Two nights ago, I attended the 24 season 7 premiere bash at XIV (incidentally, Hills fans, yes it is the site of Heidi Montag‘s infamous tequila incident… the one that led to her "firing" from Bolthouse a few months back) and all the show’s actors — including mainstays Kiefer (Jack) and Mary Lynn (Chloe), returnees Elisha Cuthbert (Kim Bauer) and Carlos Bernard (Tony Almeida), and newbies Cherry Jones and Jon Voight — were present and happily partying. Everyone seemed to be in a super smiley mood and after seeing the first two hours of this season, I think I know why. This is going to be a good year for 24.

With CTU disassembled and the senate holding Jack Bauer accountable for all his past actions, the series has really sort of reinvented itself. And it’s working for me.

As I first reported two months ago, the plot line of November’s 24: Redemption prequel — in which Jack and the U.S. government intervene in an African country’s military coup — is coming back to haunt J.B. and The White House in a very bad way. National security will be put at risk via avenues we’ve never before seen on the show (Let’s just say that if you’re already a nervous person with a few irrational fears or phobias, they may be exacerbated by the end of hour 2. I mean, my crazy ass was crying before 9:10 a.m.). And yes, Tony Almeida is a major player in making it all happen. But he isn’t the main evil man.

What else can I tell you without really spoiling the premiere? Well, the brand new characters are pretty good. I’m particularly impressed with Annie Wersching, who plays FBI Agent Renee Walker, aka Jack’s new partner-in-crime… though she’s more than a little reluctant to break any rules. Mark Derwin, whom you may know as George Juergens on Secret Life of the American Teenager, pops up as an outspoken member of the Madam President’s staff… of course, he’s bitching about things far more serious than Women Studies and his wife making him coffee on this show. And Janeane Garofalo is great as a quirky, Chloe-type helper at FBI headquarters… but I’m not sure if she can necessarily be trusted like we trust Chloe.

Speaking of Chloe, she does not appear in these first two hours. But don’t worry, it won’t be long before we see her again.

Someone we won’t see again? A character we met in the 24: Redemption prequel. This person was pretty likeable and his or her loss will play a big part in one of the season’s B story lines. If you saw the prequel, can you guess who’s already taken their 24 bow?   

Oh, and by the way, if you didn’t seen the prequel, don’t worry. Having seen it will enhance your enjoyment of season 7, but it’s not essential for you to watch it. Either way, you’ll get what’s going down. And I think you’re going to like what’s on tap…

Posted by:Korbi Ghosh