24: Season 4

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Yesterday was the yearly 24 extravaganza, this time a marathon of Season 4. Jenn was there, Dad brought the DVDs, and Stu and Tif came and brought a substantial amount of food. Along with the food Jenn and I brought and a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts contributed by Dad, we had more crappy junk food than five people should consume in a lifetime.

But, you know, that’s what it’s all about.

Season 4 was about some terrorists trying to wreak havoc on the US nuclear-style, and the only man who can stop them is (of course) Jack Bauer. As always, the entire effort was well put together - acting, effects, story - enough that I really don’t know what I would suggest. There was only one loose end that bugged me (what ever happened to Behrooz Araz?) but not enough to make me dislike the season. There are also a couple of really annoying characters (“Chloe O’Brian,” who always seems either pouty or smug, and “Edgar Stiles,” who has zero self-confidence), but the actors who played them did so perfectly - you hate the characters because the actors make you hate them. Excellent.

I loved the previous seasons we watched marathon-style, and this was no exception. Non-stop action, great characters, and an awesome storyline added up to a 17-hour marathon (from 8:00a Friday to 1:00a Saturday) that went a lot faster than you’d have expected it to. Before we knew it, the show was already over and it was time to go.

Stu, Dad, and I made it through just fine, but the ladies were struggling toward the end. Jenn’s eyelids seemed to be getting heavy (and she later commented to me that she was surprised she made it) and Tiff sort of lost the ability to walk or talk coherently.

It rocked, though, and it’s the only way to watch that show. The surreal feeling of being immersed in such an exciting world for so long at a single sitting isn’t like anything I can explain. Your suspension of disbelief transforms into acceptance that whatever you’re seeing is really part of the world and when it’s over you wonder what the characters are up to the next day because it’d be nice to get together with them for lunch or something since you’ve spent so much time with them already. I noticed this during the first marathon we did (Season 2) and it’s just amazing every time.

If you haven’t seen 24, you’re missing out. I can’t recommend any particular season since I like all of them, but if you really haven’t seen it, start with one of the earlier seasons and work from there. While you don’t have to have seen the previous seasons to understand what’s going on in later seasons, the long term viewer is rewarded with recurring characters and inside jokes that the newbie isn’t going to get.

I look forward to next year’s Season 5 marathon. If it’s anything like this one was, it’s going to be a total blast.