After eight seasons, the Fox series 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, America's one-man do-or-die counterterrorism force--is due to go off the air when the current season wraps up on May 24.
I'll miss Jack. It's only television, but I think he's summed up something important about the American spirit: a will to defend his country, against all attackers, no matter what the odds. That fighting spirit is still evident among American troops on the battlefield. But in Washington's political quagmires, over the nine years since Sept. 11, it's been substantially snuffed out. Instead, policy revolves endlessly around denial of real threats and the impulse to Mirandize enemies on foreign fields of war and bestow upon them the rights of U.S. citizens at home--even if that means releasing them to kill Americans again.
24 is a thriller wrapped around a gimmick: Each season presents a single, action-packed day, spread out across 24 one-hour episodes (occasionally doubled up for an extra kick), all supposed to take place "in real time." Each second of the ticking digital clock is meant to correspond to a second in yet another day from hell for hero Jack, as he battles to save America from scheming terrorists and their weapons of mass destruction.
Conceived before Sept. 11, and scheduled to air in the initial fall lineup of 2001, 24's premiere was briefly delayed. The producers were worried that the subject cut too close to the horrors of the real attacks. In November 2001, they went ahead. 24 was a hit. America was ready for a hero devoted round-the-clock to foiling terrorists.
Read the whole thing at the above link. I agree with practically all of it although of course I wish they'd found some excuse to mention Renee ;)