TV: 24: Legacy -Season One Episodes One and Two - (Reviewed)

Oh boy… Where do I even begin with this mess of a show? 

24: Legacy, the follow-up/spin-off to the original 24 (and its reboot/sequel, 24: Live Another Day) is not just bad. It’s frustratingly terrible. 

I was a fan of the original show even when it made major missteps, so my reaction to these first two episodes is, admittedly, a bit biased, given that all I could do was compare 24: Legacy to its predecessor. Then again, the title basically invites it. 

Let’s start with our new hero, Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), who could be a compelling character if he were played by a more capable actor. I’ve only seen Hawkins on The Walking Dead, but even there he hasn’t shown much depth or range as a performer. In 24: Legacy, he brings far too much intensity to the role. Even before the chaos of the first hour ensues he overplays each scene. And yes, I’m fully aware that Carter is supposed to be suffering from some form of PTSD, however, Hawkins never quite sells it. 

As if trying to add insult to injury, the rest of the characters that populate this new incarnation are even worse and include former CTU Head and friend to Eric, Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto, who’s been better in other projects; here not so much), John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), a Senator with his eye on the presidency and husband of Rebecca’s, several other minor CTU analysts, one of whom will probably be a mole, and a slew of other less interesting and less important characters that I have no interest in writing about. 

It gets worse. 

The writing is beyond bad. I’m willing to give the actors the benefit of the doubt because the dialogue is so wooden I don’t think anyone could make it work. I should also mention that even just two episodes in, I’m already exhausted thinking about having to follow this show through its full twelve-episode run. It is true that 24 took a couple of seasons to figure out how to keep the momentum going in twenty-four episodes and keep it reasonably believable, but I’m struggling to see how they’ll even get to episode six. 

24: Legacy had the potential to be different and yet everything that was wrong about 24 seems to be what the showrunners (Manny Coto &Evan Katz) are pushing forward with. So far, they appear to bank on every character’s stupidity, including Eric and Miranda, for the sake of… a compelling plot? (Speaking of, there’s a subplot involving a high school student & her teacher being part of a sleeper cell that is the most unbelievable element in all of 24’s – well – legacy, and that’s saying something.) 

All of this and I haven’t even mentioned the show’s Islamophobia, which in the age of President Trump, doesn’t bode well for its longevity. In yesterday’s New York Times, Chief Television Critic James Poniewozik wrote, “24: Legacy may not have meant to enlist in this culture war. But anyone telling this kind of story now might be supplying rhetorical ammo to people who dream of making America smaller, meaner, more homogeneous and more afraid. Does 24 want that to be its legacy?” 

Sorry, there aren't any zombies on this show

That, along with poor acting and even worse writing, is what makes 24: Legacy a frustrating mess.It’s too bad. I’m hoping somehow the show will turn itself around, but from what I’ve seen so far I’m not optimistic. I should also add that the only reason I was even interested in this show to begin with is because of the promised return of my favorite 24 character, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) who has yet to make an appearance. I’m sticking with the show for him, but I would caution anyone reading this against making the same mistake I (likely) am.

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-Matt Giles