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Friday Night Lights

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[Apologies if I missed the real thread on the show - please punt (ahem) me in the right direction]

Anyone catch the first two episodes? I got sucked in by the hyped ads -- though those came off looking like 90210 ... hike!

The atmosphere of the show is interesting, and appeals to the meloncholy in me (a bit of a Bill Frissell-ish soundscape to boot). I have a hard time getting my brain past the "It's Just Football!" frustrations ... but I'm starting to wonder if that's a very intentional element to the show. Perhaps they want to annoy you with how dependent this town is on football. Perhaps this show is more about coaching in and not of. If I can pretend that's what they're doing - tonight's show had a lot of interesting moments.

Or maybe it's just a soap opera in shoulder pads.

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Is this related in any way to the movie of this name?

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It is -- both are the product of one Peter Berg, who played my favorite character in Chicago Hope and wrote one of it's most bizarre episodes.

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I generally prefer my dramas with a comedic kicker (such as "House" or Sorkin's shows), but I saw the dead-serious pilot, and I thought it was fantastic. The best part: It had the most realistic and most touching portrait of Christian faith I've seen on television since...I don't know since when. The moment after the hard-fought game where

both teams join together in a unified prayer for one team's injured quarterback

practically had me

in tears

.

And then I forget to record episode no. 2 yesterday. Stupid me.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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The best part: It had the most realistic and most touching portrait of Christian faith I've seen on television since...I don't know since when. The moment after the hard-fought game where

both teams join together in a unified prayer for one team's injured quarterback

practically had me

in tears

.

And then I forget to record episode no. 2 yesterday. Stupid me.

Dale

Yes, and episode 2 had even more completely authentic portrayals of Christian faith as everyone deals with the aftermath of episode 1. I don't think it's just the Christianity part though - I feel like this is one of the best examples of a show I've seen where everything feels authentic: authentic small town, with real small-town, southern(ish, if you count Texas) people, accurate red-state expressions of faith, etc. The coach and (new) QB both feel like real people you might actually meet if you went and found this small Texas town. Which is especially important considering the documentary-esque nature of the style.

Whoever's writing this show definitely knows this stuff well. I can't tell you how refreshing it is after seeing so many versions of this kind of show with "hollywood people" all dressed up and playing hicks for the camera.

My only beef so far was the football game itself from the pilot. Both the

formulaic comeback

and the voice-over announcer whose job it seems was to explicitly tell us how to feel about the eb and flow of the game's momentum seemed awkward and out of place to me. Too movie-ish for a show of this nature. I really hope they tone down the announcer guy going forward.

Edited by popechild

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I haven't seen this show, but from what I hear it's getting critical acclaim but people aren't watching finishing third in it's time slow. However, it is capturing the 18-34 male demographic which is signs for its longevity.

So, based off what I'm hearing, I might have to watch this next week.

And about the movie - one of my students plays high school football. The whole team went to see it in the theatre. He told me players were actually crying during the movie. I'm not sure what that means, but he loved the movie. I don't know if he's seen the show, but I'm sure he has.

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And about the movie - one of my students plays high school football. The whole team went to see it in the theatre. He told me players were actually crying during the movie. I'm not sure what that means, but he loved the movie. I don't know if he's seen the show, but I'm sure he has.

He might like Remember the Titans and possibly Varsity Blues.

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tonight's show had a lot of interesting moments.

Since the ball continued to roll after I pushed it, I'll ramble on...

I thought the juxtaposition of the scenes with the QB1a and his girlfriend in the hospital and coach and his wife was interesting. The girlfriend's faith in a healing reeked of denial and was ill-received. The wife's faith in her husband seemed rock-solid and genuine. Real faith can't be manipulated out of a heart.

It seems obvious coach is really frustrated with the ever present pressure to "get the dubya" in spite of QB1a's severe accident, yet he still has to face the reality that a lack of them will force him out. He doesn't want to have to cater to them, but to get to do the part he really loves and is really valuable, he must struggle along with it.

... I thought I had more in me head last night, but it's since left me.

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And about the movie - one of my students plays high school football. The whole team went to see it in the theatre. He told me players were actually crying during the movie. I'm not sure what that means, but he loved the movie. I don't know if he's seen the show, but I'm sure he has.

He might like Remember the Titans and possibly Varsity Blues.

I'm sure he does, yes I'm sure he does. And why not, I thought Titans was pretty good. I'm a sucker for inspirational sports films.

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I haven't seen this show, but from what I hear it's getting critical acclaim but people aren't watching finishing third in it's time slow. However, it is capturing the 18-34 male demographic which is signs for its longevity.

So, based off what I'm hearing, I might have to watch this next week.

And about the movie - one of my students plays high school football. The whole team went to see it in the theatre. He told me players were actually crying during the movie. I'm not sure what that means, but he loved the movie. I don't know if he's seen the show, but I'm sure he has.

The AP's TV critic raves, and NBC claims it's sticking with the show, in this story, but I still haven't recorded it because I hate getting hooked on a great new drama only to have it yanked prematurely. (Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times - not one for gushing or hyperbole - gave FNL such a superlative review, calling it "art" rather than "television," that my cynical self suspected the show wouldn't last all that long :( )

Re: the movie, it's one of the best examinations of the messed-up American sports culture that can determine a man's education and lot in life (even if the movie did soften the book's edges, and include a couple of cringe-inducing, sports-movies cliches toward the end). I'm dying to watch this but am holding out to see if it survives. If it's a hit, there's always the first-season DVD package to catch up with later.

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I wonder why the TV version shifts from Odessa to a fictional town. Maybe Permian didn't want opponents setting their targets on the FNL team.

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Probably to avoid getting sued about something or other.

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Hmmm. From National Review Online:

This has increasingly been the way of TV programming since the mid-1960s, but in recent years it has become a definite formula. As TV producers try to have it both ways by luring viewers with sensationalism while sometimes offering something serious to think about, it is fairly unusual for a program to be explicitly concerned with higher things. NBC

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It is also the most openly and consistently Christian new network TV program since Seventh Heaven.

Ew... They need to take that back!

I hope it doesn't have the same lowest-common-denominator generic Protestant pseudo-spirituality that is focused around watered-down Norman Lear-style "issues" (strained through "The Waltons") that has more to do with middle-class religious propriety, than the teachings and ethic of Jesus.

Of course, I've been known to have an opinion about the show. :unsure:

Edited by TexasWill

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TexasWill: That's the best summary of "Seventh Heaven" that I've ever read! :)

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I'm dying to watch this but am holding out to see if it survives. If it's a hit, there's always the first-season DVD package to catch up with later.

It looks like that is what I'm going to have to do too. I airs opposite of Gilmore Girls - a Tuesday night staple in the Anderson household. We can't just break-up with the Gilmore's just because a hot new show comes into town can we? I think not.

And no, I don't have TiVo. Nor am I interested in figuring out if my VCR will work. It'll have to be DVD I guess, which means I'm going to have to retire from this thread. I just can't withstand the "Spoiler" temptation.

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I'm really, really liking this show. Tonight's episode was the best yet IMO. Only complaint is I'm not so sure the coach would

get so easily involved in the whole katrina kid scandal.

I guess they were trying to use

the "fight" with his wife where he told her how badly they needed to win as a window into how the pressure's starting to affect him,

but I don't think it was enough to completely sell it for me.

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The Hollywood Reporter:

NBC has ... ordered six more scripts from its critically praised but low-rated new drama "Friday Night Lights."

In its three airings, "Lights" has struggled in the Tuesday 8-9 p.m. hour, most recently posting 6.6 million viewers and a 2.7/7 in 18-49.

To boost the show's profile, the network will air an original episode Oct. 30 in the Monday 10 p.m. period, after NBC's breakout drama hit "Heroes." The episode of "Lights," which will repeat in the series' original Tuesday 8 p.m. slot the next night, will replace a repeat of soft freshman drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," which airs in the Monday 10-11 p.m. hour.

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The episode of "Lights," which will repeat in the series' original Tuesday 8 p.m. slot the next night, will replace a repeat of soft freshman drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," which airs in the Monday 10-11 p.m. hour.

If FNL and S60 both end up getting cancelled, I'm going to carry my tv up to Burbank and throw it at someone.

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The AP's TV critic raves, and NBC claims it's sticking with the show, in this story, but I still haven't recorded it because I hate getting hooked on a great new drama only to have it yanked prematurely. (Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times - not one for gushing or hyperbole - gave FNL such a superlative review, calling it "art" rather than "television," that my cynical self suspected the show wouldn't last all that long :( )

Re: the movie, it's one of the best examinations of the messed-up American sports culture that can determine a man's education and lot in life (even if the movie did soften the book's edges, and include a couple of cringe-inducing, sports-movies cliches toward the end). I'm dying to watch this but am holding out to see if it survives. If it's a hit, there's always the first-season DVD package to catch up with later.

I agree with Mark. Though the series opener was among the strongest I've seen this pilot season, I'm wary of emotionally investing in a show poised to get the chop. I'm still smarting from Fox's short-sighted cancellation of Firefly and HBO's of Deadwood.

(Maybe Billy Joel was right after all, the good really do die young.)

Still, FNL looks like it could be the best new show this year if NBC will only get out of the way of its Hail Mary.

"Run, Forrest, run!"

Edited by WarrenPiece

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When even Tom Shales - whose reviews I don't care for - gushes over the show, it might be time to take the risk and watch. Sure, I'll get hurt, but I've been hurt before. Shales' advice to NBC about stripping "Deal or No Deal" across its schedule makes me a little seasick, but if a nightly dose of Howie Mandel is what it takes to save a great drama, I'll live with it.

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I, too, have been persuaded by this morning's column to take the plunge and watch tonight's episode.

As for stripping "Deal or No Deal" every night, NBC has already indicated it will soon ditch scripted programming in the 8-9 p.m. hour, in favor of game shows and cheap reality programs.

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I should be happier about Howie Mandel and reality TV. It's probably safer than inviting Kyle Chandler into our living room once a week, since my wife swoons every time she sees him. :angry:

(But that evens things out for my reaction to Evangeline Lilly during "Lost".)

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I

Edited by Christian

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There's gonna be tension tonight in the kennedy household. The Babe will want to see the world Series, while I must see tonite's episode. The thing about the "new recruit" will be how Coach treats him in practice and at gametime.

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