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HERC Gives Fox's 24 *****!!

24 1.1 FAQ

What’s it called?

“12 Midnight-1:00 AM”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to Robert Cochrane (“L.A. Law,” “La Femme Nikita”) and Joel Surnow (“Wiseguy,” “Special Unit 2”).

What does TV Guide say?

“Debut: Kiefer Sutherland stars as Jack Bauer, the L.A.-based head of a Federal counterterrorism unit, in a seasonlong chronicle of a day in his life - with each hour a separate episode. The story opens at midnight with Bauer at home with his wife, Teri (Leslie Hope), and teenage daughter, Kimberly (Elisha Cuthbert), who promptly sneaks out of the house. Just as they learn she's gone, Jack is summoned to work, where he's informed of an assassination plot against a Presidential candidate (Dennis Haysbert). Further, an element inside his own agency may be involved. ‘Don't trust anybody,’ says Bauer's superior, ‘not even your own people.’”

What is TV Guide not telling us?

This show is all about misdirection, “Sixth Sense” style. Watch as closely as you like; this show is so precisely built, you will be fooled again and again. Stupid humans!

Is it, as the cover of TV Guide declares, the best new show of the year?

It is.

Better than “Alias”?

Just barely.

We all know about the show’s bizarre real-time concept. Is the screen always split into quarters as it was in “TimeCode”?

No. The show does employ a lot of cool split-screens, but they’re used judiciously.

But surely this is too gimmicky to be any good, am I right?

The gimmick is wacky; the show amazes.

Who do we follow?

In the pilot, we keep tabs on the candidate, the counterterrorism guy, his wife, his daughter, and a photographer aboard an airliner. These may seem like odd choices at first, but all soon becomes clear.

Why is this show so great?

Loads of edgy, complex, compelling characters. Intricate, unpredictable plotting. Lightning-like pacing. A stellar cast. A near-constant, electric undercurrent of sex. It keeps asking questions you’ll be dying to see answered. And, perhaps best of all, it feels like no TV show you’ve ever seen.

Lightning-like pacing?

You will not believe how fast this hour flies by.

Stellar cast?

Every actor in this show is money in the bank. Keifer Sutherland, Dennis Haysbert, Leslie Hope, Elisha Cuthbert, Sarah Lively, Mia Kirshner, Penny Johnson: all great actors way on top of their game.

Why isn’t Herc spoiling plot points?

Because you don’t want me to.

Herc’s rating for “24” 1.1?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

9 p.m. Tuesday. Fox.

I warn you not to defy me!! Mmm!! Cookies!!

I am – Hercules!!

To order coffee mugs and boxer shorts adorned with the image of a green, handicapable “Buffy” fanatic, click here.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 6, 2001, 3:49 a.m. CST

    can it be? am I possibly first? yessssssssssss

    by Bravefanatic

    Okay, I havn't actually seen the show yet. But, there's always a but. With all the promo's being ran during the world series, it seems like I've already seen 24 hours a ads. Please, somebody tell someone at Fox to quit overdosing us on ads. What do they think this is, episodeII?

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 9:24 a.m. CST


    by usagi

    Are they replaying this at any point? I'm taping Buffy tonight, it runs over, I wanna watch the two hour NYPD Blue, and I also wanna see 24.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Repeats of 24

    by Narfinity

    According to my replay guide, in the next week, the first episode of 24 will be on tonight and Friday at 8pm on Fox and Monday at 1am and 11pm on FX, and then (presumably, as my channel guide doesn't go past next wednesday) it starts all over again, at least with the FX repeats. Since I'm in Arizona, TV scheduling is wacky. For most people it's on at 9 (not 8) on Fox and it'll be off an hour or two in one way or another for the FX reruns. I was going to record it tonight, but I'll save it for a less-crowded timeslot.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Sixth, mofo!

    by happywaffle

    Or seventh. JK. This show's gonna rock, and I'll be there anyway, coming right after the Simpsons. Incidentally, I thought "For the Birds" was ten times as good as "Monsters Inc," minute-for-minute.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Wow, yet again this site is slower than my grandma....

    by sopranofella

    Anyway, 24 looks awesome, I'm watching it tonight along with the new Simpsons.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 9:35 p.m. CST

    But when will he take a dump?

    by ItsOver

    I guess everyone on the show will be using the bathroom with the rest of us, during commercials. You know subtracting time for commercials, the show is less than eighteen hours. ***** Either way I'm impressed so far. I'm wondering how they're going to keep the action rising each week. **** Anyone know how FOX is going to run this show? Are all 24 episodes going to be shown consecutively? Then what about the rest of the year? You'd think showing reruns would be confusing.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 10:16 p.m. CST

    What A Night, Kids!

    by jollydwarf

    First the "Buffy" musical and then "24". The best-produced train wreck I've ever seen and the best-produced single episode I've seen of anything in quite some time. And in just a little under an hour, Beetlejuice as Don King on Howard Stern on E! I hope that the fact that the show takes place over 24 hours means that the quality and intensity will only build from one episode to the next. Back to Buffy. Does the end of that episode mean that Buffy will suck Spike? Or the other way around? All of the above? Welcome to November. P.S. That 'Harry In Bacta Tank' animation? All I can say is "How ya feelin' geek? Why, you look big enough to crush the life outta Gundark!" P.P.S. Speaking of November, I really can't believe the D'backs won. I was rooting for them. Teams I pull for in the big game and victory are paths that shall never meet. Kinda like crossing the streams. P.P.P.S. IF YOU'VE MADE IT PAST MY RAMBLINGS TO THIS POINT, WATCH "24"! SEE IT AGAIN ON FRIDAY NIGHT! I am not a plant. P(4)S The only thing that'll make the X-Files any more pathetic would be Adam West joining the FBI or a V.I.P. crossover. How about a Carrot Top two-parter. The X-Files will be a great show...for me to poop on! Ugh! I'm...I'm done. Sorry.

  • Nov. 6, 2001, 10:24 p.m. CST


    by Z0D

    What a show. It feels like September 11 all over again with the tense drama and an airplane blowing up. There are suprises, twists, and turns during this first episode that I find interesting. I feel Keifer's character go through the feelings of confusion and pain when his daugther is missing and their is a mole in his own agency. I find one thing terribly disturbing...his daughter gets involved with two dumbass psychos who supposedly go to college. I know she is in high school and immature. It's too bad that this stuff does happen in real life (psychos kidnapping and torturing innocents). But put in it this show? Wow. It's just too good that way. The story is more complex as it tears Keifer's character between his family's concerns and the nation's concerns. At the end, I was suprised to see the most unbelievable terrorist that downed that plane. I totally thought it was the photographer. That just blew my mind. The style of the show is also pretty well done, with cut scenes from different angles and locations of scenes at the same time. 24 should be a hit. What could they possibly do for a second season? Try to track down Al Queda?'s getting cold....

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Definitely one of the best pilots...EVER

    by Hung-Wei Lo

    I'm a sucker for Herc's spoilers, so I had to see why I needed to watch this show. Oh man! The character development was unbelievable...and I'm going to go hunting for some pictures of Kiefer's hot brunette co-worker. What was her name again? Oh well, I'll just stop by Anywho, in comparison to the Alias premiere, I'd have to say that it was way better than Alias's, but not to slight the Alias premiere. It was beautifully crafted and executed. However, this one had the characters that you could like right off the bat. The one drawback of the Alias premiere was that you were spoonfed who to like and who not to like. Apart from the excellent Alias premiere, though, I'd have to say that the show is going to hell in a handbasket. It's starting to get too cheesy whenever they break to Sidney's everyday lifestyle. Well, back to the show at hand. '24' has got so much going for it right now...the rave reviews, the intense premiere, hotties that can act. It's definitely setting itself up for disaster, but I for one will be along for the ride until it crashes. Maybe now I have to by a TiVo so that I can record Scrubs. Well, Tuesday nights are my couch potato nights so I better make the most of it. I can't really find any other shows during the weekdays to keep me interested yet. They all fall on Tuesday!

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 7:38 a.m. CST


    by No. 41

    Damn good show. Not perfect, but damn good. Could be the best show on TV after 1 episode. Loved the ending--that silhouette of the parachutist set the perfect tone of menace and things to come. Loved it. Plot wise, it isn't much--foiling an assassination attempt, been done well everywhere from "Parallax View" to "In The Line of Fire" and all points in between...but add a few complications, good acting, stir and serve...nicely done. Kudos. I'm there for all 24.

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 8:45 a.m. CST

    not at all impressed

    by jetfire1814

    unless the first 6 min were the highlight of the show (ill check them out on friday) or mabey it was just the equilivant of following the phenominal buffy (I doubt that anything would seem good after the buffy perfection) but ill be back next week before i give up entirely

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Mmm ... Keifer Sutherland ...

    by Shalamar

    Is there a cooler sonofabitch in show biz? His aura of quiet menace gives this show a finishing touch of class. Not that it needs it, mind you. Herc was right - the hour sped by.

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Sarah Lively now Clarke

    by Sam-80

    I loved 24. Looking at who's behind the writing I'm sure we're going to be in for a great ride. Nina/Sarah is going by the last name Clarke now. If you look at the Fox 24 site that's how she's listed even tho she's listed in the IMDB as Sarah Lively.

  • Nov. 7, 2001, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Mia Kirshner is wicked awesome, and 24 rocks

    by zenbastard1969

    Alright kiddies...with Duchovny absent from X-Files and the rampant misuse of Gillian A. on that show (hysterics last season, and soccer mom this season? Ye gads...) I was mourning the loss of an intense, trust no one drama, when 24 came along and lived up to the of the few shows ever where I called my friends raving manically about "Man, you have got to see this..." Some observations: 1.) Man, is Kiefer getting hefty or what? Still, his acting's grown along with his waistline. Just never expected that, as skinny as his Dad is... 2.)Did you notice how comparatively graphic the sex in this show was? Wow. Some heavy pelvic thrusting going on, and in one case involving a presumably under-18 girl. Freaky. And the airplane quickie was more of the same, just involving entry into the mile high club...which brings me to my final point... 3.) Mia Kirshner, in addition to being a great actress, is an absolute goddess...I mean, sweet baby Jesus...she looks like that and she's brilliant...why are there no women around like her here? Damn, man...I have only one regret: she's a guest star. MIA NEEDS TO BE A RETURNING CHARACTER! BETTER STILL, GIVE HER HER OWN SHOW. OR HER OWN NETWORK! I WANT 24 HOUR MIA...MIA WALKING, MIA TALKING, MIA DECONSTRUCTING EROTIC POETRY IN A NEGLIGEE, MIA WELDING BOILER PLATES, MIA EATING ICE CREAM BARS, MIA MIA MIA, ALL MIA, ALL THE TIME...I Think you hear me knocking, and I think I'm coming in, and I'm bringing the ice cream bars....sorry, just channeled Denis Leary there for a sec...anyway...

  • Nov. 10, 2001, 3:38 a.m. CST

    Never Have I Been So Disappointed

    by ginta1971

    I have been DROOLING since I first heard about this shows concept. I couldn't wait for it, I was on the edge of my seat. TV was finally going to show what it was capable of.... My God, I was almost moved to tears at the end by how let down I was. I was envisioning a show where "I have to go place X, it will take me 3 hours to get there" and low-and-behold, that character would be gone for 3 episodes. Instead I am treated to a LA where everyone seems to be within 3 minutes of each other. And, I *never* thought you would hear myself say this, TO MUCH BACKSTORY! My god, does everyone have a secret? A past that will somehow raise it's ugly head in this 24 hour period? I am not sure words can even begin to say how disgusted I was with this train wreck that I had hoped would be a Bullet Train. And Herc, buddy...5 stars? Puh-lease.

  • Nov. 11, 2001, 3:11 a.m. CST

    It's only *** at best...CIA characters far too young and dem

    by Lt. Torello

    So glad I watched all of the Buffy musical and taped this overrated show. Way too much happened in that first hour to believe the "real time" concept. Elisha Cuthbert somehow beats dad at chess, changes clothes, sneaks out of the house, drives from downtown L.A. (she has a 310 area code) to the Valley (20 minutes minimum without traffic -- I grew up there), meets college guy at the furniture store, divulges bogus dad's dead story, swaps tongue, then drives off and serendipitously (nice word for too coincidentally) misses colliding with mom's car all within less than an hour? Please, Herc. I like your enthusiasm, but it's fairly stock TV dressed up in a cool gimmick. And the CIA or whoever Keifer and his too-cool-for-school young turks supposed to work does not guard elected officials. That's what the Secret Service is for.

  • May 24, 2010, 2:20 a.m. CST

    I bet Jack's wife dies at the end of the season

    by TheMcflyFarm

  • May 24, 2010, 2:44 a.m. CST

    "electric undercurrent of sex"

    by punto

    heh, remember that? how long did it last?

  • May 24, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Teri Bauer is the Smoke Monster!

    by TheSplinter

    She is the original Man in Black.

  • May 24, 2010, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Kim Bauer was Ashton Kutcher

    by Corleone

    before Ashton Kutcher was banging a 50 year old. Kim Bauer, the original Cougar-lover.