Friday, June 22, 2007

Wheel of presidents, turn turn turn...

Rumor now has it that the president on the next season of 24 may be a woman. Since the most recent season ended with Powers Boothe as Acting President after Wayne Palmer's stroke, this would presumably mean advancing the show's timeline another 4 years. Which makes me wonder if anyone connected to the show has ever heard of math.

Look at it this way: The first season took place before the election that made David Palmer president. The third season took place in fall of the next election year, a little more than four years later; John Keeler blackmailed Palmer into withdrawing from the race and was president in the fourth season. The sixth season took place three months into Wayne Palmer's term -- nearly five years after the election in season three. That's nine years since the first season; adding another presidential term puts us at thirteen years.

Now think about Jack Bauer. He had a sixteen year-old daughter in the first season. That makes Jack himself somewhere around 40 in the first season, and pushing fifty in the most recent season. Adding another term onto that gives you a Jack Bauer who's well into his fifties. There's nothing inherently wrong with an older action hero, of course, but it starts to push the bounds of believability and does a number on a lot of the inter-character dynamics of the show when Bauer's nearly a contemporary of folks like Bill Buchanan.

That said, the show could just make the new president someone appointed by Powers Boothe after Wayne Palmer's off-screen death, and have Boothe himself similarly dead. But if that's the case, I'd love to get a peek at an issue or three of Presidential Studies Quarterly from the 24 universe...

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