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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?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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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.

It had a face like Robert Tilton's -- without the horns.

- Steve Taylor, "Cash Cow"

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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

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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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

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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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.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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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.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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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.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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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.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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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

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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

"If the Christian subculture exists primarily to condemn the world, you can be sure that Jesus is not having any part of it." - John Fischer

"Ignorance is excusable when it is borne like a cross, but when it is wielded like an axe, and with moral indignation, then it becomes something else indeed." - Flannery O'Connor

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

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.

"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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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.

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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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.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.

"You guys don't really know who you're dealing with."

"Oh yeah, and who exactly are we dealing with?"

"I'm the mother flippin' rhymenoceros."

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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

"A fly may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still."

-Samuel Johnson

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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.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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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.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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".)

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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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.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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