Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Jack Bauer Power Hour



"24" is back on TV and because of this my life is better.

"24" is stupid. We all know this. It is preposterous, cliched, and burdened with both two-dimensional characters and a laughable plot. Every thirty seconds or so, something happens that would not and/or could not ever possibly happen on the planet earth.

And the greatest of these things that couldn't ever possibly happen is Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer is impossible in every way. Despite getting shot at every few minutes, he rarely gets hit with bullets, and when he does, it's nothing more than a momentary setback. I forget which season this happened, but once, he got stabbed in the stomach and it was never mentioned again.

But most importantly, he can get tortured literally to death, and then torture other people to death later that same day.

Torture only does three things to Jack Bauer:

1. Intensifies and perfects his steely gaze.
2. Gives attractive women new and exciting scars over which to run their admiring fingers.
3. Pisses him off.

"I got tortured in a Chinese prison and all I got was this incredible beard."

My favorite parts of "24" are the parts where Jack Bauer is on the outs with CTU (and therefore with every other government agency) because he knows the truth and no one will listen. That's why season nine is so fulfilling so far: it's Jack vs. basically the whole world. He has one person on his side, as usual, and that's Chloe.

Chloe, by the way, has gone full angst-ridden techno-warrior, replete with goth eyeliner and a "Look what I did, Mom!" haircut. Every time she comes on screen I want to sing "Bela Lugosi's Dead."

Dammit, Chloe.

Anyway. If you're interested in drinking heavily this Memorial Day weekend - and don't try pretending you're not - you can play this drinking game. I call it The Jack Bauer Power Hour, which is also my husband's apt term for "24" itself.

It's easy! All you do is take a drink every time one of these things happens. You'll be wasted before you know it.

DRINK WHEN:

Jack gets tortured.
Jack tortures someone.
Jack asks to speak to the President.
The President asks to speak to Jack.
Jack tells Chloe they're running out of time, or vice versa.
CTU establishes a perimeter and someone gets through it.
A beautiful woman finds herself believing in Jack.
Jack gets shot but keeps doing whatever it is he was doing.
Jack gets stabbed but keeps doing whatever it is he was doing.
Jack shoots someone.
Jack goes undercover.
Jack reminds someone that shitloads of lives are at stake.
Jack sacrifices himself for someone else.
Someone Jack loves gets killed super hard.
Someone mentions Jack's daughter and he looks really sad yet stoic.
Someone gets killed right before they were about to give Jack crucial information.
A Middle Eastern person defies negative Middle Eastern stereotypes.
Jack makes a stupid face trying not to cry.
Chloe is rude to someone.
The president makes a difficult decision.
Jack stoically refuses to speak.
Jack is placed in a holding room/cell and left there while important things happen.
Jack convinces someone to trust him right now because he's that person's only chance.
The bad guy executes one of his own people.
Jack gets arrested.
A CTU agent defies orders.
Jack commits breaking & entering.
Jack commits a felony for the greater good.
Jack lets himself get caught for the greater good.
Jack puts a gun to someone's head. Also for the greater good.

Why just sit around and drink when you can sit around and watch Jack Bauer and drink?

Also, if you're like me, you will never be 1/100th as cool as Jack Bauer, but you would still really like to look like you are. Fortunately, this exists now: a shop where you can buy stuff Jack Bauer wears on the show. You're totally welcome.

"24" airs Monday nights on FOX at 9/8 Central. So go buy something to drink (remember: "Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets." - Ron Swanson) and don't forget to play the Jack Bauer Power Hour. Make sure you follow Chronicles of Radness on Facebook, and tell me all about it when you play.

But remember to play responsibly. You don't want to end up like Nina Myers.

"I should have paced myself."

In the meantime, keep your SWAT boots laced up and the president on speed dial.

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