Is it pointless to review Season 1 of 24, a show that came out on DVD nearly six years ago? In a word, no. In two words, it’s possible. In three words, yeah, you bet.
From the moment you pop in the first episode of 24 and you hear Jack Bauer employ his incredibly dramatic voice to explain that events occur in real time, you know that 24 is going to be something really… special.
Throughout Season 1, 24 demonstrates that it is not afraid to throw logic and common sense completely out the window in favor of ridiculously complex plots that even a gullible seven-year-old would have difficulty believing.
Allow me to give you an example of a typical plot arc in 24: Season 1.
While Jack Bauer is away at his super-important save-the-world government job at the fictional Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), the evil terrorist bad guys kidnap his wife (Teri) and daughter (Kim). You might think that the most effective way to kidnap somebody would be to bust into their house with guns, throw them in your van and haul them off to your secret desert base. Total time: 20 minutes. That’s why you’re not a bad guy from 24.
The plot to kidnap Jack’s wife and daughter actually begins weeks before the events depicted in Season 1, when one of the bad guys’ hired goons begins dating Kim’s friend Janet York. Somehow this goon gets Janet to convince Kim to sneak out and come meet them (and other goon) at a furniture store. After Kim sneaks out, Jack and Teri start looking for her. Janet’s father Alan York calls Teri and the two of them drive all around town looking for the girls. After the furniture store, the goons reveal that they are kidnapping Kim and Janet, and eventually Kim is brought to terrorist HQ. Meanwhile, we discover that the real Alan York is dead, and fake Alan York is yet another terrorist goon, who eventually kidnaps Teri and brings her to HQ as well. Total time: Weeks and weeks of careful preparation beforehand and seven hours of actual execution.
But the delicious taste of implausibility doesn’t stop there, oh no. How about the Senator and presidential candidate that has absolutely no clue that his wife is ultra-manipulative, power-hungry, and just plain mean? It’s not like they’ve known each other their whole lives. Oh wait, they have. Or consider the CTU double-agent that is revealed in the second-to-last episode. This traitor was so convincing that earlier in the season, even when she was all alone and saw something “suspicious” that she knew was simply part of the plot she herself had a major part in, she still reported it to CTU!
Don’t get me wrong, 24: Season 1 isn’t all bad. I applaud their genre-defying willingness to air episodes and sell DVDs with glaringly obvious production gaffes. It’s great to see examples that a show doesn’t take itself too seriously, like during the intense firefight between Jack and the terrorist leaders in the action-packed season finale when suddenly there’s a crew member with a face shield staring up at Jack (see above).
24: Season 1 is perfect for anyone that wants to enjoy all the thrills of a 2-hour action movie spread out across twenty-four episodes. I’m guessing it’s called 24 not because the season portrays a 24-hour time period, but because that’s how many minutes they spend throughout the entire season actually advancing the plot.
Final Rating: There are more mind-numbing ways to waste $25, but I can’t think of any at the moment.