I swear I’m not the type to watch a television show just because everyone else is watching it. I’ve never even seen any of Carrie’s ubiquitous dating foibles on Sex and the City, nor have I paid attention to all of the plot twists and cliffhanger hysteria on “Lost.” Yet when it comes to 24, I am completely hooked.
No, I’m not just watching 24 because every media outlet and worth-her-weight-in-gold blogger is talking about it. Nor am I here to put my two cents in about 24‘s “meaning” for the larger anti-terrorism effort and whether real-life agents are more likely to torture suspects because they’ve seen Jack do it on the show. Really, truly, I watch “24” as an escape from my real life, which some could say is torturous, but is nothing compared to the 24/7 non-stop rollercoaster ride that is Mr. Bauer’s.
Which brings me back to my original point: For me, 24 is an escape, a chance to ogle Keifer Sutherland, while screaming at the television, all the while biting my nails and wondering how he’s going to get himself (and all of L.A. – not to mention America) out of this mess. Because if Jack Bauer dies, if perchance just this once he didn’t make it, half of America would be wandering around aimlessly with nothing to do on a Monday night. Not to mention the millions (dare I say billions) of dollars that would be lost from the ancillary product overload that helps us celebrate our collective love for all things Bauer.
Just in case you don’t believe me, here are some examples of our national Jackophilia:
For starters, there’s the downloadable CTU ringtone in case you want your friends to think you are actually chasing terrorists not just girls.
And if watching 24 isn’t enough, there’s the 24 game for your Playstation 2, where for 24/7 you can chase, interrogate, and kill terrorists all for the good of your country.
There’s the 24 graphic novel, 24 posts on youtube, and my personal favorite the Jack Bauer action figure, coming out this summer from McFarlane Toys. That’s right, for only $12 you can own your own gun-wielding Jack Bauer doll, complete with bulletproof vest. And by Christmas there will be a kicking-down-a-door Bauer doll, if Keifer Sutherland doesn’t get drunk and set the prototype on fire first.
If after reading this you are counting down the days until Christmas and you need reassurance that you’re not the only die-hard fan other than your ten-year old nephew willing to shell out $12 for a GI Joe-like toy, head down to The Jack Bauer Power Hour at The Professor’s Loft on Second Avenue in the East Village to watch 24 live on two big screens with a bar full of like-minded 24-o-holics pounding free shots whenever Jack kills anyone.
And for those who can’t make the distinction between reality television and reality, you can even find Jack Bauer’s very own MySpace page, which purports to have blog entries by Mr. Bauer himself as well as little known facts such as Jack’s star sign (Sagittarius), relationship status (single) and salary history ($60,000-$75,000). In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Mr. Bauer is quite a catch.