Jack Bauer ain’t a complicated man. I dig that.
Complicated men might make for good television, but they make lousy drinking buddies. I mean, Don Draper would be great Martini talk, but I’d have to get him smashed before the smarmy SOB would be worth the company. And he’d probably throw up on my shoes anyway. I like Rick Grimes, but I don’t want to find out he’s a nasty drunk. It would probably be a painful (fatal) lesson. Francis Underwood’s politics is too mean. Walter White’s politics is too local. And Red Reddington gives off that urban legend vibe about the kidney in the hot tub.
I would toss back with Jack Bauer. In a public setting, with plenty of people around. While wearing Kevlar. Nothing against Jack, but people who spend five minutes around him usually end up deader than Bruce Jenner’s sex life. They say you know you’re doing something right when people dislike you. Judging by his empty address book, Jack Bauer is doing a whole lot of right.
This doesn’t make Jack complicated. Just uber busy, saving the President, the country and yes . . the world. But good stories equal good times, yanno?
I imagine Jack’s drink is bourbon, chased with more bourbon. He wouldn’t touch beer; too fizzy. Unlike his other half-Kiefer Sutherland- Jack doesn’t do Tequila. It’s what he gargles with in the morning. And word to the wise? If you even suggest a dessert drink, his glare will burn your retinas into fondue.
When 24 debuted in 2001, I had exactly zero TV shows going on. Committing myself to a show meant keeping an appointment with a TV listing. But the concept of 24 appealed to me. 24 episodes- more specifically hours in the life of the fictional Jack Bauer who worked for the fictional Counter Terrorism Unit in a fictional Los Angeles.
Aside from the idea of a fictional LA- which is completely redundant- the show looked interesting enough to survive one season. Its post mortem would engender a cult favorite status- which is what happens to shows whose viewership is lower than a Ted Cruz quote. I figured on being one of those cool people who devoted himself to a show that no one else even knew existed. Admittedly, I’ve always been strangely envious of Twin Peaks fans, all eight of them.
(Writers Note: My insatiable desire to be a devotee of a cult favorite television show led to my purchase of an atrocious woolen baseball cap, otherwise known as “The Fleischman”, by the American Eagle salesgirl who sold it to me. And while I never ended up watching a single episode of Northern Exposure, I did end up having a great time with the salesgirl. So thank you Fleischman, whoever you were.)
As it happened, 24 went eight more seasons than I had signed up for. It even became a part of the American vernacular, whatever that means. Hell, Jack Bauer did something that no Hollywood director had ever come close to doing. He made Kiefer Sutherland interesting! Kiefer was a surly, temperamental Hollywood brat until his body became host to Jack Bauer. After which Sutherland achieved a cosmic do-over on par with John Travolta, Robert Downey Jr. and Elin Nordegren.
I stayed the course through all nine seasons worth of every kind of unbelievable shit. And then I came back this summer to watch Jack live another day while just about everybody else . . . died. So it was, while watching him bum rush the Embassy, bring a terrorist out of a coma just so’s he could torture her back into one and then throw her terrorist mama out a window- thus avoiding a complicated extradition scenario with Great Britain- that I thought to myself, How fun would this guy be at a bar?
Being that I don’t possess a Russian accent, me and Jack would get along just fine, seeing as how we have so much in common: David Palmer was our favorite President . . we’re drawn to powerful women . . our daughters are big on loyalty and attitude . . . we never get our Chinese food delivered . . . we have our share of crazy ex girlfriends . . . and we both killed someone with a Bic pen.
Okay, I should probably save that last one for another post.