dramatic death of someone (a) we barely know and (b) we just spent two hours learning was involved in kidnapping a child. You could tell they were trying to recapture the emotion the show used to wring out of killing off characters but I just found myself laughing at how much they missed the mark.
- Really what killed the show was how lazy it gets in the latter half. Every single episode from 6 through 12 involves a different character getting kidnapped, then traded back to the good guys for another character. I'm not exaggerating. To say nothing of Tony - they clearly knew nobody would be interested in going through the motions without any old characters, so they force him into this role that makes no sense with where his character ended up, and completely fuck up their own timeline. Then they try to do this weird dance of insisting that the supposed "new" fan base can jump right in without any prior knowledge, while also pretending that Tony's arc is in any way a continuation of the original series (it isn't). There are just so many baffling choices made in this show I can't even list them all right now, I think it just comes down to the writers assuming everyone would be on board after a decent start and that they could just churn out the same crap we've already seen done a thousand times better. Didn't help that it's easily the worst looking, cheapest season ever.
- Some good points, I liked Corey Hawkins/Eric Carter a lot and thought he was a good model for a new protagonist, different enough from Jack Bauer but still interesting in his own right. (Another bizarre choice is how they completely sidelined him in half the episodes, but w/e) Hilariously the drug dealer plot which I was dreading gave us the best character Isaac, also responsible for the greatest action scene in the entire season. I also liked Andy and Locke. Other than that the characters/writing are a wash; you could tell Jimmy Smits was really struggling with the crap they gave him to deliver. Most of the other actors (Miranda Otto, Oded Fehr especially) did great work but they were saddled with absolutely terrible writing that nobody could have salvaged.
- What makes me angriest is that I'm pretty sure 24 as a property is basically dead now because of Legacy. We're not going to see Jack Bauer again, probably ever, because of his shitty TV show. There's no active fan base anymore; absolutely nobody clamored for this show to get renewed or cared when it got canceled, then it gets shat out on a bare bones DVD-only release months later. Apparently the only continuation planned is a completely unrelated anthology series which, as good as it might be in its own right, will be unrecognizable from what made people watch 24 in the first place (hint: it was the characters and action, dipshits, not the clock). Frankly it's killed my interest in editing this wiki as actively as I used to for the foreseeable future, and from the state of the Legacy character/episode articles I doubt I'm alone - personally it's hard to justify expending so much effort on what's basically unpaid advertising for something with so little care put into it. After Live Another Day, if you'd told me the series would be in this state not even three years later I'd have laughed at you. Apparently, that's the ending we'll have to settle for because it sure as shit doesn't look like there's going to be a better one.
- TL;DR I wouldn't recommend watching it unless you're a completionist and have the time to spare. What little good is there is completely overshadowed by the bad, and it certainly doesn't seem like any of it will factor into the next season if by some miracle there is one. Would strongly recommend Strike Back instead if you haven't seen it, it's very much filled the 24 void in my life!
- Forgot to add - compared to the old seasons it's at the very bottom, no question. Even Season 6 has a few great episodes to put it over the top. I rewatched the finale recently and, my god, that oil rig sequence is fucking beast. I'm pretty sure it cost more than this season's entire budget to pull off!