Friday Night Lights
December 8, 2010
Blogging has been a little light because I’ve been obsessed with the TV show, Friday Night Lights. I’ve been watching through the first four seasons on Netflix. I am truly in awe of this show. I’ve never actually seen a TV show capture Southern culture with any real authenticity, much less be able to capture its pervasive evangelical religiosity without caricature. The characters are as genuine and interesting as anything on Lost, but you don’t have to worry about time warps and parallel universes driving the plot in later seasons. The second through fourth seasons are particularly realistic, including a fair number of depressing episodes. The courage to present stark tragedy is a risky move in the television industry, which is partly why FNL has received a lot of critical acclaim and awards but only modest ratings.
I’ve finally made it to the infamous abortion episode in the fourth season. Yes, as you could expect, I was a bit pissed. Adoption was never really considered as an option, and the moral pragmatism throughout is profoundly disappointing since genuine moral struggles and resolutions had heretofore driven much of the show’s drama. Matthew Anderson wrote a great blog post highlighting this contradiction in the show’s moral fabric. All the same, this is still an amazing show, well worth owning or streaming through Netflix.