24 has returned with tonight being the second of a "two night premiere EVENT!" If you haven't yet watched the episode(s), read further at your own risk. Jack's inaugural kill for the season was a memorable one, hearkening back to his early days as an actor. I'm also enjoying the fact that he's running around with Alexander Siddig, who played Dr. Bashir on DS9. Siddig looks tougher than usual, what with the scruffy salt-and-pepper beard, the the penchant for jabbing knives into the kneecaps of traitorous henchmen.
Last season was criticized by some for having too many Iraq parallels in the storyline. 24 deals with terrorism and all that, the kind of thing that plays a center stage in the world and political events these days. I appreciate the way the show seems to avoid oversimplifying the issue...of course it's easy to avoid oversimplifying when you have Jack Bauer to save the world. So we can't take 24's "political discourse" too seriously. It would be nice if watching shows like this increased the public discourse on the events it portrays. For example, if people got educated on international terrorism and global politics because of 24 that would be great and we could pretend it was making our society better. Of course what we're all really looking for is for Jack Bauer to crack a few skulls while occasionally looking tortured and conflicted.
Of course there are still things we can take from the show, and when something is this popular in culture it is communicating something that people are hearing. So as with anything I think it's important to think a little bit about the implications of the things that happen.