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|Index||533 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Very few shows have the right to be called "groundbreaking" endeavors
in television, ones which break the show free from the generic mould
that defines primetime serials and dramas. 24 is one of those few
television shows and, while not without some serious faults, is overall
an incredible feat of television.
The show's plot(s) are not that complex. A government organization known as the Counter-Terrorism Unit or CTU, specifically the division in Los Angeles, is at the forefront of defending against any terrorist attack upon the United States, whether from within the country or from the outside. The main character and field agent Jack Bauer is usually the one who saves the country from these disasters, with the help of a superb team from CTU, including friends Tony Almeda, Chloe O'Brian, Michelle Dessler, and his daughter, Kim Bauer, portrayed by Elisha Cuthbert.
The most unique feature of the show is the use of "real-time" dynamics. Specifically, the events on the show occur in complete real time, instead of jumping forward two hours or speeding up an action. While this is not entirely believable (the characters never seem to eat or run out of energy, for example, and seem to never run into problems like traffic or accidents while in transit), it is nevertheless a brave attempt. The main flaw of this approach is also its strength in suspense-building - that is, it actually takes time to accomplish certain actions and while such events would be shortened in a film or another TV show, the laborious details are portrayed.
The show's main failing is its lack of originality as far as plot goes, at least for the latter few seasons. The first season involved a Serbian terrorist seeking revenge by assassination, while the second switched to Islamic terrorism, nuclear threats and corrupt government officials wishing to start war. The third season changed the villainous focus to a more down-to-earth one, with a drug-lord holding Los Angeles hostage using viral weaponry. The fourth season became considerably more complex, involving cyber-terrorism aimed at the acquisition of nuclear technology (and involving a concrete single villain). The fifth and sixth seasons were fairly mediocre, the fifth using biological weapons again as a plot device (though with a Russian villain instead of an Islamic one) and the sixth using an almost incomprehensible mash of villains including the Chinese, the Russians, Islamic terrorists, corrupt politicians, nuclear weaponry, and Jack Bauer's father. As of the seventh season the directors have switched their focus to domestic terrorism from within and political idealism against genocide (and subsequent corruption), effectively rebooting what had eventually become a convoluted, mediocre plot.
The progression of each season (with a few exceptions) is unfortunately quite formulaic. The terrorists almost universally are controlled by some backer, who has an even larger threat, and near the middle of the season that terrorist is revealed. The sixth season went overboard, involving cabals from three different nations and two separate terrorist organizations while bringing back characters who held almost no significance whatsoever in previous seasons.
Another serious flaw is that the show tends to take an extreme right political stance (even though the one "good" president on the show has been a Democrat). It justifies torture, makes it seem like a legitimate technique in extracting information (both psychological and physical) and by the sixth season, which I find distasteful, suggests that racial profiling and forced internment are viable measures to national security.
Otherwise the show is fun to watch and can easily be picked up without requiring too much background, since each "Day" or season's plot is effectively independent of the others, and extraneous details are usually explained in the first episodes. Despite its flaws, it deserves the accolades it receives.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To write a review of '24' is tough enough, but to write reviews for
every season? To fully appreciate '24' you have to watch every season
because they follow on from each other. In my experiences of watching
'24' I have noticed that each season has something magnificent to
offer. There is always a flip side to any coin and for a review to be
useful to anybody I'll also point out each season's weak points. Before
we get onto that however I'd like to contribute a little something
regarding the show as a whole.
'24' is perhaps the best piece of television I have ever seen. It was solely by accident I came across it, which was one evening when I strolled down the stairs into the living room and caught a glimpse of '24' season two, when Nina had Jack at gunpoint asking the President for a pardon. Immunity for a crime she hadn't committed yet.
In case you don't know who Jack is, well he is the main character. Federal Agent Jack Bauer of the Counter Terrorist Unit, Los Angeles to be exact. He has a tough job of needing to do the right thing but cannot because of some legal loop hole or bureaucratic messes because this show doesn't always focus on the action on the ground but the action in the office. We witness the stresses politicians have to endure over a 24 hour period as well.
Most people would argue that this is the best season one is the best out of the eight. They may be right, as it is original and the twists are breath-taking. The high point of this season would have to be the final episodes where Jack meets up with David and discovers the phone has a bomb in it. From that point on we witness David lose his temper, which is a big deal considering he has been calm throughout and the final fight scene at the end. '24' has a unique ability to build up scenes and these final few episodes are no exception. The down side would have been the Teri storyline midway through. I think that this season would be even better without that side plot.
Season two is my favourite season of the eight. It has again its downsides where Kim, Jack's daughter is in a car accident and she runs from the police because they suspect her for murder. She runs into a forest area and gets caught in some sort of animal snare but is freed by some lone ranger type. This is the most boring part of the whole series of '24' in my opinion. The first time, it is acceptable but on repeat viewings becomes unbearable. The upside of course is close to the best bit of the whole series where Jack interrogates a terrorist.
Season three, and I wouldn't have to look very far to find people to agree has the greatest episodes of the whole series. The hotel scenes in particular were frighteningly scary. The scenes where Jack is in Mexico are good but not as strong as the hotel episodes therefore it lets the season down.
Season four was great. In fact the negative aspect of this season weren't a series of scenes or episodes but in fact a character within the show. Erin Driscoll was irritating; If you work with someone you dislike but they are right more times than they are wrong, it would be unprofessional to disregard whatever they says. This is what she did and it gets annoying after a while. The advantage of this season is Jack's love interest Audrey. When she is kidnapped and Jack fights to save her will have you on the edge of your seat, which if I am correct is the first 12 episodes.
Season five shows us a different side of Jack, the vengeful side. After a shocking first 15 minutes we are thrown into a deadly plot against America. The upsides to this season would be when Christopher Henderson is introduced. The scene where he keeps escaping and when finally caught has a helicopter with a trained laser on Audrey's father, a welcomed part in the show. The downside is the beginning, when Jack in at Ontario Airport. That teenage kid really bugs you after a while.
Season six is considered the worst of the series but I disagree. How hot is Jack's brother's wife? Back on point, the scenes where Jack finds Audrey are disappointing and I think ruined that whole mystery about what had happened to her. The scenes before this were in fact top notch but the Audrey twist ruined it.
The best scenes in season seven included the White House plot. These were very tense and it is good to know that the writers still have what it takes to still do it to us. The bad part of this season is the ending, the plot where the bad guys (not going to name names and ruin it) try to set up an innocent Middle Eastern man. This wasn't as strong as previous parts of this season.
Season eight. I'm going to sound quite sick to some people now but my favourite part is where Jack loses someone close to him and goes out for revenge/justice. The torture scenes and the methods he uses to find the ones responsible were exciting. The bad part of this season wasn't again plots but characters. Two this time. The villain was not as tough as previous ones and the Head of the NY CTU was irritating. Could he talk any slower?
Well there you have it, my two cents on '24'. I hope if you decide to watch this for the first time that you enjoy it as much as I have. My first 10 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The curtain has fallen upon the 8th season of '24' and the producers
claim that this was the final one. I keep a certain dose of skepticism
about this, as the main character - Jack Bauer - was still as alive and
as in bad shape as in most other final episodes of the previous seven
seasons. It may be for the big screen movie that was announced, and I
am quite curious to know what format that film will take, as an
alternative to the real time 24 x one hour episodes in real-time, which
were the trademark and the principal gimmick pacing the series for the
whole duration of the eight seasons. This format imposed a certain
gradation of the development of the action and of the characters in the
time-frame of each episode and in the time-frame of the season, which
became the duration of a full day in the life (and many time death) of
the characters. Here lies much of the strength but also of the weakness
of the formula, as after placing aside the bigger or even smaller
credibility questions (when do the heroes eat, sleep, go to the
bathroom?) the fans of the series learned the pace and the rhythms and
knew in many cases what to expect next with a precision of minutes.
'24' was said to be the ultimate post-911 series, and it raised serious moral questions about the approach of members of the CTU in fighting terror attacks and terrorism threats in a period when the American society and the whole world was confronted with the same type of questions. The other dilemma the main heroes faced permanently is between individual action and the trust in the system - a system we quick learn is completely corrupt (in the eyes of the authors) to the point that any character from the rookie agent in the CTU to the President of the United States can be a suspect or eventually a traitor. There are few certain things in the world of '24' - the 'do not kill (your people)' taboo is broken in the second season, the trust in the institution of the presidency in the 4th or the 5th, even the complete dedication of Jack Bauer to his country is put under a big question mark in the last season, when he seems to engage in what looks like a personal vendetta at the expense of the world peace. What is left is maybe the protective love of Jack for his daughter and the friendship between him and Chloe - too little human feelings in such a savage world.
Yet, the human dimension is what stays for me from these series. After the eights season I cannot remember how many times Jack saved the world in 24 hours, I am pretty sure that atomic bombs were twice exploded in the US, that ballistic rockets were shot on the big American cities, and chemical and biological attacks happened several times and I cannot really distinguish between them. What I do and will remember is that I have seen in '24' the first Afro-American president at work a few years before Obama, I watched Nina's treason and Terry's death in the first season, I resonated with the start and tragic end of the love story between Michelle and Tony Almeida, I shared the dilemmas, achievements, but also mistakes and treason of several fictional American presidents. Actually the turmoil that engulfs president Taylor in the last season was one of the reasons to watch this season attentively - a season which I started as a viewer with a big dose of skepticism and some boredom, but which became one of the best, and not only because by mid-season we new it will be the last.
Or will it not?
I'm going to make this short and simple. Jack Bauer is the best thing that's ever happen to television. If you don't like 24 then you don't like action thrillers. It's that simple. Stick to shows like sex and the city, and One Tree Hill. I tried other shows like Alias and La Femme Nikita after 24-season 7 ended but neither comes close to the standard of 24. I don't want to go into details of what makes this such a great show but believe me, if you're looking for a thrill, you've just hit the JACKpot. If you're just about to start watching 24, you're so lucky you have a lot to look forward to. I have to wait till January 2010 for season 8 and then go through the torture of watching one episode per week. Till then The Mentalist, Lie to Me, Flashforward and Dollhouse will have to do. They're all good shows but are just substitutes till Jack Bauer comes back. Can't wait for the torture to resume. 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This show is without doubt one of the most emotional and brutal rollercoasters on television right now and maybe ever. There are so many elements that make this show brilliant. You can never watch a season of this series without sitting back and saying: WOW!...The action,suspense,romance,danger,tragedy and everything else rolled into one is what Jack Bauer is. In the first season he is a straight forward agent doing his job for his country but after each season you can see how much has changed him and never before in a series has there been so much character development. Trouble on the job and with his family have torn this man apart and its his troubled self that makes Jack such an interesting character to follow. Having gone rogue so many times to defend both shows how far this man is willing to go to protect the things he loves. Roll on season 8 and then hopefully the feature film in which Jack may finally get his happy ending..........?
This show is absolutely breathtaking! 40 minutes, the duration of one
episode, seems like 4 minutes when you watch it! IT'S THE MOST EXCITING
THING YOU'LL EVER SEE ON TELEVISION!
The show is more than action! It is just... I don't know what to say... Benchmark-setting! It sets the standard for everything on TV with action in it! During each of 24 episodes in a season, the action NEVER STOPS! It starts from the very first second of the first episodes, and it doesn't stop until the very end of the last, 24th episode!
In fact, you'll get connected with this show! You and the show will be.. like friends! You'll be so sorry and sad at the end of the last episode, because you'll never ever want it to end!
This show is simply stunning... mind-blowing... epic... It's the most action-packed thing you WILL EVER SEE anywhere!
I mean... 10 out of 10 here on IMDb is just too low... It's out of every scale...Believe me!
If you still haven't watched this show.... You better start! Totally recommended!!! You will never miss an episode...
Rarely do I give out a score of ten, but I am of the belief that Jack
Bauer & his team at CTU thoroughly deserve it.
Many of my friends and family hate it; and the only reason for that, is that they haven't bothered to sit and watch a full season from start to finish.
For those of you whom remain sceptical, I advise you to start from the beginning. Buy the DVD box set of season one, and free up a few hours a night until you've watched it.
The acting is astounding; never have I thought that any of the characters were unbelievable; however unbelievable the plot lines can be at times. That being said, this over-exaggerated fiction is what constantly pulls me back to 24.
I've watched seasons 1-6 on DVD, back to back; and I loved every one of them. Season 7, I'm watching as it airs on TV, which does take away from the suspense element a little, but it's still the same great show I know and love.
Kiefer Sutherland's acting is a cut above the rest, and this really does make for an astoundingly entertaining show.
Sutherland is as much of a legend for acting this part the way he does as Jack Bauer is himself.
The reason I say it's like Marmite, is that you'll either love it, or hate it. If you hate it, then I question both your mentality and your attention span, as it's undeniable; each season of 24 is like a 16 hour (contrary to what we're told) thriller movie that will keep you coming back for more.
Give it a chance, and this show will stick with you forever.
When this show first aired I avoided it like the plague! But one
weekend I was ill I borrowed them from a friend that raved on about
season two and how "Amazing the story line" was! So he lent me his
DVD's of this show and I have been glued to every episode! The thing
you will find with this series is every season will basically evolve
around the same basic conventions of CTU mole/Double crossed/Jack
kicking ass/Jack going against protocol among some others that I won't
go into in case you are wanting to get into the show.
But it is with these conventions that make this show great! It grips you into watching the next episode week after week and keeps you guessing "what next?" 24 is a modern day master piece of action/drama that I for one will follow till its end, and will recommend to anyone.
If you love action drama then this is the show for you. The show that
revolutionized TV with its unique concept and gripping, nail biting
Kiefer Sutherland seems born to play jack Bauer and i don't see anyone else paying the character as well as he does. The supporting cast is excellent and carries the show forward when jack is off screen. Frankly speaking, I have never seen a show that has gripped me as this one has. The stories are complex but the best thing is that they are easy to follow and each episode reveals something sinister then the previous episode revealed. the music by Sean Callery is excellent and suits the mood of the situation perfectly.
the show is in its 7th season, and it has only got better
excellent TV MUST WATCH
Keifer Sutherland is great in his role of Jack Bauer an agent for
C.T.U. (counter terrorism Unit) in this action packed show where a day
seems to take forever (well at least a season). The first season was
simply amazing with the freshness of the idea for the show, the
surprises, great acting, a dimwit but uber-hot daughter, and one of the
best ending scenes for a TV show of all time. All the subsequent
seasons couldn't help but pale in comparison. Season 2 was still very
thrilling and highly watchable. Something happened in the third season
that made me like the show a tad less. That was the addition of Mary
Lynn Rajskub as Chloe. Every time she said or did anything severely
dumb (which have been too numerous to count) I found myself wincing.
Sure Jack's daughter seemed to be a little on the flaky side, but Chloe
was borderline mental and why ANY important government agency that's
worth anything would ever hire someone so insanely deficient of any
semblance to mental capacity is something I can't fathom. I could
suspend disbelief for a lot of what happened in 24 (it can get a tad
outlandish sometimes), but NOT Chloe.
Pre-Chloe grade: A Post-Chloe: B-
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