24 Doesn't Need to be 24

This post is more than 2 years old.

So am I the only who a) loves 24 (the characters, the world they live, etc.) but b) can't stand the whole 24 hour concept anymore? I mean, come on. The first season, or two, it really added to the drama. Now it is just plain silly. You have some good characters and back story now. Just drop the real time "writers hack" and give us a good story!

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Scott Stroz posted on 12/29/2005 at 9:13 AM

I agree its a bit 'hack-ish', but I think it would be kind of like taking Battlestar Galactica and putting them on Earth or some other planet.

Do I think it would work without the 24 hour premise? Yep.

Would I watch? Absolutely.

Would it be the same? No way in hell.

Comment 2 by Kyle Kellner posted on 12/29/2005 at 2:47 PM

I have just recently gotten into 24. I am kind of pissed at myself now because I started watching at season 4, and am now about to finish it. However, I know I am missing stuff from not watching the first 3 seasons first.

Who knows, maybe it will be as rewarding as watching Star Wars. Out of order, even though not intentional, can sometimes call for some added excitement.

Comment 3 by Keith Peters posted on 12/29/2005 at 5:22 PM

I've been renting the back seasons. Got through 1 and 2 and the first five disks of season 3. Waiting for some inconsiderate person to return that one!

Comment 4 by Patrick McElhaney posted on 12/29/2005 at 6:01 PM

I've been a 24 junkie since the second episode of the first season. The 24-hour set up is never going to make as much sense as it did the first season, but the show wouldn't work without it.

The characters are constantly faced with moral connundrums and don't have much time to decide. It's all about being able to make that decision, execute it, and move on to the next thing before the clock runs out.

Fox has been able to repeat the formula with my two other favorite shows, House and Prison Break.


Comment 5 by Kevin Shannon posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:18 PM

I have been a fan since season 1 episode 1. I've seen them all. I would be very dissappointed if they got rid of the 24 hour premise. We would not be able to joke about ridiculous timeline inconsistancy the morning after each episode airs. Like last year... they called Chloe back after firing her and 5 minutes later she was in the office. I assume she lives around the corner.

They could never have the show take place in NYC because when Jack hopped in a car to run to the airport, they would need 2 full episode to follow him sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.

Comment 6 by dan posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:31 PM

24 suprised me last year. With all the characters missing I thought it was on the downfall but it turned out to be a great season.

Maybe they could just do a minor hack and change the name to 7, at least addd six more days ...hahah :)

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:34 PM

Patrick, I don't agree. Well, I agree that the quick time frame makes for good drama. I'm not saying to get rid of that per se, but the whole notion of everything wrapping up in 24 hours is just getting old. You can _still_ make it very fast paced w/o it being in real time. Let's face it - the real time thing is a writing trick. It's good once - twice - maybe even three times, but it needs to end.

Comment 8 by Keith Peters posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:35 PM

It's a bit funny watching it on DVD, as the time is more compressed and the inconsistencies really stand out. Like when Tony got shot in the neck. An hour after surgery, he's back at work, though a bit weak. A couple hours later he seems in full health, bandage off with just a scar. Hahaha.

Comment 9 by Anthony posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:38 PM

It's all about the tension! Granted I think the story and show would work if stretched over months (in TV time, example Prison Break) but the fact that *all* this crap is happening in 24 hours is incredible. Imagine how you would feel in Bauers place if 1 full 24 hour stretch was as explosive and action packed. Hell, I can barely stay awake for 24 hours, much less think intelligently.

Comment 10 by Seth Petry-Johnson posted on 12/29/2005 at 7:40 PM

My wife and I loved the first season, but we were kind of annoyed at the second season. Some of the characters were driving us nuts, and we found ourselves thinking aloud "how many times can this one dude save the president or the country??".

I'm surprised its still on... maybe we'll have to start renting the past seasons on DVD to see what we've been missing.

Comment 11 by Simon Horwith posted on 12/29/2005 at 8:12 PM

Yeah - I was into 24 big time for the first couple seasons, which says a lot considering I don't really like to watch TV, but the idea has gotten really old. I'm a little sick of Jack Bauer - they should have killed him last season and brought a new heavy weight actor in for this, and I'm tired of the US - they ought to shoot a season on location somewhere else. Personally, I think a season in Israel would be cool.

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 12/29/2005 at 8:33 PM

There is no way they would touch something so sensitive. Shoot, wasn't it two years ago when they refused to name the nation that had initiated the attack? I remember it was so silly since they kept dancing around it and never actually saying the name of the country. (I _think_ it was 2 years ago, it may have been 3.)

Comment 13 by Dave Carabetta posted on 12/29/2005 at 8:42 PM

I don't know how sensitive it would be. I mean, last season they had no problem identifying the Chinese embassy, right? And since the Chinese want Bauer imprisoned, a season over there would be pretty cool. The one thing I never understood about the 24 hour format is how Jack and company have the energy level they do when they 1) don't eat and 2) don't relieve themselves. Let's be honest here -- how do you concentrate when your either really hungry or really constipated! I'm waiting for Jack to finally just say "I'll be there in a minute. I have to hit the head." Now that's quality TV.

Comment 14 by Scott Stroz posted on 12/29/2005 at 8:49 PM

Having worked in a profession (EMS) where, from time to time, we were required to work a 24 hour shift, I can appreciate how they are able to stay focused for 24 hours in a row. Never underestimate the power of adrenaline.

Now the part about eating and relieving ones' self, I couldn't agree more. I'd even settle for seeing them come out of the bathroom once or twice, or even throwing a Big Mac wrapper into the trash when the show comes back from commercial. I think subtle stuff like that would appease a lot of people who have similar gripes. I chalk it up to the writers/directors/producers not really giving their audience enough credit.

Comment 15 by Patrick McElhaney posted on 12/30/2005 at 12:16 AM

Do you really expect the writers to convince you that Jack saves the world and recks his own life in 24 hours, not once, not twice, but FIVE TIMES?

The first time I was willing to believe it. I thought they did a good job of making him look sleep deprived without belaboring the point.

But in order to accept that there even was a second season, I had to suspend my disbelief with respect to the 24 hour period. The less I'm reminded that everything happens in real time the better.

So in that sense I agree with Ray. The real time element doesn't help anymore. But it's a legacy the writers and viewers have to live with. If you're going to throw out the 24 hours / real time set-up, you might as well throw out the characters and start a whole new show (Prison Break).


Comment 16 by Steve Walker posted on 12/30/2005 at 2:19 AM

24 is the best show on TV, but I agree with Ray on the 24-hour concept. I think they should rename the show; is CTU too close to CSI? The one premise I would like to see them continue with is the single case that lasts an entire season. Although I am not tired of the US (sorry Simon), I am tired of L.A. being the epicenter of every terrorist plot under the sun. Obviously money is an issue.

Jack Bauer is on the big screen in "24 The Motion Picture" aka "The Sentinel" (http://www.movie-list.com/s.... Kiefer has a different name in this motion picture , but from the previews he hasn't had to challenge his acting skills much for this role. Include Michael Douglas, Kim Basinger, and Eva Longoria.

Comment 17 by Steve Walker posted on 12/30/2005 at 3:16 AM

The link for the Sentinel trailer is very slow. I converted it to Flash 8 video (which rocks!) and it can be seen at http://cfuser.net/cfuser/se...

Comment 18 by Dave Carabetta posted on 12/30/2005 at 3:42 AM

The Sentinel = "The Negotiator" + "In the Line of Fire"

Is there any doubt that Kiefer's the mole the trailer is hinting at?

Comment 19 by Steve Walker posted on 12/30/2005 at 4:35 AM

I can only hope that it is not that obvious. Since Michael Douglas is having an affair with the First Lady (Kim Basinger), my conspiracy theory is she wants to get rid of her husband and is trying to frame her lover and there is another unseen player. Jealous girlfriend (Eva Longoria)?

Comment 20 by Karen posted on 3/14/2007 at 12:10 AM

you guys are really harsh! I think 24 is awesome! My friends and i just started watching the dvds last year and have already caught up. And yea okay L.A. is getting old but the whole 24 hr. thing is an awesome concept! I just wished they would stop killing off good characters.