We reported this a few days ago but now here’s a scan of the TV Guide December 21-27, 2002 issue with the article declaring 24 the best television show of 2002. Well deserved!
Here’s the great writeup in text form:
More than merely the best show of the year, Fox’s 24 is also TV’s greatest rush. Our palms sweat and hearts race as we succumb to the electrifying grip of a weekly thrill ride that’s as unrelenting as the ever-ticking clock. As each hour counts down to another suspenseful finale, the show’s dark ruthlessness – they killed who, they blew up what? — leaves us gasping. The brutal twists in the race-against-time scenarios (stopping an assassination or foiling a nuclear bomb threat) are enhanced by virtuosic split-screen editing that dazzles us while fueling our desperation to see where the story will take us next. Kiefer Sutherland seethes with hushed intensity as counter-terrorist hero Jack Bauer, a grieved avenger who hasn’t been quite the same since the treacherous Nina (Sarah Clarke) killed his wife, Teri (Leslie Hope), in last season’s unforgettably bleak finale. Even at its most improbable (Teri’s temporary amnesia or just about any story line involving Jack’s dim-witted daughter, Kim), 24 convinces us that we can’t afford to look away. Not that we’d want to.