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.


Anonymous 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?


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.

Anonymous 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.

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 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?