24 debuted in the fall of 2001. You Know What delayed the pilot episode. I remember watching previews during the 7 game Arizona / New York World Series. Kiefer Sutherland leaning down to a seated Sarah Clarke while yelling, "WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR!?"
I don't remember where I was when the pilot episode aired. I was probably held captive in one of the many GROUP PROJECTS that was a standard in every class I took after my freshman year at Marquette University. Thankfully, my friend Stefan was also interested in the previews and taped the pilot. I was instantly hooked. After a few episodes, citing too much relevance on cell phones to support a plot, Stefan left me alone with my addiction. I couldn't find anybody else who was watching this show. It killed me every week not being able to discuss it.
I've been in a quest to make up for that ever since.
In the winter of early 2003 I was already out of school and knee deep in season two. I was at my friend Tom's townhouse with a couple of his friends - a married couple by the name of Bill & Sydney. A few weeks earlier I had lent Tom my season one DVDs and I had chosen this night to mildly interrogate into why he hasn't watched an episode yet. Well, there wasn't much on television that night - so I convinced Tom, Bill & Sydney to watch the first episode. We instantly watched the second episode and the third too... They were hooked.
Tom, Bill, Sydney and I watched the first season together - it was a great time, as we'd watch a full disc about every other weekend. By the time season 3 began in Fall 2003, we were able to finish my newly purchased season two DVDs just in time - right down the the ticking clock - pure 24 style.
I finally had what I wanted, a core group of 24 addicts to watch shows with me as they happened - with full e-mail forum discussions in the six long days between episodes.
While visiting my friends Skip & Tamara in Charleston, IL (they were students at Eastern Illinois University), I bought with me season one. They also became instantly hooked as their obsession began with an 8+ hour introductory marathon.
When the major plot bomb of that season dropped in episode 23 - Skip called me instantly (it was about 1:30 AM) speaking in tongues from the sheer awe.
This conversion occurred during the show's fourth season.
My life had a major change during season five - I got a better job. One of the better aspects of my new employment was that the company was exponentially larger. This made it easy to find a core 24 fan club among coworkers. And also easier to scout new converts.
Stephen & Maureen sat next to each other. I lent season one to Stephen, and ended up giving season two to him while passing the returned season one over to Maureen. They were both instant Bauer lovers and this round-robin cycle of CTU may be the most efficient DVD watching protocol in the medium's history... They were up to speed in time for the next new season
And currently, as the sixth season has just concluded - I am about to loan 24 season DVDs to Brian, my 8th recruit. I would have had 9, but my friend Paul doesn't live locally. If he did, I surely would make a stop near his house for my bandwagon tour.
However, I should note that Brian will not be loaned season six from me. Sadly, the show's sixth season was a catastrophe... I will not buy it, breaking my streak. But I still have 120 magnificent episodes ready to be lent out on a moments notice...
Only one catch: You have to tell me exactly where you are while borrowing them - because I want to know exactly what to discuss!
(I'd like to take moment for a personal message to my readers. If you have read this far - thank you very much. This is my 200th post on this blog and I'm very happy to see that it's traction is not in any jeopardy. While noticing this impending milepost a few weeks ago - I had planned on debuting a classic story from my youth that is THE most rarely told. However, when I take into account that I've been flowing well lately with subject matter - I'm going to take a pass. Also, I sadly relayed the unabridged version to somebody less than a month ago.... And in hindsight, that may not have been the best idea. And with that story, saying it once a year is far too frequent. If any of you even remember this cliffhanger that I foreshadowed about - again, I appreciate your focused reading.