Tuned In


  • Share
  • Read Later

FNL’s Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) talks it out with his father (Brent Smiga) / NBC Photo: Bill Records

As part of the New York Times’ coverage of the big Iraq War Fourth Anniversary Celebration Gala, Alessandra Stanley surveys how the war(s) have seeped into TV series, not just on obvious shows like Over There and The Unit, but more distantly related ones like 30 Rock and Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s a big subject and Stanley had only so many column inches, so there are a lot of low-hanging examples out there she didn’t get around to mentioning. Probably the best way to do trend-story roundups like this is to wiki them and have everyone throw examples into the communal pot. I’ll give you just a few that popped into my head immediately and let you take it from there:

* Friday Night Lights. Just another example of how this is the best drama on network TV. Matt Saracen’s dad has been posted overseas in Iraq, comes home to see his son quarterback and get the family’s troubles in order, and just makes things worse. It’s testament to the show’s subtlety that the storyline was not played for easy sentiment: the dad is not a hero, nor is the plot somehow made into a facile indictment of the war–it’s simply yet another realistic example in FNL of how dysfunction and economic pressures can mess up families and roil kids’ lives. (If there’s some implied statement about the war, maybe it’s in the way Mr. Saracen screws things up by thinking he can parachute in and offer high-handed solutions to Matt and grandma’s problems, without anticipating the consequences–but I am probably way overreading it.)

* In Six Degrees — which, surprisingly, returns Friday — Hope Davis’ character is mourning her husband, a journalist who died in Iraq.

* BSG: metaphorical, sure, but not exactly coy about it.

* Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: “Your little brother is STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN!” (OK, different war, but Stanley uses it too, in reference to Brothers and Sisters.)

OK, your turn. I promise not to set an arbitrary pullout date for your contributions.