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Blu-Ray Review: Final Season of FOX Hit ‘24’ With Kiefer Sutherland

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CHICAGO – 2011 will be an undeniably different year on the television landscape as it will be the first in some time with no “Lost” and no “24.” When the history books are written about the most-influential and important programs of the first decade of the new millennium, they would be incomplete without a chapter on Jack Bauer and the incredible success of FOX’s “24.” The final season is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, closing an important program with a comparably-lackluster installment but a great BD.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

The question that many people like to ask after a show goes off the air is whether or not it out-stayed its welcome. “24” never again reached the critical or commercial peak that it did in season five but there were still moments of what worked about the program in the final three years. And while there seems to be a bit of revisionist history already that states that “24” stayed on the air too long, it was still a top 40 program in its final year, something that can’t be said about many shows that aired 192 episodes. One more year probably would have seen a more serious drop-off. In other words, it went out exactly when it should have.

24: Season 8 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
24: Season 8 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Photo credit: Fox

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) may have tried to retire from life in the anti-terrorism game but, as someone says to Bauer in the first episode, “You’re the guy who always does the right thing.” It’s clearly a self-referential line in that it’s been the draw of the show for eight seasons — Jack is the guy we want on our side. “24: Season Eight” may open with a calm, family-oriented Jack Bauer, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s back saving the free world.

One of the reasons that “24” slid a bit after season five was that the plot of that great year was nearly impossible to top and so the suspension of disbelief strained in the final three seasons. The best way to view the eight seasons of “24” is the way you do eight different James Bond movies. They stand on their own. If you start to question the likelihood of all eight taking place in the real world and to the same guy then it falls apart.

One of the most notable elements and what could end up being the greatest influence of “24” is how little it looked “like TV.” The show brought theatrical-caliber action production values to the small screen, which may be more common now but was remarkable when it debuted. Because of that, “24” looks spectacular on Blu-ray. It plays like a feature film in serial form and Fox’s 1080p is one of the best out there. No one cold possibly have a technical complaint about this release.

And the special features are similarly strong with extended versions of the episodes, “Scenemakers” on 21 of them, deleted scenes, and more. “24” fans are loyal — the kind of people who re-watch their favorite show on Blu-ray — and there are still many viewers who skipped the final season and waited so they could watch it all in one weekend. It will surely satisfy all who either revisit it or check it out for the first time. Goodbye “24.”

Special Features:
o Extended Episodes
o Scenemakers on 21 Select Episodes
o “The Ultimate CTU
o Deleted Scenes
o “Virtually New York”
o “Chloe’s Arrest”

“24: Season 8, The Complete Final Season” stars Kiefer Sutherland, Cherry Jones, Freddie Prinze Jr., Anil Kapoor, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Annie Wersching, Chris Diamantopoulos, John Boyd, Mykelti Williams, Katee Sackhoff, and Elisha Cuthbert. The set was released by Fox on December 14th, 2010 and runs 1,056 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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