Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tonight: The Return of "24" and Mark Valley in "Human Target"

If you can tear yourself away from our favorite dyspeptic Brit comedian Ricky Gervais and his Golden Globes hosting gig, we highly recommend tuning into Fox tonight for an outstanding action fix.

First off, you can relive last season's finale of 24 at 7pm, and then the real fun begins at 8pm. Attractive and appealing actor Mark Valley -- Olivia's late boyfriend in Fringe, three years on Boston Legal, and the lead in Keen Eddie, Fox's spiffy and adorable police drama from a few seasons ago, and a real-life military veteran -- stars in DC Comic-based hour Human Target. He plays Christopher Chance, a security expert/bodyguard who puts his life on the line for his clients, and he's ably assisted by a great supporting cast led by Chi McBride -- House, Boston Public -- and the always superb Jackie Earle Haley -- Breaking Away, Little Children, Watchmen.

The Human Target pilot re-airs Tuesday at 9pm, then the show settles into its regular slot on Wednesdays after American Idol. We think this sounds like a winner, based on nothing but Flaming Nose intuition, but with Mark Valley -- who deserves a super breakout hit on his own -- in the lead we're behind it all the way.
At 9pm it's the season opener of 24, and we're in the eighth year of Jack Bauer's excellent adventures, played with teeth-gnawing intensity by Kiefer Sutherland. This time around Jack's in New York, swept up in international intrigue revolving around President Taylor (the returning Cherry Jones) and a re-jiggered CTU under new management. Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is still around, but we'll be seeing terrific new 24 faces like Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump), Freddie Prinze Jr. and several more great additions.

For those of you who've sort of drifted away from 24 -- and I'm one of them -- the addition of the Big Apple as background should give a shot of moxie to Bauer's predicaments, and let's trust that this will be a season of 24 worth waiting for.

So, it's Fox tonight if you're looking for something a little more harrowing than the histrionics on the Golden Globes Red Carpet -- not that there's anything wrong with that!

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