on 14 June 2009
I will start by saying I'm a massive fan, having watched every season of 24. However, after the extended break following the end of Season 6, I found myself a little uncertain as to whether I was interested in the new series. The pre-season episode, Redemption, was good without being brilliant so it would be fair to say I had my doubts about the show. But as each episode of Season 7 ticked over, and mind-blowing subplots emerged, I found myself absolutely hooked again. Some reviewers have criticised the lack of believability in this series. I'm sure there are plenty of holes if you want to look for them, but for me it comes down to the following crucial elements:
1. Entertainment value
Season 7 never lets up from the get-go. It literally leaves you breathless at the end of each hour, yet desperately anxious for the next episode.
2. Acting quality
Every character is played by a strong actor and they deliver consistently. I've never seen or heard of most of the new actors, but they are outstanding in their roles. I won't ruin the story for others but there is only one person I wasn't looking forward to seeing again but they were at least bearable.
3. Emotional response
This is the first series since Season 2 when I have felt such a range of emotions. Rarely do you feel anything other than shock when main characters bite the dust. However, Season 7 has some genuine tear-inducing moments. This is due to the quality of actors and of course the great script. Which leads me to -
4. Script quality
The writers have delivered a quality script for Season 7. There are some brilliant one-liners and some quality exchanges.
All in all, one of the best 24 seasons ever. Arguably as good as Season 2.
on 2 November 2010
Season 7 was the first season back after a near 2 year hiatus of '24' being off our screens due to the writer's strike of the time. Before I start on Season 7 I'd like to mention that people say Season 6 was one of the worst seasons of 24, but I simply don't see it, personally I think Season 8 the final season was the worst of 24 in my honest opinion - as most final seasons of tv shows are - but to this show's credit, and it deserves a lot of praise for this, no matter what I think of the last two seasons compared to seasons 1-6 the show itself was never at any point anything less than phenomenal with a pure entertainment value that many a show fail to reach. So when I say the last 2 seasons weren't as good I am of course comparing it directly to it's own award winning material at it's very best. 24 has always been simply on another level of immersion and intensity. The show is extremely addictive.
Season 7 opens up with Jack Bauer having returned to America to face charges in Washington DC of among other things the violation of human rights while in the line of duty, at which point as the hearing is about to begin Bauer is granted temporary leave due to his assistance being required by the FBI to which Jack reluctantly agrees to help when a shocking revelation is uncovered at the FBI headquarters which explains the FBI's need for Jack Bauer specifically. The threat on this day to start with is what's called a CIP device which is used to breach the United States firewall security which controls everything from street lights to air traffic control electronics, as well as many other critical infrastructure control. And terrorists have this device. There's a heck of a lot more to it than this of course this is simply the first act of a 3 act season essentially. There are 24 episodes in the season, each episode is 1 hour of the day told in real time. Hence the name '24'.
This blu ray release is pretty good. The picture quality while not the best I've ever seen certainly isn't bad at all. The sound quality on the other hand more than makes up for it, every episode in glorious DTS Master HD! And it sounds as good as it suggests let me tell you. Especially if you have an audio setup in your home capable of keeping up with it.
Picture quality - 7/10:
Not bad at all, but I've seen a lot better from the format.
Audio quality - 10/10:
Simply stunning, especially on this show. If you've only heard 24 on the television broadcast you do not know what you're missing out on with the hd master track on blu ray. Unreal.
Extra features - 7/10:
Standard fare here, there's quite a lot of audio commentaries which is great and there's a couple other bonus features like a Making Of and Music Of 24, reason I give it 7/10 is because there's no audio commentary here from Kiefer Sutherland who plays Jack Bauer and there's a lot of recycling going on with some cast & crew appearing on different episodes commentaries in particular is Annie Wershching who plays FBI agent Renee Walker she's on a lot of the commentary tracks if not most of them.
Packaging - 9/10:
Nice packaging, well made. Discs press out easily enough and are well labelled and placed. I'm especially pleased with the outer slip case that the box set case resides in as sometimes these can be a nightmare to slide out again. Not here the casing slides in and out with ease which is always good.
Ultimately is 24 Season 7 worth your £40 ? From a show quality standpoint it's a definite yes. From a blu ray complete package perspective it's also a sure fire yes given the standout audio which apart from the show itself is the standout jewell in this blu ray's crown for sure. This blu ray 24: Season 7 box set comes as very highly recommended to absolutely anybody, both fans of the show and first time chancers alike. Though honestly first timers I'd advise to start with the Season 1 DVD first as it's cheaper and introduces you to the show.
on 5 November 2009
By all accounts this show should have exceeded its shelf life long ago. How long should it take before the real-time concept (i.e. the infamous ticking clock) becomes annoying and tedious?
In the past however weaker seasons of 24 have been followed by excellent seasons (season 4 followed by season 5). It appears events are repeating themselves. After the rather clumsy season 6, Jack Bauer makes a welcome return to form. The secret appears to be the addition of new characters that are complex and memorable. This time around we are introduced to several of them, namely FBI Agents Rene Walker and Larry Moss, and new president Alison Tayor (whose democratic leadership takes us back to the days of David Palmer). Not only this, but the show has also changed location for the first time from Los Angeles to Washington. This instantly gives it a fresher look and feel.
Additionally a real attempt has been made by the writers to add a strong political context and confront the "trigger happy" image they have, intentionally or unintentionally, created. As the series begins Jack is put before a senate committee to answer for his unethical actions. The conflict of upholding the law, and doing "whatever is necessary" in order to protect innocent lives, remains key as the series develops. By the final episode the viewer is left to decide for themselves which is more important. However where the writers have scored is showing that such drastic actions have serious consequences which even people like Bauer cannot run from.
Combine these new factors with more traditional elements, explosive set pieces along with a truly multi-layered plot, and you have an utterly gripping seventh day. Any tedious subplots are thankfully absent this time round, and the end product is all the more exciting as a result.
As always, elements of the plot are utterly implausible. The early resurrection of Tony Almaedia being the most obvious example. However that is part of the shows fun. For those of you that have not seen it before 24 is not noted for its realism. If realism is more for you then you are probably better off watching a show like The Wire.
on 15 November 2009
First off, I feel I have to express my frustration with those people who refuse to admit that 24 is ever anything less than brilliant, give every season 5 stars on principle, and claim that even at its worst it's still the best thing on TV. Don't get me wrong, I love 24 when it's good (and it usually is), but there are other great shows out there, and at its worst (i.e. season 6) 24 can be a real let-down. For my money, season 1 is still the best, and about as good a season of TV as I've ever seen, seasons 2 and 3 are not quite as good but still great, 4 is a bit tired but still very enjoyable, 5 is probably the best after the first season, and probably the greatest achievement in that it's so exciting even though the 24 'formula' has been around for a while, and then 6 is mostly rubbish.
So on to 7. After the crushing disappointment of season 6, which was the first series that I actually struggled to get through at times, rather than being rapturously glued to the TV, season 7 was make-or-break for me in terms of whether I'd bother sticking with it for any further seasons (though my understanding now is that 8 will be the last), and I'm happy to say it's reaffirmed my love for the show. It may not be as fresh as it once was, but the good news is that that's the only real problem; where season 6 made a lot of mistakes which I think could have been avoided, season 7's only real weakness is that, inevitably after so many years, we've seen it all before.
If it were the 2nd or 3rd season it would probably be 5-star amazing, but this far into its lifespan there's always going to be a certain sense of predictability about it. Someone Jack thought was dead isn't really dead? Check. At least one government agent is working with the terrorists? Check (do federal agencies not vet these people very well before hiring them?). Jack's the only one who really knows what's going on but for some reason he can't tell everyone else and so has to go rogue for a few episodes? Check. However, while it may gain some of its renewed freshness from the 2-year gap since the previous season, and the new setting of Washington DC probably helps too, it somehow manages not to feel quite so "oh all right, here we go again" as season 6 did.
At least one new character certainly plays a big part in making season 7 as fresh and exciting as it is, namely Jack's new sidekick, FBI agent Renee Walker. After some fairly dull characters making up the numbers last time around (Nadia, Doyle), she's a real breath of fresh air for the show, and the character development generated by her sort of apprenticeship under Jack makes for some of the best character work on 24 in years, especially when it comes to the tough decisions she finds herself having to make in terms of whether or not it's acceptable to torture suspects when there are lives on the line, as Jack has done so unhesitatingly in previous seasons. This moral debate actually takes up quite a lot of screentime in season 7, and while it does become a bit too much like a secondary school classroom discussion at times, it's nice to see the show's writers actually acknowledge the dubious morality of the issue for once.
I apologise if I haven't included much plot detail along the way (well, any really), but it's pretty much impossible to go into it without giving things away, and when a show relies on surprise and excitement as much as 24 does, that would be an unforgivable sin. Seeing as hardly anyone is going to be coming to season 7 as a complete stranger to 24, it should be enough to say that if you liked the previous seasons you'll like this one, and if you were disappointed by season 6 then this should remind you why you loved 24 in the first place; the new characters are mostly very good, and mix nicely with the more familiar faces, and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you hooked for all 24 episodes. Let's hope season 8, and the movie if it ever happens, can build on this return to form, and bring things to a close worthy of the 24 legacy.
on 1 October 2009
Hello everybody, I just want to say that this is the best TV show ever made. The 24-Genre never gets boring. It will keep you entertained for a lifetime. And Kiefer Sutherland is a great actor, the whole show is casted excellent.
About Season 7:
It could have been better, but it is a very good season. You see Tony getting all psycotic in the season finale. It is kindof weird that CTU is gone, but good thing that they are bringing it back in Season 8. Overall a very good season, but not the best.
I am very glad that this is coming out on Octobre 19th, because on Octobre 19th it's my birthday. I highly reccomend this to all of you. And have a good day.
on 21 July 2009
My 4 stars score is a trade off between what the best seasons of 24 can offer and what competitor shows can offer. My latest ranking of 24 seasons, best to worst would be: 1,2,5,3,7,4,6 which means that season seven is neither great nor terrible compared to the shows history. I felt the need to review this critically as this season was still missing some 24 quality control! (Also I hate people ruining whole seasons of 24 for me, just to suit their sudden burst need to feel superior having seen an episode before you, so I've not divulged any specific plot lines or twists here in case you have not yet seen it)
Against the backdrop of the admittedly badly written series 6, this season had much to live up to, especially given how long it had been since the last season due to the writers strike in the US. After watching it, unfortunately I feel they have still missed out the best things about 24 and carried on some of the worst traditions, This is by no means the worst series but while the writers acknowledged that season 6 was poor, this season supports the fact that they just nodded along without understanding why it was poor.
The season starts in its normal fast paced attempt, with the first scene being a heist, events then unfold that reveal a terrorist situation. CTU is no longer running though thanks to its over controversial methods being picked on by senators and the FBI has taken over these sorts of counter terrorism investigations. There is a new president in the white house, who was inaugurated in the 24:Redemption 2 hour episode. Of course Jack Bauer is central to the series, but we definitely get to see a more human side to him unlike his normal terminator style drive, his humanity was touted for season 3 but this season makes a much better show of it.
Season 1 remains the best as it was the only one to capture the essence of being awake for 24 hours and exhaustion and stress it would really bring. Its slower pace allowed some proper character development. This season like the last just completely failed to address this once again, everyone is as awake by the end as they are at the beginning, including all the FBI staff. Not only is this aspect of the 24 hour real time badly handled, but this season gets slammed with the "Instant Travel" method again, where the writers are trying to cram so much into each episode that they make people travel to Washington destinations in a matter of minutes, the first ten minutes of the season are the perfect example of this, with a super difficult computing/engineering task done within 1 to 2 minutes!
The characters are fairly decent in this season, there are many new members of cast due to the introduction of the FBI and new white house administration. There are very few extremely annoying people who are just irritating and aggravating to watch, the presidents daughter being one of them. There's a few old faces from 24 history, which also highlights that this season like the last few have had consecutive story lines that mean you should have watched the previous seasons before approaching this one or you'll miss out on vital story aspects.
Plot wise this season is a mixed bag, some bits are good but having more than 2 or 3 plot sections in my opinion just trivialised the whole atmosphere and made each bit feel immaterial to the overall picture. While this was better in that regard than season 6 (the worst offender of too many plots), it still had a few too many sudden introductions of new plot lines. Yes they are then fast paced and exciting to watch, my adrenal glands were depleted many times by the end of an episode, but the lost sense of realism is really missed. If tonnes of plot lines are unanimously what the viewers want then the only way I see to feasibly do this, while maintaining some sense of realism, is to remove the 24 hour real time idea, but then frankly that's the most unique selling point about 24!
One thing that annoys me about 24 are pointless deaths, they are a cheap way the writers have found to make an episode as impactful as possible, but overuse in previous seasons has almost rendered this tool lame. This season has a couple but certainly not as bad as some previous seasons. Something I did like in this series were the moments of calm. Not every moment was a chase, which I found a relief, and allowed for some real character development, the FBI agent Renee walker gets a full character development arc running alongside the rest of the story, and isn't just confined to the "lead, chase, new lead, chase again" mechanic.
Overall a decent piece of viewing but a shaky step compared to the strongest seasons. It did not learn effectively from its past mistakes, but still managed to come across competently and entertained none the less. Jacks humanity makes a welcome visit, and the moral backdrop of the whole counterterrorism methods debate provides a rich enough texture to supplement the action. Definitely worth a watch, just don't expect this to trump previous seasons.
on 20 November 2009
I found series 7 to have a very slow start, but that soon changed. What is really good about this season is that it much more explore Jack's weaker sides and as to how far he is willing to go to save the people of America.
Without spoiling anything, I would also say that this is most definitely Keifer Sutherland at his acting best. Can't decide whether it is because we know the character "Jack Bauer" so well or whether it is because of the personal problems that the actor had at the time + the whole issue surrounding the writers strike? In any case, season 8 will have a lot to live up to.
One word of WARNING: Do NOT watch the extras DVD-1, it contains spoilers in the music piece in terms of the visuals used - this should be a sacking offence for the DVD producer...
All the Best
Mads Nybo Jorgensen
Mac Million, London
on 11 February 2010
I have been a big fan of 24 since Season 4 (yes, sadly Season 4 was my first one) so I instantly got hooked into this series after buying the box sets to catch up, and subsequently watched Seasons 5 and 6 aswell. Season 5, in my opinion, was as strong as any series in the history of the show and while Season 6 was good overall, it lacked something and the ending was a bit of a disappointment. I have a soft spot for Season 5 because it was so strong overall, and it was the first really, properly strong series that I actually watched on TV.
So Season 7 had alot to live up to, especially as the writers brought Tony Almeida back and placed him in full view in the preview trailers before the series was aired (Tonys re-emergence as a character was their big play for this season from the very beginning, they didn't attempt to hide him as a surprise inclusion at all). I think most fans were delighted to see him back and were curious as to his role, as I was.
The story to 24 Season 7 begins with Jack in trouble for his relentless torturing of suspects over the years, when the FBI come calling for his assistance as it seems an all too familiar face is back and is plotting to take revenge against the US. For Jack, his mission is clear - take this man down. However, as the series goes on, it turns out that this terrorist attack on the US isn't quite what it seems after all...
I have to say the writers did a great job with this series. They brought in a female partner, as such, for Jack in the shape of Renee Walker. In the early part of the series, they really made Jack out to be an almost heartless killing machine, and used Renee to show him up as this type of person at several points throughout the series, then ended the series with Jacks actual humanity very much intact and playing a major part in the story as a whole. Jack and Renees partnership is a major factor of this season and both the writers and the actors did an excellent job with all aspects of their often conflicting personal ideas and opinions. The plot to Season 7 itself twists and turns its way with several REALLY good and completely unforseeable twists aswell - I know a few of them really shocked me and I have seen all the series up to now. I don't want to get too much into story details as many of you may not have seen the series but all I can conclude on is this - I have already stated my love for Season 5 which, for me at least, was a brilliant series and one of the best since the show first aired. Season 7 is right back on track with the action, drama, suspense, and sheer brilliance of storytelling that made me love 24 in the first place. It very much makes up for the minor step backwards from Season 6. This series brings back everything we love about 24 into one neat and tidy little package. At the end of every episode of Season 7, you just cannot resist moving onto the next one - an addiction which was sadly lacking in several parts of Season 6.
Highly recommended from me... this is a great series and as a 24 fan, I have to say that I very much loved it 5/5
on 6 February 2010
Having been a massive fan of this groundbreaking series since day 1 I was excited that at last it was going to be making it's first appearance on blu ray (at least until I saw the price!!). The picture is pretty good with bold dark colours and bright scenes standing out. Definately an upgrade from the DVD, audio too is quite clear. All in all quite pleasing. I was surprised just how small the case was, which is definately better than the fat DVD boxes of the first few season's! All 24 episodes feature on 6 discs, there are some extras such as commentaries, deleted scenes, etc spread onto these discs too.
Season review (no spoilers):
a few months have passed since Jack Baeur left Africa (24 Redemption) to face the hearings he had been avoiding. Whilst answering questions about his past, the FBI intervene & ask for Jack's help in apprehending a terrrorist beginning another stressful day for Baeur...
Now 24 has always been one of those shows which is unafraid to take bold new steps. In the past we have seen many popular characters unexpectedly killed or change sides and this series offers many twists throughout. You never quite know what to expect next. After 7 seasons the energy and wit of the show is still one of the best on TV. However season 7 is not the best season. In my opinion the story was stretched a little too much and some of the developments were a little disapointing for me. It is still a great show though. I guess it just felt a little unfamiliar for me as the action now takes place in Washington with CTU now disbanded resulting in the disappearance of a few characters and a lot of new faces to get used to.
That said the new President Allison Taylor is the best Commander-in-Chief the show has seen since David Palmer and the development of FBI Agent Walker's character is well written.
on 12 January 2010
After 6 previous series, it will always be a struggle to keep the 24 format interesting and unpredictable (the twists have always been the main feature of 24). And even though season 7 is not the worst of the series, it is definitely easy to pick out the moles and who is a traitor etc. We've just seen it all before in the previous 6 seasons.
There are a few storylines that are just plain stupid, mainly the one which involves the presidents daughter (an even more annoying and irritating character than Kim Bauer). I don't want to spoil anything but the job she is given surely needs a little bit more experience and training rather than the 5 minutes it took her to settle in?
This season goes by the format of starting with a relatively small situation, which leads to a bigger one, onto a bigger one and then another slightly more bigger crisis. There are then a few hours left and the story is then stretched to fill the full 24 hours.
Also I think what they've done with Tony Almeida is completely out of character. However, it's good to have him back along with Chloe and Bill. And of course Kim is back too and gets herself kidnapped. (I think after 6 seasons this wont be classed as a spoiler anymore).
The main disappointment was that the season didn't end with a bang, something that was done so well in season 1(the main crisis was resolved and everything quiets down, just to finish with a big shock). Season 7 could have finished about 2/3's in.
Apart from all that, if you enjoyed the previous 6 series, you'll like this one too. However, if they are going to do a season 8, I hope they will think long and hard how to keep this series interesting and finish on a high.