The battle of Jacks, right now, with what is my favorite show. (Unfortunately, because of his daughter, Jack Bristow cannot be a part of this debate.) Jack Bauer and 24 are still putting out a top notch show, but it is hard to get around CTU’s incompetence this season. No matter what we think of government and the idiotic jealousies and fighting that goes on within and in-between various agencies, I cannot believe that any agency would act like the personnel from CTU Los Angeles.

Another potential problem with the onslaught of four episodes over two evenings is that we don’t have time to process some of these new characters. Also, potential subplots are hard to pick up on because you are just trying to stay on top of everything thrown at you.

That being said, season 4’s storyline may be the most believeable to date. Will have to see how it unfolds, but I think it is safe to say it will surpass season 2. Unless they have crazy oil conglomerates out-smarting our government, a coup within the President’s cabinet, and cougars are terrorizing everyone, then season 4 may be the worst season. However, I doubt any of that happens because season 3 was a stark improvement over season 2. The producers learned their lessons.

Also, I applaud 24 for taking risks and killing off characters when the storylines merit it. It is one of this seasons hurdles, to get around the fact that Jack is the only returning character that is appreciated by the fans. (Yeah, like people were looking forward to another round of Chloe. The only character that made Kim Bauer tolerable.) We need to get to know them before we like and respect them.

24 is also a high risk show in that they must almost create 23 cliffhangers throughout the season. High risk brings high reward. I would still rate 24 as my favorite show right now, with its track record giving it the edge over Lost. I like where Lost is going with its storyline. Even when you think you have aspects of the show figured out, you really don’t. It’s like they use the rope-a-dope strategy in thinking you have it figured out only to get you in the end. (Which they did with me last night in Boone and Shannon’s episode.) The attention to detail (not factoring how well groomed they are…), the variety of characters, the intensity, the mystery, and balance between art and action. The show is completely original, like 24 was.

If Lost puts in a great season it may be my favorite show. All time it might be hard to top X-Files, but the possibility is there. (As time passes, X-Files latter years are a detriment to my thoughts on the show.) Lost is charging hard at 24, but 24 is still coming strong. I think another thing 24 needs to be careful of is that it doesn’t start becoming a parody of itself where it falls into the trap of being stereotyped by people’s commentaries and expectations regarding it and then stop being original and creative. Yes, you have a formula of success and you want to maintain it to a degree, but you don’t want to become a joke with your unimaginative storylines and episodes. (Example, season 4 of Alias.)

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