A Day in the Life: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to 24
Right now terrorists are planning to assassinate a presidential candidate. My wife and daughter have been kidnapped. And the people I work with may be involved in both. I'm Federal Agent Jack Bauer. And this is the longest day of my life." Have you ever had one of those days...? 24 has been nothing short of a television industry phenomena on both sides of the Atlantic. We've never seen anything quite like this before. A series told in 24 episodes, and in real-time. It spans one day in the life of a US Federal Agent attempting to stop a determined and complex cabal of terrorists from assassinating a presidential candidate. At the same time, he must try to find, and free, his kidnapped wife and daughter. This, then, is A Day in the Life. Of Jack Bauer, that is. Bauer, as played stoically, though with occasional moments of ultraviolence, by the magnificent Kiefer Sutherland, is the key to 24's ultimate success. An everyman-yet-superman flawed hero, facing insurmountable odds and determined and well-resourced foes. Someone with only his wits, his integrity, his plethora of Bondian gadgets and his abilities as a one-man killing machine to keep him going. 24 has literally everything that a perfect modernist thriller should. Conspiracy theory, political intrigue, dysfunctional family values, occasional flashes of very black humour, fashionable Los Angeles locations and testosterone coming out of its nostrils. 24is extraordinary, dangerous, high-octane, sexy television, cleverly put together to maximise the breathlessly clock-watching structure of its format. It's Die Hard meets James Bond meets JFK. It features elements from everybody's favourite TV shows and movies of the last couple ofdecades and more twists and turns than a day at the Grand Prix. To say that 24 had its audience on the edge of its seat for over six months is, for once, not a case of TV-industry hyperbole.
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