Friday, June 20, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—24, season 1 (2001-2002) ****

TV-14, 24 42-min. episodes
Creator: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran

Directors: Stephen Hopkins, Winrich Kolbe, Bryan Spicer, Davis Guggenheim, Jon Cassar, Frederick K. Keller, Paul Shapiro

Writers: Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran, Michael Loceff, Chip Johannessen, Howard Gordon, Andrea Newman, Virgil Williams, Lawrence Herzog, Michael Chernuchin, Maurice Hurley

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Leslie Hope, Sarah Clarke, Elisha Cuthbert, Dennis Haysbert, Carlos Bernard, Daniel Bess, Penny Johnson Jerald, Zeljko Ivanek, Michael Massee, Vicellous Shannon

Guest starring: Xander Berkley Mia Kirshner, Michael O’Neill, Rudolf Martin, Matthew Carey, Jacqui Maxwell, Karina Arroyave, , Megalyn Echikunwoke, Zach Grenier, Kim Murphy, John Hawkes, Tanya Wright, Jude Ciccolella, Eric Balfour, Silas Weir Mitchell, Glenn Morshower, Jesse D. Goins, Kathleen Wilhoite, Tamara Tunie, Currie Graham, Richard Burgi, Al Leong, Misha Collins, Paul Schulze, Kara Zediker, Wade Williams, Henri Lubatti, Vincent Angell, Navi Rawat, Edoardo Ballerini, Kirk Baltz, Darin Heames, Christian Hastings, Dennis Hopper

“24” may have been the true birthplace of binge television watching. It’s high-end concept all but demands that every episode be watched in order. I attempted to watch it as it originally aired. I made it to the halfway point, before other appointments started getting in the way. This was back in the day when Tivo was the only digital recorder and only the elite had yet to subscribe.

I really liked what I had seen before I lost my way due to actually having a life. When season two came up, I really wanted to watch it, but I hadn’t seen the entirety of the first season. DVD on TV was just hitting its stride and the first season came out in a boxed set just about three weeks before season two premiered. I bought it and watched the entire season, including the episodes I had seen before, in just over a week. I was my first binge watching session.

I have since watched season one a second time and am just now starting to watch season two for the second time. I plan on watching the entire series this time. A show like “24” makes the whole binge watching phenomenon seem inevitable. The show is like crack cocaine on the addiction scale. It’s like Pringles. You can’t watch just one, or two, or three. Sleep becomes a moot point when it comes to how far Jack Bauer will push the bounds of the edict “at any cost.”

The show masterfully weaves a number of plot strands, mercilessly raises the stakes with each and every episode, and somehow never gets too ridiculous to continue to string its audience along. Now, I’m really just talking about the first season here, because I’ve only ever completed that one and the second season. I’ll talk about the second season once I get that one finished again. I always wondered just where they had left to go after those first two seasons though, since it seemed they left it all out on the playing field with each of the first two seasons. I can’t wait for this summer binge season to continue.

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