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May 30, 2007



Well stated Ken. 24 is my absolute favorite show, and to see it crash and burn this season in such a firy wreck was very sad. Lets hope that that the rumored re-set of 24 works out the way it hopes, as long as Chloe is there to send Jack schematics.

Scott C.

Well, a friend of mine long suspect that they were making 24 up as they go, and apparently the writers recently copped to it.Personally, my contact with the show is haphazard, but I've always felt that each season should end the same way: With Jack reaching for a bottle of tequila and muttering, "Man, what a crappy day."


It was a season of fakeout tension. Like in the last hour, going to commercials, Chloe is ill. Is it leftover Sentec? Is it radiation? No, she's pregnant.I just finished watching TV academy screener DVD's of the entire run of a show with a similiar theme that was much better. Sleeper Cell on Showtime.WK


I'll add my voice to the chorus. The day actually started out well: Jack gone feral -- I didn't think he could engage in a brutality that would actually surprise me, but I jumped in my seat when he bit out that guy's jugular -- along with the story in which he was not just risking death but choosing death in order to save the country. I thought they also set the scene well as a country besieged by suicide bombings, something you wonder why hasn't actually already happened.But THEN... it just devolved into gimmicks. A nuke goes off (which we all saw coming, since for once Jack wasn't on scene to disarm it); the villain from last season is -- GASP !-- Jack's brother; and then the villain from this season is -- GASP! -- Jack's father. Wayne Palmer sits in the Oval Office as the single least credible casting choice for a president, and there's this bizarre concept that if only Palmer approves a rollback on civil liberties, the other four nukes will be found that very day.Even more troubling, characters began to pretentiously moralize in complete conflict with their previous behavior. Karen Hayes came on the scene as a hardcore administrative bad-ass; now she's all weepy about civil liberties? I don't get it.But at the top of my "I don't get it" list is why Jack's father suddenly decided to mount an unplanned attack on CTU, just to get his grandson; grandpa couldn't send a van to snatch him once the kid got home? If it's any consolation, though, I think the negative feedback that the writers are getting, along with the unexpected competition from Heroes, is going to force them to bring their A-game again. If they can't, then it's time to give Jack the day off.


Can you believe Jean Smart didn't even get an Emmy nomination for 24 last year? I can. The Emmy's make no sense.


Wow, you 24 fans really have the capacity to suspend belief in reality and the patience of Job. I watched the first half of the first season before ditching the ridiculous show in disgust; not only are the plots incredibly far-fetched but the way they drag everything out for commercial break after commercial break just wore me down. After a while, all that suspense just gets boring. Just to make sure I wasn't wrong, I tuned back in season before last and sure enough, the same crazy crap and mind-numbing plots were still there. And Jack still delivers every line in the same half-growl, half-whisper. Geez. I guess my point here is that I don't like the show.


haha oh my god that's the best summary ever, ever. You, Ken Levine, are a God amongst men. I'm p****** myself laughing at work now... your fault!!

John Royal

Next season, Jack, Bill Buchanon, and Agent Aaron Pence go off in search of the cougar that nearly ate Kim. They take the cougar to the Heller household and set him lose on Audrey, only to find that Audrey is really Nina, who faked her death.

Mr. Peel

Jean Smart did get an Emmy nomination last year, but it was for Supporting, not lead. Maybe the Emmys still make no sense, but not for this reason.

Mark Hill

Agree completely. My wife and I have been slogging through this season, trying to ignore our disappointment only because the past few have been so brilliant. But the unbelievable plot twists were too hard to navigate. You're right about Jack's dad. (And then the ominous, behind-the-scenes bad guy from last year turns out to be Jack's brother? Come on.) And yes, killing off Curtis was a huge error.


What kills me about 24, one hour after an attack, the government has massive plans like detention camps for every cab driver and 7-Eleven clerk in the country. In reality, 6 months after 9-11, Immigration renewed Mohhammed Atta's visa. According to New York Times, the bureaucratic backlog for immigration is up to 22 years.The fantasy is the government doing anything quick.WK


Ken, a technical note: that picture you're using is nearly a half-megabyte. Any readers you have still using dial-up instead of broadband are being penalized.

Ken Levine

I made the picture a little smaller. Does that help you dial up folks?


After the end of last season I was hoping for something different. It was getting to hard to top the last one, and last year had a lot of big moments. My hope was that it would be about Jack escaping captivity in China while on the other side he was trying to be rescued. Sadly when it turned out to be just another day for Jack I didn't even bother watching.

Kelly J. Compeau

I agree with everything you said, except, I won't be watching next year. In fact, I stopped watching about two-thirds in this past season. And I remember the exact moment I changed the channel, too. Someone at CTU said: "Jack's gone rogue!"I rolled my eyes and sighed. "Again? Whatever."KJC


i am convinced that the entire season was contrived in order to provide Kim Raver with a part she could play convincingly... that of a catatonic.


I stand corrected Mr. Peel.The Emmys still make no sense.Do you have an Emmy anecdotes, Mr. Levine?


I agree the show isn't what it was, but it's still watchable for me, and still better than much of what's being broadcast.Killing Curtis was definitely a big mistake.What should they do next season? Kill Jack. Frankly, I've thought since season 1 that the 24 concept is solid enough that they could do any number of storylines. Jack, CTU, the president, etc. aren't necessary.


As others have said, they've sunk so much cash into building that CTU set, they have to keep using it. Which means that the show will always be set in LA and always feature CTU subplots.

Alan Tomlinson

Perhaps 24 needs this:http://nielsenhayden.com/overlord/Cheers,Alan Tomlinson


My husband was a fan until about half way through this season when they changed direction after the first bad guy got caught. My complaint is that if this a "real time" show, how come nobody ever eats or poops? And...it seems that cell phones always pose a security problem, so how come everyone and his mother has one and carries on secret conversations to go behind the backs of those in charge? If I was the boss, you bet that I'd have everyone check them in at the door.I hope 24 goes the way of Lost.


24 may have an overly elevated view of the effectiveness of government agents. While Jack may know how 4 million ways to get a secret out of terrorists and Chloe may know the plans for every building in the world, according to “Cinematical.com”, director Mike Figgis was detained for 5 hours at LAX. Why? Because when he was asked what he was doing in L.A., he replied, “I’m here to shoot a pilot.” No TSA agent knew he meant a television show.WK


No question this was an off year, easily the worst. Word is the locale will move from LA (or what's left of it at this point) to DC next season. A change of scenery can only help. My advice -- screw the romance and just keep blowing stuff up and no more "soft" Chloe!And did I miss an update on the ex-Prez's condition after the ex-First Lady nailed him with the fruit knife? That wasn't a dream, was it?By the way, if you haven't had the pleasure, check out the transcripts of Dave Barry's live 24 commentary -- great stuff.http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/24/index.htmlKiller blog, Ken, it's a daily stop!


Next season, let's team Jack with Tom Brewster, a cattle-ropin', slow-lopin' cowboy that everybody at CTU calls Sugarfoot. Jack can use Sugargoot's volume of the law to crack some terrorist heads...And the bad guy next season has to be Osama (played by Tony Shaloub... since Charles Nelson Reilly is no longer with us).So how do I get hired on as an Executive Producer to put this in action?


I'm going to preface this comment by saying that you're a very talented writer. I still watch Frasier every day. It was--and is--the most intelligent comedy on TV (besides Arrested Development, of course :) I think you mean "its", rather than "it's", which is a contraction of "it is". In addition, "TVs" doesn't need an apostrophe, nor do the items "DVDs" "CDs", etc. Thank you for Frasier and for your blog. I really appreciate your sarcastic wit!

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    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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