Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Twenty & Change: Our lives need a little more Jack Bauer ... 24⁄ 7

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When I sat down to write this week’s column, I asked myself what, exactly, the twentysomething crowd is thinking about these days. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is ‘‘I have no idea” because all I’ve done for the past two months is watch old episodes of ‘‘24” on DVD.

I’ve only recently jumped on the ‘‘24” bandwagon. I attempted to watch this past season, but because I didn’t know what was going on more often than not — and because I fall asleep after 9:30 p.m. if I’m sprawled out on the couch — I couldn’t keep up.

This Audrey Raines chick reappearing? While Husband gasped in shock, I was unaffected. And what’s up with China’s hostility? What did the U.S. do to them?

Undeterred and with hopes of trying again for the upcoming Season Seven, Husband broke out his Season One DVD set, convinced if I started from the beginning, I’d enjoy it.

Oh, how right he was. We sailed through that baby in about two weeks and moved on to Season Two, then Season Three. When we finished Three and I went sprinting out the door to Target to buy Season Four, the look he gave me clearly said ‘‘Woman, you’re on crack.”

And if by on crack, he means addicted to Kiefer Sutherland (who I’ve enjoyed since his ‘‘Lost Boys” days) and his character Jack Bauer, then yes, yes, I am. (And then there’s also Carlos Bernard and Reiko Aylesworth. Why did they have to go and kill Tony and Michelle? Oh! But did you hear the show may be set in D.C. for Season Seven, and that Tony may not be dead? I am ecstatic on both counts. It’s unfortunate we have to wait until 2008 to see if there’s any truth to these rumors.)

The thing is, I need a little more Jack Bauer in my life. I think we all do. Bauer doesn’t have time to deal with anybody’s nonsense. When he doesn’t, he’ll either be honest and say, ‘‘Damn it, I don’t have time for this,” or he’ll shoot ‘em in the kneecap. Bauer’s instincts are pretty freakin’ good, and when people don’t listen to him, he does things his own way and gets the job done. And in Bauer’s world — just like in ours — people can be both good and bad at the same time. But in Bauer’s world, the bad guys get theirs for the most part, and the good guys win.

Who doesn’t want some of that? While I don’t want to go shooting people in their kneecaps to get them to do the right thing, there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve wanted to just get up in someone’s face and tell them to stop screwing around. Plus, how cool would it be to be able to say ‘‘The only reason you’re conscious right now is because I don’t feel like carrying you” with a straight, menacing face — if it applied to the situation? You can’t tell me you’ve never just wanted to tell someone exactly what’s on your mind, no holding back. And who doesn’t want to see the good guys win? To how many situations — both nationally and personally — could that be applied?

So, until we get a little bit more of that in real life, I’ll be stationed in front of my TV set with my box sets.

Meredith Hooker wants to trade Season Seven theories.E-mail mhooker@gazette.net.