My wife and I have been watching “Rabbit Hole,” the new thriller series on Paramount+ starring Kiefer Sutherland. Frankly, I’ve been enjoying it far more than I thought I would. I’ve always had faith in Sutherland as an actor (he’s fantastic when he wants to be), but the films and series he’s acted in often fall well short of his abilities. There are times when it appears he recognizes this, and in turn puts forth an uninspired performance.
With “Rabbit Hole,” the trailer looked interesting, but I half-expected the effort to amount to a phoned-in version of “24,” the long-running Fox action-drama series Sutherland starred in for eight seasons.
But I was wrong. Well, I was partially wrong.
There are clear similarities between “Rabbit Hole” and “24.” The genres are pretty close, there’s plenty of action and lots of plot swerves, and Sutherland’s character (a private espionage agent who finds himself in a desperate, time-sensitive situation) feels Jack Bauer-ish at times. But the show is by no means phoned-in. The writing is strong, the swerves are well done, and Sutherland is putting forth a strong effort. Sure, some of the story is a little hokey (including some injections of humor), but all in all, the program is good. At least, it has been so far (I’m only three episodes in).
But for this purpose of this week’s newsletter topic, three episodes are good enough. What’s encouraging to me is that the show provides a proof of concept for another “24” reboot, with Sutherland returning to the Emmy award-winning role that most fans know and love him for.
I say “another,” because there was a new installment in 2014 called “24: Live Another Day.” It released four years after the original series ended, starred Sutherland, and was half the length of a the show’s regular 24-episode seasons. There was also a short-lived spin-off series in 2017 called “24: Legacy,” but Sutherland wasn’t in it.
It’s been almost a decade since we’ve seen Jack Bauer in action, and I think the character reemerging for one last brouhaha would be a big winner for Fox and longtime fans of the series who weren’t all that thrilled with how both season 8 and “Live Another Day” ended: with Jack imprisoned by the Russian government, and subjected to unspeakable torture for the rest of his life.
Depressing, huh? How about a little more hopeful and uplifting sendoff for one of television’s most beloved fictional patriots? I think it’s time.
And really, why not? From watching “Rabbit Hole,” it’s clear Sutherland can still do action television. At 56, he assuredly relies more on stunt-doubles than he used to, but who cares? The scenes are convincing. He still looks the part too, whether or not plastic surgeons are partially to credit. The same goes for Mary Lynn Rajskub, who played everyone’s favorite quirky computer-analyst, Chloe O'Brian.
With there being a strong, nostalgic appetite for series reboots, I think the odds of another season becoming a network and/or streaming hit are pretty darned good. I don’t even think the traditional “real time” element of the show, which demands a lot of extra production work, would need to be brought back. The story could fall within a 24-hour time frame, but if the air and commercial time were a fraction of that, I don’t think fans would mind one bit. The old format was cool (and cutting-edge when it was first introduced), but Sutherland was the star of the show, not the purity of the digital clock at the bottom of the screen.
What gives me hope that this might actually happen is that Sutherland, after years of saying precisely the opposite, now appears receptive to the idea. “If I get to do something else with it, I would certainly jump at that,” he recently told Entertainment Weekly.
Sweet! Fingers crossed.
Were you a fellow “24” fan? If so, which season was your favorite? Let me know in an email or in the comment section below.
Tickled to See Tickle Me Pink
I’ve written before about how I took a second look at a number of rock musicians during the pandemic (back when I was having concert-withdrawal and a bit of the isolation blues). “Second look” is probably a mild way of putting it. I went down the rabbit hole with a few, checking out nearly their entire body of work, including spin-off efforts (thanks to Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, and even eBay).
As I mentioned last year, the now defunct Northern Colorado band, Tickle Me Pink, was among them. They came out of the gate strong back in 2008 with their debut album, “Madeline,” which tragically coincided with the untimely death of their bassist. The band broke up in 2011, with its former members remaining musically active to varying degrees, and even reuniting once in a blue moon for a live performance.
Having also explored (and enjoyed) the music of front-man Sean Kennedy’s later band, Talisker Skye, I was thrilled to learn through Kennedy’s Instagram page that he would be performing a rooftop acoustic set last Saturday in Fort Collins, as part of an annual music festival that takes over the entire downtown area.
It was an absolute blast listening to his stuff live and in person for the first time, including some new, very strong material that he hasn’t yet released. Kennedy was even accompanied on a few songs by Tickle Me Pink guitarist, Steven Beck.
It was a very enjoyable set. Here’s a taste of what I think was their biggest hit, “Typical” (sorry for the poor video quality; the rooftop lighting wasn’t the best):
A Question for You All…
The Daly Grind is of course a free publication, and to my delight, it picks up new subscribers all the time. I never intended to try and monetize it, beyond hoping that people who enjoy the newsletter would click on one of my book links at the bottom, and purchase a Sean Coleman Thriller (which does indeed happen, and thanks for that).
But with the good amount of time I already spend on this publication each week (more than I originally intended), including setting up and conducting interviews with notable people who readers seem to find pretty interesting, I’ve been throwing around the idea of adding some kind of paid-upgrade option that would perhaps include exclusive content.
Some readers have already expressed support for this idea, but I wanted to throw it out to the rest of my subscribers, along with a couple of questions:
Would you pay a nominal subscription fee for more Daly Grind content? How about the content you already receive?
What kind of content from the Daly Grind would you be interested in paying for (if any)? More interviews? More travel destinations? Insight on topics I typically don’t cover here, but do in my other writing (literary, political, media, etc.)?
I may not change a thing, and just keep this newsletter as-is… but I figured I’d try and gather some feedback on this from you all. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
I couldn't care less about basketball, but I do like having my dad over to watch the game.
Obligatory Dog Shot
He makes everything awkward.
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I’m not into disco, but I do likes me some funk. And when I think of funk, I think of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music." It was on the band’s self-titled debut album from 1976, and it’s a timeless, exceptionally funky classic.
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nice tie in with funky music and dog butt, LOL
I like funk too but Wild Cherry is the Vanilla Ice of funk in my opinion. From that era I suggest Bootsy Player of t h e Year by Bootsy Collins, two albums by NJ funk band Funkadelic ( One Nation under a Groove and Uncle Jam wants You) and a record by former Spinners vocalist Phillippe Wynne called Wynne Jammin. Of course James Brown and the Ohio Players are recommended without reservation.