An Open Letter to Joel Surnow and Kiefer Sutherland,
Joel and Kiefer,
As you probably know, a lot formerly loyal viewers of your show chose this year to get off of the bus. And as you probably also know, it probably wasn’t just because the concept of Heroes seemed more realistic that what you putting out there.
I’d like to help: I think that part of the problem is that you have to find a crisis that can start and be stopped within the space of the 24 hour timeframe that’s the concept of your show. Well, I’ve come up with one: a perfect combination of ripped-from-the-headlines international intrigue and Jack’s relationship with his family as he has to recover a stolen object within — you guessed it — 24 hours. But not just any stolen object, but one of the most revered objects in all of sports: The Stanley Cup.
It goes a little something like this . . .
So Jack’s daughter, Kim, has a fiancee who plays with the 2007 NHL Champions, the Anahiem Ducks . . .
Wait a second.
Before I move on, let me confess that I was one of those viewers who got off of the bus this year. So I don’t know what happened after Jack killed his brother. So, for all I know, some of the people I talk about are already dead. I’m assuming that Jack, isn’t of course. And I don’t remember reading that Elisha Cuthbert came back this year, so Kim’s probably still alive as well.
OK, moving on.
. . . Kim’s fiancee is a benchwarmer for the Anaheim Ducks, and as you probably know, after your team wins the Stanley Cup, each player gets to keep the cup for — wait for it — 24 hours. I think that we can get that guy Pacey, from Dawson’s Creek, to play the boyfriend.
In any event, Kim and Pacey are walking up to Jack’s house with Kim holding the cup — Kim and Jack have reconciled for some reason — when a stranger stranger walks up and asks: “Hey, is that the Stanley Cup? Can I hold it for a second?” Without even thinking, Kim hands the stranger the Cup, and wham, he clocks Pacey with it! While Kim attends to her man, the stranger takes off into a SUV that comes screeching up.
And we’re off!! Jack has 24 hours to get the Stanley Cup back or the world will know that it was stolen from Pacey. Who, as a benchwarmer, was always a couple of bad shifts away from being tossed off of the team. This would seem to seal his fate: if the Cup is stolen from his possession, he’s gone from the team, and Kim will be heartbroken. Jack can’t disappoint his daughter again, can he?
But there’s a twist! Unknown to anybody, Pacey is actually part of a radical group of Canadian hardliners who want to destroy the Stanely Cup live on the Web. Even as he’s lying on Jack’s lawn, writing in pain (as a hockey player, he can take it!), the Cup is even now being loaded into a private plane and sent off to Vancouver, the base of these radical Canadian hardliners.
What do they want? Easy: they want U.S. citizens to stop sneaking into Canada. This group feels that Americans have gotten enough of a free ride from Canadian universal healthcare and they want to galvanize the rest of the Canadian populace to rise up and join them in sending the southern invaders back across the border.
These radicals, led by special guest star Emilio Estevez, threaten to blow up the Stanley Cup unless their demands are met. To show that they are serious, they post a live feed of the Stanley Cup on YouTube from their secret hideout in Vancouver.
Now Joel and Kiefer, I know that you know that’s not how YouTube works, but it wouldn’t be the first time that you’ve fudged on technology for the sake of the story, so bear with me here. I’m thinking big-picture cross-promotional possibilities. Convince FOX to allow 24 clips on YouTube. It would be totally meta to fire up your computer and go to a YouTube clip of 24 for showing the Stanely Cup on YouTube as one of the split-screens.
And as a matter of fact, you could even fake it, and post a clip that purports to be the actual live feed of the Stanley Cup on YouTube itself If you make it a long enough loop, noone will know the difference. It’s not like the Cup does anything but sit there.
So when Jack goes into CTU, it turns out that the Acting CTU Director — played by Wil Wheaton in what at least one critic will call “his triumphant return to television” — doesn’t want Jack to go after the cup. Wheaton’s character should confuse the audience at first: Is he bad? Is he good? Oh, he’s totally bad!
Meanwhile, Jack ignores direct orders and heads for Vancouver to rescue the Cup. BTW, don’t worry about the expense — we can totally have downtown L.A. stand in for Vancouver.
While Jack is in Vancouver recovering the Stanley Cup from Emilio, we learn the real plot — the Canadian hardliners want to blow up Disneyland! That will show us for infiltrating their country! And for taking over their sport!! And changing the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride!!!
Yes Joel and Keifer, you’re right: you nuked Magic Mountain last year, but that was a missed opportunity. Since it’s been on the sales block for years, it would have been more interesting had it been blown up for the insurance money instead of as part of a terrorist plot.
The plot to blow up Disneyland, BTW, was discovered by Acting CTU Director Wil Wheaton, who gives his life to get the information, redeeming his character. He might even say “Today is a good day to die.” Though probably not.
In any event, at the end Jack and Kim are running into Disneyland against a terrifed mob fleeing the Magic Kingdom, desperately trying to locate the bomb.
By the way guys, in terms of credits, Consulting Producer credit is fine.
Thanks! I can hardly wait to see it.