Work on TV: 24 on Fox

Jack’s Back!  On Sunday, Jan. 11, 8:00 Eastern/7:00 Central, Fox network’s “24” action/espionage series returns with a two-hour season premiere.


Since its debut in the fall of 2001, “24” has hammered home the need for tough-guy responses to terrorism, while characterizing civil liberties as an impediment to national security.  Kiefer Sutherland plays American agent Jack Bauer, most recently of the (fictional) Counter Terrorism Unit.  Jack is Dick Cheney’s and Donald Rumsfeld’s action hero fantasy figure, a guy who breaks all the rules, shreds the Constitution, and gives and takes a beating to keep America free, er, around.


But there’s another side to the show that doesn’t get much play:  “24” stands as a testament to the importance of diversity in the workplace!  Fellow “24” fans know what I’m talking about.  Type As, team players, cynical cubicle dwellers, devil’s advocates, company guys, nerds, rogues, and dissenters all combine their efforts to save the day.  Toss in African American and female Presidents and, wow, “24” is like singing “Kumbaya” while reloading our automatic weapons ‘round the campfire!


But seriously, it has always struck me that along with its cynical and bleak view of international relations and terrorism, “24” enjoys having an ensemble of workers contributing to a desired result, even to the point of validating second chances and redemption in the name of progress (as defined by “24” terms).

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