Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack's back with a bang, 15 Nov. 2009
This review is from: 24: Season Seven DVD Collection [DVD] (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 May 2010 01:20:02 BDT
Defoe8 says:
Good review, it'd deffo one of my fav seasons and the fact we got 2 see a more human side to Jack was a nice touch by the writers

Posted on 20 May 2010 16:51:27 BDT
Its cheesey...
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