on July 15, 2003
I can't think of anything to say now that hasn't already been said. If you like suspense, action, and drama even to the slightest degee, buy this set and prepare to be glued to the TV.
The first season of '24' was something different and new. There had never been anything like it on television before, and the season was as much about experimentation as it was entertainment. How to keep the action up hour to hour, how to make it all 'real time', what should happen when, how to resolve it all in 24 hours...
At the end of the year, it proved to be a learning experience. Some things worked, some didn't. But the idea of another season was tricky from the get go. How can you rework the magic without falling in the same traps? How can you make the storyline more suspenseful (the first is hard to beat)? How do you explain what happened in the break from season 1 to 2 in an hour of real time? Fans had a lot to worry about that long summer. But November finally rolled around and old and new fans switched their sets on for what would be the first episode of an incredible year of TV.
But the second time around, the creators were all set and ready to go. Gone was the write-as-you-go style, the odd pacing, and the impossible scenarios. Everything was planned...hour by hour the pieces of the puzzle slowly fit into another...the plot growing larger. The intricacy of it all was amazing. The shocks were all inserted perfectly and at the right time, the action was well-paced, and the acting was better.
Season two learned from season one's mistakes, and proved to be a defining year in TV.
New fans were coming everyday to the Fox forum for the show. Spoilers were popping up everywhere. Ratings climbed.
Placing the show after "American Idol" certainly helped the ratings.
In the end, by the time the finale was aired in May, fans had become addicts to this adrenaline-pumping show.
When waiting 3 weeks for the new episode was hard, waiting months on end for the new season seemed harder.
We're still waiting. But for those of you wondering if this is all hype or if you should just save a few bucks...don't. You can hardly consider buying this set a waste of money. In fact, if you like suspense and action, it's as essential as food.
Pop in the disc and see what fans have been raving about, and remember we had to wait a week or sometimes 3 between those episodes!
Turn on and enjoy.
The only thing you have to lose is sleep because you won't be able to turn the damn thing off.
on May 6, 2004
A nuclear bomb is going to be detonated in Los Angeles. A former Counter Terrorist Unit agent is reactivated to eliminate the threat -- and the chase is on. It's puzzling, though, how the viewer reviews for this story overwhelmingly support the protagonist, who obviously understands terrorists and does not hesitate to employ lethal force against them in the pursuit of victory. Everyone backs the striving hero who is trying to save people from a horrible catastrophe, even when (perhaps especially when) he acts unilaterally and pre-emptively. This agent is not asking himself why the terrorists hate us. He is not being compassionate, tolerant, understanding or inclusive with the terrorists. He is not enlisting the United Nations to form a coalition and pass resolutions. No, he is merely hunting down the terrorists and wiping them out -- which is the only sort of action in the world that terrorists comprehend or respect. The viewers who cheer for this agent all know that is the proper way to confront terrorism... both on television, and most certainly in the real world.
on July 8, 2004
Season 2 is probably the best of the three. This one is much more gripping and does not include farfetched moments such as sudden amnesia in Season One. Everything in season 2 is suspenseful; from finding the nuclear bomb to the 24th Amendment on President Palmer and the aftermath of the nuclear bomb. "24" is so ingenious in making everything so fresh and original in each episode despite following one guideline throughout the year which is to stop the bomb. The finale is much more exciting with a cliffhanger ending that makes you wish this show would be called "48." I can't wait until season 4 for more suspense that only "24" can deliver.
on June 16, 2004
24 is the best military drama on tv. I was first introduced to the incredible power of 24, when FX had the season two marathon. Before that I had heard this and that about the show but had never gotten to watch any of it. Once season three began to air I started watching it on a regular basis. Now I own both season one and season two, and I am a very loyal fan, I have nothing bad to say about 24
The season two storyline had a very strong impact on the viewers as well as all of America. Following the very intense and tragic incident of 9/11, the writers of 24 wrote a story that we could not only relate to but could feel with intense emotions.
Following the very tragic death of his wife, CTU agent Jack Bauer decides to resign from active duty. Estranged from his daughter and isolating himself from the rest of the world he now lives in a Los Angeles condo. Until one day when the President calls him and personally request that he return to CTU in order to help them on their latest mission. What is the mission? There is a dirty nuke in LA that has been brought into the country by a middle eastern terrorist group with the help of some american businessmen. The ultimate plot? Detonate the bomb on american soil. Why? So that america can start a war with the middle east. Some may ask "Why would american businessman want to start a war with the middle east?" There could be many reasons, but for the sake of those who have not seen season two, I will let you find out the reason on your own.
24 is a very intense and realistic show. There is no doubt that some may not be able to handle it. But for those who can I suggest that you get your hands on both season one and season two, I promise you will not regret it.
on May 29, 2004
Season 2 of "24" takes place right where season one left off. Dealing with the tragic death of his wife, Jack Bauer is
know confronted with more terrible news that sets up another plot for a 24 hour race against the clock. Unlike in its
debut season, the story line for the second year doesn't take a long progress. Its action is seen immediately and its
impact is dominate. Alarmed that Los Angeles is under a terrorist's threat, Bauer is now assigned the mission to
stop a nuclear bomb planted in the city of angels.
Season 2 follows the same formula that made its debut season worthy of viewing. The characters are intact and even showcase symptoms of true heroism. Sarah Wynter's addition to the cast was magnificent. Her portrayal of Kate Warner displayed the depth with tolerance of being both a proud daughter and a sister to a deranged lunatic. Elisha Cuthbert's, "Kim Bauer" once again proved failure got the best of her in real time. It's funny though, I can't think of anyone who could characterize her any better then Cuthbert. She really strikes a chord with her dispositions.
Season 2 of "24" does lack emotional profundity that made the first season so unique. However, honoring the whole concept of the show makes its immense strength greater. "24" is at its premium best when the intense action overthrows the indulgent family disputes that the first season strongly exhibited. It's also extraordinary to note that the writers never fail to deliver its charge of rapid resistance and vital suspense.
The season 2 box set is filled heavily. What's so great about this set, is its use to trace certain deleted scenes from
each episode and place them into the scene it was originally taken out of. The box set also includes several commentaries and plenty of behind the scenes footage. Season 2 isn't the definitive season to date but sure implies hours or nonstop viewing. Lets just hope that this show can still deliver for seasons to come.
on May 18, 2004
Season two was indeed enjoyable. It was well-paced, with lots of twists and turns, some surprises and some good acting. Jack Bauer is even cooler, an emotionally wrecked, quasi-suicidal bad-ass terrorist-thumpin' secret agent man. Sutherland's performance is beyond reproach (although in the featurettes he seems like a soft-spoken girlie-man, the sort of guy who, when you reach out for a handshake, would hand you a wet fish). The character is much deeper this season, shattered by the events of season one.
BUT... (spoilers ahead)
The plot points and suppositions at times verge on the ludicrous, straining credulity even for an avid admirer like myself. Having just been privy to two CNN wars (as we all have here in the U.S.) the notion that Palmer's waiting for a few more hours before launching a military response would cause a mutiny within his administration struck me as completely ridiculous. Yet it was a pivotal plot point. That the whole cabinet would go along with deposing the president in a time of unparalleled national crisis came off as pure fantasy. Even Bush waited, what, a month before pummelling Afghanistan with Tomahawks? And Palmer was, if memory serves, a Democrat...
The first season was immeasurably better. I pride myself on being able to call out plot points before they happen (much to the delight of my fellow movie-goers) and I was completely taken aback by the death of Jack's wife the first time around. Granted, it's difficult to pull the same trick twice- the audience is expecting a curveball at the end- but I think they could have come up with something better than that femme fatale's lethal handshake. C'mon...
And what did this gain the bad guys anyway, killing Palmer? Unless they had the VP in their pocket, which they apparently didn't. Why bother? The war was already prevented. Revenge? It leaves a loose end, perhaps one that was tied up later, in season three, which hasn't been released. By contrast, in season one I was left with a great appreciation at the end, plus a revelation: you really CAN'T predict what's going to happen on this show. All you know is that Jack's in for a helluva day. Not so with season two, which seemed like the sort of storyline soap opera writers come up with twenty years after they've jumped the shark. I was waiting for Jack's evil twin brother to pop by for tea...
And Mrs. Palmer was involved with bringing a nuclear device onto U.S. soil just to get back at her husband? Bwaaa haa haaa! Stop it, Kiefer, yer killin' me.
Yes, it's well-made and well-acted enough to make it worth your while, even worth your money. I would disagree with another reviewer's take that the Palmer character was played badly. The actor was absolutely presidential, not so easy for a black guy who has few historical characters to emulate. He did well. And concept-wise there's really no other series like this (although it's almost a direct rip-off of "Nick of Time" starring Johnny Depp), and it's amazing how closely. although not flawlessly. they keep to the 24-hour clock. The dirty, handheld camerawork is fantastic, giving a sense of intimacy and of distance, each in turn. You're the insider, then the voyeur. So even with season two I was riveted. It's very good.
But it's a far, far cry from season one, which was hands-down great.
on May 8, 2004
I watched the two episode promo that came with another DVD and was instantly hooked. The problem is, the momentum in those first few episodes quickly petered out.
Another problem is the story becomes increasingly shoddy and political (evil corporations are the real enemy). I was waiting for Jack Bauer to squeal "no blood for oil." I guess I usually like a rollercoaster ride and lots of twists, but the problem is these twists just don't suprise--all the usual suspects are lined up, leaving one cold, bored, and disappointed. So, while not utterly predictable in the usual sense, the last half of the series just doesn't take us anywhere surprising.
The action and acting of the most of the cast sustain this series to its end, however. The strengths carry a weak story in the last half of the season. While the story may take a turn for the worse, the series still entertains. Acting, with the exception of President Palmer, is above average. Action is very good for a TV drama.
Overall Recommendation: Recommended for fans of action-thriller-spy-adventure TV. Well done, despite its flaws.
on May 5, 2004
Executive-produced by its star, Kiefer Sutherland (who has made one of the most remarkable comebacks for an actor in recent history), "24" took a unique and innovative idea---film an entire day, hour by hour, over an entire season---and, instead of using it as a gimmick, let it be the starting pad for one of the most suspenseful, interesting, exciting, disturbing, engrossing and best dramatic series in TV history. This show has never let up from the beginning, and has only become more riveting ever since. In Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) Agent Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland has created a truly complex hero, and has deservingly revived his once-promising career that had been sagging for over a decade.
The first season, which I got on DVD last year, concerned a double-whammy threat: An assassination plot against Presidential candidate Senator David Palmer (played nobly by veteran African-American actor Dennis Haysbert) and the kidnapping of Jack Bauer's daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) and, eventually his wife Teri (Leslie Hope). Along the way, subplots are interwoven cleanly into the proceedings, such as Sen. Palmer's ambitious, scheming Lady MacBeth of a wife Sherry (Penny Johnson Jerald) and Jack Bauer's enigmatic colleague, and former lover, Agent Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke). The entire first season was a high-caliber rollercoaster ride all the way to its shocking and completely unpredictable conclusion.
Season Two promised a no-less-intense rollercoaster ride as it concerned the threat of a nuclear bomb about to be set off in Los Angeles. Beginning 18 months after the events of the previous season's day, a much-embittered Jack Bauer is called upon by President David Palmer to help save the day. At the same time, Jack is highly concerned about keeping Kim out of the potential blast area. Unfortunately, it won't be easy for her as she is a live-in nanny to the young daughter of an abusive father. Also at the same time, a rich business owner named Bob Warner is about to marry off his younger daughter Marie to his trusted employee, a young British-raised Arab-American man named Reza, whom is suspected of being involved with terrorists by Bob's elder daughter, Kate Warner (Sarah Wynter). All of these plot threads come together, in ways that are completely surprising, exciting, suspenseful and spellbinding.
Bottom line: If you loved Season One of "24" then you're gonna LOVE Season Two. It rocks!!
on May 3, 2004
******This review is for those who have already seen Season One. If you are not among that crowd, watch that season before you even think about watching this one********
24's second season find's Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) ready for another day that's bad beyond my ability to convey. When we first catch up with Jack, we find him no longer employed at CTU, and alienated from his daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert), who's recently begun caring for an abused child with a psychopathic father. Jack is quickly called back to work when President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) and his aides learn there is a nuclear bomb somewhere in L.A. set to go off that very day. Palmer, himself, is forced to deal with a possible conspiracy against him, and the return of his not-so-pleasant ex-wife, Sherry (Penny Johnson-Jerald). George Mason (Xander Berkeley) now heads CTU, with Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) working just under him, as well as several new faces. Meanwhile, Kate Warner (Sarah Wynter) suspects her sister's husband-to-be may be involved with terrorists.
24's second season features just as much action and suspense as season one, and even improves upon the previous season in some respects. The entire season seems to have been planned in advance this time around, so almost all of the plot developments fit together nicely and make perfect sense. Some of these twists will surprise the hell out of you, and even the ones that won't will please because the show is well-written and well-acted.
The only thing that keeps these episodes from earning five stars is Kim Bauer's plot line, which is like an extended bad dream. Whereas all of the other plots come together, Kim just seems to be in the mix because the writers/producers wanted to keep the character around. The scenes involving Kim (with the notable exception of one involving a disturbing phone call from her father) all distract more than anything else. This is not to say it was in any way actress Elisha Cuthbert's fault-the writers simply should have found a way to work her into the plot better. As it is, a series of unbelievable mini-disasters happen to Kim.
Still, her role is thankfully kept to a minimum and won't ruin an otherwise A+ television series. This DVD package is also significantly better than the one for Season one. It features chapters, commentaries, and several featurettes. Don't miss out on this excellent DVD.
on April 12, 2004
I was always skeptical about 24 going into a second season. It ended near perfectly at the end of the first season. Buy when I checked out season two, I was hooked all over again. Not only is the season more interesting, it involves issues that our world is currently dealing with. Not only that, but the action has been pumped up 400%, that acting keeps getting better, and Jack (Keifer Sutherland) is one of the best characters to follow on TV.
With the finale just around the corner, and a new third season on the way, I think it is safe to say this DVD is a perfect buy for any fan of the show, or anybody who missed its initial run and wants to see what all the hype is about. Surely it will have many more special features than season 1 did, since the first season DVD was produced and created in about 2 months. Most likely as well as the stuff season one's had, like preview for season three, and quite possibly an alernate ending. Hopefully they will put in some commentaries in the mix as well.
Fox is doing a great job with their TV on DVD lately. They started off slow, but with sales growing and growing, they are picking up the pace, and seem to be producing better quality DVD's.
Now I just need to wait for the rest of Angel, The Shield, Farscape, The Dead Zone, and The Simpsons to be released.....