It's a perfect 10 in 10 for 24 and Jack Bauer!
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It's a perfect 10 in 10 for 24 and Jack Bauer!
I can certainly recommend to watch this series. It's even more fantastic, if you not watch it as it's aired, but record some episodes and then watch them in in a pattern of 2 per evening for some days after another. In this way you find yourself addicted to the adrenaline which 24 unleashes.
This is TV as it was designed. I must admit that I look forward to the movie which is planned. I hope not that it's a normal movie, but that they put elements of the real time (or something similar) into it. At least the thrill should be similar.
I just finished Day 6 (season 6) and now have to rehab from my 24 addiction again.
The show follows the worst days of likable, down-to-earth hero Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and each episode chronicles every hour of the day, and is shot in real-time. What makes this show so unique are the character relationships, the shows writing and the attention to detail.Whether the shows themes are about kidnappings, bomb threats, personal vendettas, assassinations, or terrorist attacks the themes are handled in such a compelling way that the viewer is hooked at every jump and turn.
The viewers really learn to care about Jack as we learn more about his life and his past. Kiefer Sutherland was perfect for the role as Jack Bauer, so much that many people describe him as "born for the role". Dennis Haysbert does a superb acting job as Sen David Palmer and the show has an excellent group of characters who make the support team of the show and these include Carols Bernard as Tony and Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer. A big bonus of the show is that 24 is constantly surprising viewers in unexpected moments, and you never know what to expect on the show. Anything can and does happen.
The scripts on this show are top class and they deserve a mention in their own right. The attention to detail as I mentioned earlier is prominent with the real time aspect of the show. There are very rarely any mistakes with the time aspect of the show, and this is a strength of the show. The show always uses multiple split screen camera shots and this is innovative work because it helps to make the show seem realistic and also in real time. You will also see most of the camera focused on Jacks point of view and this is to make the show from a humans point of view and it helps to bring the viewer more involved in the show.
The story may change; new characters may arrive and leave but one thing always stays the same; the underlying story of the show is about one mans fight to do what is right. If there is a bad aspect to this show it may be that some of the action sequences are a bit too predictable, but this is rare and should not detach from the viewers viewing pleasure of the show. This show will make you feel every emotion under the sun but nevertheless it is gripping, thrilling storytelling of the highest calibre. Long may this show continue and the legacy of this show will be remembered for many years to come. Miss this at your peril 10/10
Season One was fantastic followed by another amazing season, then the show shook with a rockety season 3. However producers reinvented 24 with its forth season followed by another brilliant season, but the curse of the third season struck once more, season 6. It started well, but towards the end it made you feel, they've done this before, and you would find yourself thinking, what actually happened ? Producers promise Season 7 and 8 to be a new re-invention, with a totally new cast, lets hope it survives...
Let's just say that at the beginning I loved this show. Addicted to it you might say. Great premise, brilliant execution, smart acting. The whole idea of it and the way it was done, just excellent. Anyway, that's the first 8 hours. The second 8, yeah ok I'm still watching every Monday @ 8:30. Twists and turns seem to be happening with more & more regularity, but I'm still clued up to the plot, haven't lost track. Last 8 hours I'm thinking "What the hells going on?!?!". No, I haven't become disoriented and confused, I'm just wondering when did this show go from being reasonably believable to becoming logically incomprehensible?!?!
I trace it back to the episode where the car rolls down the hill and explodes and Jacks wife, thinking her daughter has just died, collapses in shock then wakes up and spends the next few episodes in trauma-induced amnesia. From this point on the show is trying to constantly top itself from episode to episode with "most unbelievable twist". Up until then, perfect. Between the hours of 12am & 10am it's got a sharply executed plot that could frighteningly ring true, all the characters (good and bad) are believable. It also gives the viewers enough time to get their bearings, to take in the consequences of what's unfolding before them. The betrayals, the red herrings.
After 10am it lapses dramatically. The show seems to become too smart for it's own good. It piles one twist on top of another without giving any time to work out how it all fits together. [WARNING: MAJOR SPOILER] I wasn't at all surprised that it turned out to be the head female agent (I forget her name) who was the traitor. One could see it coming a mile away. Not because the clues were apparent, just because there was no other real character to logically pin it on. Then having done that, having made that decision, I was left thinking of all the previous episodes and wondering "How?!?!", it didn't make sense.
The reason I was gripped by this show was first and foremost because it was intelligent and believable. Secondly because of the (cutting edge for U.S tv) narrative structure and direction. This all fails once the 2nd half becomes nothing more than a popcorn flick. If it had started out that way or maintained the initial equilibrium it kicked itself off with, I would've enjoyed it more. The change from one to the other is what ruined it for me. It turns from serious thriller into James Bond.
By the way I know what is going on the next episode.
The President will be killed, but as they're transporting his body away his skin will crumble and an alien will come out. But don't worry; Secretary Heller fell into radio-active waters and will know how to kill this beastly alien.
Hope I haven't spoiled next weeks episode for anyone.
I'm not home enough to keep up with a TV series, but the concept of 24 was interesting, so I avoided articles about it and bought the DVD set when it came out. (Unfortunately, I stumbled across the fact that Bauer's wife dies at the end of the first season.) A bicycle accident a week ago left me home recuperating, so I dug out the DVD set and started in.
This was just brilliant drama through early afternoon, although there were some weak points. It started to get a bit tedious when they took Kim and Terri into and out of danger over and over.
But in the 9PM episode, in the prison, when Jack drops his weapon, I completely lost it. I howled and cursed, hit the "open" button, put the disc away and just dropped the whole thing. I won't watch the rest of Season 1, and I won't watch any subsequent episodes. This was the most absolute, total breakdown of scriptwriting I've ever experienced. Jack has the head guy with a gun to his head, he and the others are threatened by people whom he knows well to be ruthless killers and he DROPS HIS WEAPON?!! ARE YOU NUTS?!! AAARGH!
Too bad. They had something interesting going.
24 can be a very good show but many of the problems that have been there from the start haven't been resolved. Here are seven of the most irritating.
1) When minor characters are introduced, you wonder when they'll be killed or written out. One notable example is the anthrax scare in either Season Two or Three. The kid who is supposedly carrying the virus and his family take up a lot of screen time while it advances the main plot, but then they are written out and never mentioned again. In the end you don't really care about any minor role, and when minor characters are filling up a significant proportion of the screen time you have a problem.
2) It becomes tiresome to see the incompetence of the CTU team. If they're not having endless trouble with double agents of one kind or another, they're bickering and being insubordinate like children. Even in Season Six they have this problem. Milo and the bald man with the British accent, being broken up from fighting by Chloe. Completely unprofessional especially for a supposed national agency. It's surprising they can get anything done.
3) It seems that too often when Jack Bauer breaks with procedure people go on as normal. Rarely is it mentioned that his unorthodox methods of working could jeopardise everything; the team just goes with it. And it's also very convenient that Jack always knows the president and/or some of the cabinet on informal terms, so they'll give him some leeway.
4) Occasionally I get the feeling that the series is some form of propaganda. The villains always seem to be Serbian, or Iraqi, or from other Middle Eastern territories. Even in Season Six where Bauer starts working with someone of this origin, it is not before we are filled in that he was once a terrorist himself. Also in that season, the character Ahmed is saved by an American man only to betray him later, by taking him and his family hostage. To me this seems to promote the idea that your Middle Eastern neighbours can't be trusted and always feel they are victims of inequality, which is completely unacceptable.
5) The implausibility of everything I can often stomach. But sometimes they just take it too far and the suspension of disbelief is stretched and snapped. I'll use Season Six as an example as it's fresh in my mind. Episode Two is awful. The part where the lawyer deletes personnel files from a computer within a large organisation. Are we to assume that the place has no backup server, or no hard copies kept safe somewhere else in the building? Also from that episode there is a man who attempts to suicide bomb a subway train. And how does he decide to do this? By sitting on the last seat of the final carriage of that train. For maximum collateral damage it would make sense to sit in the middle carriage! Then it turns out he was only sitting there so Jack Bauer could save the day by kicking him through the door, out of the train.
6) The use of set pieces can be annoying. It can appear that when the plot gets too mundane or slow-moving the problem can be solved by throwing in an explosion, collision or death of some kind: that seems to be a de rigueur standard for the show. It helps the audience forget that the plot was snail's pace beforehand.
7) What's going on with the villains? They get captured and then they escape. They often seem incredibly stupid, and without contingency plans of any kind. There are times they could be captured before they commit some atrocity, or destroy some seemingly vital piece of evidence, but this doesn't happen. This leads me to think, from time to time, that the villains are stupid and the CTU team progressively more so.
Those are the negatives that annoy me the most, and probably annoy quite a few other casual viewers. What the show does have in it's favour is an iconic, modern Jame Bond-style hero. A slick and always suspense laden veneer with a heavy overtone of drama (sometimes melodrama, of course). Occasionally the show clicks and the implausibility seems natural like the implausibility of life etc, and the audience is kept guessing and also given a satisfying conclusion, with not too many silly subplots.
I've given the show a low rating because it too often misses the target, like a lot of the bad guys. But when it hits it can hit hard, being thought-provoking and stimulating like all the best art. I just wish it would hit home more often, which it could do if they broke from the concept more and had fewer episodes.
Don't watch this. It's MacDonald's TV, no nutritional value whatsoever. My wife rented this & it's been constantly playing as I type. Xander Berkeley seemed to be the only character with whom one might empathize & he just died. This series has had me finding excuses to step out every night- simply being in the room when it's playing is migraine inducing.
Hateful, cynical, despicable; not the players- the producers etc who foist this junk on an ever-eager public. Avoid it at all costs.
The split screen work has been compared to that of De Palma's in his heyday, but I think it actually hearkens back to what Richard Fleischer did with THE BOSTON STRANGLER. The splintered pictures are even more effective than the digital readout in conveying that everywhere, at any time, the clock is running out for somebody, and the suspense of seeing how things will turn out is the greatest pleasure of each episode. But because you have to THINK about the story lines and keep each one in mind along with its relation to the others, may be why I fear it will not last into the end of the next television season. Spoiler Alert The core story is this: Federal agent Jack Bauer (a very excellent Kiefer Sutherland, used well for a change) has 24 hours to thwart an assassination attempt that will be made on the life of Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert, a refugee from the cancelled NOW AND AGAIN, another show too smart and creative for its own good). Palmer is the first Black man who stands a chance of getting THISCLOSE to the White House, and a lot of people don't want to see that happen. The Tom Clancy-ish kicker is that the terrorist group responsible for staging the hit, has a mole inside the agency that Jack works for. To prevent the assassination attempt from being successful, Bauer has to find out who it is.
Not easy when you realize this is "government intelligence" that Jack is dealing with. Even more difficult for him, since he blew the whistle on some corrupt fellow agents, and now at least half of the people he works with consider him lower than dog poop on the bottom of their shoes. From this main story, all the other plot threads are spun, and they range from gripping to bathetically soap-operatic:
*In the midst of all of this, Jack has been struggling to rebuild his relationship with his estranged family, wife Terri (Leslie Hope) and daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). Just as it looks like they might be making some progress, Kim sneaks out and goes partying with a friend, not realizing that the "party dudes" they're with are actually part of the Palmer conspiracy, and the plans they have for the girls, (Terri in particular) are dark indeed. This story splits off into yet TWO other plot threads, as the girls, realizing their situation, try to escape their captors, while Terri Bauer scours the city looking for Kim, aided by the father of Kim's friend (Richard Burgi from UPN's THE SENTINEL.)
*Jack's search for the agency mole is further complicated by his strained relationship with co-worker and ex-lover Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke) and his OTHER co-worker and Nina's current lover, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard). Everybody has an agenda that may have nothing to do with the Palmer crisis, making it even more difficult for Jack to find out who the terrorist cell has on the inside. Add to the escalating and shifting evidence and alliances the possibility that one of Jack's high-ranking bosses, George Mason (Xander Berkeley) might be dirty as well.
*Meanwhile, David Palmer's got some considerable issues of his own to sort out, with staying alive both physically and politically at the top of the list. A late night call sends him and his crisis team into overdrive, as he attempts to ride herd on a rumor that may destroy his chance at the Presidency more effectively than a bullet to the heart. A reporter is threatening to print a story about Palmer's son, (Vicellous Shannon), who may have murdered the man responsible for raping his sister a few years ago. Mounting evidence may even prove that the story is true, and if it is, how can Palmer reconcile his ethics and the urge to protect his family with the need to win?
*Meanwhile, Ira Gaines (Michael Massee), the mastermind behind the terrorist cell is not finding all going as smoothly as planned. Skilled expert Mandy (Mia Kirshner) finds herself in more hot water than she's ever had to deal with, when her lesbian lover and partner decides to renege on a crucial piece of information needed by Gaines to advance their plans in exchange for more money. (This situation is swiftly resolved, and it's not pretty.) Then the two slackers hired by Gaines nearly botch Kim's kidnapping, and Gaines also has to resolve this issue in classically drastic fashion. The way things are going, the 'no-honor-among-thieves' rule could very possibly implode the cell before their hired gun ever gets Palmer in his sights...
And so it goes. Somehow writers/creators Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow have managed to take the best and the pulpiest conventions of tales of espionage and intrigue, and integrate them into a show that alternates between maddeningly slow and unbearably gripping. But whatever flaws it may have, it does have the advantage of making you THINK and PAY ATTENTION at all times, even when nothing seems to be happening.
And when you're comparing that to a show where the most pressing issue is whether Muffy will go to bed with Steve and betray her fiancée Josh, I fear that soon enough, 24 may become yet another classic case of great TV that becomes cult TV; a sad reflection of our times, and what now passes for entertainment.
However, a friend lent me the first season box set last week, and I started watching....up to the "13th hour", so I have tried my best to give it a chance, when I actually exclaimed, "enough"! this is so bad! It's like a serious, but still funny version of the A team; "American Idoled up" with adolescent heart throbs from E.R. / "Six Feet Under" / central casting.
That annoying noise as the clock counts down, then two seconds of black screen, before that annoying noise again with a split screen.
Blow up a Jumbo ( 747 ) and HALO out of it to steal some photographers security pass? ( having mile high membership too - cool!) "Lets party" said the central casting pretty boys, oh how I cringed when Ray? Roy? Rick? started dancing on a furniture store table! Okay so your speed dialler is really fast ( and loud ) Apparently unlimited battery life too.
If you are hiding a "cell phone" in the rafters, and a bad guy is looking for it, do you A) look up at it? or B) look at the floor? or C) Look really guilty and shifty, and then, look up at it? Your Mother can navigate in unfamiliar terrain using downloaded satellite imagery on an unfamiliar Palm Pilot, but the bad guy in charge of running the show, misses every time with his sniper rifle.
You never swear, except for "ass".
Ask a stupid question? Believe every lie; ( Q )"Are you a double agent"? ( A ) "No" - "Okay here's the secret codes then"! Okay bored now, but you get the idea? When 24 grows up, it wants to be CSI ( don't get me started on why that sucks too )
But it's as if they spent their whole inspiration budget on that; overall, the show is rather lame. I'm sure it's a tremendous challenge to stretch a single story over 24 hours, keep it consistent and believable and keep the suspense up. Unfortunately, it appears they were not up to the challenge. The plot just gets stretched way too thin, and of course when you stretch something that thin, holes start showing up.
One of the biggest distractions for me was how well-prepared the bad guys were for contingencies they had no idea would happen. I just can't imagine Gaines saying, "OK, Kevin, as soon as these punk kids have the girls, you need to kill her father and pretend to be him, just in case Janet escapes and gets hit by a car and goes to the hospital in critical condition but survives, you can be in the hospital and kill her." I don't think so.
Nina helped way too much all through the show for her to have turned out to be the mole. When she took Kim and Terri to the safe house, she easily could have killed the two agents and then killed the women.
Kim gets kidnapped. Kim escapes. Kim is recaptured. Kim is rescued. Kim is re-captured.....
One of the worst Exploding Car Scenes I've ever seen. A car rolls 20 feet down a soft embankment....and explodes. Of course. I've never understood why people in movies and TV shows carry around raw nitroglycerin in their cars.
This and much more.
But I was willing to overlook all these, until the end. Nina killing Terri was the next to the last straw. After that, I probably wouldn't have watched any more, but I might have. The *last* straw was the EP's lame excuse for why they did it.
There was exactly one rest point in the first season, and that's when the women are rescued from Gaines. I can understand keeping the suspense up all the way through; it's a suspense show. And they do that very well. But at the end you have to give the characters (and the viewers) a rest and a win.
Throughout its four seasons, 24 provides a cliff hanger at the end of most episodes to keep you attached and has provided some of the most unpredictable twists that I have ever seen, including the ultimate shocker at the end of the first season (which I won't go into because somebody may read this before watching the first season).
As far as acting goes, there isn't a weak-link on the show. Kiefer Sutherland leads a cast of exceptionally impressive and compelling actors/actresses that make the show great week after week.
I would strongly recommend that if you do not already watch 24, start now because you're really missing out.
There are two schools of people reviewing this show. You have the people who love it above all else, think it's the best thing on television ever, who watch it in perpetual suspense even during reruns. And then you have people like me. I won't say that the show is sh*t - it isn't, but it's just not very good.
Spoilers ahead: Actually the idea in itself is very good, but it's badly executed. But if you are a naïve and unsophisticated person with no ability of logic, you are probably able to overlook all the unlikely events occurring. I mean, the idea that you have to strike back IMMEDIATELY to save American lives is just ludicrous. Just think about it, after 11/9, how long did it take for the US before they invaded Afghanistan? Hours? Days? If you said months, then you at least paid a little attention to the world around you. So when the vice-president, the chief of staff (and friend for 20 years) and half the ministers commits a coup d'etat against the president because he doesn't want to attack entirely based on some flimsy evidence right away, the mind boggles. Compared to the really good series the West Wing, where they not only have good writers, but have researchers to make it believable and realistic, 24 is just garbage. It's stupid, almost idiotic. And why is it that almost half the characters are evil or performing evil acts? The CTU and NSA is positively riddled with agents gone bad, and very few of the presidents closest people are to be trusted. Background checking must have gone out of style.
Even so, I suffered through the entire second season, but I wish I hadn't. It just wasn't worth it. Worst of all was Kim Bauer running along looking the way she looks, oh that tormented face, I could just bash it into a pulp. And the stupidity of the woman. She was told NOT to tell anyone about the bomb, and she tells about fifty people (well at least half a dozen). Not right away, mind you, but if pressed, like say, if a person asks her twice, she would cave every time. And what an awful actor she is.
If you like good series, like West Wing and the Sopranos, then there is no reason why you should watch this stupid sh*t. toredah
Season 2 is good but is spoilt by whoever's responsible for writing Kim's story which is extremely irritating and stupid beyond belief.
Season 3 is not as bad as some reviews i have read but they continue to introduce the irritating factor.
Season 4 there's room for improvement but that's as good as it gets. Season 5 is a complete disaster. It's repetitive, predictable, annoyingly ridiculous and an insult to the "intelligence" of everyone who's already seen the first four seasons. The writers and producers have seriously cashed in on this one and decided that laziness and a lack of imagination is acceptable. Reason;
(i) Any half decent organisation would learn from it's mistakes. CTU doesn't and you're subjected to the same plot of infiltration and spies in CTU as before. If that plot was milk in the fridge it would have turned into CHEESE by now! Yet they force it down your throat.
(ii) Villain's caught and then allowed to escape to be caught again should also be creating a stench in anyones fridge by now. Utterly ridiculous and a waste of time. CTU's incompetence is so unbelievable i'm surprised they haven't sued the producers for gross misrepresentation of national security!
(iii) Anyone who'd achieved what Jack had in the first season would've been promoted to head of CTU. Having saved the world 3 more times he's still not promoted, trusted and having to do everything without authorisation. That's right. Now it's time to be sick. There's only so much off food you can digest however hungry you are for 24. But the next point will trigger the emptying of your entire gastric contents.
(iv) Jack in this season commits a crime of stupidity of proportions only worthy of Kim to try to stretch this one out for 24 episodes by failing to make a COPY of something he finally gets his hands on, loses then gets his hands on again!! He doesn't think to broadcast it or even play it to everyone at CTU when he arrives to predictable consequence.
(v) Finally. They waste 20 hours of your time only to run down the last 4 hours repeating the beginning, chasing the same villain they had already captured and with the same plot because they say he has another cannister of nerve gas they hadn't accounted for!!!?? Please! Shoot the directors and writers of this one because that's not rubbish. That's SEWAGE!
In summary you'll wish you never watched this season let alone paid for it and you certainly will not want to watch Season 6.
More like "Twenty-Bore", or "Plenty of Flaws", or in this "Can't Take Any More." Thats right fans I hate this show. I think it is total crap, and make no apology for it.
Coming over over as realistic and original this production is just as ludicrous as any action movie with Segal, Swazenegger (his earlier ones were better), or van Damme. It is unoriginal and totally cliched and, even childish.
Here are wher the flaws, unoriginality and the cliches come in.
The character Kieffer Sutherland (more like Kieffer Dunderhead or "Cronulla" Sutherland, you'd have to know Sydney to understand that last one) plays is Jack Bauer. More like Jack flower, or Jack sour, or JAck tower, or Jack on the hour. Jack is an invincincible tough guy commando who barely comes out with a scratch (Willis and Swchazzenegger(in his early movies) came out of extreme events alive but with credibility considering what they'd been through). The only other actor to play a virtually invincible trooper was Steven Segal, and his movies are rubbish.
His wife, Terri and daughter, Kim (more like Dim-wit) are targetted, sorry thats already been done in True Lies. One of the good guys is an insider for the bad guys, already been done: such as in Proof of Life. A political candidate Senator Palmer (how about Kharma-sutra) is the target of assassination (like that hasn't happened in more movies than you could poke a stick at!!!) And of course the villians, the Drazen family, of which Dennis Hopper is a member, are from a force that America was hostile towards (again, more movies than you could poke a stick at.) But thats because Sutherlands character killed members of Hopper's family. He isn't even sorry for it. If he had apologised, which he had the chance to do, he might have had more sympathy from me. Although Hoppers lot are no angels, Dunderhead does not play a very sympathetic hero.
What makes it more rediculous is that everything works like clock-work. Every climatic event occurs on the hour, expected or unexpected. In real life it just doesn't work that way. Sure it leaves the viewer waiting. But if it ended in the middle of an event that would make it still suspenseful and also make it realistic as it claims to be. But I would still hate it anyway.
And the second series is just as bad. Because it's the same as the original. It's up to Jack Flour to save the day, he's completely invincible (aside from recently geting tortured but of course he came back to life), Dim-wit is in a situation she was not expecting to be in and would certainly prefer not to be in, and Kharma-sutra is having problems with Cheree like in the first one. And of course there are people within the establishment working against him. And like in the first one the episodes end on a climatic moment. The threat now (although now defused) a nuclear bomb!!! CLICHED!! Thats just like an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (good show), where they had to stop a bomb going off in the sewers. Rediculous and childish.
Twenty-Bore is a show that offers more than it delivers. No series lived up to it's claims, and is exactly the opposite of what it came over as. A completely unrewarding experience. Avoid it at all costs.
There is not a moment of Season One that I found believable. Start with the production values, which are strictly made-for-TV. Little of the series is filmed on location, and the obvious sound stage and back lot settings set a tone of artificiality that, given the plotting, is probably appropriate. Note how Bauer's wife and daughter can seemingly run miles eluding their kidnappers and never break a sweat. And because so many of the scenes are filmed on a sound stage, the lighting is often intrusively unrealistic. (In one scene, one of Victor Drazen's son's is talking face to face with Bauer's daughter, and as the camera switches from one to the other, it is always the right side of their faces that is illuminated.)
The plot reminds me of a Robert Ludlum novel in which the hero is confronted by a sinister, shadowy organization whose reach is unlimited and whose minions are everywhere. Gosh, to whom can a hero turn to in such circumstances? Why, to the writers! One can usually bank on a kidnapping and an escape, but here there seems to be an endless series of each. Why is a far-fetched escape from a 747 - which is then blown up killing all passengers - required to secure the credentials of a photographer, who is later replaced by a double, when Drazen's all-powerful organization should have been able to eliminate the photographer and make the swap after his arrival in LA? Why would the government build an elaborate, secret detention facility, and instead of locating it at a secure site, put it under yes, under a tract of farmland to which anyone, apparently, has access? (A facility so secret it takes CTU staff all of about a minute to access a detailed map of the facility.) The absurdities peak when Bauer's wife and daughter are in a car escaping (again) from their kidnappers, and his wife pulls off on a side road and exits the car, telling her daughter "I'll see if they're still following us." As she begins to trot down the road to check things out (what exactly would she do if they were still being followed?), the car, with daughter inside, rolls over an embankment (oooops!) and down into a ravine, where it bursts into flame. Seeing this, Ma Bauer collapses, and when she revives ta-da! she's suffering from traumatic amnesia! If you can watch this plot twist without laughing out loud, you're a better man than I. It goes without saying that daughter Bauer miraculously survives all this only to face, that's right, another kidnapping.
Just when it appears that the script couldn't get more hokey (my apologies to any Virginia Tech alumni reading this), the writers turned to casting for their pièce de résistance: Dennis Hopper as the Serbian war criminal Victor Drazen, whose desire for revenge set all this malarkey in motion. I'll wager that every community theater group from Portland to Poughkeepsie has at least one member who could have played the part of Victor Drazen, as written, credibly, and whose anonymity would have worked to the role's favor (as it did for the character Gaines). Instead, we get Dennis Hopper, who, in this role, is never for a second anyone but Dennis Hopper. (There is a point early in his time on screen when I thought Hopper was struggling to keep a straight face, when I thought he might laugh out loud and say, "sorry, guys, this is the best Serbian accent I can do." But, trooper that he is, Hopper sucked it up and soldiered on.) Finally, the fact the action unfolds in real time added nothing I found it to be an empty gimmick.
Compared to the drivel the networks ABC, CBS, NBC turn out, "24" may be considered cutting edge, but when judged next to "The Wire," or even "The Shield," it's laughable.
I started watching this show in its 4th season and was instantly struck the ridiculous aspect of security in a "secure" facility. Let me start by telling you, STRANGERS DO NOT ENTER SECURE FACILITIES, EVER!!. In the season I watched, not only did civilians and terrorists gain access to "the box" (the most secure part of a secure facility has always been called 'the box' or 'the shop') they carried deadly toxins with them. IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN. Well, that was last season and this season has dived deeper into the land of incredulity. The half-wit brother of the only other smart character is now President, apparently operating with out any staff. As the POTUS, he makes deals with known terrorists and sacrifices the person who uncovered the assassination of his brother? Come on, if that is not the MOST ABSURD presentation of an American President EVER, I don't know what could be more UNBELIEVABLE. In the US of A, that I know, WE NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS. The American people just get more resolved when things go bad. The very idea of the POTUS bending over like a prison bitch is INSULTING. The next thing you know, this guy will be selling the Treasury for some MAGIC BEANS. The idea that we would trade terrorist prisoners has to be the STUPIDEST PREMISES OF ALL TIME.
This show is completely UNBELIEVABLE and I cannot fathom why NO ONE ELSE writes about the ABSURDITY of this show.
Perhaps if the writers had thrown in another overused, Hollywood cliché, 24 could've been worse. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. They already used up all the clichés. I find it amusing that anyone was surprised by any outcome of this show when all of the supposed twists and turns wouldn't have been more obvious if they were scrolled, news-ticker style, across the bottom of the screen. Just a few snippets: 1. First, let me start off by saying that if real counterterrorism agents are half as inept as those on "24", then we're all really screwed. These guys couldn't catch a drunk first grader if he came up and bit them in the ass. Cliché is one thing. Stupid is quite another.
2. Hey, you know what would be great? If, when Jack goes to meet his CTU mentor in a darkened, deserted building, the guy got shot right before the was about to give him the key piece of "evidence". Of course, it would only be exciting if this happened right as they were about to make it to safety. Nah, that wouldn't be telegraphed, would it? 3. When Nina discovers that Mason has been keeping from Jack that his family has been attacked at the safe house, she immediately begins working the computers. Tony, seeing this due diligence, asks her if she's checking the hospitals. Tony says this is a good idea. Tony, of course, is a moron, since, raving terrorism expert that he is, should have done this hours ago. Don't blame Tony. The writers made him do it.
4. Or how 'bout when the Drazens attack the DOD prison? Gee, you think a top secret government prison would at least have enough surveillance to detect 8 foreign nationals setting up a communcations bunker 300 yards from a top secret prison? In broad daylight? 5. Of course, once inside the aforementioned prison, which is underground, presumably shielded against some form of electromagnetic radiation in order to protect communications and which is also, by the way, in the middle of freaking nowhere, it's remarkable how everyone's cell phone works.
6. I love how Jack goes six-guns-a-blazing in the last episode, nine-mil in each hand blasting away at the Drazens on the dock. Of course, as a former spec ops soldier, I'm sure he'd know that, aside from totally screwing his aim, all he was really doing was expending his ammo twice as fast. And not hitting anything while doing it. If this guy was specs ops, we're doubly screwed.
7. If it was so easy to cut the power to the prison, why the hell did they need to pay some jackass from the power company? 8. Terri Bauer deserved to get killed. Not for any plot reason, but because Leslie Hope couldn't act her way out of a paper bag. Gee, if it was my husband and kid, I might be distraught, instead of spending the entire time wandering around a secure government facility like a 12 year old on Vicodin, with a goofy smile on my face. I think the producers wrote her out so they wouldn't have to justify paying her again.
9. And speaking of Terri Bauer, wouldn't you think that the hub of the United States' West Coast counter terrorist operations would be at least secure enough to prevent a complete stranger from, you know, wandering around the joint or anything? 10. The NSA dude who got capped in the New Orleans bar: So let me get this straight, an NSA officer is hanging out in a French Quarter bar with an unsecured laptop full of classified information, as well as an encryption device to access, all the while chatting away about it on an unsecured cell phone inside a bar full of complete freaking strangers? Right...
11. Is it me, or did Dennis Hopper sound like he was Dracula from Transylvania? What's up with the accent, D? He sounds like a Marvel comic.
12. You know what would make for compelling TV? If the wife and daughter get kidnapped and all 3 spend about 3 hours of screen time reassuring each other they'll be OK. Couldn't we just accomplish this with a couple lines of dialogue and just move on? 13. What would've happened if Kim Bauer got caught sneaking out of the house? I guess the show would've only been one episode.
14. Why did Rick and Dan have to hang out with the girls in a furniture store? Wouldn't it have been more convenient just to hit them over the head and them bring them to Gaines? 15. At the safe house, why was the CTU agents assigned to guard duty sitting inside the tree trimmer of an electric company truck? What would he have done if he needed to get out quickly? Can't exactly jump down, can you? Of course, since he was trying to be discreet, I'm sure no one would've noticed a truck parked out there for hours on end, working on the same telephone pole? You know, like trained countersurveillance experts or something. On second thought, let's just make the professionals as stupid as possible, so that we can insure more episodes and, thus, greater ad revenue.
Please, do yourself a favor. If you own this DVD set, burn it immediately. You will be glad you did.
I will say that if you enjoy watching TV shows/series that keep you guessing to see what happens the next episode, then this is the one for you. The cast of characters does a fantastic job making it work as well. Kiefer Sutherland is remarkable in 24. I don't think they could have picked a better person for the role.
Me being from the military anyways, I should enjoy this show, because it has to do with a counter-terrorist unit trying to prevent or stop different terrorist acts. There, I don't think I gave away too much. You would still have to see it to understand.