10 Of The Best ’24’ Characters Ranked by Likability

The Diverse Characters of 24: A Retrospective

The TV show “24” left a lasting mark on television history with its action-packed plotlines, intense real-time events, and a multitude of characters who kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Spanning eight seasons from 2001 to 2010, with a ninth season titled “24: Live Another Day” in 2014, the show boasted over 200 episodes. Throughout its run, the cast evolved, characters came and went, and the dynamics shifted. In this retrospective, we’ll explore the main characters who left their mark on the series, ranked based on their likability and impact.

Jack Bauer: The Unwavering Protagonist

At the heart of “24” stands Jack Bauer, portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland, the only character to appear in every episode of the series. Jack, a dedicated counter-terrorist agent, continually confronts both terrorists and authority figures, embroiled in a relentless battle against internal and external threats to the United States. The show’s unique real-time format intensifies the danger, making every moment crucial.

Despite his complexities, including morally questionable decisions, Jack’s determination and heroism make him an easily rootable character. Although the divisive eighth season portrayed him in a somewhat villainous light, his unwavering commitment to the greater good keeps him generally likable.

Chloe O’Brian: Jack’s Trusted Ally

Chloe O’Brian emerges as a standout character in “24.” Introduced as a tech analyst, Chloe evolves into Jack’s closest ally and confidante. While initially abrasive in season 3, her growth as a person and her pivotal role in assisting Jack’s missions elevate her likability. By season 5, Chloe has become a fan favorite, armed with a powerful character arc that endears her to audiences.

Chloe’s presence is essential to the show’s success, demonstrated by her appearance in the second-highest number of episodes, closely following Jack. Her transformation from a somewhat grating individual to an invaluable asset showcases the show’s commitment to developing its characters.

Bill Buchanan: The Reliably Virtuous

Bill Buchanan, a CTU director who staunchly supports Jack’s endeavors, is a character appreciated for his unwavering moral compass and level-headed approach. In a series where allegiances can shift and characters can be morally compromised, Bill’s consistency sets him apart. Unlike most CTU directors who clash with Jack, Bill recognizes Jack’s dedication to justice.

Bill’s calm and collected demeanor, along with his unwavering loyalty, endears him to viewers. His unshakeable support of Jack and his heroic actions establish Bill as one of the show’s most lovable characters.

David Palmer: The Trustworthy President

David Palmer, a senator turned President, embodies the qualities of a likable leader. Introduced in season 1, Palmer faces assassination attempts that underscore his integrity and strength. His genuine trust in Jack’s judgment strengthens their bond and resonates with viewers. Despite an unexpected exit from the show, Palmer remains an iconic and well-liked character.

Palmer’s likability stems from his commitment to doing what’s right and his willingness to trust those around him. His unique dynamic with Jack contributes to the show’s emotional depth and engagement.

Michelle Dessler: The Resilient Agent

Michelle Dessler, a federal agent working for CTU, contributes a no-nonsense approach to her high-stakes job. Her courage shines through in season 3, where she plays a pivotal role. While not always the most prominent character, Michelle’s reliability and dedication to her duties make her a solid member of the ensemble.

Her portrayal as a capable agent and her complex romance with Tony Almeida add depth to her character. Michelle’s consistent reliability and courage are factors that contribute to her overall likability.

Wayne Palmer: The Loyal Brother

Wayne Palmer, the brother of David Palmer, supports his sibling and allies, even if he doesn’t stand out as a memorable character. Despite living in the shadow of his brother, Wayne’s loyalty and willingness to help make him a dependable presence. While he might not have the most distinct traits, his reliability earns him a place among the likable characters.

Wayne’s unassuming nature and dedication to his brother’s cause are qualities that resonate with viewers, even if he doesn’t command the spotlight.

Tony Almeida: The Complex Ally

Tony Almeida’s likability shifts over the course of the series due to his complex journey. While initially clashing with Jack in season 1, Tony evolves into a loyal ally. However, his descent into villainy in season 7 adds layers to his character. Tony’s complexity, combined with his steadfast loyalty in some seasons, makes him a character that elicits mixed feelings.

Tony’s arc showcases his multifaceted nature, and while he may not always be the most likable, his contributions to the show’s dynamic are undeniable.

Kim Bauer: The Misunderstood Daughter

Kim Bauer, Jack’s daughter, faces criticism for her actions throughout the series. While not always making the best decisions, it’s important to recognize that she’s a teenager facing extraordinary circumstances. Her portrayal as a damsel in distress at times might not make her the most likable, but understanding the challenges she faces adds depth to her character.

Kim’s character arc, from being a source of stress in her father’s life to finding her own path, offers a relatable journey of growth and resilience.

Charles Logan: The Detestable Villain

Charles Logan, the President during season 5, stands as one of the most hateable characters in “24.” His weaselly and conniving nature, along with his role in major character deaths, solidify his place as an antagonist. While his impact on the show is undeniable, his lack of likability places him at the bottom of the list.

Logan’s presence, while enhancing the show’s tension, also underscores the importance of compelling villains to engage audiences.

Audrey Raines: The Sympathetic Survivor

Audrey Raines, entangled romantically with Jack Bauer, endures significant hardships due to her association with him. Her likability stems from the sympathy audiences feel for her plight. Despite not being in the forefront of action, her character’s vulnerability and resilience make her a figure viewers can’t help but root for.

Audrey’s presence serves as a reminder of the personal sacrifices and consequences that come with being connected to Jack’s tumultuous world.

Conclusion: A Tapestry of Characters

“24” presents a rich tapestry of characters, each contributing their unique qualities to the show’s allure. From the unwavering heroism of Jack Bauer to the complexities of Tony Almeida and the enduring support of allies like Chloe O’Brian and Bill Buchanan, the ensemble cast shapes the series’ dynamics. The ranking of these characters by likability reflects their impact on viewers’ engagement with the show, showcasing the importance of a diverse and well-developed cast in creating a compelling television experience.

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Stevie Flavio
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