TV Review - 24: Legacy

Last year in 2016, television saw a surge in programs with black protagonists or predominantly black casts. Still, there remains a lack of black men as heroes or the heroic leads. FOX's Rosewood has Morris Chestnut as the cocky, forensic scientist. WGN's Underground has Aldis Hodge as a runaway slave and Netflix's Luke Cage has Mike Colter as the Marvel Comics invincible man. With the exception of Rosewood, the other black heroes on TV traffic in the black experience and what it means to be black historically or presently. This series doesn't really do that. It's more like Rosewood in that it merely plants a black man in this genre-constructed piece without much or any commentary. The difference here is that the genre is action, which action stars are limited on TV, especially when it comes to being on shows that are 50-percent action or more. Black action stars are even more scarce.

Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) stars as Eric Carter, a black man and a former, Army Ranger who served in the Middle East as part of a special team of soldiers who took out a top terrorist. Now, Eric works as a security agent for wealthy, white people in Arlington, Virginia. He has a wife named Nicole, played by Anna Diop (Greenleaf), as well as a brother named Isaac, played by Ashley Thomas (100 Streets and Brotherhood). Eric and Nicole live in the nice suburbs of Washington, DC, whereas Isaac still lives in the ghetto as a drug dealer. Nicole used to date Isaac, and, because of which, Eric doesn't have the best relationship with his brother.

The action kicks off when soldiers who were part of Eric's team start to get killed off one-by-one. The man behind the killings is the brother of the terrorist whom Eric's team eliminated. The brother of the terrorist is Jadalla Bin-Khalid, played by Raphael Acloque (Tyrant). Jadalla wants revenge. He also wants to plan a terror attack.

For the first, three episodes, the action has consisted of Eric avoiding being killed by Jadalla's men, chasing after a MacGuffin that Jadalla wants, trying to get that MacGuffin himself, and then chasing after Jadalla. The majority of which has been a lot of shooting and running. All of it is fairly well-done. An appropriate amount of adrenaline is infused with some, really good choreography. A set-piece involving a huge, rolling pipe was pretty intense. As such, it's a rather compelling thriller.

The rest of the series is all about political intrigue and office drama in the fictitious CTU, or Counter-Terrorism Unit. If one is familiar with the previous incarnations of this series starring Kiefer Sutherland, none of this other stuff will probably be of great interest. The only thing I found compelling was the same-sex relationship between tech and computer expert Andy Shalowitz, played by Dan Bucatinsky (Web Therapy and Scandal), and field director Thomas Locke, played by Bailey Chase (Saving Grace and Longmire). Apparently, Thomas broke up with Andy because he was scared of being outed as gay at CTU.

The gay romance is like the C or D-story. It's ultimately minor. It's not as prominent as the gay story-line in the Shondaland shows. Ahead of it is the election story-line. Jimmy Smits (L.A. Law and NYPD Blue) plays John Donovan, a Senator who is running for President. His campaign might have links to the terrorists at play. Seeing how those links shake out might be enough to sustain this series' 12-episode run, but probably not without a lot of twists and turns, and hopefully cooler set-pieces.

Rated TV-14-LSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Mondays at 8PM on FOX.


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