24: SEASON 1 - REVIEW
I know, I'm like 100 years late.
But I'm The "Retro" Critic! :P
I remember catching a glimpse of this iconic show back in the day and actually finding it pretty entertaining. Sadly, I hadn't followed the thread from the very beginning so it felt like catching the season about halfway through would be a bit of a waste. I decided to wait until I could check it out on DVD.
10 years later...
Well I finally made it, that's the main thing, right?
So was it worth the wait? What do I make of this very first season?
It's good. I thought it would be quite good and it was. Basically I'm rarely taken by a cop-themed series unless you've got a mad scientist in there (Fringe), evil twins (Alias) or... Columbo (Columbo). But 24 did a hell of a good job keeping me entertained throughout and making me care about MOST of what was going on. Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer is a hard one to dislike and is pretty much the glue holding the whole show together through a mix of no-bull manly badassness and just being understandably rude to people on the phone. The guy's always in a hurry, never sleeps, people keep breaking his balls and yet he keeps going no matter what. How can you not get behind that?
Actually, he's so good that when he's not the action's focus, when he's not on screen, the show has to really fight to remain as good as it is. It's fine when Dennis Haysbert's Senator David Palmer is on screen, an increasingly cool character, but when we're left with either Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) or Teri Bauer (Leslie Hope) it's watchable at best. I mean, the subplots surrounding the latter characters are not bad, it's just hard to really care about Jack's family when they're so infuriating. Kim is particularly grating: it's like she WANTS this shit to happen to her! I mean, I understand she's meant to be "young" but I hate that kind of "made-for-TV" way of looking at youth: young = dumb. There's something condescending about this depiction of teens and it constantly pisses me off. Teri, on the other hand, is the typical damsel in distress and even if you do feel for her when really bad stuff happens to her, you just want her to get a grip and... Bauer-up goddamnit!
What really makes the show, though, is its killer concept. The whole everything-happens-in-one-day thing is a brilliant idea and works incredibly well. The action shouldn't flow this well but it does and the split-screens give the show an off-beat retro 60's feel that feels, strangely, completely appropriate. It's a great-looking series and when the tension mounts, it's genuinely gripping. I wish MY days were this meaningful.
That said, you can tell there's room for improvement in further seasons. There needs to be more at stake, stronger (more likable) female characters, more screen time for certain peeps (I'm thinking Tony?), a hilarious Kim Bauer death scene, better villains and twists crazy enough to make you Bauer your pants. For what it is, though, Season 1 is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. It won't change your life or feed your child but you won't be disappointed.
Season 2, I'm ready.
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