Friday Night Lights, Season 5

Will We Finally See a Major Hispanic Character?
Talking television.
Oct. 25 2010 10:02 AM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5


 Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor. Click image to expand.
Kyle Chandler as coach Eric Taylor addresses the team in Friday Night Lights 

Great questions, Plotz. Here are mine:

Emily Bazelon Emily Bazelon

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

1. For two seasons now, I've been ruing the lack of a major, three-dimensional Hispanic character on FNL. I know the writers made a couple of runs at this in aborted Season 2, with Santiago the delinquent and Carlotta the nurse. But that was a long time ago, and neither of those characters came with the family portraits that are one of your show's many strengths, David. It's a missed opportunity, and it makes Dillon a weird demographic outlier in West Texas, where most towns have a few black people, some white people, and a lot of Latinos. What explains this blind spot, and does Season 5 give us a Hispanic kid to fall in love with?


2. I've been writing a lot about teenage bullying, which recently has been linked to the suicide of several gay teenagers. This makes me think about Devin, one of my very favorite characters, who I'm hoping to see more of this season. She seems entirely at home in her Dillon surroundings—out and unfazed about it—she's comfortable enough to recruit Julie to scope out a gay bar with her. Did you think about how to introduce a gay character? (Eric's assistant coach seems far less at home with his homosexuality.) Is Devin a kind of role model for gay high-school students? And have the recent suicides made you wonder whether she would, in fact, be so at ease in rural America?

3. One of the strongest themes of FNL is the power of place: what it means to be rooted in Dillon or to leave it. To me, Dillon is at once entirely of West Texas, with its cowboy bars and big skies, and also a stand-in for all that's right and beautiful—and at the same time claustrophobic and flawed—about small towns everywhere. Some of your characters—the Riggins brothers, Buddy Garrity—cannot leave Dillon. Some of them have to—Matt, Tyra, Lyla, Jason Street. This all seems obvious in retrospect, but did these plot lines actually develop along the way? How conscious are you about how often to move the action outside the town?

4. Like David, I adore the Taylor marriage. Are there other couples, on TV or in film, who make you think of Eric and Tami?


Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.