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What parents need to know
Parents should know that 24: Legacy is a spin-off of the drama 24, with many of the same settings and dilemmas as the original, as well as a few familiar characters (but not original star Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland). The diverse cast features many people of color in strong roles, including main character Eric Carter, who is African-American. Like the original, this drama focuses on terrorism. Expect to see gangs planning terrible acts in dark and shadowy rooms, footage of terrorist attacks, fleeing or dead civilians, chases, and rains of gunfire. There are on-screen deaths and injuries, often occurring suddenly; main characters may be suddenly killed by being choked, shot, bludgeoned, or the like. Crime and criminals are not glamorized, but there are many violent and tense scenes in each episode. Cursing is infrequent and includes "dammit," "hell," and "son of a bitch." Drugs play a part in some minor plot lines.
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What's the story?
In 24: LEGACY, a spin-off of the original drama 24, former Army Ranger Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) begins to suspect that members of his former Ranger troop are being targeted by terrorists a few months after Carter led a mission that resulted in the death of terrorist leader Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Carter turns to the counterterrorism unit (CTU) in Washington, D.C., for help foiling the plot he finds closing around him. But CTU itself is in a state of flux, with former head Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) having recently stepped down to help her husband, John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), run for president and new chief Keith Mullins (Teddy Sears) ruffling feathers with his ambitious plans for the agency. Who's after Carter's team? Who gave up their identities? Can Carter and the CTU prevent what might be the largest-ever attack on alien soil? As time ticks away on what might be America's last day, all is revealed.
Is it any good?
With many of the same dramatic and visual gimmicks as the original, this worthy successor boasts a similar intensity and quality as the first 24. A ticking digital clock still appears on the screen to show us where we are in each real-time hour; a split-screen camera still reveals what various cast members are doing simultaneously in their own storylines. Speaking of those storylines, also like in the original 24, there are many to juggle at one time, some of them more ludicrous than others: A love triangle set in a high school with young Chechen terrorists? A family circumstance that puts Carter's wife in danger just when her husband also is dealing with a terrorist plot? Sounds like a good old overstuffed episode of 24, and fans will be eager to let 24: Legacy unspool to its (no doubt) complicated conclusion.
Like 24, too, it becomes fairly obvious early on that there's at least one mole somewhere in the antiterrorism team who's throwing Carter and his fellow freedom fighters to the wolves. Is it Rebecca Ingram or Senator John Donovan, desperate to further Donovan's presidential campaign? Carter's PTSD-clouded former Army Ranger unit comrade Ben Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer)? CTU's director Mullins, who'll stop at nothing to make sure his agency comes out on top? A character states, "I learned a long time ago that everybody lives two lives: one that we show to the outside world and one that we keep all to ourselves." As we soon find out, that's true both for the terrorists and those trying to stop them in this binge-worthy drama.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the series' frequent moral quandaries, which can provide good jumping-off points for talking to teens about right and wrong. Does the end justify the means? What would you do in these characters' positions?
How does 24: Legacy make you feel about the way government and politics operate? Do you feel confident that public officials are operating in the public's interest? That they are able to squash terrorist plots?
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