8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2005
24 is undoubtedly the best television show to have graced our screens in the past five years. I watch a lot of movies but it's quite shocking to know that perhaps the best thing I've seen is a television show. With all the qualities of a top-notch blockbuster movie, just ten times (or thirty times for this boxset) the length, this show is virtually flawless.
Season 1 is obviously very good or I wouldn't have been obliged to watch the second and third. The storylines which are seemingly unrelated intertwine fabulously and there are so many twists and turns you'll be on the edge of your seat for the entire ride, but the twists are seldom unbelievable. The real-time formula is fresh and exciting, one of the things which had drawn me to the show in the first place. Emotional and thrilling, this is superb. And it's worth buying this boxset just for the shocker ending to this series.
Season 2 is perhaps weaker but still superb television. One storyline involving Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) is detached from the rest of the story throughout the entire story and so reduces the quality a little. However the introduction of new, likeable characters and the welcome return of some old ones ensure the show is far from getting boring. The ending of this may be slightly disappointing and surely infuriating for those who were forced to wait months between the television air-dates of seasons 2 and 3.
Season 3 is a return to form, however, and the real-time formula is showing no signs of becoming old, even if it perhaps is less exciting than during the first season. There are, also, no cougars whatsoever in this series, fans will be delighted to know. With some more new characters and more old ones returning, this is similar to season 2 although the 2-part story is as exciting as ever. This season in particular has a body-count unsurpassed by any other television show. The climactic finale is excellent and the emotional final few minutes are so tense I defy you not to shed a tear.
Kiefer Sutherland is excellent as the near-invincible Jack Bauer, and there are endless exceptional performances throughout the series. Sarah Clarke is also a particularly good actress whose talents are shown clearly in the show.
In spite of the fact that logic is often ignored, no characters seemingly need toilet breaks or food and twists can sometimes be slightly too unrealistic, this is pound-for-pound exceptional entertainment. Beware, after the first few episodes you will be hooked until the very final minute. And the beeping clock sound will stay with you forever.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2004
I was never a fan of 24 when it premiered on terestrial TV. I believed a drama where every episode was an hour of the day wouldn't work. Thankfully when given 24 series 1 by a friend, I had no choice but to buy seasons 1 - 3 as it is one of the most thrilling TV experiences ever.
The shows premise was we spend one day in the life of Jack Bauer, a Counter terrorist specialist who will do anything and everything to get the job done. From the start we have thrills coming out of our ears as Jack races in series 1 to prevent the assasination of a black presedential candidate, series 2 prevent a nuclear explosion and series 3 stop a virus getting released. Along the way several sub plots are brought in to play and these are just as engrossing as the main story.
The shows format of the 1 hour per episode in real time is executed perfectly with the majority of episodes ending on excellent cliffhangers so you have to keep watching, although by the third series the format is getting pushed to its limits but it still is one of the most orginal things seen in years.
Kiefer Sutherland excels as Jack Bauer who can be in an office one minute and then invovled in a car chase the next so we are always on our toes. The emotional arcs of Jack Bauer are extremely affecting as in series 1 he has to balance the task of doing his job and protecting his family and if you don't get upset at one specific point you are dead inside.
The most impressive feature I found about 24 was that even though I knew the big twist finale to season 1 (my idiot brother who was a seasoned 24 fan felt the need to tell me) the show still managed to convince me buy all three series because it sucks you in so much you have to know what happens after the SHOCKING end to series 1.
If you haven't seen 24 and are a fan of the best thrillers around then this purchase is for you but do not let anyone tell you how it all ends.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2004
I bought this whole box set without having seen a single episode -- so strong was its reputation. And we haven't been disappointed. It's been one of those rare TV series that both my wife and I have enjoyed watching together.
I would agree with the general view on this forum that Series 2 is the weakest of the three. I think that's largely because the two threads of the story -- the nuclear threat to LA and the father's threat to Kim -- stay completely apart throughout. In Series 1, every thread contributed to the overall story. Series 2 finishes particularly unsatisfactorily, with the master crooks revealed to us only minutes before the end, and no resolution there, or at the start ofSeries 3, to tell us how they were captured.
Series 3 has two largely unrelated stories -- the presidential re-election and the viral threat to the USA -- but it is somehow much better done than Series 2: it's clearly got a bigger budget (for two jet fighters and a cast of hundreds in the hotel and the metro stration), and the music is better. Every key character compromises themself in some way or other -- even the President. The only problem with Series 3 is that the entire story in Mexico could be detached from the LA outbreak story that dominates the second half. And the fake courier plot that starts off the series seems largely irrelevant to everything else. Constructing a 24-episode day is clearly a very difficult thing to do.
I can't help thinking that the central character, Jack Bauer, is a US attempt to create a James Bond equivalent. (Maybe I'm being deluded by the initials.) But it works well.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
24 is a TV show like no other. Each season represents a different storyline. Each episode is one hour in the same day, and events occur in real time.
I knew that much before watching season 1 when it debuted in 2001. What I didn't know was how addictive this show is. The story telling is strong. There are enough characters to keep you engaged even when a character has to drive from one location to another. The story really does require all 24 episodes a season to tell. And each episode ends with some of the best cliffhangers ever.
Season 1 takes place on the day of the California Presidential primary. The Bauer family is just about ready to go to bed when Jack gets called into his job at the Los Angeles office of CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit). They have received information on a credible assassination attempt on Presidential candidate David Palmer. Meanwhile, Jack's daughter sneaks out of the house to party with a couple questionable friends and Jack's wife goes out in search of her. As the hours tick by, they all begin to realize what a web of danger they are in.
Season 2 picks up 18 months later. Jack no longer works for CTU, but is called in personally by the President when evidence of a dirty bomb in LA is found. Jack warns Kim, who encounters one obstacle after another in her efforts to get out of town.
3 years later, season 3 finds Jack and Kim working for CTU. This time the danger is a bioweapon and the lead is a Mexican drug lord. Is the weapon already out, or can they stop it? Meanwhile, the President is up for reelection and must deal with internal problems caused by his staff that could end his Presidency.
These, of course, are only the major storylines. Every season also has sub-plots and character arcs to help fill in episodes and make the action more realistic and personal for the characters. Most of these are strong as well, although each season features at least one story that makes me roll my eyes, like Terri's amnesia in season 1 or most of Kim's exploits in season 2. And while there are events that stretch credibility, the show itself is so engaging it really is easy to ignore them.
As the creators and writers have found the pulse of the show, each season has gotten better. Season 3 is by far my favorite with way too many white knuckle moments. That's not to say that the first two aren't worth watching. In fact, you really need to watch every season to fully appreciate the next. Any surviving cast members' stories builds on previous years' stories.
And that's another catch. Not everyone is guaranteed to survive a season. In fact, they have managed to kill off some pretty major players over the course of the years.
Each of these DVD sets is outstanding work. The picture, shot in widescreen but cropped for TV, is back to its original aspect ratio. The full surround sounds nice as well. This along makes preserving them on DVD better then watching them originally. Season 1 was rushed out to help bring in viewers for season 2, so it is a bare bones set. The episodes are on six discs and the only extras are an introduction and alternate ending. Seasons 2 and 3 feature seven discs each and are loaded with deleted scenes, audio commentaries, and behind the scenes information.
I'm normally not a fan of thrillers because I don't like the dark nature of the story and the extreme suspense. I've gotten hooked on this show, however, and I can't get enough. It's one incredibly fun roller coaster ride. If you haven't seen it yet, you won't be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2004
24 is a series about the work of government agency CTU (counter terrorist unit). At the heart of it is Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), an agent with more special forces background than Casey Ryback. Series 1 and Jack is assigned to protect presidential candidate David Palmer from assasination, until his family is kidnapped and people from within his own agency hold him to ransom unless he assists in the assasination. Series 2 sees a rather washed up looking Jack called back into service to help stop a nuclear threat in Los Angeles from Middle Eastern terrorists, while Palmer tries to keep his government together against the threat. Series 3 sees Jack and co. deal with the threat of having a highly toxic and contageous bio threat to LA released if a high ranking mexican drug lord is not released from prison.
Well, the first series is probably the best. The plot has the best twists and moments of tension in any of the series (mandy, kevin carrol, drasen and "2 years ago in Kosovo" will all be unforgettable to fans). They are fresh and never get too ridiculous, keeping tension to the end. The ending is also refreshingly dark.
The second series is more polished. We are introduced to the not unlikeable Kate Warner and Michelle Dessler as two fairly likeable characters, and George Mason's character development is well done. Unfortunately Kim's domestic violence issue is unnecesary and detracts from the rest of the show. The encounters with Lonny, Ramone etc. will also try one's patience. The main plot is still brilliant. From the moment Jack shoots the witness you know he's back on form. The manipulation and deception within David's presidency is great, and the return of Nina and Sherry adds to the excitement. The stadium finale is explosive, and again the ending (I hope the true fans spotted Mandy) is just as dark and tense as the first. There are some unforgettable plot twists (Roger Stanton, Marie Warner), and after the 7th coral snake appears its a return to the tension and excitement of the first series.
Series 3 is BY FAR the worst. Over half the airtime is involved with what is actually a side plot (the Salzars). The new characters like Chloe and Chase need a slap, and some of the storylines are just plain ridiculous (the baby and David lying to the police???). The return of characters was a trick done in series 2, and then killing them off does not make for a good story. Who cares about big budgets and jet fighter planes when the story is sacraficed. The acting is saved by Saunders, who brings Gaines-like menace to the situation. But all-in-all a dissappointment.
This is a must have for the first two series, and die hards will want the third to see what happens to their favourite characters. But sadly there is a definite decline in quality through the series. Series 2 has the pointless Kim storyline, and there's too much of the "I love you dad" scenes that break pace too much. With Series 3 the team has obviously sat too much on their laurels and have taken story and acting into ridiculous territory. There is also a worrying tendency to go after foreigners as the bad guys: serbians, arabs, europeans, mexicans and finally the British. Hopefully Series 4 (which is in production) will be a return to form, which I definitely think the 24 team can pull off. But for all the bad points, this series is still unique, and totally unmissable. Buy it now.
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2004
This DVD set is one of the most anticipated of 2004. Featuring seasons 1 - 3 of the hit BBC/Sky One Show, 24! All 3 seasons have won numerous awards including Emmy for Best Drama and Best Actor (K. Sutherland).
SEASON 1 - This DVD set was dissapointing although the actual series was in my opinion the best so far! The DVD features a season 2 preview, an alternate ending and timeline book with pictures. Synopsis - Government agent Jack Bower is about to live the longest day of his life. He is working with a spy, his wife and daughter have been kidnapped and terrorists are trying to kill the a presidential candiate.
SEASON 2 - This is a great DVD set. Features 7 discs with 1 disc of extras. Features over 40 deleted and extended footage, 3 amazing documentaries, commentary on almost every episode and again a timeline book with pictures. Synopsis - Jack is back and has to work with past mistakes as terrorists plan to explode a nuclear bomb over LA. New faces join CTU as things get a lot more dirty.
SEASON 3 - The features for this DVD have not been confirmed as of yet, but it is a 7 disc set so expect deleted and extended scenes, behind the scenes footage, a timeline book, commentary and rumoured interviews with the cast and a series of 5 special internet only q and a shows with the cast and producers. By far, the darkest series yet. Synopsis - Jack is back once again with even more new faces joining CTU. This time, terrorists plan to release a deadly virus into LA and Jack and his team have to stop it. There's one problem, to do it Jack needs to go undercover, lie to the President and his team, become a drug taker and most of all, once again, rely on old faces for help. This series was my joint second favourite becuase while it didn't have the same action as it did in season 1 or 2, it was full of suprises and a lot more suspence.
Keifer Sutherland stars as Jack Bower and Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bower. Also staring Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers, Leslie Hope as Teri Bower, Karina Arroyave as Jamry Farrel,Sarah Wynter as Kate Warner, Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida, Xander Berkley as George Mason, Sarah Gilbert as Paula SchaefferPenny Johnson Jerald as Sherry Palmer, Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer, Reiko Aylseworth as Michelle Dessler, James Badge Dale as Chase Edmunds and a cast of hundreds more.
Acting from all the cast is A standard especially Elisha Cuthbert (Girl Next Door) and Sarah Clarke.
24 is gripping drama at its best a must for anyone. Your DVD collection would be naked without it.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2003
The concept of 24 is unique, an action series set in real-time over the course of a day. the first time I watched it, I found myself instantly drawn in by each episodes powerful cliff-hanger endings. However, I was forced to wait a long week for the next episode. When I purchesed the Series 1 DVD however, I was able to watch it in its continuous, blissful form.
Both series' follows a Counter Terrorist agent, known as Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland). In the first series' he is given the duty of protecting presidential candidate Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) from attempted assasination. As the story progresses, the motives behind the attempt on his life becomes more clear, and Bauer's involvement increases.
In the second series the stakes are much higher, a nuclear device, in the hands of terrorists, in in California. Bauer once again takes it upon himself to put an end to the terrorist plans. Once again, true motives, and the real antagonists become clear later, rather than sooner, making viewing compelling.
Both series' provide an strong addictive factor that can easily transform a hour of viewing into a 5 hour marathon. A definate MUST for any fan of film/broadcast action, who wants more than JUST violence with a clever, ever-twisting plot.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2004
My friend kept pestering me to watch the first series when she got it on DVD about a year ago, but I really didn't like the thought of watching 24 hour-long episodes in real time - I just couldn't think of anything more boring than watching the ins and outs of a day in someones life - how wrong I was!
It wasn't until I got ill and bed-ridden that I decided to give it a go - what else was I going to do? And ever since I started watching that first episode I have never looked back! The first series is great - more of a basic plot than the other two series but if it's the first one you watch it's amazing and it gently eases you in. The second series has a lot more going on with more twists and turns, then the third series blew me away! They just get better and better!
I would suggest you watch the three series in order and that you are prepared to become a recluse and give up the rest of your life for the next 72 hours as you won't want to stop watching 24 once you start!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2004
This is a good buy if you are a new fan and have not bought any of the first three series boxsets. The three series are the same as the invidual boxsets. the only extra is the case that is comes in - This is nice to have and is a good strong protector of the other casings.
The only thing is that Season 4 is on its way and you may want to wait for the Season 1-4 boxset - Although there may not be one?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2004
There are various mediums for art to be represented in. There's painting, film, writing, dancing, music, poetry...and then there's 24. The timer, the split-screen, the orchestra that plays the whole way through: it's a medium in itself. The only thing you've got to do to enjoy 24 is get into it and let it take you on the 24 hour trip that it wants to take you on.
Check out the crying scene at the end of series 3 and the Palmer's view of the nuclear explosion in series 2 - the atmosphere will blow your mind.