Jack Bauer — the seemingly invulnerable hero of Fox's long-running series "24" — is going into retirement. Fox has announced it's cancelling the "real time" terrorist drama that resurrected Kiefer Sutherland's career and ignited a debate on its effect on state-sponsored torture. Have the show's right-leaning politics become irrelevant in the Obama era, or are other, less political, factors at play?
It's a Bush-era show in an Obama age: Jack Bauer was the "perfect post-9/11 hero," says Rick Moran at American Thinker. Hunting Islamic terrorists in America, he showed the "moral certitude" conservatives wanted in a hero. But America has changed. Whether "for good or ill," Obama has "promised to fight the war on terror differently." Sadly, there just "doesn't seem to be any room for a Jack Bauer" in that reality.
"Farewell and adieu, Jack Bauer"
It's not about politics, it's just time to go: Anyone who thinks 24's "deeply entrenched Bush-era themes" triggered its cancellation should think again, says Joshua Alston at Newsweek. "This is about old age." It's worth recalling that critics initially wondered how a "show with a basic premise so elaborate and limiting...[could last] a second season," let alone eight. The need to put this "repetitive" show out of its misery "should be a rare area of bipartisan agreement."
"Why Shelving 24's Jack Bauer is a Bipartisan Agreement"
The numbers didn't add up for "24:" Do the math, says James Hibberd at the Hollywood Reporter. The "constant upward spiral of cast and creative team salaries" over the show's eight years has driven the budget up to $5 million an episode, but the show's ratings have dropped 16 percent this season. Financially, it couldn't survive. "The writing has been on the wall... all season."
"Official: '24' ends on Fox"