I only really watched the first season of 24. I liked the first season, and I liked the paranoia it generated not only in the characters on screen, but also in me. For those who haven’t watched it, watch it now. Don’t read any further. I’m serious. But if you’ve watched beyond the first season, I’m sorry you’ve wasted your time. The first season should have been the only one. Or, they should have thought of something different.

The title of the series, 24, doesn’t refer much to its content. It only sets a time frame for every season. 24 episodes, each (roughly) an hour long, displaying events in real time. Every second is accounted for. One single day for Jack Bauer to save the world. Well, the world of the USA, that is, since the USA is all an American really needs. Everyone else, every other country, is a danger, or at least a nuisance. That’s life in the CTU, a paramilitary government-sanctioned intelligence unit, specialized in finding and stopping terrorists before they cause another 9/11. Not even all Americans can be trusted, since terrorists just love to infiltrate the populace, law enforcement, the government, the military, hell, every god damn institution in the US, even our small group of security specialists, the CTU. This just shows how dangerous these people are and how much more we need an Orwellian Big Brother to watch over all of us, since our safety is so much more important than our freedom and privacy.

Luckily, there are still people who know when they’re just being told a horror story. This horror story is just of a different kind, with the terrorist starring as the boogey man.

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