You see, 24 is a special show; it is the show that sucked me back into watching TV (which was/is a blessing and a curse all at the same time). Through most of high school, my mission to the Dominican Republic (especially my mission), and the first couple years after my mission while I was starting college, I hardly ever watched TV. I LOVE movies and watched those a lot, but my TV watching pretty much consisted of Conan O'Brien and the occasional episode of SNL. I actually sort of hated TV. I hated how whenever I did sit down to watch something, I'd end up spending hours surfing channels and feeling bored and unfulfilled. Movies were great because they ended and then life went on.
24 was different. 24 was the first show that ever really blew my mind. I got caught up in season 2 of the show while working a summer sales job in Indianapolis back in 2005 (remember those good old days, Matt? Of course you do you old, Dinglehopper). The show was the most intense thing I'd ever seen and I couldn't get enough.
24 was also the first communal show I ever experienced. One Winter a rather large group of us would gather together at Cody's house (his parents' house really) every night and watch24 for hours. We watched Seasons 1 - 4 in about 2.5 months (correct me if I'm wrong, any who participated). This meant that each night we started at about 10:00 p.m. and ended somewhere between 2:00 - 4:00 a.m. (which is absolutely crazy to me now since most if not all of us worked and had to be to work by 9:00 a.m.). Those were incredibly fun times though I would never trade those memories away.
Since those days I have watched the following shows all the way through (from season 1 to season finale): Lost, Arrested Development, Firefly, Prison Break, and Dresden Files. I am currently watching and will finish watching Castle, Community, The Office, Fringe, Smallville, and The Transformers (the original animated series).
24 has been both a blessing and a curse to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time watching each of these shows and probably wouldn't take that time back if given the choice. However, I frequently think about how much time I could have spent: writing stories and books, writing songs, playing guitar, learning to play the piano, playing sports or going hiking, or a myriad other things that may have been more rewarding and fulfilling long term in my life. I'll never really know though.
The point is that 24 has influenced my life dramatically. Its farewell deserves more than a silent passing into the darkness of TV shows past. Thus, I salute you, Mr. Jack Bauer. Thanks for saving America all those times. Thanks for also re-introducing me to one of my favorite pasttimes: watching a great show.