Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ode to Friday Night Lights, the best tv show about sports that's not about sports

Ok, so Friday Night Lights the tv show is based on the movie of the same name, which I have never seen, so I don't know how they compare. The show revolves around the Panthers, the high school football team in smalltown Dillon, Texas.

Now, I am Long Island, born and raised. My brothers played high school football, I went to my high school football games, but I know there are parts of this country where everything is high school football, where the players are local celebrities and where whole towns turn out to watch 16 and 17 year olds play football on Friday nights. I don't understand this culture, I think for the most part it seems a little silly to me, and yet I love Friday Night Lights the show.

I didn't watch it the first season, but Matt Roush at TVGuide (with whom I often agree on what shows are worth watching) kept raving about it, so I caught up with it over the summer on And am I so glad I did, because this is easily the best show on television that nobody is watching!

High school football is a big part of the show; if you watch the show, you're gonna watch a game or two being played. But Friday Night Lights is more than football - it is a study on small town America, it is a study on society and values and family, it is a study on people. These people are real - they do real things and react in a real way and have real emotions. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as Coach Eric Taylor and his wife Tami are so believable as a married couple - you believe they have problems but you believe they love each other enough to work through them. As someone who has a boyfriend who had a serious accident and has been in the hospital for a long time and is learning to walk again, Jason Street's story of dealing with paralysis, and its effect on his girlfriend Lyla and his best friend Tim is especially poignant and meaningful (and realistic) to me. And you just can't help but root for them, and root for Matt Saracen to gain confidence and do well, and for Tim and for Smash Williams to make better choices and pull it together. Friday Night Lights is just well written and well acted, which is so much more than so much of the crap on television today.

It's second season had some problems in the beginning, finding it's feet and figuring out where it was going, and they were given a shortened episode order which sucked, but the good news is, the show, despite terrible ratings, has been picked up for a third season (yay!), which will premiere first on DirectTV and which will come to NBC during the midseason next year. So, so excited for that. If you've never watched it, this means you have plenty of time to catch up - both the first and second seasons are available to watch on, and both seasons are also out on DVD (second season came out yesterday!)

No comments:

Post a Comment