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Idol Chatter

As I noticed while watching football on Fox-TV this weekend, their annual campaign has gotten underway. For an entire decade, Fox has spent the majority if its Januarys by advertising one of its most original and culturally relevant shows: “24.”
So, yes, Jack is back.
And while its star has seemed to fade a bit since the writers’ strike, it may have some added societal relevance this year, and I didn’t realize I was having a conversation with Dena Ross, our beloved Idol Chatter editor. You see, there were several terrorist events over the holiday season, and while I know that even one is one too many, there seemed to have been a rash of them. She asked if I thought that was an important part of “24’s” re-launch.
I–for one–haven’t been focused on that enough, especially through the holidays. Perhaps that was because our news channels were too focused on President Obama’s vacation, or the holiday movie gross receipts, or which Hollywood celebrities may or not stay married this year, or their year-end “best of” lists.
“24” carries with it several interesting storylines this year. It moves from Los Angeles to New York. Jack Bauer has a new job. Several new characters will emerge. The peace process is front and center. And like every recent season, this one may be Jack’s last. But perhaps more than any other single plot line, perhaps it is important that at least one highly-rated (and highly advertised!) show is present to remind us of the war on terror that rages every day.
Indeed, perhaps “24” serves us in a way that we need: it reminds us of the fact of terrorism, and the unbelievable risk that people whom we never know take on our behalf.
There is a lot of press coverage given over to our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world. And for very, very good reason.


But there isn’t much coverage–or reminders–of the covert wars and undercover work required to protect us in the war on terror.
The real war may not take place quite at the speed of “24” and Jack Bauer may be a tad over the top among today’s televised Savior figures, but it’s a good way for us to be reminded of its existence and to pray for those who are fighting it and for their families.
So I’ll set my TiVo for Monday nights at 9, because it is still way more fun to watch several episodes at a time, and I still can’t handle the commercials.
24

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