Have any of you been reading this blog long enough to remember my obsession with The Painted Veil? (Both the book and the movie.) Whew-wee. It took over my life for the better part of a month.
My friends, there's a new kid in town.
I checked out Friday Night Lights Season 1 from the library and very much enjoyed it. Very much. There are many reasons why I love this show, but here are my top 3.
1. There is a sense of realism and authenticity with Friday Night Lights that you don't see in other television shows. I heard an interview with Connie Britton on npr. Translation: I've been googling like crazy for more information about this show and read and listened to many interviews and articles. She explained how they film the show.
"Most film and television shoots with one camera. And so you keep shooting a scene over and over again. We shoot with three cameras, so they're always getting different - they're always getting different angles so there a lot - and we never know where the cameras are. We don't rehearse. They don't tell us where to stand, which is what you call having marks. We don't have marks. So there's a real freedom in it."
You can see how this easily lends itself to an honest and sincere vibe.
Further credibility: the characters are genuine. There are no characters to hate in FNL, no villians. Characters are bad and good. Makes it much more believable. (There are, however, annoying characters. No show is perfect.) Take for example, Tim Riggins. After the first episode, I thought he was pretty awful. He was awful. A few episodes in, you see different sides of Tim, you understand him better and you even start to like him. (But you really wish he would wash his hair.). The show does not resort to one-dimensional characters to create fake drama.
2. FNL has hands-down the best portrayal of marriage I have ever seen on television. Yes, I threw down a superlative. Another quote:
"Friday Night Lights has always been the story of a football team and its coach, but it's also been the story of a marriage - one of the most well-rounded, admirable, memorable marriages ever portrayed on television. Time after time, this show's depiction of Eric and Tami Taylor's relationship has revealed the "happily married couples are boring" theory of dramatic writing for the ridiculous, lazy lie that it is. This happily married couple has never been boring, and they've been as much a part of the show's core as the Panthers or Lions." (From Alan Sepinwall from hitfix.com.) Source
I have only seen Season 1 but I have read that throughout the entire series the Taylor's marriage remains a good strong marriage. No affairs. No addictions. How refreshing.
3. Matt Saracen. Great plot line. Great character. Great actor. Matt is the sophomore back up quarter back who is thrust into the spot light. He is shy, awkward, and insecure but also incredibly strong. He takes care of his Grandma, works at a local fast food joint, and tries to woo the coach's daughter. All the while turning you into a life long fan.
4. (Yes, I added a fourth.) Fantastic acting. Especially: Coach Eric Taylor. Tami Taylor. Matt Saracen. Smash's mom. Phenomenal. I've seen 22 episodes. I've laughed out loud in nearly every episode. (That Buddy Garrity, he's some serious comic relief.) I've cried in several. I attribute this directly to the great acting. Sure, good plot, good writing, but there is no denying that the acting draws out great emotion. There is a scene between Tami Taylor and and her daughter Julie in Episode 17 that completely stops you in your tracks. Even my novice self can recognize amazing talent.
A few final thoughts:
-Note on content: This is not a family show.
-My friend Thomas suggested 'Give it 5 episodes.' This is good advice. While I liked it from the beginning, Mark took about 5 to become a fan. But fan he is.
Needless to say, I am on hold for Seasons 2,3, and 4. And the DVR is set to record Season 5 on April 5th.