Most helpful critical review
43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3 stars may be a stretch
on June 17, 2010
24 has been far and away my favorite television show since it's inception. I've stuck with it during it's highs (Season 5) and "lows" (Season 6). To me, the first 7 seasons of the show were without question the best television ever. No matter how many times CTU was attacked or how many moles were revealed in the government I never thought it was anything less than brilliant. Which is why Season 8 bugs me even more than I thought a bad season of 24 could.
Gripe #1: The Jack-Renee romance.
Usually in 24 I've been able to separate whether I thought a story was good from my emotional reactions to it. Case in point, I didn't and still don't like what they did to Tony in Season 7 but I thought it made perfect sense to do it and so I thought it was great. And in Season 5 when several main characters were killed off, it bugged me but I felt those losses only added to the plot. No such luck with that reaction here.
This story did absolutely nothing for me. Seeing as we as an audience only knew Renee since the start of Season 7, so I didn't spend 3-4 seasons yearning for the 2 of them to hook up. And the way the writers handled it was beyond over the top. The way things played out, I'm supposed to believe that the 2 of them met each other at the start of Season 7, worked with one another for that 1 day, had nothing romantic occur between them, not see each other for 6 months-1 year, meet up again with Jack seemingly (and perhaps obsessively) in love with her (even though she has gone bonkers), commit to some sort of relationship very quickly, wind up in bed 8 hours later and have Jack throw his entire life away after she was killed. Up until they slept with each other I was okay with the quality of the story even though I thought it was moving a little too fast. But that happened and I thought it was WWWAAAAAAAYYY too "Grey's Anatomy" for 24. And to top it off, she dies 20 minutes later and Jack goes insane to avenge her, becoming extremely unlikable while doing so. The fact that Jack (who lost his wife and mother of his child and came out the other side about as well as somebody could in that situation) killed, tortured, threatened, assaulted and screwed over so many people in the name of someone he knew for not even 2 days was beyond absurd. And also it wasn't as though it was taking an emotional toll on him either, he did all of that without hesitation and seemingly no regret.
Nothing they did in their "romance" was believable, imo. All of it just seemed like a cheap attempt to A) pander to the audience by hooking Jack up with "Female Jack" (as I'd seen Renee glowingly called several times) or B) exaggerate the story as much as possible to make the final season bigger than they possibly could have had they taken things slowly. I personally believe it to be the latter, if anything.
Gripe #2: The complete refusal to acknowledge anything that happened in prior seasons (This rant won't be quite as long the previous one, luckily).
I can sum up this gripe with one question, where was Tony??? Seriously, they revived a beloved character at the start of last year, made him go completely off the deep end while seeking personal revenge but while doing so, revealing a much larger threat that had the writers chosen to follow through with, could have been a very epic way to wrap up the series. But they didn't. Instead Tony is in jail or perhaps dead and the culprits behind the actions in Season 7 just vanished without a word. Just like Season 2 into 3 except worse, at least there we were given a shoddy one line explanation as to what happened to those people.
And a side note to this gripe, where were some of the other characters from past seasons? Morris O'Brian? I know he wasn't very well liked in Season 6, but that's another story. Aaron Pierce? The only character other than Jack to appear in each of the first 7 years? And Kim Bauer? The story that made up the first few episodes between her, her daughter and Jack seemed very natural and sweet, but they dumped it completely in favor of Jack-Renee. Ew.
Gripe #3: The Russians? Seriously?
After Hassan was killed I was convinced that that was when they would call back the Season 7 conspiracy, but no. The Russian government was behind everything for some very vague reasons. And Suvarov was behind it all. That did not vibe with his character in the past, it just seemed like another cheap attempt to make things epic. Which also ties into another complaint (Another complaint? Yay! ;)). There was no big bad this year until Suvarov. No Henderson or Salazar or Jonas Hodges. Just Suvarov for 2-3 episodes.
Quick gripes: They ruined Logan for me. He became a cartoon only interested in repairing his reputation, rather than genuinely trying to help like Season 6 (another example of gripe #2. Or was it #3?).
The Dana Walsh story was too goofy. It did actually lead somewhere but it took too long to get there.
Now to the good, despite how little I will focus on it, there was a lot of. The peace agreement was one of the better stories they have come up with, imo. It was interesting all the way through and both Hassan and his wife were terrific. As was the deception within his government. Taylor was great as she was in Season 7, and although she went along with Logan too easily toward the end, I found that much more believable than what Jack was doing. Chloe was great as usual, it's been great how she's been the same annoying girl for years but never wore out her welcome, imo. Also, I thought the middle episodes were absolutely outstanding, although since I thought they were going someplace else they may not appeal to me as much now.
Well, that's it (finally!). As much as I didn't like this year I didn't find anything disgraceful in it. It just wasn't as good as other seasons in my opinion. I hope other people enjoy it as much as the other years and I'm still looking forward to a 24 movie. Thanks 24 cast and crew, for many great years of entertainment!