Tuesday, February 1, 2011

# 10: 24: The complete eighth season

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115 of 133 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting end, May 26, 2010 This review is from: 24: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD) I came into this season expecting it to be the last. Fox had long maligned the fact that '24' was very expensive to make. They also cited lagging ratings (mostly due to the lackluster season 6 leaving a bad taste in viewers mouths and the WGA strike making the show almost irrelevant.) as a reason to ax the show. And besides, the concept was becoming a bit outdated. Even the tenor of season 8, with the world standing on the brink of an historic peace agreement, signified that 24 was coming full circle. The idea that peace could exist in a world of espionage and paranoia such as the one 24 dwelled in, was a big step toward a brave new world. The kind of thing you see when a show wants to go out with a bang. I was ready for it to end and am sad to see it go. The Machiavellian exploits of Jack Bauer have been must see television from Day One (November 6,2001) in my household. On Tuesdays at 9pm (Seasons 1-3) and Mondays at 9pm (Seasons 4-8), no one was allowed to bother me. I loved this show. As for season 8;
The first half really was tough to swallow. After seeing Doug Hutchison on Lost as a hippie running the Dharma Initiative, I really had trouble buying the Russian Merc angle. His accent was horrible. Davros really bothered me. Strike 1. Katee Sackhoff's character Dana Walsh was one of the most annoying main character in the history of the series (Marilyn Bauer really bugged me). Brian Hastings was a major tool. ANd I am sorry, I just can't take Freddie Prinze, Jr. seriously. Not all of the casting was bad, though. We did get Michael Madsen, Jurgen Prochnow, and David Anders this year. But for not nearly enough time. These actors were too good for the short arcs and cheap exits they made, especially in Anders case.
The plot was pretty straight forward until the fuel rods came into play. Then I was slightly annoyed. Arabs with Russian supplied nukes? AGAIN?! The stench of season 6 began to waft upward.
But, then, Omar Hassan died and the Russians took center stage and committed the worst mistake ever; killing girl Jack (Renee). Jack went off the deep end. And the series really caught fire again. Those last seven episodes of Jack acting as judge, jury, and executioner really made me think a ninth season would not be all that bad.
In the end, everyone stood accountable for their mistakes. And Jack was given time to run. The final goodbye with Chloe was poignant. The long last look up was, too. And then the clock reached zero on one of the more ground breaking and innovative series of this or any generation. It was so ground breaking, it could only copy itself (and did so a lot in season 8).
Now that this show is done, I am done with network TV. Really, how could anything top this show and Lost? So, it's the end of an era. Thank you, 24, for making it enjoyable. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars When the country he fought for turned their back on him..., May 27, 2010 This review is from: 24: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD) I may be in the few when I say this, but I don't think this show ever qualified as "past its prime." It seems like a lot of the reviews coming out from papers, magazines, even fans revolved around the fact that the show ended on a good note, HOWEVER --note the asterisk-- (*it's not what it once was). Yes, there were recurring themes. Yes, we've gone through the whole nuclear weapons story before. Yes, some things were more predictable than they used to be. But I, for one, loved watching Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brian evolve. I loved watching Charles Logan try and wiggle his way back into the good graces of Americans. I loved watching where the shattered life of Tony Almeida led him in Season 7. I think, reasonably so, a lot of people considered the shark jumped after Season 6. I did, too. But I continued watching, and I thought Seasons 7 and 8 were two of the strongest the 24 crew put together.

**Spoilers Below**
Since I can't rate the product yet, the five stars is for Season 8 itself. It's more of a 4 1/2, but I think they've earned the benefit of the doubt with consistently great work. This season got off to a slow start, much in the same way Season 3 did. Annie Wersching's portrayal of a darker, hardened Renee Walker dominated the early season episodes as a plot was methodically developed. By the twelfth episode, 24 hit its stride in vintage form. The twists and turns were as drastic as ever, and following the assassination of President Omar Hassan of the I.R.K., the show took on an angle it never had before (or at least an altered version of Season Five's anti-terrorism treaty).

The blood stained peace treaty among a trio of nations was a different kind of plot for the show, especially since it ironically made Jack Bauer the biggest, not to mention the only legitimate threat in the final third of the season. Noteworthy: You DO NOT kill Jack Bauer's girlfriend. Apparently the Russians didn't hear that from the Chinese (Audrey's alive but status unknown), who in turn didn't hear it from Nina Meyers. I thought it all made perfect sense, because Jack was finally in a good state of mind at the beginning of the season. He was finally getting his life together, he finally stopped playing mind games with his female counterpart. And then Renee Walker gets killed... in Jack's apartment. Jack summed it up best while torturing Pavel. "Why couldn't you just leave us alone?" You have to look back on 8 days of professional, and personal, sacrifices Jack has had to make and wonder how it even took him this long to boil over.

Jack became the anti-hero, stopping at nothing to eliminate the participants in a treaty based on crime and deceit. For all he's sacrificed for his country, the United States turned its back on Jack Bauer for what they envisioned as "the greater good." So when justice by law was refused, Jack took justice into his own hands. What ensued was a bloody mess created by a man who had been betrayed by nearly everyone (NEARLY--thank you, Chloe).

Though many would have preferred Bauer to go out in a blaze of glory, gun in hand, I thought the ending was appropriate. For all the times Jack had been spared, whatever the reason, it was only right that the man with 9 lives was granted a 10th. Taylor, in good conscience, couldn't sign the treaty. I'd like to think the video Jack intended for Kim was a tipping point for the President, thus making Jack his own hero, once again. But like the Chinese said at the end of Season 5: "you're too valuable to kill." One more time, Jack was given a pass.

- My only problem with Season 8 is the Dana Walsh story, and I don't think I'm in the minority here. I was somewhat relieved she became a mole, but it also discredited much of her story earlier in the day. If she had no problem killing Kevin's parole officer, I don't see why she would have a problem killing Kevin. Yes, she had to maintain her cover, and yes, she was on camera when he visited her at CTU, but why not when he and Nick came to her apartment? I'm just a little cloudy as to why Dana was letting those guys push her around. The fact that she was a mole explained further her change of identity, but there were still several holes in her story (not to mention how she got away with wearing a cocktail dress to work.)
- As opposed to many fans this season, I had no problem whatsoever with Brian Hastings. Mykelti Williamson was given a very unoriginal role, because we've seen the kind of stubborn, oblivious CTU/Division/Homeland Security directors before on many occasions. However, outside the fact that he looked like a football coach with his earpiece and hunchback way of treading CTU, I thought Hastings was always an interesting, even comical character on screen.
- A couple people mentioned in earlier reviews that they found it difficult to take Freddie Prinze, Jr. seriously. I couldn't agree more. He had a steep hill to climb from the reputation he's made for himself since becoming an actor. However, I thought if there was any character in any season of 24 he could've played, Cole Ortiz was the perfect fit; the straight and narrow, by the book, "boy scout" if you will, field agent. Though he's certainly not looking at a Primetime Emmy nod for his performance, I thought he did an excellent job with the role.

24 still had tricks up its sleeve after 8 seasons. It had some repetition, but still much more originality. It still presented shock value and still produced likable characters. Season 6 may have been sub-par, but was it sub-par as a TV show or was it sub-par by 24 standards? I really think S6 was wrongly tapped as the show's dip into mediocrity. It was just an isolated miss, in my opinion. Honestly, I think the show went out as good as it came in. Now we turn our attention to the big screen.

Season 8 | Grade: A-

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46 of 60 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A GREAT SHOW!!, May 10, 2010 Like most of you, my wife and I will certainly miss our Monday night '24' shows. We've been watching them for some 6 years now. Got into it in Season 3 and then caught up with the first 2 seasons via the DVD's. Man tonight (5/10) was sure intense and we can't wait for the showdown with Logan coming next week. This show has been a real addiction. Nothing better on TV and I don't believe anything will ever top this show. The bar is too high. Wouldn't it be nice if somewhere in this country their really is a person similar to Jack. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you? 
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