I have come to the conclusion that writer’s block would utterly disappear if access to great pizza and imported beer were more readily available.
Just yesterday I travelled to the “bad” part of town for a slice with my wife and good friend “Texan”. While there I realized a few very important things about the importance of the television show Friday Night Lights, thanks to his outlandish statement about not being able to “get into” it as much as me. You can lead a horse to water… Well, just in case you can “get into” this show, I just want to give you a recap of my thoughts:
1 – We need more men like Jason Street and Matt Saracen. They make no excuses. They face their challenges with courage. Even when their best isn’t good enough they continue to chase after what they want. Both accept responsibility when they make mistakes, and neither reneges on their commitments. In a world where blame is shifted and excuses made, it is nice to watch three dimensional characters portrayed on television. We can’t all make straight A’s, or make the sports team, or be the most popular. Not all of us get that valued scholarship or internship. That doesn’t mean we don’t try our best, but it means that we have to have perspective and learn from our successes and failures. To be quite honest, failures in life can be some of the most important learning experiences we have. We need to believe that, and so do a generation of children. It can be the difference between growing up with a strong sense of purpose or a destructive sense of entitlement.
2 – Parents need to take back their prescribed role. No other show on television more accurately portrays the realism of being a parent than FNL. In Dillon Texas, the adults may be flawed, but they matter. Single moms work two jobs to support their children but never waiver on their demand for them to get an education. Divorced fathers try each and every day amongst the Panther faithful to protect their children from making mistakes, but are not too prideful to express their own regrets or failures. Husbands and Wives fight for each other and consistently guide, teach, and reprimand their children so that one day they can become productive members of society. Too often parents are simply the comic relief or the bumbling road blocks children have to endure. The pendulum has swung too far; it is time that adults start acting like adults.
3 – Relationships are complicated and require work. Football may be the backdrop, but the core of this show is the people. Here attraction plays just as big a role as expectations, respectfulness, and honesty. These characters are real people having real conversations with real consequences. Even the sex is weighted by the poetic sense of gravity. Both male and female characters alike are struck by emotion. There is confusion and clarity, questions and answers all geared toward expressing the idea that people are too complicated for actions not to matter. Unfortunately, too often on television we are told that actions and consequences are mutually exclusive. That isn’t entirely true though. And this show set in small town America illustrates that point perfectly
Quite a bit to think about while eating pizza. But, like I said, it’s a food that certainly can open the floodgates of inspiration.