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Revisiting 24 in 2020 and beyond


dumpster
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I bought the box set of this ages ago, every episode of 'all 8 series' over loads of disks.  Ignoring the "complete" labelling (they went on to make a 9th series and a spin off called 24 Legacy) it went straight on the shelf and I never opened it.  Tidying up I rediscovered it and put the first disk in. And suddenly, 24 is washing over me, taking me back to a different time in my life.  There's a visual style to it that makes it instantly recognisable as 24.  Then the sound of the phones (everyone had that as their ringtone) and the ticking clock sound of the pilot that didn't have the pumping bass notes behind it.  It's surely the best pilot episode of anything, ever?

 

A search reveals a few short threads for individual seasons (and some episodes have a thread of their own!) but now it's all completed perhaps it's time for an overall thread?  I don't remember a specifically bad series although they did vary with some being slower than others.  And you can get a bit tired of the split screen and Jack Bauer beating up everyone all the time.  And saying 'Dammit Chloe' in reply to everything.

 

 

 

But, even with its flaws it's a hell of a series, and watching it now it really holds up and looks like it could have been filmed yesterday*

 

The way it ends every hour on a cliffhanger, and reminds you of how little time there is left until "beep... beep... beep" and that's it for another week. 

 

And how did this not get a bluray release? It seems if did get a very limited release but nothing to get now.  But the DVDs are much clearer than the rips I downloaded from supernova in 2001....

 

*Edit: although the PCs are huge, and Jack just used a Nokia 3210.  Also the product placement is crazy, with everyone driving the same make of car and all the electronic screens display the brand of manufacturer for slightly too long each time.

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3 hours ago, dumpster said:

Edit: although the PCs are huge, and Jack just used a Nokia 3210.  Also the product placement is crazy, with everyone driving the same make of car and all the electronic screens display the brand of manufacturer for slightly too long each time.

 

That reminds me: didn't all the good guys use Macs and the baddies use PCs? (A trend that continues today.)

 

3 hours ago, dumpster said:

A search reveals a few short threads for individual seasons (and some episodes have a thread of their own!) but now it's all completed perhaps it's time for an overall thread? 

 

I think it was one of those series (like BSG) that had separate US and UK threads for some seasons, wasn't it? I remember the series' main thread being the one with "Twentyfour" in the title for easy searching... but apparently that only started in 2007? And still got to 71 pages, despite starting so late in the run...

 

 

 

2 hours ago, Tonald Drump said:

 

 

Everyone always goes on about the stupidity of this subplot (well maybe "subplot" is overstating it... let's call it an "incident"), and it was already infamous by the time I belatedly watched the first few seasons. But honestly, it never stuck out to me as being as bad as everyone said. :unsure:

 

Certainly didn't represent as significant a drop in quality as the amnesia stuff in season 1. (Which IIRC came about because the writers had not planned anything beyond the initial 12-episode order.)

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I loved 24 back in the day. 
 

The first season was great as it felt totally fresh but the 2nd half of the season felt like a totally different show almost. 
 

Season 2 I enjoyed at the time but looking back was one of the weaker ones. 
 

3 is one that perhaps was underrated when it broadcast but is among the best in my opinion. The whole virus thing particularly relevant right now too. 
 

4 is a bit unmemorable and I didn’t really enjoy the Jack/Audrey relationship. 
 

5 is the bonkers, throw the kitchen sink at it season but somehow it does work and is one of the better stories. It’s got the Logan character as an enjoyable villain. 
 

6 is possibly my least favourite with the whole Bauer family angle. It just made the world needlessly smaller and his brother I didn’t buy at all. 
 

7 and 8 I barely remember at all and reading the Wikipedia page hasn’t really brought any of it back. 

The half season set in London was a bit weird but did get some enjoyable shots of Wembley at least. 

 

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My housemate in 2012 decided to rewatch it all. I'm still haunted by that fucking clock waking me up.

 

I hate this show, it was ok the first time but it's generally very bad and boring. However, if the bad guys have good accents it's normally a good series as a rule. 

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I watched it as far as the season where they hijack a stealth-bomber and use it to shoot down Air Force 1. I think that was it's 'Fast & Furious' shark-jump moment for me. It was great fun up to that point.

 

I do think that over the course of it's run it helped normalise torture as a legit tactic in war. I'm sure the American army and it's intelligence services were torturing prisoners for fun for decades. But when the Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay stories broke I think the likes of 24 helped them hand-wave away any moral issues. 

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As a general rule of thumb, the odd numbered seasons are awesome, the even numbered seasons range from good to shite.

 

3 and the 5 were the most memorable for me. As mentioned, 5 was utterly bonkers and the ending was fantastic. It was like a Robocop cast reunion too.

 

I didn’t even bother with season 6 after the first few episodes. Comfortably the worst one (ignoring that Legacy thing I obviously avoided).

 

I cried at the end of season 8.

 

Incredible TV, and one of the things my wife and I really bonded on when we first met as we both loved it.

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The season with the Who Wants To Be a Millionaire host from Slumdog has a really great second half, mainly because the evil President returns. I think it might be season 8.

 

But yeah, 3 and 5 are the highlights and I would watch them again in a heartbeat.

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My strongest memory is the series where it turned out Jack had a brother called Graeme, a name almost everyone pronounced differently (including both Jack and his father). Gram, Grarm, Graim... every possible variation except how an Englishman would say it. Americans don’t do well with that name.

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Dammit

 

Behrooz (for some reason his mother's plaintive use of her son's name always stuck with me)

 

Jack's gone rogue - why they ever bothered showing him "not rogue" I am not sure

 

the ups and downs of Tony Almeida always gave me a chuckle.

 

Evil NINA

 

Overall it was utterly daft and quite funny in places, rarely a decent drama - oh President Palmer was pretty good.

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5 hours ago, Silent Runner said:

I watched it as far as the season where they hijack a stealth-bomber and use it to shoot down Air Force 1. I think that was it's 'Fast & Furious' shark-jump moment for me. It was great fun up to that point.

 

 

That's where I bailed too, way too farfetched and ridiculous and the concept of real time 24 hours seemingly abandoned for the thrills.

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1 hour ago, Clipper said:

 

Jack's gone rogue - why they ever bothered showing him "not rogue" I am not sure

 


Was there a single series where he didn’t have to go rogue because a stuck up boss refused to listen and kept overruling him? You’d think they’d have eventually picked up on him always being proven right.

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Hard to imagine anyone thinking season 1 as being one of the worst, especially at the time. The main thing that stuck out to me was the realism of the shootouts - I'd never seen that kind of believable, military-grade gun fight on a TV show before, where you could see that the actors had been properly trained and the space they were moving around in made sense.

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Season 3 is perhaps the most consistently good, the season where Tony Almeida really gets to shine as well. I love Tony almost as much as Jack. That little soul patch he had early on, the way he whispers "alright" while doing that thing where he scratches the side of his face with two fingers.

 

 

Season 4 I remember for the season long story arc where Tony and Michelle get back together. In fact, any time they were on screen together was great. Clearly a lot of chemistry between the two actors.

 

Season 6 is easily the worst. Jack's dad, his brother from RoboCop, pretty awful all round. I don't think the show quite recovered from there. Season 7 and 8 were better, but not great. Although the latter third of season 8 is terrific, as mad as season 5.

 

Anyone remember the bit where Jack chops off a child pornographer's head and puts it in a bag so he can get undercover with some bomb making scumbags? :lol:

 

 

 

The first two seasons I watched over two weekends with a couple of mates, lots of pizza, and weed. Happy days. Speaking of which, a workmate of mine often says that before he got married, being single and binging box sets of 24 were some of the happiest days of his life. :)

 

And my brother only just watched every single season last year after I recommended it. He loved it.

 

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On 15/12/2020 at 11:07, Silent Runner said:

I do think that over the course of it's run it helped normalise torture as a legit tactic in war. I'm sure the American army and it's intelligence services were torturing prisoners for fun for decades. But when the Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay stories broke I think the likes of 24 helped them hand-wave away any moral issues. 


24 was always weirdly politically confused though. For every dodgy torture scene and bug eyed Muslim terrorist there would be an evil white military contractor who was the real instigator of all the wrong doing for profit.

 

The second half of season 2 after the nuke goes off is all about stopping military strikes against three Middle Eastern countries over fake evidence. The show’s biggest villain is an obviously Republican President who looks just like Richard Nixon. It’s wild.

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I remember buying the DVD box sets of the first 3 seasons (I think) and absolutely loved the first one - it was so new and unique. I was amazed at the planning needed to have it all play out in real time. It had some good twists and turns, too. The second season I recall mainly for Jack flying a nuclear bomb out into the desert but not a great deal more.

 

I never watched the third season or beyond though. I think fatigue set in quite early - there are quite a few series that I binged on and burnt out before the end (Buffy and Angel being the other main ones). I don't think I could get back into it now, either. These days I'm happier with a tighter 8/10 episode series and I don't think I could go back to much more than that.

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I remember first hearing about this show before it aired, and expecting it to be a one off, 24 hour long event that you were supposed to dip in and out of.

 

Anyway, it wasn't that. :blush: It was still something special though, being a rare example of a show with season (well, mostly half season) long arcs, and one where nobody felt safe. It definitely varied in quality as it went on, but I think season 3 was the sweet spot. 5 was good, but also completely insane where 3 still felt a little bit grounded.

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