Friday Night Lights: The Appealing and the Unacceptable

First morning of my weekend and I’m in bed again, now into the third season of Friday Night Lights. Despite all sorts of emotional rollercoaster cheesiness on this show, my interest in this program is still unshakable.

It’s really unacceptable, though, how all of the main characters of color keep getting written out or they just disappear, at a rate of one a season…to the point now that in the third season it’s looking like an all-white cast. What’s up with that? Not to mention that two of the major storylines in the second season had to do with racism, but one of those storylines just…poof…disappeared, while the other one ended up sending the lesson that if a person of color defends themself or their family from racism, they get crushed. No thanks, NBC.

But I also think that I’m beginning to understand the personal appeal of this show for me, as strange as it is to realize: positive masculinity. There is something in some of the main characters, especially the character Coach Taylor, that is like viscerally hitting at my dad issues. Just watching that Coach Taylor character (who’s very well acted, by the way), and the way he makes decisions and yells and is all masculine, but also caring and ethical and emotionally present, it’s like hypnotic to me. It’s weird. This is something that my old therapist had brought up a number of times, my search for models of masculinity that make me okay with who I am and also let me stand up for myself. I don’t really have more to say about it, but it’s almost a scary level of realization to see that that is why I’m watching this silly TV show…what is this unearthing for me?

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-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi