Pros:Acting, still some thrills
Cons:More formulaic then previous seasons; dropped storylines
The Bottom Line: This season is still watchable. But it's not the addictive thrill ride it has been in years past.
I guess it is true. Eventually all shows falter. For five seasons, 24 has been a highly addictive thriller. Yes, it has been preposterous. After all, all this action takes place in one 24 hour period? And people stay awake the entire time with no ill effect? Yes, there have been a few annoying sub-plots, but the main story has always kept me glued to my seat each week.
Recommend this product?
Then came season six. Yes, it was still entertaining. But the flaws were more obvious and the thrills less thrilling this year.
Season five ended with the shocking site of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) being kidnapped by the Chinese for crimes committed during season four. In the time since then, the United States has become a dangerous place. Suicide bombers hit the country on a regular basis, and no one is safe. New President Wayne Palmer (D. B. Woodside) has arranged Jack's release from a Chinese prison camp. Jack is to be traded to the terrorists in exchange for a promised cease fire.
Jack agrees to give his life for the peace of his country. But when he finds out that it was all a lie, he escapes to begin another cat and mouse hunt with the terrorists. Only this time, they've already struck once, leading to a calamity. Meanwhile, the trail leads Jack to his own family. What secrets are his dad and brother hiding? Can he stop the terrorists before they unleash even more terror on America?
Now I freely confess I saw signs of weakness in the previous season. Most fans consider it the best season ever (my favorite is the third), but I was beginning to feel like the show was becoming too formulaic. That was driven home by this season. Almost every twist, including the "most shocking events ever" in the first four episodes, I saw coming a mile away. While there weren't as many big character deaths this year, they didn't shock me either. In fact, I think I've gotten numb to them. It's like the writers are out of ideas, so they keep recycling the ones they've already used. I can almost hear them. "Hm, we haven't done this yet this year. Let's have character A be a mole."
On top of that, the storylines never really gelled this year. The show felt disjointed and unorganized instead of the coherent puzzle we've had in years past. Many storylines were introduced and then dropped unresolved. Some of those came back later, but some just vanished off the face of the earth. Maybe the terrorists got them? Either way, it left me feeling unconnected.
The season wasn't all bad. There were episodes that had me on the edge of my seat. The final showdown was certainly one of them. The political power struggle in the White House held my interest quite a bit. In fact, there were times I was more interested in that then Jack's hunt for the terrorists.
The acting on the show has always been great, and it didn't sag this season. There was not one bad performance in the bunch.
The season sets for this show have always been great, and this one is no exception. The episodes themselves are presented in perfect wide screen and full surround sound. And the set is loaded with extras. There are multiple episode commentaries from actors and crew and lots of deleted scenes. Finally, there's a seventh disc devoted to special features including wardrobe, special effects, stunts, mobisodes, and more. They've included the Simpsons spoof "24 minutes." And they've got the standard teasers for season seven (although when we might get that thanks to the writer's strike is anyone's guess. Then again, maybe it will give the writers time to think up something better then this season.)
In the end, season six of 24 wasn't a complete loss. But it was a long way down from the previous, better seasons of the show.
Other 24 Reviews:
Season 1-3 Pack