Spent the last few days watching 24 on DVD, with the vague excuse of Media Studies research, since I rarely watch TV these days (wasting most of my time on the net :) ). It's really compelling stuff, but I got hold of it having read an article suggesting that 'TV is the new movies', in a nutshell, and I'm not convinced that's true.
Certianly 24 has high production values, and the opening few episodes thickened the plot very nicely. The minute-for-minute structure is of course impossible for a movie to pull off. But I found it disappointing, partly because of the ending that sets up the next season (I was hoping for a movie-like closure), partly because it shied away from being really bold with the real-time motif (no long takes, too much cutting away and cheating the time just a touch rather than dwelling on detail, and didn't Jack Bauer need to take a piss the entire time?), but finally because, if you watched it as if it were a movie, it would clearly be a pretty naff 80s-style B-movie. I think we rate it so highly because it's great - for a TV show.