Critics bade farewell to 24 with generally respectful reviews but little acclamation. "Taken simply as two hours of TV, it was exciting in its own insane way," wrote Robert Bianco in USA Today. " And the ending was, at least, suitably bittersweet. ... It just wasn't the ending, or the last season, a great series deserved." Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara credited executive producer Howard Gordon for managing "to gut-punch what for weeks seemed like the lamest season yet and send it to the finish line swinging." McNamara's colleague, Joe Flint, wrote in the newspaper's Company Town blog "This was a fairly disappointing season of 24, although the last three weeks prior to tonight's two-hour send-off almost made it worthwhile. That's because there was so much action there wasn't any time to reflect on how absurd the show had gotten." And Ken Tucker on Entertainment Weekly 's website also gave credit to star Kiefer Sutherland for helping to keep it all believable with his portrayal of the series' "driven" hero, Jack Bauer. "Sutherland probably portrayed intensity with more shades and variations than any TV actor. He rarely went overboard; he never succumbed to melodrama. The plots around him may have, but not Jack."