Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Friday Night Lights - Television's Best Show - Are You Watching It?

Haven't seen the movie; haven't read the book. But I am totally enthralled with NBC's "Friday Night Lights" which airs on Wednesday evenings.

I initially got into the show because during the first couple of episodes I saw, I was able to relate to the character of Coach Taylor who not only has to deal with his players, but also the pressure that comes from the parents and team boosters. I have coached baseball at every level from T-ball through high school and if you've ever coached a team that has any kind of competitive edge to it, you know what some parents can be like.

However, the more I watched the show the more I realized that it's the character development that really makes "FNL" shine. The actors playing the high school students (and yes, I realize that only one main character is actually played by a teenager - all the others are in their 20's) bring a sensitivity to their characters that allows these fictional teens to almost come to life, and actually treats teenagers with a sense of respect. And the interaction between Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor) and Connie Britton (Mrs. Coach as some of the kids call her) is one of the best husband-wife portrayals on television these days. One TV columnist offered that the show could easily be subtitled "Scenes From Inside A Marriage." Britton, in fact, may be the best thing about the program. The dialogue between her character and both her on-screen daughter and husband are funny, poignant, realistic and emotional. A recent episode dealing with 15-year old Julie wrestling with the decision of whether to have sex with her football-player boyfriend contained a scene in which Britton gave an Emmy-winning performance.

You don't have to like football to appreciate "Friday Night Lights." You just have to like intelligent television.

1 comment:

Jim Monaghan said...

Update - Word is that NBC has ordered six more scripts for this show. That's not an official renewal, but it's at least a sign that the network is seriously considering bringing this show back in the fall.