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on January 19, 2006
'24' Season Four is better than Day 3 (season three) and manages to be even more complex and compelling than the last two seasons. The technical work is better than ever, and the main storyline rivals season one's. Season Four brings a refreshing change to the show's formula with its many new cast members, and here are the highlights of this excellent season:

1) When we first see Jack Bauer, he's working for the Secretary of Defense James Heller (William Devane), all the while carrying on an affair with his daughter Audrey Raines (Kim Raver). Then a villian named Habib Marwan sets in motion a plan to bring down the US Government. Jack and Audrey's love for each other is affected by the day's events, and the emotional turmoils that develop are involving. Jack must risk his own life and the lives of others around him to save the US government and its people, which in turn complicates their relationship.

2) The twists are more predictable now that the formula has been played out several times prior to this season, but there are still some shocking events in the various storylines, and they are most prominent in the storyline involving the Araz family.

3) The acting by Keifer Sutherland is superb as he makes Jack Bauer a more poignant, grounded hero. Chloe O'Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub), the sarcastic worker of CTU from season three, also shows some maturity and brings some well-needed humor to the ever-growing tension that develops in the season. Many new characters are introduced, but no one is more captivating than Dina Araz (Shoreh Aghdashloo). Her character traits contradict each other and are put to the test over the season, making her this season's most interesting character. Aghdashloo plays Dina as a mother who has no options in the situation she is caught up in, and the show is revitalized due to her brilliant performance. It's a travesty that she wasn't nominated for an Emmy or Golden Globe for her great supporting role.

4) The production values are consistent and the camerawork nearly flawless.

'24' Season Four improves on nearly everything from the previous seasons and does deserve its acclaim from critics and fans as the show's best season, but I personally prefer season one because its conclusion was more epic, deep, and true. Still, '24' Season Four makes for riveting television as it reinvents the thrilling formula that has made first-time viewers and long-time fans sit up and take notice.
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on November 12, 2005
The thrilling series "24" has changed the face of action-adventure. Big-screen movies are dull, plodding and timid compared to this brilliant television series. Season four was the very best -- meaning it was perhaps the greatest single action series ever on television. The creators obviously learned from what worked during previous seasons and they kept the action ratcheted up, streamlined the story to avoid any extraneous subplots, and continually topped themselves. Just when you thought -- no, they can't do that -- they did it! More than top-notch, edge-of-the-seat suspense, "24" redefines the genre. Intelligent, surprising, beautifully produced and craftily imagined, this is the kind of show you can't wait to share with your friends. And I can't wait for season five. A must for anyone who cares about and quality in action, adventure and drama.
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on October 9, 2005
I will not bother you with spoilers, season 4 is the best day yet. I was getting sick of European terrorists, this is much more realistic. I miss Palmer, his wife and even Nina but the writing is so good this season. Time wise they still manage to get from one side of LA to the other during 4 minute commercial breaks. This was the first season I watched on TV, I much rather sitting down and blasting through all 24 episodes over a long weekend. Im a 24 junkie and thats the way to watch this show. Stop airing it on TV and just release DVDs straight every year :). Unfortunatly I cant wait so I will be wathing 5 on tv (bless DVR's) after buying 24 season 4 on DVD for me to watch again & then give to my folks. A++++
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on February 11, 2007
This is an astonishing accomplishment. Great entertainment and an enormously creative work. Talking about the plot or saying it's suspense won't do it justice.

Like many of the other readers, I bought Season 1 got hooked, and have now watched the 4 seasons in little more than a month and am now ready for season 5. Without commericals and the ability to move from week to week without waiting, the Season is incredibly intense and addictive. I read much more than watch tv --but this is like great literature. Here's why --

1] the main character, Jack Bauer, is multi dimensional and complex; yes, he's an action hero --resourceful and ruthless, but he has a human side which is embedded in his character that makes you think about him as a person not just a stick figure;

2] the plotting is extremely intricate; it is amazing how well conceived each season is and how what happened first the prior week and then the prior year all ties together;

3] the acting is first rate --the situations at times stretch credulity but the quality of the acting makes the plot twists as believable as possible;

4] the level of suspense is unrelenting and unpredictable.

--all in all watching 24 is by analogy what it must have been like to read Dickens' when his novels were first published as periodic installments. And I think this series will endure though I am not predicting it will be watched as broadly as Dickens is read!
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on October 6, 2006
24 has to be the most thrilling show on TV. If you're tired of shows like Lost or Desperate Housewives, which while good, seem to take perverse pleasure in beating around the bush to the point where you want to put a brick through the screen, take a look at 24. This is how TV should be made. Sharp dialogue. Sharp Characters. Sharp action. But that's not the best of it! What's the most riveting and yet satisfying aspect of 24? The fact that something happens week in week out and, at the end of the series, instead of EVERYTHING building to a cliff-hanger with which to tease you till the start of the next season, 24 delivers the goods and resolves the entire season's storyline. What could be more satisfying? Season 4 is superb. Once you slap a disk in your DVD player, it's so difficult to turn the thing off and stop watching - you just want to keep going and going and... What greater compliment to everyone concerned in its production.
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"24" is kind of like the Bond films; sure there's a formula and we know that Jack will break the rules and still come out ahead (although he ends up paying for it big time by the end of the day). Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable ride and well worth the price of admission. Still there are a couple of things I wonder about: 1) How many moles are in CTU 2) Are any of the agents other than Jack like the guys that wore the red shirts in "Star Trek"?

The fourth rolls forward with Jack being fired from CTU by his new boss. He ends up at the Department of Defense working for the Secretary of Defense (William DeVane) and falling in love with his boss' daughter. Jack gets drawn back into CTU when he comes to Los Angeles with his boss. While in L.A. his boss is kidnapped by terrorists who plan on executing him live on the internet after he's been tried for his "crimes". Things are a lot more complex than they seem when a series of conspiracies come to light masterminded by a terrorist named Marwan. Jack goes back into action on a temporary basis with CTU to help secure his boss' release.

Picture quality is top notch as are the extras. The commentaries vary from decent to exceptionally good (although admittedly I haven't had a chance to listen to every one of them). We get both the prequel to the fourth season as well as the fifth. The fourth season prequel is the original version which was cut by the producers because it was a bit too "sensual". I don't want to spoil it for you who haven't seen it yet but the prequel for season five is an action packed sequence.

Once again a nice set from Fox. I just wish that the price were a bit lower and that vs. having a five minute "prequel" (which is a great idea)we'd get a longer prequel with a bit of story to it perhaps a half hour episode? Once again deleted scenes can be viewed within the context of the story or separately on the last disc. Not that I'm complaining mind you I like what we do get. Once again the series is packaged in an accordian style case that folds out with nice chapter placement. I do wish that there was a chapter placement right after the "24" logo so you could skip it. Since there's action during the opening titles if you elect to skip the "previously on '24'" recap and opening "24" logo you end up skipping important exposition at the beginning of the episode.
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on September 20, 2005
After watching "24" season 1-3 in the past and season 4 recently (purchased from, I tried to write down below my feelings and analyze what makes it such a terrific show.

Sure, the initial idea is original (24 episodes of 1 hour - actually 45 mn - in real time making a whole day) ; the casting is ideal and all the actors play perfectly ; plot and intrigues are very suspensful and interesting ; there is a true beginning and a real end to all seasons - which are all well directed.

However, what makes the big difference is in the scenario. There is a tremendous number of events in a "24" season, based on the main plot (e.g. terrorism), and on CTU, the government, common people, relastionships, love, etc... most of them being linked, which makes another tremendous number of equations to be solved by the scriptwriter to ensure that all ins and outs keep some logic. And this is well done, this is even an excellent job - not only the plot and situations of one season are realistic, but any "old" player coming from a previous season comes with a valid reason ; he does not magically appear to save the script!

Also, writers take big care about being faithful to the characters personalities. An actor is assigned a role with a full personality set that he/she has to embrace. It's probably why all actors play so well ; they don't actually play a "role", they embrace a whole personality. Any specific information to justify a character presence or his behaviour is brought to the audience in a subtle way.

And finally, most of the situations in "24" do not seek to handle carefully (or to please) the audience. The main objective is realism - this leads to objectiveness and originality. Don't expect a character to be saved by his/her charisma... you never know what will really happen. This is essential to provide a great show.
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on January 21, 2006
No doubt-they have been able to squeeze the lemon once again, the outcome: sustain thriller with a sprinkle of romance.

I have found myself anxiously pressing the play button for the next episodes BUT there are limits for the eye&mind of the "reasonable viewer" that had been crossed repeatedly.

Don't get me wrong in here. 24 hours of the 4th season (technically it's less, each episode is less than 1 hour in real-time) would get you at least 20 hours of action, explosions, walking on the edge etc, but the remaining 4 hours got me to come to the conclusion that the writing team of 24 should get into the conference room and get a grip of themselves...

If you didn't watch it yet, don't read the following:

Another spy inside the CTU??? (boy, is it the CTU or central park?) A tiny hospital in the basement of the CTU in which Audrey's husband is being operated/the daughter of the CTU director suffering from schizophrenia is hospitalized? Michelle asking Almeida to watch out while stepping into the field and you know for 100% something bad would happen to him? There's a lot (really a lot more) but I have given them 4 stars after all...

BTW-24 hours without eating???
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on October 5, 2005
It's almost undeniable that Season 3 of "24" was harder to watch compared to the first two seasons. The events, graphic violence and cruelty of some of the characters were unprecedented. It was hard to find relief as horrendous actions were taken over and over again.

In season 4 the producers have decided to retreat from this extremely dark path. They have kept the creative surprises, action and suspense but have also paid more attention to pleasing the crowds. Contrary to the main stream of season 3, in season 4 positive things actually happen; there is a balance between good and evil and there's hope.

The events on screen do not fall from other events in prior seasons and some actually transcend the high points of the past. As always, one cannot be any more specific in details in fear of spoiling the experience, but rest assured that watching the first episode will definitely blow your mind in one of the best kick-start episodes ever.
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This show is worth revisiting. I stopped watching it during this season, because it was getting a little too on the nose with what was happening in the USA and the rest of the world. I just couldn't. But I'm glad I decided to revisit my decision. Day 4 has a lot to commend it. For one thing, except for the fact that torture always seems to lead to the truth on this show, the moral problems with it don't just get brushed off. At the same time, there's no pandering or handwringing over it, either. It's very nuanced, especially for a show that is telling a multiplot action story set within a 24 hour time period.

For another thing, there are a lot of women in this show, and they have agency and points of view and important jobs. The one thing that I thought was kind of a drag about this season was the [SPOILER WARNING scroll down past the end of the review to see the drag part]* but even that wasn't too bad.

Alberta Watson and Lana Parilla are two of my all time favorites. As Driscoll and Sarah, they are flawed and competent and very believable. Mary Lynn Rajskub - I think - plays Chloe to perfection. She's hard to take sometimes, but I think it's because she's neurodiverse and a little too smart. Kim Raver is good, but I like her better in a more morally ambiguous role (see, e.g., Revolution). She's fine here, though.

The plot is a bit hit and miss, but it stays plenty exciting, maybe a little more so even than Season 1. And there are plenty of surprises along the way.

*inevitable damsel in distress effect of Jack having a love interest, but
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