Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oil as the backdrop....

When Ben brought up the book Friday Night Lights in class on Tuesday my mind was quickly drawn to a clip I remembered seeing in Season 1 of the TV series that is inspired by the book. I also read the book a few years ago (and enjoyed it), but didn’t start watching the show until recently, when I needed a study break and ended up cruising to for their free episode downloads.

As in the movie Giant, Friday Night Lights gives the viewer information on the ups and downs of a town that depends (almost solely) on oil for its prosperity. In Giant, oil is spoken of directly. Oil is a source of great wealth for the main characters. However, oil and wealth do not equal happiness in this movie. In Friday Night Lights (the TV show), oil is the backdrop, rarely spoken of directly but a constant influence over the entire show.

In season one, episode 4 one of the characters, Tyra equates the town’s dependence on oil as a drug addicts dependence on crack. She speaks of the oil boom in the town, and the negative effects when that boom came and went. She alludes to the town’s reliance on the worlds continues dependence on oil. She wishes that oil had never been found in the town, because of its direct affects on the people in the town (both good and bad). Not your typical Beverly Hillbillies view of prosperity and happiness associated with finding oil.

Oil = an addictive drug that both makes and destroys lives?

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