I actually thought the 24 parody was well-written enough that you didn't have to be familiar with 24 to enjoy it. I've never watched 24, and I dug it. Mark, I think you missed out on a good episode by turning it off in outrage over it being such a blatant crossover...your reaction reminds me of Matt Groening being furious over the crossover with "The Critic" years ago. I actually thought The Simpsons trying to pay tribute to the style of another series lead to the show being more creative and entertaining than it has been in a long time. I hated most of this season, but I enjoyed its final two episodes. I especially enjoyed the 20 Years Ago flashback, which, in spite of its silliness, felt kind of poignant and touching.
Ocean, the main reason I didn't like it was because it was such an exact parody of 24. I just HATE those high-tension Fox type shows. The 24-style is very annoying to me. Kinda like the way they now do all of these game shows - they all have to copy that "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" style with the dramatic music and underlying drone.
IMHO, it's like waving keys in front of a kid to get it's annention. I just don't care for that, which is why I absolutely hated this episode.
Again, it wasn't the content as much as it was the style. It's too annoying to me.