Been watching this one all week, and though it took a lot of time to get through, it was well worth it. What I have been watching is 24 Season 2. The show, at least to me, is a true winner as they managed to capture the spirit of season 1 but make it different enough so that it is completely fresh. Hard to imagine that there was talk of not making this second season as these guys know what they are doing.
Season 2 takes place around a year later with Jack and his daughters still suffering the loss of Jack's wife. Senator Palmer is now President Palmer and he needs Jack's help. Jack though is no longer a CTU agent. When a terrorist group threatens to set off a nuclear bomb in LA, Palmer recruits Jack to stop them as Jack is the only man he trusts to get the job done. This is one day, really a second one, which Jack will never forget.
24 Season 2 features 7 DVDs (6 for the show, 7 is extras) containing 24 episodes presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The newer the show the better it looks on DVD. No surprise with that but some of these recent shows such as 24 are quite spectacular looking visually. As a good amount of the scenes take place at night, grain is factor at times and a touch distracting. Detail is never removed to any significant factor though thanks to quality contrast and brightness settings. Black level is good enough to let you never miss anything that is going on regardless of how much or how little light is present.
Audio for 24 Season 2 is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Season 1 is jealous as the 5.1 audio really adds some depth to the proceedings. The spectrum and range of the audio varies depending on the type of scene. For action all channels spring to life. For heavy and purposeful dialogue moments, everything but the center is phased out nicely so that what gets said has full resonance. Ambient surround use is surprisingly active many times where you would not expect to find it, at least not in a TV show. The mix is mostly front heavy, as it is TV, but there is a good amount of surround activity in each episode which won me over in a big way.
Bonus features are in excess for this 7 disc box set. There are a ton of items included and for the most part all are pertinent and relevant extras. Each DVD in the set has an audio commentary for a selected episode. Various cast and crew are present for each episode. A mix of both lets you get both sides of the story. The rest are included on disc 7.
On the Button – The Destruction of CTU is an extensive look at the CTU explosion sequence. Next are two featurettes that together form 24 Exposed. These two featurettes run for an hour and a half and detail the entire process of creating and finishing the final two episodes of season 2. No fluff here.
Next is Multi-Angle Scene Study: Episode 6 – The Interrogation. You can view a scene from the episode from three different cameras. Also present are 45 deleted scenes which you can view on disc 7 or you can use branching on each of the first 6 DVDs to see them in place. Optional commentary is available for each and they are all anamorphic (no 5.1 audio though).
Season 2 of 24 is a good contrast for the first season. The first was about Jack and his family and quite tense but somewhat smaller in personal scale. Season 2 goes bigger and badder with higher consequences and many more involved. Easily season 2 is just as good as season 1, but thankfully different enough so no one can say they just repeated themselves. Fox has done a tremendous job with this release for season 2. The video and audio are terrific for a TV show and the extras are likely the best any TV show box set has yet had. That says a lot coming from me, who happens to not be much of a fan of supplemental material. If you watched the show on broadcast TV then you owe it to yourself to pick this one up and see it widescreen and with 5.1 audio. It really takes the show up a notch in terms of impact. Fox continues to impress me with their product. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us DVD fans in the coming months.