Meghan, I agree with your wild-card theory. I've always thought the show doesn't touch a nerve because it's too straightforwardly sentimental. Or, at least, it's a strange hybrid of sentimental and sophisticated. The themes are not so different from middlebrow dreck like, say, Touched by an Angel—honor, heart, the power of inspiration, staying optimistic in the face of bad odds. The show is hardly ever knowing. Hannah Montana is also a TV teenager, but she would be an alien dropped into this version of America. And when the show goes dark, it's on Oprah's themes—missing fathers, serious illness, divorce. Yet, there is something about the show that transmits "art" and makes it inaccessible. It's not tidy, for example, either in its camerawork or the way it closes its themes. It insists on complicating its heroes and villains, as we've discussed, which is why we like it.
I demurely disagree about Cash, however. He's an archetype, but one that Brokeback Mountain has ruined for me forever. To me, Cash just screams male stripper—the name alone conjures up visions of dollars tucked in briefs. I did not fail to notice that the episode pretty much ditched Tim Riggins, as if there were only room for one male hottie at a time. And I'll take the brooding drunk over the sweet-talking pill-popper any day.
On an unrelated note, anyone notice how much actual cash is floating around Dillon? Lets start a running list of the items the good citizens of a real Dillon could probably never afford. I'll start:
- Lyla's wardrobe
- Julie's wardrobe
- Tami's fabulous hair
- The McCoy house, located in Dillon's fashionable McMansion district
- Landry's 15" Mac laptop (with wifi hookup)
- Landry's electric guitar and amp