I'm a very big 24 fan like everyone here, and have seen every episode at least half a dozen times. Its run from Season (Day) 1 to Season 5, and perhaps the early part of Season 6, was one of the best stretches of any TV show, ever; admittedly I thought the show took somewhat of a decline. Redemption and Seasons 7 and 8 were less compelling and more stale, and bowed to political correctness. 24 is the best drama series ever to be aired on regular broadcast TV, and it definitely holds its own against any other drama on cable. 24 easily distinguishes itself from any other show in history in terms of the real-time and split screen. I am very much looking forward to the show's return in summer 2014, and hope it is more like the "old" 24. What I am looking forward to even more is the release of Seasons 1 through 6 on Blu-ray, if/once it happens. It's pretty much a crime that hasn't happened yet.
About Myself Edit
I am a graduate student from the great state of Ohio. My older brother is a HUGE fan of 24 and watched much of the show when it actually aired; he introduced the show to me. The first episode of 24 I ever saw on broadcast was the Season 8 finale during its premiere; about 1 minute of it. I saw the ticking clock and split screen and was hooked; I didn't understand the plot (obviously) so there were no spoilers there. I watched the entire series from start to end over a very short time period, and then did it again and again. I have Netflix so I rewatch it on a regular basis and I often notice something new, however subtle, when I see an old episode.
What to love about 24 Edit
There are many, many things to love about 24; again, in its "prime" from Season 1 to Season 5 (and partially through Season 6):
- the good guys: Jack, Palmer, Chloe, Tony, most of CTU and the US govt., etc.
- the top-level bad guys: Drazens, Nina, Sherry, Kingsley, Max, Saunders, Marwan, Henderson, Bierko, Logan, Graem, etc.
- the bad guys who got away: Jonathan Maljevtch, Mandy, the assassin who garroted Robert Ellis, Trepkos, Morrison, Nina's ghost German employers, Amador's ghost Ukranian scientists, the other Bluetooth guys, etc.
- absurdly complex and evil terrorist plots; mind-boggling conspiracies
- it's a serialized drama show with incredibly compelling storytelling
- real time with a ticking clock
- split screen, whether different scenes at the same time or the same scene from multiple angles
- nonstop action/intensity, brilliant cliffhangers, shocking plot twists
- Sean Callery's awesome music
Conservatism and 24 Edit
While I am having less and less faith in politicians in general by the day, I am very much a conservative (NOT necessarily Republican) and appreciate that Seasons 1 through 6 or so (again, the prime of the show) were unabashedly conservative. This is probably somewhat of a taboo subject for 24 viewers in general, but there are many general things indicating conservative views:
- creator and executive producer Joel Surnow is a conservative
- Seasons 2, 4, and 6: having Muslim/Islamic extremists as the primary terrorists (of course 2 and 6 had others as well). It's not Islamophobia, since there has been a wide variety of terrorist groups depicted on the show. It's good that Surnow did not bow to political correctness for those seasons; no group should be immune. I remember reading a Kiefer Sutherland interview from 2010 where he mentioned that they don't discriminate against Islam, but that doesn't change the fact that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Muslims and that Islamic extremists exist.
- good vs. evil; very little moral relativism
- Jack Bauer: the rugged, America-loving cowboy who is doing what needs to be done to save the greater good and defend his country.
- depiction of patriotic, hard-working people who defend the US by all means necessary
- acknowledgment that in a post-9/11 world, America has enemies who need to be stopped
There are also specific things indicating conservative views:
- Before Jack killed Ryan Chappelle in Season 3, he did say "God forgive me." Jack knows he is making an extremely difficult yet correct choice, and wants God to understand why he's doing this.
- Season 4 particularly has multiple scenes depicting utter evil: Navi Araz terrorizing not only the country but also his family, Dina Araz saying "I am happy to see the reactors melt down" with a tense face, and Habib Marwan's epically evil speech at The Hub. When Bauer temporarily captures Marwan at his warehouse late in the season, and also earlier when they have their high noon showdown at IDS Data Systems, you can't help but say to yourself "This is the face of freedom staring down the face of tyranny."
- Pro-2nd Amendment: in Season 4, Jack and Safa and Naji defending themselves from McLennen-Forster commandos, Chloe defending herself from Morrison's hitman, certainly numerous other instances throughout the show. Overall, it's good the show recognizes that the only way to defend against bad guys with guns is to have one's own guns.
- Audrey Raines attending a Heritage Foundation dinner before Season 4
- SecDef James Heller chiding his lazy, junkie son Richard for his "sixth-grade Michael Moore logic"
- Bleeding-heart Amnesty Global attorney David Weiss happens to be tipped off by the terrorists in Season 4, and prevents Prado from giving up information leading to the terrorists' location.
- President Charles Logan: in Season 4 he refuses to allow suspected terrorists to be tortured, and in Season 5 it's revealed he facilitated the movement of US-based weapons to a foreign country *cough* FastAndFurious *cough*. Sound like any US president we know?