24 is back, all right, and we couldn't be more thrilled.
They may not be quite the suave, martini-sipping types that you find on Mad Men, but once again the cast of 24 is filled with some of the most talented actors and actresses out there on the small screen. Led by Kiefer Sutherland (who hasn't lost a bit of his Jack Bauer mojo), 24 features some actors who are familiar faces, some who aren't, and it's this combination that makes the show so compellingly watchable. Every actor is the absolutely best choice for the role and we're delighted to see the charismatic Carlos Bernard back as Bauer's former colleague Tony Almeida, who's now pursuing a vengeful path and will doubtless give Jack a run for the money.
We love accomplished actress Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor, and the brilliant Canadian actor Colm Feore as her husband, along with Bob Gunton as the White House Chief of Staff. These three actors alone would be reason enough to tune in, but we've also got returning 24 favorites Mary Ellen Rajskub as the long-suffering and super-smart Chloe and James Morrison as Bill Buchanan, both of whom are a welcome sight and always a treat to watch. We like the new tough (but lovely) FBI agent played by Annie Werschling, and her agency boss (Jeffrey Nordling), but most of all we love Janeane Garofalo as Janis Gold, a kinda Chloe-esque FBI wonkette.
Boy, nobody does smart women like 24 does! Garofalo has never failed to be as accomplished in her dramatic roles -- Minus Man, The Laramie Project, Steal This Movie -- as she is in her life as a savagely funny, insightful and informed comedienne, not to mention that she's a force to be reckoned with in her role as a host and guest on the Air America radio network. (If you've ever seen her on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, you know what I mean, too.) I have a feeling she will be one of the chief continuing delights on this season of 24, and I can't wait.
Later this season Jon Voight will be around, and of course we've also got the wonderful Tony Todd as the dastardly Gen. Juma who's cooking up an international crisis of his own. 24 should be quite a tasty stew this season -- Tony Almeida's revenge plot, Juma's genocidal rampage in Africa, the suspicious suicide of the President's son and the First Gentleman's investigation into it, a threat to the Air Traffic Control system -- and we'd say the first two hours, plus the earlier 24: Redemption movie, should lay to rest any fears that the show didn't have what it takes to come back in a big way.
For those of you who have missed episodes or just want to find out a little more, Fox.com has an extensive availability of episodes and background videos and written information on their 24 website, including excellent and detailed episode synopses.
We can't wait for tonight's next two hours! Highly Recommended Viewing!