In order to handle TV Hiatus Time, I’ve taken to watching Friday Night Lights, one of the shows my sister suggested to me recently. My sister cried at least twice in the series premiere. Not that this is difficult for a show to accomplish, but still. Not much of a crier myself, I have found myself tearing up slightly on occasion. The show has done a good job of giving the characters problems without really heaping them on (as opposed to MIOBI which is so often compared to this show).
FNL is about a small southern town where High School Football is basically the town’s life. Everyone’s got an opinion on how to run the team, everyone shows up to every game. And in season one, Coach Taylor is stepping into the head coaching role for the first time with a team primed for the state playoffs, thanks to star quarterback Jason Street. But when Street gets injured, rookie Matt Saracen must step into the role of QB and lead the team. Also in the mix is Street’s ever supportive girlfriend Lyla and his best friend and full-back Tim Riggins (something of a drunk loser). There’s Smash the smart talking, speedy running-back who is feeling the pressure to make it to college and eventually pro. (There are of course some others here and there, including Coach’s daughter Julie, but they are somewhat less interesting.)
Anyway, whether you like football or not (I am not particularly a fan and as a general do not enjoy watching sports on television) this is definitely a series to watch. It’s a little difficult to find the show online, but it is definitely worth it. (projectfree.tv seems to be doing the trick for the moment.) The character’s lives and stories are well portrayed, even the sports is exciting to watch. The cinematography is interesting too. There’s sort of a home video vibe (not that the picture quality is poor) where the camera is slightly shaky and quick moving, which gives it a more intimate feel and serves this show very well. It does not feel manufactured and forced.
Oh, and to top it all off, this is based on a true story, so while the exact situations are not necessarily real the overall story is.
I’m not sure how I managed to completely miss this show until now, but I’m hoping to catch up on it quickly.