24 is one of my all-time favorite shows. I loved the real time format and the constant feel of racing against the clock with the timer helped give it that extra sense of an adrenaline rush.
Keifer Sutherland revitalized his career by playing lead Jack Bauer, an operative with a counter terrorism unit. The series became known for its shocks, top tier action sequences and no illusion that any character was safe. Here’s all of the reviews from the various 24 seasons:
We meet Jack and CTU as they discover a plot to assassinate presidential candidate David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert). But the plot is far reaching enough that someone at CTU wants to keep Jack out of play by kidnapping his wife and daughter and he’s only got 24 hours to save Palmer and his family.
A nuclear missile has arrived in LA and Jack and CTU have to stop it, but in keeping with the tone of the series not everyone will survive.
Jack has to deal with a devious mastermind who’s his mirror image while President Palmer braces for re-election as even more family drama surfaces. Season 3 deals with a somewhat timely premise with a bio-weapon plaque that kills within hours. Kim graduated from girl hostage to CTU agent making for an immediate shift in her more ridiculous storylines.
The series started facing some transitions to avoid getting caught in to a predictable rut so most of the familiar CTU faces were gone and replaced by mostly ineffective agents. Jack was gone, but eventually finds himself back in the CTU fold in order to protect Sec. of Defense Heller and his daughter, Aubrey. Former President Palmer returned to help aid the way over his head Vice President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) once he found himself in the top spot. Still, the series was starting to revisit earlier plot points like Middle Eastern villains and an imminent nuclear attack, but later developments show the series hasn’t lost its magic touch.
24’s crowning achievement with Jack facing off with an array of formidable villains including one he never imagined. The series had never been too predictable about keeping fan favorites alive, but this season gets off to a shocking start by taking out three very popular characters and setting Jack on a path of revenge. President Logan and his wife (Jean Smart) Along the way he encounters his former mentor, who might know the true source of all of Jack’s pain. This season never lets up and like Season 2 it ends with a stunning cliffhanger.
Arguably the show’s weakest point. The villains are OK, but their plans are all over the place relying on more happenstance and coincidences than any other season before. CTU reaches its ineptness limit with fatal consequences for a longtime cast member. Ricky Schroder tries, but he’s a bad fit for the series further highlighting a clueless earlier decision to kill off a semi-longtime cast member. Both President Wayne Palmer and Jack have encounters with previously unmentioned family members to varying degrees of success. This is the season that really tests the fanbase devotion with even Sutherland and the writers admitted this one was largely a swing and a miss.