24: Series 2 -
Jack Bauer is having another one of his "very bad days" in the second series of the ground-breaking real-time thriller 24. Once again the hours are ticking by with more guaranteed cliffhangers than a convention of mountain climbers. Holed up in a Los Angeles condo and estranged from his daughter, Jack is no longer on the government payroll; unfortunately for him, this small fact doesn't seem to matter to President David Palmer and the NSA who call him back in to the CTU and give him 24 hours to infiltrate a terrorist organisation who are planning to detonate a dirty bomb in the city of angels. All Jack wants is to get his daughter out of the city, unfortunately Kim's new employer, the abusive father of the child she is nannying, has other ideas.
Fans of the original won't be disappointed, as there are more than enough shock moments in the first few hours to hint at the climactic build-up to come, while newcomers can quickly get involved in the lives of Jack and his family. There are some new characters to bolster the veteran cast and, interestingly (although not surprisingly given the outcome of the first series), Jack's character has taken an altogether darker, more psychopathic turn. The danger the characters find themselves in also has a much more global impetus, grounded as it is in the war against terrorism. Although the territory is more familiar this time around, this second series is just as much a high-tension, taut, adrenaline-fuelled ride as the first series, and one that will have you glued to your TV for the next 24 hours. --Kristen Bowditch
Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):
" I'm gonna need a hacksaw " : In comparison to Series 1, Series 2 has tightened up its storytelling considerably. The script is better, the set pieces more dramatic and Bauer's character has acquired a blunter, less sentimental, side. This augurs well, and the various directors employed weave a dizzying chase whilst preserving President Palmer's dignity and authority. Kim's predicament is designed to separate her from the CTU action and allow the most moving of father/daughter goodbyes set to celluloid. A remarkable piece of drama, beautifully scored and acted, and one that stays in the mind long after the closing credits.
the bar has been raised : the gauntlet is laid down,all shall worship at its feet,series two of 24 stares at all challengers and beats them down,yes this is the real deal,a show that is quite simply the finest of all time in my book,some will question this,some will laugh at this but those who appreciate drama that while sometimes over the top cant say that this isnt the greatest piece of tv of all time.
Season two is an exhaustive,claustophobic,cagey and nervy series of events that occur 18 months after the first 24 hours,this time a nuclear bomb is set to go off in L.A and its up to jack bauer and the central terrorist unit to save the day.You may have in your mind a preconception that this will be a hollywood dressed easy job with smiles and hugs through and through,well think again,the twists and turns here are akin to a country roadmap,and the shocks are never diluted,they hit hard.
I watched 15 episodes of this the other day being my first time seeing this,yes thats lazy but it wasnt my fault,this is addictive stuff,each episode ends on a cliffhanger and each episode stuns and rips through,this is vital stuff as i said ,you may have to suspend an element of belief here but whats the harm in that,those who criticise need to catch themselves on just a little bit,dont avoid.
Jack Bauer as the new John Wayne? : The comparisons are striking - the "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" tough guy, the master of all situations, with a profound sense of honour, a determination to do the right thing and not let little pettifogging rules get in the way, and a mawkish sentimentality about his womenfolk. Of course, Wayne was in some ways the personification of a certain image of America, and I wonder if this is part of the appeal of "24", the fact that this is how Americans see themselves, as the perennial Good Guy. OK, we may rough up the locals a bit and make them say "Ouch!" but it's all in a good cause and completely justified. I'm told it's one of Vice-President Cheney's favourites. I can understand why (where's my waterboard?). Of course, it is made by 20th Century Fox, owners of that other great American fantasy factory, Fox News, so one (this one anyway) wonders whether this is actually White House-approved propaganda, like the "non-traditional news sources" referred to by Frank Rich in his wonderful "The greatest story ever sold".
No matter what it is, it is very tense, exciting television. OK, the storyline involving Kim Bauer is silly, but the main plot is a brilliantly-conceived and -performed bit of television, with a multitude of plot twists and turns, surprises, people turning out to be something other than they first appeared and cliff-hanging endings. Some of it is just a bit too pat and Jack's physical capabilities in an exhausted and injured state just too superhuman, but at the end of each episode, you're panting for the next one. Kiefer Sutherland is made for this role and plays it to perfection (one wonders whether, like David Duchovny of "The X-Files", he'll ever be able to play anything else). The supporting cast is also generally excellent. How long can they keep up this standard? Hopefully for some time to come.
Top Class TV : I received this as a birthday present and have just finished the whole series. What you need to know is that this maintains the high standards set by series one and is superb entertainment.
The only downside is the running subplot involving Kim Bauer, which is more than a little far-fetched. However even this is great entertainment, if completely unbelieveable. Virtually all the characters from series one are back in the show, so the President, his wife, Nina, Mason, Tony and Michelle are all involved. Its very cleverly written with multiple over-lapping stories that will keep you guessing all the time. There is political intrigue, family drama, terrorism and enough tension to last you a year let alone 24 hours.
Not having seen series 3 yet I have no idea whether the end of series 2 is relevent or not, but it certainly took me by surprise. At times I just wanted to watch episode after episode after episode but unfortunately the neccessity of work prevented me from doing so.
This is a magnificent series, and the only problem I have with it is that there aren't enough hours in the day to watch it!
All 5 Season s : I loved each season.Its Absultely great.The first season is where you meet all the character s and fall in love with them.Very fast paced.Season two for me was a bit slow,but then again everyone is different.With the last three seasons,the story ends where you need to buy the next one.What I mean is most of the story lines finish,exept for one.And that normal is Kiefer Sutherland life and what will happen next to him.I loved all off them.Can t wait to get season 6.
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