24: Season 4 (2005)
Genre: Action Drama Mystry Thriller Series
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland (To End All Wars; Dark City), Carlos Bernard
Created By: Joel Surnow & Robert Cochran
Overview: In this fourth installment of the continuing saga of Jack Bauer's 'very bad day' series, today begins with a Turkish terrorist's plot to assassinate the Secretary of State.
Acting: Kiefer Sutherland is a God. No, he's not the world's best actor but he alone holds up this show. In the first half of this season, there's three characters: a kid, his mother and his father, who are some of the worst actors I've ever seen in any show ever made. I was constantly hoping that something horribly tragic would befall them. It stank to high heaven. I'm glad they're not there throughout the show because it would have meant the end of this fan for the whole series. I'll add that for as much as Kiefer kicked ass, his directors sucked the end of the melodramatic cannon just a little too strongly.
Cinematography: I don't know if it's my fickle nature or what but that split screen effect they do seems a lot less artistic than in last season. Perhaps it's just me but I did suspect that they toned it down this season in favour of a more standard Lowest Common Denominator shooting style. The action's pretty good, the locations and the camerawork are professional, but nothing sparked my mind this season as being anything beyond the standard display of the events.
Script: There's nothing as fun as having every show recap what happened in the last one through master-of-the-obvious dialogue. Why on earth they would even dare add lines of retort like "Yeah I know that, I just did that an hour ago!" is beyond me. Don't draw out a scene any longer than you have to by appeasing the idiots who didn't see the last episode. There were less twists and interesting motives and more blatant declaration of in-front-of-your-face facts than ever before. I was disappointed.
Plot: This days starts off simply enough: kidnap this guy and kill him, but there's always an escape route and a plan B. This bad guy must be a total super-terrorist because he's actually got three plan Bs. I'm glad the show ended well, but the entire first half of the series was regrettable. At least the interpersonal conflicts weren't nearly as moronic as in Season 3.
Mood: Yelling to the sky "Noooo!" about three times in 24 hours is really not cool. Don't blame it on sleep deprivation (which they clearly did not illustrate, even once), blame it on the fact that American audiences will eat any stewed piece of feces they're served. This series was like a bad sequel, knowing that it would stay popular if they just added elements of action and Kiefer. I can count on one hand the amount of episodes that I found good and exciting.
Overall Rating: 64% (I Wasted a Whole Day)
Aftertaste: I think that having 4 terrorist plots in one day is a little much. I mean, when we it's original stuff like Mexican drug-dealers and contagions, that kind of fiction is fun. This season was basically just a big wrap up and presentation of the worst fears that the US could possibly be faced with: assassinations, nukes and middle eastern zealots, ho hum. Man this show had such promise, but it's just turning into Patriot Act propaganda. Perhaps when I start watching "Danger Man", a secret spy show from the 60s, that's when I'll get it more entertainment. I don't think anyone really needs to watch this Season. it's by far the worst yet.
Now I know why people are surprised to hear that I watch this show...