24: The Longest Dead Series Discussion of Our Lives – Season One

“JACK BAUER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY OF THE CALIFORNIA PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY”

Title Card24 is a groundbreaking and important television series. Beyond the thrills, kills, twists and tragedies is a show that reached a new level of serialized storytelling and set the bar for action and suspense on network television. Lasting for 8 full seasons–192 Episodes plus a TV movie–24 is one of the longest-running shows of the past 15 years. Others, like Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Smallville, all three CSIs and three of four Law & Orders, may have run longer, but the argument can be made that none of those shows are equally as worthy of contributing to the debatably labeled and vaguely-defined “Third Golden Age of Television Drama” that began with The Sopranos in 1999 and is now fading with the impending finales of Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Perhaps 24 doesn’t quite reach the dramatic heights of those shows, or others like The Wire and Deadwood, or even The Shield, Lost or Battlestar Galactica, but it was always a strong awards and ratings contender and it was just so addicting and fun to watch.

Please join us—Patches, Zach, Jeff and MegaMix—as we take a look back at this series, discussing one season every month until the premiere of the new 12-episode miniseries 24: Live Another Day in May 2014.

This month’s discussion is focused on season one of 24, which premiered in November of 2001.

It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of 24, and strong language. Parental discretion is advised.

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Jeff
24 was my TV series. It was the very first show I discovered on my own and watched as it aired from the first episode to the last. I took pride in the fact that I “found” it and could loan my season one DVD set to all of my friends.

The biggest selling point for the show is its real-time format. The one-episode-equals-one-hour / one-season-equals-one-day gimmick is brilliant. Real-time wasn’t exactly new to film and TV when 24 came along with several movies and TV episodes condensing time and using long takes (see the X-Files episode “Triangle” for a fun example). Even so, no 2-hour film or TV series was ever this ambitious with the real-time premise. Continue reading

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