March 28, 2007

Friday Night Lights (the show, not the movie)

Really, I think NBC dropped the ball naming this show. It made me think that the show would be based on the movie, which really isn't the case. The main similarity between the show and the movie is that they're both loosely based around a Texas High School football team. Other than that, the characters and story lines are totally different. I thought the movie was alright, but the show is great. It's easily one of my favorite shows on television.

I thought that the writers had figured out the formula for making a good, popular, primetime drama:

  • characters that people will care about
  • realistic dialog
  • hot chicks (see accompanying photograph)
But NBC has been completely inept in handling the show, by changing the timeslot every few weeks, and even putting the show opposite Monday Night Football for a few weeks (Really? You think your football-themed show will do well competing with the highest rated football program every week? That made sense?). So the ratings have not been as good as expected, even though it has been universally critically acclaimed and has a loyal fan following. Apparently there are still questions as to whether the show will be picked up for a second season.

I'm not sure how it's possible that the show doesn't have enough viewership to justify a second season, but I'll try to make a case for you to watch it if you don't already.

Actually, I started making a list of reasons you should watch the show and realized that's not the best way to go with this. Look, it's a cheesy show. It's overdramatic, the football scenes too often end with last second heroics, and there are lots of emotional confrontations between characters. But you know what? It works. I know the show is cheesy, but I'm invested in the characters. I care about what happens to them. They're flawed and real, and the dialog is just realistic enough to be believable (which is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself, how do you write believable high school dialog for network television?).

I'm no cinematographer, but the way the scenes are shot is very different from most shows. It's almost like the Office, but not quite. It's not shot like a documentary, but the camera moves to catch up with the actors, and the scenes aren't perfectly framed. It just gives the show an extra little bit of realism.

As I said above, the women on the show are all incredibly hot. That definitely helps make it even more watchable.

So basically, watch the damn show. It's well written, entertaining television, and Lord knows there's not enough of that around these days. Plus, it's about football.

If you haven't seen the show yet (or if you missed a few episodes), every episode is available online here.

3 Responses:

Jeremy said...

I too cannot believe that the show is floundering like it is. I think the football underpinnings of the show initially scared away a good bit of audience (SEE: Fiancee, Jeremy's). But when the fiancee actually sat down and watched an episode, she was hooked. Although she disagrees with me that Tyra is hot, and I completely don't understand how she can't see that. Probably for the same reason I can't see why she finds Matt Serensen attractive. But ANYWAY... I think the time change to Thursdays was an attempt to save the show because it's going up against week competition now. I hope it survives another season, but we'll see if the plots get stale or not. We've already had 'roids, disaster, racial incidents (2), horrible injury, psychiatric breakdown, reconciliation between dad and father, breakup of marriage, star QB getting together with the coach's daughter, and tonight, rape (why do I feel like I sound like Borat ending it lke that)?

J-Red said...

Mmm, pretty girls. I haven't seen a commercial for the show in ages. It's so bad I end up watching men men men manly manly men men and that new destined-to-fail show with Putty because I forgot to even check NBC.

Brien said...

According to E!, the show is probably safe for next season.

Also, how pissed is David Spade that everyone keeps calling it "That show with Putty"? He's got to be sitting at home screaming "I WAS IN TOMMY BOY!!! I HAD A MILDLY SUCCESSFUL SHOW IN JUST SHOOT ME!!!! PUTTY WAS A BIT CHARACTER ON A SHOW THAT ENDED 10 YEARS AGO!!!!"

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