After various obsessions and fascinations over the year, it’s now time to battle out my 2 favorite obsessions over the last 19 years – 24 (2000-2010) vs. Glee (2009-present). Obviously due to the disparity between the ages of the shows, it’s going to be a little hard to debate the 2, but there are a variety of factors we look at in order to do so: 1) Premise 2) Plot 3) Character Development 4) Attractiveness 5) Dialogue 6) Popularity/Cultural Impact & 7) Personal preference.
For two shows that are almost COMPLETELY different, it’s good to notice a disparity between the premises.
Part 1: Premises
24: A 24-hour day of federal Agent Jack Bauer as he stops assassinations, political espionage, and terrorist attacks in the wake of September 11th.
Glee: Revolved around the life of a high school show choir “New Directions” as they attempt to win Nationals and in the process discover more about themselves.
Obviously, the two premises of these shows are ultimately very hard to judge without actually watching. To further example premises we must look at the taglines of both shows.
A biting comedy for the underdog in all of us (Season 1)
Based on premises and taglines alone, and not knowing anything about either show, Glee would get the win in that category.
Part 2: Plot
The plot of 24 has changed radically over time as each season as progressed. In summary, here is each season: On the first day, he saved a life. On the second, he saved a city. On the third, he saved a nation. On the fourth, he saved the world. On the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight he saved the world… again
Glee on the other hand has aired three seasons, with largely the same premise: the battle to win sectionals, regionals, and ultimately nationals. This can potentially change completely next year, but for now it remains largely a stagnant plot.
Because Glee has essentially the same premise every season, and 24 continually changes every season, 24 will have to get the point for plot.
Part 3: Character Development
Major Characters on 24: Jack Bauer, Teri Bauer, Nina Myers, Kim Bauer, David Palmer, Kate Warner, George Mason, Sherry Palmer, Tony Almeida, Michelle Dessler, Chase Edmunds, Audrey Raines, Erin Driscoll, Sarah Gavin, Curtis Manning, James Heller, Chloe O’Brian, Charles Logan, Bill Buchanan, Edgar Stiles, Martha Logan, Wayne Palmer, Tom Lennox, Karen Hayes, Morris O’Brian, Milo Pressman, Nadia Yassir, Sandra Palmer, Allison Taylor, Renee Walker, Henry Taylor, Ethan Kanin, Larry Moss, Sean Hilliger, Janis Gold, Omar Hassan, Brian Hastings, Dana Walsh, Rob Weiss, Arlo Glass, & Cole Ortiz
Major Characters in Glee: Artie Abrams, Rachel Berry, Tina Cohen-Chang, Quinn Fabray, Kurt Hummel, Mercedes Jones, Emma Pillsbury, Noah Puckerman, Terri Schuester, Will Schuester, Sue Sylvester, Brittany, Mike Chang, Shelby Corcoran, Principle Figgins, Burt Hummel, Santana Lopez, April Rhodes, Matt Rutherford, Jesse St. James, Ken Tanaka, Susan Beiste, Sam Evans
Obviously because 24 has been on longer, they’ve had more time to develop their characters, but because the show continually changes their cast every season, they’ve had more characters to develop in this time period. Meanwhile Glee has a huge ensemble cast but has primarily focused only on developing certain ones: Rachel, Santana, Quinn, Will, Emma, & Kurt. Several of the other characters have lacked truly any real character development – Glee seems to waiver around its character development, characters doing the complete opposite of what they normally should. Things are largely random, and characters often have lack of motivation in any actions that they partake in (i.e. Quinn’s sudden changes throughout the three seasons). Also, 24 seems to have developed the main character of the show better than Glee has – Jack Bauer is a quintessential hero that you just can’t help but root for. Rachel Berry and Will Schuester are not. Maybe it’s still too early to tell, but Jack Bauer is a character truly developed through his 8 years of torture in the course of 24 – thus 24 gets the point for character development.
Part 4: Attractiveness
Let’s take a look at what’s attractive for both shows, starting with the logos for each shows.
Okay, neither logo is particularly very impressive to the eye, so let’s take a look at 5 women from each show in an effort to determine the “attractiveness of each show”.
As shallow as this may sound, 24 certainly has a lot more older actors than Glee simply due to the fact that the show is revolved around Jack Bauer, who has a very attractive daughter (Kimberly), but has only somewhat attractive love interests (Audrey, Renee). Furthermore, Glee has a much younger cast making them much more attractive – AND, because Rachel Berry is in it, it pushes it forward to give Glee a point over 24.
Part 5: Dialogue
In an effort to examine which show has better dialogue overall, I will write my favorite 5 quotes from both series and then make a decision on which one is ultimately better.
1) Jack Bauer: The Sunday before you killed my wife, Teri and I went to the boardwalk in Venice just watching all the rollerbladers and musicians, laughing at the crazy people, spending time together. And Teri sees this snow-cone stand. She giggles like a kid. She takes off running, she wants to get in line, she wants one. I remember I was watching her, I was just… I couldn’t help myself. When I look up at her she’s talking to this old lady in line behind her and the two of them are laughing, and I’m thinking to myself, How the hell does she do that? How does she strike up a conversation with an absolute stranger? And they just start laughing. Like they’d been friends forever. That’s a gift. I remember thinking, God, I wish I could do that. But I can’t. That was Teri. My wife. That’s what you took from this world, Nina. That’s what you took from me, and my daughter. I just wanted you to know that.
2) Jack Bauer: Mr. Logan, I’m not going to torture you. But you are going to tell me what I want to know. Or so help me God… I will kill you. A year and a half ago I was warned that my life was in danger by someone within the government. I was told the only way I could stay alive was to create the illusion that I was dead. I was forced to deceive people that I loved. My only daughter will never forgive me. As I see the depth of your corruption unfold, I have no doubt that you are that source of danger. David Palmer was a great man, and he was a great president. But he was also my friend. He tried to warn me about you, and now he is dead. Other people tried to help me, and they are dead too. So, Mr. Logan, I hope you understand… I have absolutely nothing to lose. You are going to be held accountable for your part of everything that happened today. You are not going to be able to hide behind the presidency. Right here, right now, you are going to face justice! And make no mistake about this—this is personal. And if you think for a second that I am scared to put a bullet in your brain…you don’t know me. I am going to ask you one last time. Who are your co-conspirators? You have until the count of three, or I will kill you.
3) Jack Bauer: Do you understand the difference between dying for something and dying for nothing? The only reason I fought so hard to stay alive in China was because I didn’t want to die for nothing…today I can die for something…my way, my choice.
4) Jack Bauer: I know that I promised to take care of you and protect you… but I’m at a crossroads. Right now, the best way… the only way… to do that is to let you go. I hope one day you can understand. I hope one day you can forgive me. I love you with all my heart. And I always will
5) Jack Bauer: For a combat soldier, the difference between success and failure is your ability to adapt to your enemy. The people that I deal with, they don’t care about your rules. All they care about is results. My job is to stop them from accomplishing their objectives. I simply adapted. In answer to your question, am I above the law? No, sir. I am more than willing to be judged by the people you claim to represent. I will let them decide what price I should pay. But please, do not sit there with that smug look on your face and expect me to regret the decisions I have made. Because sir, the truth is … I don’t.
1) Emma Pillsbury: But provide what exactly? The understanding that money is the most important thing – or the idea that the only life worth living is one that you’re really passionate about, Will?
2) Finn Hudson: Don’t you get it, man? We’re all losers! Everyone in this school! Hell, everyone in this town! Out of all the kids who graduate, maybe half will go to college, and two will leave the state to do it! I’m not afraid to be called a loser because I can accept that’s what I am.
3) Rachel Berry: I have chosen Miley Cyrus “The Climb” because it’s about overcoming obstacles and beating the odds. In my case, the obstacle is you: my lackluster teammates who refuse to carry their own weight.
4) Rachel Berry: You might laugh because every time I sign my name I put a gold star after it, but it’s a metaphor. And metaphors are important. My gold stars are a metaphor for me being a star.
5) Sue Sylvester: Schuester! Yeah? I’ll need to see that set list for Sectionals after all, and I want it on my desk, warm from the laminator at 5:00 p.m. And if it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat, and then, on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home and punch you in the face.
Obviously, I aimed for inspirational, dramatic, funny, and emotional quotes. I’ve been looking at more than just these. Though the Glee ones are typically very funny, the 24 ones seem to strike a more emotional toll and burden on me. Thus 24 wins this category, of having better quotes/dialogue.
Part 6: Popularity & Cultural Impact
In order to examine popularity we must examine 2 things: ratings & award nominations/wins.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (EST)||Season premiere||Season finale||Rank||Viewers
|1||2001–02||24||Tuesday 9:00 PM||November 6, 2001||May 21, 2002||#76||8.60|
|2||2002–03||24||Tuesday 9:00 PM||October 29, 2002||May 20, 2003||#36||11.73|
|3||2003–04||24||Tuesday 9:00 PM||October 28, 2003||May 25, 2004||#42||10.30|
|4[*]||2005||24||Monday 9:00 PM||January 9, 2005||May 23, 2005||#29||11.90|
|5[*]||2006||24||Monday 9:00 PM||January 15, 2006||May 22, 2006||#24||13.78|
|6[*]||2007||24||Monday 9:00 PM||January 14, 2007||May 21, 2007||#27||13.00|
|Redemption[^]||2008||2 (TV movie)||Sunday 8:00 PM||November 23, 2008||#17||12.12|
|7[*]||2009||24||Monday 9:00 PM||January 11, 2009||May 18, 2009||#20||12.62|
|8[*]||2010||24||Monday 9:00 PM||January 17, 2010||May 24, 2010||#39||9.31|
|Season||Episodes||Time slot (ET/PT)||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers
Tuesday 9:00pm (2010)
Sunday 10:38pm (February 6, 2011)
Tuesday 9:00pm (May 24, 2011)
Tuesday 9:00pm (May 22, 2012)
Comparing the 1st seasons of both shows, Glee seems to have more viewers. But as 24 gained viewers throughout the years, Glee has largely been losing its fanbase (due to the sharp decline in quality in seasons 2 and 3).
24 Awards (Wikipedia):
The series has been nominated for Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006; while winning the award in 2003. Kiefer Sutherland has been nominated at the Golden Globes in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008 (for 24: Redemption); while winning the award in 2001. Dennis Haysbert received a nomination for Best Supporting Role at the 2002 Golden Globes.
The series has been nominated for Best Drama Series at the Primetime Emmys in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005; while winning the award in 2006. Kiefer Sutherland has been nominated at the Primetime Emmys in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009 (for 24: Redemption); while winning the award in 2006. Creators Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran won for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series at the 2002 Primetime Emmys for the pilot episode. The series’ fifth season was its most successful for awards, as that season earned the series 12 nominations with 5 wins, including winning Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actor in a Drama for Kiefer Sutherland after being nominated every year previous. While Jon Cassar won for Best Directing, with Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart receiving Best Supporting Actor/Actress nominations. At the 2009 Primetime Emmys, Cherry Jones won for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. Other notable Emmy nominations include Stephen Hopkins and Ian Toynton for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
The series has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2003, 2005, and 2007 at the Screen Actors Gulid Awards. Kiefer Sutherland has been nominated in 2003, 2005, and 2007, while winning the award in 2004 and 2006. The series won for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series in 2008 and 2010.
Glee has received a number of awards and nominations. In 2009, the series won five Satellite Awards: “Best Musical or Comedy TV Series”, “Best Actor” and “Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series” for Morrison and Michele, “Best Supporting Actress” for Lynch and “Special Achievement for Outstanding Guest Star” for Kristin Chenoweth. In 2010, the show won a Golden Globe Award for “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy”. Morrison, Michele and Lynch also received acting nominations. The series was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards, with screenplays nominated in the “Comedy Series” and “New Series” categories. The Glee cast won the “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series” award at the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Paris Barclay and Ryan Murphy both received nominations for “Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series” at the Directors Guild of America Awards for their work on Glee. In July 2010, Glee received nineteen Emmy Award nominations, including “Outstanding Comedy Series”, “Outstanding Lead Actor – Comedy Series” for Morrison and “Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series” for Michele; it won four of these, including “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for Lynch and “Outstanding Guest Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series” for Neil Patrick Harris.
In January 16, 2011 the show won a Golden Globe for “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy” and both Lynch and Colfer won Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series, Miniseries, or TV Film. In July 2011, Glee received twelve Emmy nominations.
Looking at the list, it appears that both shows are/were critically acclaimed while they were popular. Because of this, and the fact that we don’t know if Glee will prevail at the Emmy’s this year, we must look at the cultural significance of both shows.
24 started after the September 11th terrorist attacks in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on US Soil. The show has continually been used in society to justify the usage of the torture, and has been accused by many on the far left of having a radical ring-wing agenda. I disagree with the assessment, because the show portrays more than one race as terrorists. Most of the terrorists end up being American anyway, and if a Middle Eastern Country terrorist exists, the country is almost never referred to by name. The show reached the height of its popularity in season 5, and quickly declined thereafter; however, a movie is scheduled to be produced to hit the big screen.
Glee started and emerged popularly out of virtually nowhere. The show, which launched after the the final American Idol performance night on season 9, quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Gleeks rejoice – the show is very much a part of the mainstream and a “cultural phenomenon”. Glee though has been declining in popularity in its later seasons due to cliche and terrible plots.
Because of these facts, and because Glee is probably more popular than 24 ever was, by a different group of people of course, Glee gets the cultural vote, also because of the cultural reference that are constantly made in the show. The music also continues to stem from society both in the past, and in the present: using music popular then and now to encompass a show truly full of heart, emotion, and joy. Thus, Glee wins in terms of its cultural impact.
Part 7: Personal Preference
Because of all these facts, the two shows are now tied, and thus it all comes down to my personal preferences. In weighing all the facts, Glee wins because of its premise, attractiveness, and cultural impact but 24 also wins because of its plot, character development, and dialogue. If you were to ask me which show was ultimately better though I would have to say hands down 24. 24 changed my life. The show radically changed the way on how I saw television as a medium – as it was engaging, addictive, suspenseful, and truly mind-blowing. Glee is good in another way, in that it is funny, adorable, has wonderful music, and tends to have lots of emotional moments. However, I am more attached to the character of Jack Bauer than I am any characters on Glee. Jack Bauer is the heart of America, and because I love the idea of America so much, Jack Bauer ultimately triumphs.
24 > Glee.
What do you all think?