24: Season One review, 24: Season 1 DVD review
Starring
Kiefer Sutherland, Dennis Haysbert, Sarah Clarke, Elisha Cuthbert, Carlos Bernard, Leslie Hope, Penny Johnson
Director
Various
24: Season One

Reviewed by Jason Zingale

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F

ox's new drama, "24," isn't only the most innovative show in ages, but it also stands as one the most suspenseful and entertaining series on network television. Complete with a real-time storyline that focuses on the kind of risqué subject matters spanning newspapers all over the country, the show's intensity is driven by its electrifying writing and talented cast.

Because "24" features hour-long episodes – each representing one hour in a complete day – it's next to impossible to follow the story after missing even one. Fortunately for hardcore fans of the show, and others that discovered it too late, the DVD release offers the chance to re-experience this smash-hit series that finally proves not everything on TV is crap.

Kiefer Sutherland stars as Jack Bauer, an agent of the government's Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) that works to prevent acts of terrorism against the United States. Day One begins on the eve of the California Presidential Primary when CTU receives word that there will be an assassination attempt on Senator David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American presidential nominee who is widely considered the first minority to seriously challenge for the presidency.
In an attempt to foil the conspiracy against Senator Palmer, Jack spends the next 24 hours trying to uncover the true villain, but when his daughter Kimberly (Elisha Cuthbert) and wife Teri (Leslie Hope) become victims of a related kidnapping, Jack must postpone his mission in order to save his family.

Sutherland is pitch-perfect as the show's main protagonist, while supporting players like Haysbert, Carlos Bernard, Sarah Clarke and Penny Johnson hold their own as some of the show's more dynamic characters. Of course, the real star of the show is the story, which has enough double-crosses and backstabs to fuel an entire franchise of spy thrillers. It'll be interesting to see if the creators of the show can keep a good thing going, because while the first season of "24" is simply unforgettable, future installments will be even more difficult to execute.

Special Features: Improving upon the first season’s barebones original release, the new seven-disc special edition set features all of the goodies that fans have become accustomed to in an übercool, metal tin set complete with its very own ticking clock. Among the new special features added include audio commentaries for the pilot and season finale (by director Stephen Hopkins), 25 extended/deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette (“The Genesis of 24”) where the cast/crew discuss their experience on the groundbreaking series. It’s not exactly enough to warrant a double-dip, but for those looking to get into “24” before the 2009 premiere, there’s no better place to begin than where it all started.

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