Friday Night Lights

Analyzing Friday Night Lights: Like Father Like Son? College

The film Friday Night Lights by director Peter Berg depicts high school football players from Odessa, Texas on their journey to the state championship. Patriarchy is a major theme in this movie and there are several father-son relationships that are depicted in different ways. The “fathers” are not always present, but at times another character takes over and influences the athlete, such as Coach Gary Gaines. The worst relationship depicted by far is between the abusive drunk father Charles Billingsley and his son Don. On the other hand, there is the loving coach Gary Gaines that acts as a father figure for Mike Winchell and others. Football players are also often considered “heroes” and this idea is heightened in popular sports films such as Friday Night Lights.

Fathers very often influence how these players accept their roles, and this idea is shown through their actions, as can be seen from the development of Mike Winchell and Don Billingsley’s actions throughout the film. This theme is best observed in the scene after the second big loss, where Charles yells at Don for his poor play, and Coach Gaines discusses curses with Mike Winchell. While Coach Gaines is depicted as a father figure for the players on the team because of...

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