Thursday, 26 November 2009

An Open Letter to the Producers of '24'

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to address the recent revelation that the eighth season of your sublime show ‘24’ will be tragically Almeida-less.

I’m sure you are sick of hearing about the God-like Tony Almeida but I could not just sit by as you prepare to soil what looks like a blistering eighth season by leaving the heart and soul of the show on the bench.

When Tony Almeida was resurrected for season 7 thousands of Almeidaists the world over rejoiced, and although it hurt when you turned him to the dark side (and back again, several times) he eventually was at least slightly redeemed. I, like many of my fellow fans, feared the worst for Tony as we approached the 24th hour of day 7.

Given Jack’s propensity for killing those close to him, the signs were ominous for Almeida, yet in spite of indeed receiving a Bauer bullet, he lived to brood another day.

So as you can imagine it was assumed that he would be back for season 8 and his eventual redemption would occur. Yet the mighty Carlos Bernard has now announced that he will not be returning to his most famous role this year, and my impalpable excitement for the new season of one of the most consistently addictive shows on TV has now turned into contempt.

I am well aware of Bernard’s penchant for tomfoolery and the fact this may all just be a carefully crafted means of building hype and debate over the new season by riling up the rabid Tony fan base (such as myself) but I could not sit back and not address the issue.

If this is indeed a ruse then kudos for achieving your goal, but if Mr. Bernard does in fact speak the truth and he will not be returning for day 8 when the likes of Annie Wersching (Renee) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe) are then I believe you will have nothing short of a riot on your hands (at least in terms of a geeky blog riot)

It has long been muted that this will be the final season of ‘24’ and if that is the case then to have it Almeida-less is a crime. Our final visions of this great and deeply complex character cannot be of him being carted away in handcuffs ranting like a mad man – the character, and the fans deserve better than that.

If there is in fact a season 9 down the line then this current stinging will be soothed slightly should season 9 include a certain soul-patched bad ass, but there’s no escaping the fact the upcoming season 8 is going to fall way short of what it could have been if there is no Tony.

You have delivered us one of the greatest shows on TV now almost a decade and for that I thank you but the decision to leave Almeida out of season 8 would be the worst decision you have made for this show since you (fake) killed him off mid-way through season 5 (and look how season 6 turned out without Tony).

I thank you for your time and hope that this potential catastrophe can be avoided.

Yours Faithfully,

Gareth Bunkham

Other Musings:

- The Jerry-Larry banter on last week’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ was a joy to behold. If this is what these two are really like together then it must have been a hell of a place to work on the set of ‘Seinfeld’.

Their back and forth combined with some very funny, mildly offensive, Catholic-baiting made for what was probably the strongest episode of the season so far.

- Ed Norton turned up on ‘Modern Family’ this week in what has to go down as one of the weirdest cameos ever. Playing a tone-deaf (fictional) member of Spandau Ballet – yes you read that right!

His English accent was fucking horrendous (but that was the point, I think) and he gave a very funny performance on a show that is consistently the only sitcom on TV that can even hold a candle to ‘Curb’ or ‘The Thick of It’…

- Speaking of ‘The Thick of It’ this week’s episode featured rather less Malcolm than I would ordinarily care for, although when he went into full Tucker mode at the end it kind of made up for it, but was still a great episode.

Keeping the opposition involved was a smart move and including, show super-fan Richard Bacon was a nice touch. This episode actually featured a main writing credit for my former university tutor Roger Drew and his writing partner Will Smith (no, not that one) who also plays Phil on the show which made me feel somewhat pleased – these are two very funny writers who deserve a great deal of success.

- ‘FlashForward’ is continuing to disappoint me. I had such high hopes for this show but if ABC are grooming this as ‘Lost’s replacement they are going to be in for a shock because this is no ‘Lost’.

‘Lost’ too has a large ensemble cast and the problem with ensembles is that you have too give time to each of the characters and while ‘Lost’ somehow manages to make each character interesting, there are too many people in ‘FlashForward’ that I don’t care about.

Couple that with the fact that nothing seems to have happened for the last two weeks and this show seems to be in trouble. A hiatus is looming so hopefully when ‘FlashForward’ returns (presumably after Christmas) we’ll be getting less Bryce love story and more revelations about just what the hell is going on – because at the moment I’m not intrigued I’m just bored.

- John and Edward finally bit the dust on the ‘X Factor’ last weekend; the twins had a good run though and hogged headlines for weeks. Yet in spite of all their column inches no one seemed to pick up on the fact that one of Jedward is a bit slow.

I’m not sure which one it is (John?) but one of the twins has definitely been dropped on his head as a baby – always a beat behind on the dances, slower to react to questions and a note behind on the singing, you wouldn’t necessarily notice it straight off but watch any of their performances back and you’ll see what I mean.

All mocking aside though, they were the only ones bringing a bit of entertainment to the show to cut through all the back-biting, manipulation and falseness. They will be missed...

TV Moment of the Week:

- Larry’s splash back making Jesus weep on ‘Curb’ – you have to see it to appreciate it.


  1. You know... some of us couldn't have cared less about Tony. His story is OVER and the world and 24 will not die without him and the problems of Day 6 have NOTHING to do with whether or not Tony was there... at ALL.

  2. The writers made such a whiny psycho-killer asshead out of Tony (whom I USED to love) that I really don't want to see him again. Please, don't encourage them.


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