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Friday Night Lights


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#1 chrismo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:23 AM

[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.

#2 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 02:24 AM

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

#3 The Baptist Death Ray

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 06:13 AM

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.

#4 M. Dale Prins

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 08:55 AM

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
Spoiler
practically had me
Spoiler
.

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

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins, 11 October 2006 - 08:57 AM.


#5 MattP

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE(M. Dale Prins @ Oct 11 2006, 06:55 AM) View Post

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
Spoiler
practically had me
Spoiler
.

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
Spoiler
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, 11 October 2006 - 11:48 AM.


#6 Kyle

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:49 AM

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.

#7 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:48 PM

QUOTE(Kyle @ Oct 11 2006, 12:49 PM) View Post
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.



#8 chrismo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:34 PM

QUOTE(chrismo @ Oct 11 2006, 12:23 AM) View Post

tonight's show had a lot of interesting moments.


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

Spoiler


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


#9 Kyle

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE(Rich Kennedy @ Oct 11 2006, 01:48 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Kyle @ Oct 11 2006, 12:49 PM) View Post
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.

#10 Mark

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:13 PM

QUOTE(Kyle @ Oct 11 2006, 12:49 PM) View Post

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 sad.gif )

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.

#11 Darrel Manson

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:02 PM

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.

#12 The Baptist Death Ray

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 04:13 PM

Probably to avoid getting sued about something or other.

#13 Christian

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 08:56 AM

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’s new drama Friday Night Lights is one of those rare programs. It is also the most openly and consistently Christian new network TV program since Seventh Heaven.

#14 TexasWill

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE(Christian @ Oct 17 2006, 08:56 AM) View Post
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.gif

Edited by TexasWill, 17 October 2006 - 09:14 AM.


#15 Christian

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 09:24 AM

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

#16 Kyle

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE(Mark @ Oct 12 2006, 10:13 AM) View Post

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.

#17 MattP

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 01:24 AM

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
Spoiler
I guess they were trying to use
Spoiler
but I don't think it was enough to completely sell it for me.

#18 Christian

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 03:50 PM

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.


#19 MattP

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Oct 19 2006, 01:50 PM) View Post

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.[/i]

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

#20 Mr. Tite Barnacle

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 08:10 PM

QUOTE(Mark @ Oct 12 2006, 12:13 PM) View Post


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 sad.gif )

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, 19 October 2006 - 08:20 PM.