On November 6, 2001 just weeks after the date that will forever live in our minds and hearts, 24 aired and now with Season Eight and the series about see it’s final hours, we have come full circle as Jack Bauer brings terrorism to it’s knees in the city that for many of us saw it’s even first signs of terrorist activity on American soil, New York. 195 episodes later, we say goodbye to 24.
The show that allowed us to see inside the eye of conspiracy theories, government corruption, international espionage and American loyalty and heroism is about to come to an end. Riddled in controversy and showered in patriotism, 24 has taken us to the emotional peaks and valleys of human restraint.
Yet, it was not without risk and showered in altercation. Filmed weeks before the infamous Tuesday morning events of September 11, the original pilot of 24 featured a plane crash that was cut from the show and never aired, yet in season seven, two American planes were forced to collide killing hundreds of innocent civilians.
In 2007, Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan went to California to meet with producers sponsored by the group Human Rights First asking the show to cut some of the acts of torture saying it was promoting illegal acts of international law.
General Finnegan was quoted as saying “I’d like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires…The kids see it and say ‘If torture is wrong, what about 24?’ The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do”
During the 2004 season, Fox was forced to air public service announcements about the depiction of Muslims on the show following complaints by the Association of Islamic-Muslim Relations.
Yet, 24 foresaw evolutionary change in government and acceptance. David Palmer was the first African-American president on television and with strength, prominence and ideals, he stood for the greater good of the United States. With President Obama sitting in the shadow of President Palmer, will we see someone standing in the shadow of President Allison Taylor someday in the near future?
24 has been aired in the United States, Canada, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. With such global outreach, it is difficult to walk away from a show that brought reality to television.
With over 1.4 million fans on Facebook and between 9 and 13 million viewers weekly since inception, this show has become a cornerstone in many households.
Pushing the buttons on what the audience can handle, creators Robert Cochran and Joel Surnow have taken us to a new post 9/11 world where terrorists walk beside us and government agencies are not to be trusted.
Long after the fire and smoke settled on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 24 carried a flame into households around the world for eight seasons.
To the creators, the cast, the crew, the writers and all the visionaries that allowed us to live vicariously through Jack Bauer, THANK YOU!
24 helped define a generation of change