I suck at picking TV shows. I really do. Usually, when I see something advertised and decide to give it a try, it turns out to be terrible. The most recent example is Terra Nova. Man, what was I thinking? The opposite is also true- I usually start watching the good shows long after they have started, because I thought they would suck, and only once they are rolling do I find out how awesome they are. That’s true of The Sopranos, Downton Abbey, Seinfeld, the list goes on and on.
24 is one of the rare shows I got right.
I sat down for the first episode of 24, and the roller coaster first season started, and I never missed a single second of that first season. I saw it all. It was absolutely riveting. In fact, it reminded me more of a feature film than a television show, a twenty four hour long movie with great characters and epic plot twists. As the season went along, it got more and more intense, and I kept waiting for the big letdown. The end was controversial, but I thought it was perfect. It exemplified the courage and truthfulness which ran throughout the season. I moved heaven and earth to not miss an episode, and there have been few shows like that in my life.
The succeeding seasons were never going to be as good, and I stopped watching midway through season two. That does not diminish how great the first season was. It was the best single season of any television show I have ever seen, and that’s why I wish I had written it.