Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Friday Night Lights: How do I love thee?

NBC kindly sent out the next two "Friday Night Lights" episodes, which gave me an excuse to write my first full-blown column about it since the pilot:

"Friday Night Lights" is a drama about a high school football team that rarely features more than five minutes of gridiron action, if that, per episode. It's a high school soap opera in which the most compelling lovebirds are the football coach and his guidance counselor wife, a show that raises familiar teen drama questions about sex and drug abuse and race without offering simple answers.

In other words, the "Friday Night Lights" writers are aiming at a target far smaller than the tire swing their quarterback hero rifles passes through in the opening credits. In general, female viewers who might love the relationships are too turned off by the football to watch; guys who love sports don't gravitate towards soaps, even ones in which the halfback option is as important as people talking about their feelings.

Creatively, though, the writers have hit their postage-stamp target with uncanny accuracy. Anyone who can get past their preconceptions for a show with that title and setting will find the best drama currently airing on any network.

To read the full thing, click here. I'll have an episode-specific post up tonight.

6 comments:

Zodin2008 said...

I am continually saddened by all those out there who keep writing this off as that 'little High school football show' and haven't allowed themselves to get into a show that deserves to be up for Best Drama come Emmy time.

Not only that, but I would also make strong arguments that Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton should each be up for an Emmy as well. This show is terrific and it starts at the top with Coach Taylor and 'Mrs. Coach'. (as Saracen calls her).

anon said...

That's a great Grant Tinker quote, Alan. Is there any more context it -- a particular show or slate of shows he was referencing at the time?

Anon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting me excited about tonight's show! I can't believe how much I am sucked into this show. I really hope NBC gives this show another season.

Page said...

Thanks for the valentine to the show that has officially become my favorite on TV. I second the motion to give Chandler and Britton Emmy noms (if only we had any say in the matter!). She especially has surprised me, because I thought she was kind of awful last year on 24. Hmm, could it be that incredibly strong writing and the opportunity to play a character with more than one dimension have had an effect on her work? I must have re-watched her sex-talk scene with Julie 4 times. Perfection.

Zodin2008 said...

Page,

While I am a "24" fan, I agree that she was clearly underwritten in that role and FNL has taken full advantage of her talent.

I also agree that the mother/daughter scene between her & Julie was one of the best SCENES on Television I have seen this season. It was so powerful and felt so real. That should be the scene Britton mails to the Emmy awards committee.

sjml said...

Alan, obviously this is long after the fact (and I wonder if you'll even get notification of this comment), but I'm just now watching through Friday Night Lights and, as always, enjoy reading your take on the episodes. Because of the reshuffling that happened with the nj.com website, though, it looks like articles you link there (like this one, and the one on deleted scenes from a few weeks before this) aren't available anymore. Any hints or thoughts on how we might be able to find them?