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24 Season Two: Simply the best TV show I have ever seen! Buy these season sets NOW!


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#1 of 70 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 08 2003 - 06:44 AM

Posted Image

The following review takes place between 12pm-2pm

It all began a year ago. I was reviewing DVD
product on this forum and had just received the
24 Season One boxed set from Fox Home Video.
I had never heard of the show, and it didn't help
the studio was sending me the DVD screeners in blank,
black generic cases that contained no description of
what I was receiving.

I could once again go into the entire story of
how I came to watch and fall in love with 24,
but perhaps the best thing for me to do is to point
you to the original DVD review that I posted late
last year. Read it first before you move on...

24: Season One DVD Review

By the time you get to this point, you have
hopefully read my initial review and now understand
how I find myself amongst the show's most die-hard
fans. In the past year, I have turned friends and
co-workers onto this show. Almost everyone I know
has purchased the 24 Season One boxed set,
and not one single person has regretted the investment.

The wait to finally watch this new season came
a little longer than I had anticipated. Since I
never have time to watch broadcast television, there
was no opportunity to watch the second season during
its original broadcast on FOX.

I actually prefer to watch this show on DVD over
broadcast TV because there are no commercials, and
I don't have to painstakingly wait an entire week
just to see how a cliffhanger resolves itself.

The most important piece of advice I can give
anyone about to watch 24 is that you must
be able to commit yourself to this show. Don't be too
surprised to be so immersed in the show that you
find yourself ignoring your daily/nightly routine.
I didn't initially plan on doing this, but I was
so completely involved with 24 Season Two that
I watched all 24 episodes within 4-5 days. There
were plenty of nights that I lost sleep because I
needed to get on to the next episode in order to
find out what was happening next.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

24: Season Two


I suppose by now you have figured out that I
thoroughly loved 24 Season Two. I went
into this season believing that the events of
the first season couldn't be topped. Was I ever
wrong! Just as with the original first season, 24
Season Two
pulled me in at the very first
episode, strapped me to a rollercoaster chair,
and refused to let me go for the next 24 hours
of programming.

No need to go into the plot here. Many of you
don't need this show spoiled for you. All I will
say is that this season greatly exceeds the
previous in its edge-of-your-seat storyline. It's
rather astonishing that as "unbelievable" as
these events can be, they still manage to remain
believable enough to the viewer that there's an
addiction in coming back for more week after week.

The show can best be described as an overblown
soap opera. Here is a cast of characters whose
every action we follow through a period of a
single day. Within that period, we learn their
innermost traits, fears and vulnerabilities.
It was The X Files that warned us to
trust no-one. In 24, expect to
mistrust everyone. This show thrives on
twists, turns and surprises and you never know
which side of the fence a certain character
resides upon.

If there's one character I have truly connected
with in this show, it is that of David Palmer
(Dennis Haysbert), my personal favorite player
of this entire series. First, I think it's
great that the show features an African-American
as President of The United States. Furthermore,
it's easy to reach out with your heart for his
strong-willed and sympathetic character because
it truly represents what all of us want our
President to be.

The show is purposely filmed with handheld
cameras in order to draw us into the action as
if we are actually there as a bystander. We are
drawn into the most intimate moments of these
character's lives. As a viewer, it's often easy
to feel the same emotional rush as the characters
themselves are feeling.

Sure, there a few timeline flaws here and there.....

(Run your mouse over spoiler and left click)


Jack Bauer assaults Tony Almeida at CTU which
results in a disturbing injury to Tony's leg.
We are forced to believe that within 11 minutes
the leg is looked at by a medic, bandaged up, and
Tony is now walking around on crutches.


And why Kim Bauer is even in this show other
than for comic relief is beyond me. Here's a
girl that should lock herself in a closet for
there is no-one that can be trusted in her world.
Fortunately, there's plenty of tight undershirt
scenes shot in cold rooms which gives plenty an
excuse to keep her in the show.


My ONE complaint to the people who
produced this DVD



The actual enjoment of watching 24 Season Two
on DVD was diminished because of the amount of
spoilers that the folks at Fox put into their
MENU screens.

I'm actually surprised the producers of this disc
didn't think about what they were doing. Here's
an example....

(Run your mouse over the spoilers ONLY if
you have already completed Season Two)


At the end of one episode, Jack Bauer and Nina
are in a plane together. Nina is in Jack's
custody, handcuffed to a chair. The plane is
shot at and goes down. The episode ends on a
cliffhanger as to what the fate of the crew will be.

Well, you go to the MENU of the next episode
and the first thing you see....


A picture of Nina on the ground pointing a
gun at Jack Bauer

So, without even watching the next episode the
viewer has already concluded that....


Both Bauer and Nina survive and somehow Nina
was able to pull a gun on Jack.

The photos on just about EVERY EPISODE MENU
give away a major plot point to the episode you
haven't even watched yet. It left me bitterly
frustrated throughout this entire set because
a single photo ruined the surprise element.

The folks at Fox Home Video should learn from
this mistake and not put plot-revealing photos
in their menus. Additionally, I don't recommend
anyone reading the booklet that came with the DVD
until AFTER you have watched the entire season.
That also comes with its share of plot spoilers.


The good points

Fox has put together a season boxed set that
should please the fanbase.

First, the transfers are terrific. Presented
in anamorphic widescreen, picture image is well
detailed with good color rendering. The 5.1
audio is most welcomed here in action sequences
where gunfire is used. In fact, I was nicely
surprised by how frequently I heard rear-channel
information during each episode.

There's a really interesting two-part documentary
on the 7th bonus disc that looks at the production
of the show as we tag along with Director/Producer
Jon Cassar. Just as the show itself manages to
do, we get pulled into high-profile events such
as some of the production's top-secret meetings
where plot lines are being revealed for the very
first time.

We also visit several of the outdoor locales
that were used as backdrops this season, as well
as the show's very familiar looking CTU set.
There are some interesting interviews with
Sarah Wynter (Kate Warner), Elisha Cuthbert (Kim
Bauer), Dennis Haysbert (David Palmer) and
most notably, Penny Johnson (Sherry Palmer) who
talks about the influence of the show's first
couple on African-Americans. It's rather touching
to see the kind of off-screen friendship and
support that both these actors show for each
other.

We get to visit the Los Angeles arena where
Producer/Director John Cassar begins mapping out
sequences with actor Keifer Sutherland. Later,
we watch Keifer train for the show's climatic
ending.


Why haven't you seen this show yet?


Everyone likes to be know what's current and
what's hot. Nothing could be hotter than 24.
In short, it's the most innovative TV series to
come out of Tinseletown in a long time. You are
probably on another planet if you haven't noticed
your friends and co-workers talking about this
show for the past two years. It's about to enter
it's third season, so if you haven't jumped on the
24 bandwagon yet, NOW is the time to do so.

Incidently, after watching the very last moments
of Season Two finale, it's sort of odd to find
out that the first episode of Season Three
(which airs commercial-free on October 28th) takes
place three years after those events. I don't
know why the present crisis at the end of Season
Two is not immediately resumed in Season Three --
but then again, when has this show ever
followed normality.


Let me sum it all up


Posted Image


24 is perhaps the best TV show you will
ever watch. If you can believe it, it's bigger
and better than the previous season.
There are more plot twists, edge-of-your-seat
cliffhangers and never-ending surprises with
every changing hour. Not bad for a day's work!

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 70 OFFLINE   Ziv L

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Posted October 08 2003 - 06:49 AM

Agree with every word... Can't wait to the end of the month to watch season #3 Oh, and I also recommend you to watch "The Shield"
Ziv.

#3 of 70 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted October 08 2003 - 07:01 AM

Good Review Ron, and you're right on the money regarding Kim. I expected somehow that her storyline would wrap back into the plot but it never did, and then it got ridiculous. Season 3 looks really good as well and I'm glad it starts a few years after the events of season 2. I just wish they would drop Kim, her storylines are mere distractions and always slow the ep down. But alas she's there again in S3. I have both box sets but have yet to watch either but I will get to them. I wanted to hold off watching S3 and wait for the eventual release but I just don't think I can wait.
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#4 of 70 OFFLINE   Matthew Kiernan

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Posted October 08 2003 - 07:20 AM

I agree with you, Ron, on Fox's poor choice of photos for the menu screens. They did give away WAY too much. But other than that, yes it was a great package for a great show. I didn't mind the cougar too much!
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#5 of 70 OFFLINE   Chad A Wright

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Posted October 08 2003 - 07:47 AM

My wife and I just closed our eyes when we knew the menu screen was about to pop up. That was a very poor choice on the part of Fox. I agree with every word that Ron wrote. This is the greatest TV show on the air today. Possibly one of the greatest ever.

#6 of 70 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:08 AM

I watched this set in two days-16 eps. on a Sunday and 8 on a Monday night. Worth every penny.
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#7 of 70 ONLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:28 AM

Pace yourselves, guys! You can make the joy last almost a month if you do! Posted Image

I haven't picked up either of the 24 sets, but I've had the same problem with DS9 and Smallville. I finish one ep and want to keep going, but I force myself to only watch one. Well, two at the most. Sometimes three a day on the weekends. Posted Image But, normally only one. Posted Image

#8 of 70 OFFLINE   MikeEckman

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:30 AM

I wholeheartedly agree, if you have gone this far without watching an episode of 24, do it now, but here are two very important things to keep in mind:

1. If you have any interest in the show (and I assure you if you give it a chance you will), watch Season 1 first, before watching anything of Season 2. Even if you just want to see one episode to see if you'll like it, save yourself. If you watch anything from Season 2, you will quickly discover who isn't dead yet from Season 1.

2. Season 1 has almost no supplements, so this isn't a problem, but Season 2 has a couple commentaries...one of which is on Disc 1. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE COMMENTARIES until you are done with the whole season. The characters talk about the whole season, rather than just the episode you are watching.

OKay, I have one more guideline...

3. Enjoy! Posted Image
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#9 of 70 OFFLINE   Greg S

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:31 AM

Ron,

You are absolutely correct about Kim. I pray that they tone down her involvement in Season 3 A LOT she is truly the MAJOR detracting point in the show for me.

I would imagine that the 1st episode of Season 3 will have a lot of "backfill" to it to explain what all went down after the end of Season 2. Afterall they have a few items to explain ...

President Palmer's attack, the Kim and her boyfriend thing I am sure will be revisted, any further explanation on palmer' wife going away in handcuffs, also the bit about palmer's staff member (can't remember her name) who was pushed off the steps, and of course Jack's final outcome.


I also COMPLETELY agree with you about the Menus, this sucked!! I did the eye closing thing as well.

Anyway Loved Season 1 == 10+++, completely enjoyed Season 2 == 7, lets see if Season 3 can get me back to 10!! Sadly it will have to be another year until then for that though.

Greg

#10 of 70 OFFLINE   Nick Sievers

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:31 AM

I've only recently got into this show. About a month ago I purchased Season 1 on recommendations. I sat down on a Sunday afternoon planning to watch the pilot, I watched about 7 or 8 episodes in a row. Then during the week I watched about 2 or 3 a night until I finished up on the Friday. As soon as it finished I went online and ordered a copy of Season 2. Watched it in 2 days last week, easily the most entertaining show on TV. I really didn't want it to end.

I think the show works better on DVD but I don't think i'll be waiting another year to watch Season 3. Everyone mentions how easy Kim is to look at, I prefer Sarah Wynter's character myself. Posted Image
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#11 of 70 OFFLINE   Shane_Anthony

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:43 AM

I had watched both shows during the network broadcasts but they are so much more enjoyable on dvd..Being able to skip over commercials is the best!!

The only downside is that flashing clock drives you nuts after a while Posted Image

#12 of 70 OFFLINE   MikeEckman

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:48 AM

One thing I kinda wished Fox would have done, would have been to re-edit the shows to seamlessly take out the commercial breaks. The first episode of Season 2 was aired without commercials, but there are still times when the clock comes up on the screen and shows 4 things happening at once. I figured, Fox could have done the same thing with all the other episodes and instead of the clock and then black for a second or two, just reedited that gap to show the 4 scenes and clock, and then jumped back into the show after the commercial break. This would probably have shortened each episode by about 10 seconds or so, and probably would have taken effort to do, but I think it would have been a nice effect, without alternating the original vision of each episode.
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#13 of 70 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted October 08 2003 - 08:55 AM

how about a play all feature?
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#14 of 70 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted October 08 2003 - 09:24 AM

Ron

You are as always passionate as ever with recommending dvds to us.

I have not even seen season 1, so perhaps time to play catch up. Then again there are so many dvds out there waiting to be discovered.

Bring on Indy

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#15 of 70 OFFLINE   Tom_Bechet

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Posted October 08 2003 - 09:24 AM

I knew about the menus before hand so just closed my eyes and switched to mute until the episode started.

Great show. I missed it on TV in the UK, it only started braodcasting in the rest of europe (but not in englishPosted Image)
I decided to get the DVDs and I was very surprised to get the UKR2 limited edition of Season1+2 together. Absolutely brilliant.
Unfortunately this blind buy (90$US) has lead to a massive increase in buying TV shows on DVDPosted Image

So for everyone who hasn't seen it: DO IT NOW!!

real shame that S3 is soooo far away

PS Tony there is a play all option on season2 not for season1 (at least for UKR2)


Maybe this world is another planet's hell
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#16 of 70 OFFLINE   Sean Moon

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Posted October 08 2003 - 09:37 AM

Thank you Ron. I fell in love with this drug with this season. I saw enough of Season One to know who was who on this one, and while watching this, fell in love. My roomate who hates most TV shows and movies is now in love with this show and just goes on using the word Bauer as a verb, like "dont make me Bauer you!" Its actually kinda funny. Now we are going thru season one and I tell everyone I know about this show. This is CRACK. Plain and simple. DO yourself a favor and buy it NOW.
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#17 of 70 OFFLINE   Tom_Bechet

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Posted October 08 2003 - 09:57 AM

how many times does he use "damn" then?? PS I was the same. never watched any show on TV except for Friends, simpsons and futurama. Always was under the impression that TV shows are subpar. (Which they obviously are NOT!!!) Now I'll try out Alias, maybe the shield etc this fall is so expensive (futurama season4 is out int he UK and will definately be the straw that beaks the camel's back.


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#18 of 70 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted October 08 2003 - 10:31 AM

I also love this show, and watch it live religously... Ron, As stated above, you should also check out "The Shield". One of the best cop shows I have ever seen...
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#19 of 70 OFFLINE   Charles de Lauzirika

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Posted October 08 2003 - 10:54 AM

[quote] I'm actually surprised the producers of this disc
didn't think about what they were doing. [quote] Fortunately, we were able to convince MGM that this cover probably wouldn't be very well received by fans.

Back to "24," I agree with Ron. It's the most consistently electrifying show on network TV. But I actually enjoy its cliffhanger nature and having to wait a week until the payoff. The anticipation is half the fun, especially given how addictive the show it. It's like televised heroin.

I also loved the way Conan O'Brien spoofed the show with his one-second long episodes for "60." The following takes place between 12:05:23 and 12:05:24... Posted Image

#20 of 70 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted October 08 2003 - 12:09 PM

[quote] 24 Season Three is perhaps the best TV show you will ever watch. [quote]

That's great news. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

A bit confused about how you've seen it already, though. Posted Image

EDIT - I see that mistake has been corrected.




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