24: Season Two

This ambitious albeit gimmicky Keifer Sutherland vehicle survived a terrific first season and came back more ambitious and with a denser narrative. Unfortunately, the result is not as impressive the second time around. David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), a senator and target of an assassination plot in the first season, is now the American president. Early in his term he learns of a plan by Middle Eastern terrorists to detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Palmer must coax Jack Bauer (Sutherland) out of retirement to thwart the attack, and true to the show's title, he's got 24 hours to do it. As the real time clock ticks down to the end of Los Angeles, we get to go deep into the operations at CTU, the counter-terrorist agency Bauer worked for before his wife's murder at the end of season one sent him off the deep end. His return is hampered by strained relations with his daughter and a power struggle at CTU. And that's where Season Two starts to get bogged down. In order to fill episodes, we are subjected to soap opera-like subplots involving the wedding of a supposed terrorist and repeated threats to the safety of Bauer's daughter — Kim is now working as a nanny for an abusive father. But even with its faults, 24 is still one of the best and most intelligent shows on TV. Unfortunately the commentary tracks offer little insight into the complexities of maintaining continuity between episodes. That is left to the "Anatomy Of The Season Finale" documentary included on a seventh bonus disc. Plus: extended season premiere, deleted scenes, more. (Fox)