Upon returning home last May, I decided to borrow my brother’s DVDs of “24’s” first season. I had never seen the show before, but knew many people who love it. Twenty-seven hours later, I had watched all 24 episodes. Considering season four premiered this past Sunday, I thought it would be fun to watch all of season three … in 24 hours. Here is a diary of my experience.

Bob Hunt

 

The following takes place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Events occur in real time.

8:00 p.m. Episode one begins.

8:34 p.m. Things have started rolling, as the Counter Terrorist Unit is faced with a deadly virus that will be unleashed if a recently captured drug dealer/terrorist from Mexico isn’t released within six hours. Nine percent of Los Angeles will be dead within a week if the virus, which kills its host within 24 hours, is released. But now it’s up to Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) to stop it.

8:42 p.m. Apparently, Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert), Jack’s daughter, is the newest member at CTU, after spending the first season as a helpless teenager and the second season as a failed nanny. Thanks to the “Girl Next Door,” America is now safe from terrorism!

8:50 p.m. Episode two begins.

8:56 p.m. Jack Bauer decides to stop using heroin — which he took in order to capture drug dealer/terrorist Ramon Salazar (Joaquim de Almeida) — cold turkey. I just can’t wait until Kim enters into Jack’s office and says, “Can I talk to you daddy?” and Jack responds “Sorry, I’m having heroin freakouts right now pumpkin. Maybe later.”

9:05 p.m. President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), known to all as keeping people in good hands with Allstate, is distraught over whether to cancel the evening’s presidential debate. But I’m guessing he’s even more distraught over how in the hell Mexico became a threat for biological terrorism.

10:18 p.m. Episode four begins.

11:00 p.m. In the first of what is likely to be many moves by Jack Bauer that should get him fired, he releases numerous prisoners in order to cause a riot in order to break out Salazar. I would really count how many people die in this show to keep either Jack, Kim or President Palmer alive, but then I realized that dying is the purpose of the auxiliary “24” character.

11:02 p.m. The first disc is complete. One down, five to go. Could someone please tell me why I am doing this again?

11:29 p.m. The prisoners have now captured Jack Bauer and Salazar along with numerous guards, and they are forcing them to play Russian roulette for kicks. And Bauer and Salazar have been placed in a “battle to the finish.” Could this be the end for Jack Bauer?

12:31 a.m. Episode seven begins.

1:20 a.m. It is revealed that all events that have taken place thus far have been part of an elaborate sting operation to rid the market of the deadly virus, and Gael was just there to help. Seven hours, and almost no prior event is important. Normally this wouldn’t bother me. But then again, I decided to do this after getting just a combined nine hours of sleep the past two nights.

1:52 a.m. Man, how much would I pay to hear President Palmer say right now “Jesus, I like him very much. But he don’t help me hit a curveball.”

2:06 a.m. Quick pizza break. This is going great so far.

2:31 a.m. Now time for disc three. Wait, where is disc three?

2:40 a.m. Still searching.

2:45 a.m. Still searching.

2:47 a.m. Well, evidently the people who came by my apartment to give me “moral support” hid my disc three and put my disc four in the refrigerator.

3:20 a.m. Episode 10 begins.

4:01 a.m. The series sees the return of Sherry (Penny Johnson), President Palmer’s wife, and the biggest bitch in television history. Really, have you ever watched a show with a bigger bitch than her? I think not.

4:58 a.m. A CTU employee has to go home to pick up her baby and bring her back to CTU because her babysitter has a family emergency. The thing is, she’s never had a baby. I’m waiting for the baby to become a carrier of the virus at any second. Or maybe it’s a robot baby, ready to attack and self replicate at any second. It will be complete with lasers and everything! I’m starting to hallucinate, aren’t I?

5:31 a.m. Half done. My health is deteriorating as I write.

5:34 a.m. Thanks to the time it spent in my fridge, my disc four doesn’t work. Great.

5:38 a.m. With some cloth and a miracle, I’m back in business.

9:15 a.m. Woke up from two-hour nap, which I could use because of time picked up by not watching commercials. It’s also time for Red Bull No. 3.

10:47 a.m. I’ve got a great idea for season four — Jack’s day off. Jack can spend the entire day sitting on his La-Z-Boy and watching NFL Sunday Ticket with Doritos all over his shirt.

11:43 a.m. Episode 16 begins. The virus is released within the hotel’s central ventilation unit. Eleven other vials are found around Los Angeles, although they don’t know where they are or when they will be released.

12:06 p.m. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty delirious right now.

12:34 p.m. It is revealed that the real enemy of this caper is Stephen Saunders (Paul Blackthorne), who Jack had worked with on a mission in Kosovo years earlier. Why is it that Bauer knows every villain he faces on this show? Just asking.

1:07 p.m. Episode 18 begins.

2:03 p.m. Kim defies her father and decides to go undercover. Jack and Kim’s new boyfriend, another CTU agent, get real upset because “Kim is not field ops.” Uh, hello. How about Kim working for CTU in the first place? As far as we know, she never even graduated from high school, and now she’s fighting terrorism? I’ve really been waiting this whole time for her to break out and say “Who wants cookies!” Then, and maybe then, would this be believable.

2:30 p.m. Episode 20 begins.

2:49 p.m. So I’ve been watching this show for over 18 hours now, and I have yet to see one person either eat, sleep or go to the bathroom. What’s wrong with these people? When is Jack going to pull up to the Jack in the Box in Hollywood and say “I need that Sourdough Jack now!”

3:15 p.m. Final disc entered. Four more episodes to go.

3:38 p.m. Sherry proves her bitchiness once again by going to Palmer’s opponent and saying that she will incriminate her ex-husband if she can become a cabinet member.

4:32 p.m. Episode 23 begins.

4:46 p.m. Saunders has been captured in an action packed scene and the other vials of the virus are being discovered around the country. It looks like America can care about meaningless things like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston once again!

5:07 p.m. The end of the road for Sherry arrives when she is shot. Now the question is, who is going to fill the role of pure evil next season?

5:08 p.m. The final episode starts.

5:41 p.m. Palmer tells Bauer that he is resigning after this term, as the turmoil around his administration just became too great. Well, at least he has a good deal on insurance.

5:46 p.m. The series ends as Bauer cries to himself in his Explorer. Little does he know that he will soon be presented with a new season and a new challenge, supposedly “the greatest threat the nation has ever faced.” In other words, the release of Ashlee Simpson’s next album.

But until then, it’s time to go to bed. Beep, beep, beep.

 

If you would like tell Bob Hunt what you think about either “24” or staying up for countless hours for no apparent reason, you may reach him at bobhunt@umich.edu.

 

 

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