Fracking goes prime time on sitcom, Fracking is becoming a national topic, even on TV sitcoms

Fracking goes prime time on sitcom, Fracking is becoming a national topic, even on TV sitcoms by Steve Israel, December 16, 2012, Times Herald Record
Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono? Figures they would take out a full page ad in the New York Times against fracking — especially because the mother/son political activists have land out in prime gas-drilling territory — Delaware County. Matt Damon and John Krasinski? No surprise that those Hollywood types would make an anti-fracking movie, right? Their “Promised Land” is due out Dec. 28. But Tim Allen and fracking? The same Tim Allen who stars on bland TV shows like “Home Improvement” and his latest, “Last Man Standing?” A recent episode of the very vanilla “Last Man Standing” is not only devoted to fracking, it’s called “Fracking.” That’s one example of how the controversial natural-gas extraction method of hydraulic fracturing has seeped into the national consciousness. And — no real surprise — the show’s take on fracking isn’t all negative, although it does take some big hits. Turns out Allen’s TV wife is a geoscientist in charge of discovering natural gas, which, she points out, plays a huge “role in America’s energy future.” But when she tells her daughter’s middle-school class what she does, the kids turn out to be rabid anti-frackers. “What about poisoning groundwater?” asks one kid. “Why does your mom hate the environment?” another kid asks mom’s daughter. Even the teacher wonders whether fracking causes cancer. Even though mom defends fracking by saying that it’s “perfectly safe when it’s done right,” the kids don’t believe her. … Natural gas is still safer than oil or coal, mom says, and “we all have to make choices.” “The world isn’t perfect, and everybody has to compromise,” she says. “Unless you’re a trust-fund millionaire or a fourteen-year-old living in a tent.”

‘Promised Land’ writers-stars-producers Matt Damon and John Krasinski use fracking in their story but see their film as more Capra-esque than single-issue by Mark Olsen, November 1, 2012, Los Angeles Times
Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film drills down to the question of how we decide who we are. “If people want to internalize it as a political issue movie, they are going to and we’re not going to be able to stop them,” said Krasinski. But that’s not how he sees it. “In my head, I always just wanted to do a Frank Capra-esque movie. Capra was a genius at toeing that political line in a way that is representative of how it affects all of us rather than sort of this hard-line activist stance on the issue at hand. “What we wanted to do is flag the responsibility of each and every one of us with each and every issue,” he said. “The idea is, is there a benefit to doing what we’re doing and at what cost? Is it worth it?” Damon echoes the sentiment: “If the movie takes any position, it’s don’t let big money make big decisions for you. You have to make a decision one way or the other, no matter what it is.”

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