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Friday Night Lights


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#41 Clint M

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:51 PM

Just a reminder, if you didn't catch Season 4's original run on DirecTV, it starts this Friday on NBC.

#42 Nick Olson

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:23 PM

I just wanted to pass along a link to an article on FNL that I wrote for last week...thought some people here might enjoy it.

http://www.christand...guide-you-home/

#43 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:18 PM

As a general rule, I don't believe in the quality of most network TV shows anymore. The acting and storytelling usually seems very poor in quality. Thus, my expectations for this show were really low. But as I've been progressing, I can't help but be surprised and impressed. I don't know how something this good was allowed to go on for five season on NBC.

The strength of the Taylor marriage is compelling. The way that their love for each other combines with each of their individual passions to help these kids is a picture of living Christianity that I've haven't seen on TV for a long time. Coach Taylor is a hero. His passion for being a surrogate father to fatherless and broken kids is not just impressive, it's ... well, it's inspiring. He is molding young, angry and hurt boys into being young men - along with all the responsibility, gentility, and self-sacrifice that being a man requires. He doesn't just tell them what to do, and sometimes he doesn't even have to use words, because he leads for his own personal example. Tami brings the same spirit to her work in the school system ... and her entire being is a rock and refuge for girls who need to be taught similar lessons about self-respect and responsibility. I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen anything quite like it. Even the way that husband and wife resolve their conflicts in this story is surprisingly self-sacrificial.

I'm a strong lifelong football fan. And while the show exhibits how fanatical football fandom can be damaging (psychologically, emotionally and sometimes even physically), it also shows why so many of us love the game. Coach Taylor takes joy in it, and his joy is infectious to the young men he is leading. The way that he uses the game to teach commitment, leadership and bravery is an example that anyone watching the show can aspire to. The game provides an outlet to channel certain proclivities and character traits, that are easily used for evil, for something good and commendable instead. Without going back into another discussion about cultural ideas on masculinity, the show also shows how certain masculine character traits can be destroying and damaging when they are channeled in the wrong way. The balance between the two is rare.

I'll comment more as I have more time to continue farther through the show, but for right now, I'm pretty impressed. Thanks and Kudos to everyone who has recommended it.

#44 Darren H

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:20 AM

Season 2 has one really stupid plotline. Otherwise, Friday Night Lights is great from start to finish. The Taylors are my favorite on-screen depiction of marriage ever. Glad you're enjoying it.

#45 Tyler

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

Season 2 has one really stupid plotline. Otherwise, Friday Night Lights is great from start to finish. The Taylors are my favorite on-screen depiction of marriage ever. Glad you're enjoying it.


Yes and yes, and yes and yes. The ways they handle cast transitions is mostly good, too (one hangs on longer than I would have preferred).

#46 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

Season 2 has one really stupid plotline. Otherwise, Friday Night Lights is great from start to finish. The Taylors are my favorite on-screen depiction of marriage ever. Glad you're enjoying it.

Selfish characters learning how to be selfless and loving. Angry characters learning how to be gentle. Bullying characters learning how to be kind to the vulnerable. Weak characters learning how to be strong. Strong characters learning how to be weak. Privileged characters learning how to overcome prejudice. Damaged characters learning how fight against impossible odds. Stereotypical characters acting against their own stereotypes. Loners learning friendship and brotherhood for the very first time. And all, somehow, with only a minimal amount of cliches or melodrama. It'd be hard not to enjoy it.

#47 Anna J

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:00 PM

The ways they handle cast transitions is mostly good, too (one hangs on longer than I would have preferred).


Yeah...I'm with you there, although I do think it speaks to how difficult it is for these young football stars--or anyone--to extricate themselves from Dillon, for better or worse.

#48 Nick Alexander

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 04:21 PM

Season 2 has one really stupid plotline. Otherwise, Friday Night Lights is great from start to finish. The Taylors are my favorite on-screen depiction of marriage ever. Glad you're enjoying it.

Season 4 has another stupid plotline.

FNL has the reverse curse of the first round of Star Trek movies. Seasons 1,3, and 5 are must-owns. Seasons 2 & 4 are rentals.

#49 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:04 PM

Finished the series. It's not perfect, but no show ever is. It aired on Network Television - always, in my opinion, a huge disadvantage in terms of producing quality. And yet, it's a great show. I was hesitant to start all over again going into Season 4, but then the story in 4 turned out to be just as good, if not better, than the character arcs that ran through the first three seasons. So many little moments, that, by doing so little, still conveyed so much:

- when Vince tells Coach Taylor that no one has been there to teach him how to be better
- when Coach Taylor gives Vince his first University interest letters
- when Mindy Riggins, of all people, tells Becky to get back in the car, and then later starts showing a genuine interest in her
- when Mindy says “You’re not going to be one of the boys that comes in here, are you?” to her baby son
- when loser Billy Riggins turning into a surrogate father figure to Luke Cafferty
- Vince walking up to Coach Taylor’s door and then walking away, and then going to his dad, and seeing the righteous but dangerously quiet rage in his father’s eyes

I'm impressed.

#50 Anna J

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:57 PM

Season 4 is my favorite season. Billy and Mindy Riggins turned out to be so much more than I thought they were. Haphazard at times, but with so much heart.

I love how they revisited the abortion question in season 5, in the back room of the Landing Strip. Even just that one brief conversation added so much weight and nuance to an already thoughtful storyline.

#51 winter shaker

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:42 AM

FNL was released onto Canadian Netflix a few months ago and so I just finished watching the series tonight.

 

I agree with everyone else's praise of the show. FNL's depiction of Christianity feels authentic (by the by, I'm wondering what denomination the Taylors are; Methodist or Presbyterian is my guess?) and I'm very impressed by it.

 

I found that I preferred seasons 1-3 over the last two. I think that's largely because I think we get to know the football players in more depth (season 1 had 22 episodes and all the following seasons only had 13). Partly that's because I also liked Matt Saracen and Landry Clark (what an uncanny pairing of Glenn Morshower and Jesse Plemons as father and son) the best. With the East Dillon plots, we get to know Vince very well and Becky and Luke have their storyline, but a lot of the characters are left untouched (for instance, why in the world is Grey Damon cast as a regular in season 5 when his character literally does nothing at all?). I thought Epic's plot was basically a rehash of Tami and Tyra's.

 

Also, the unexplained disappearances of characters was annoying (Waverly, Santiago, etc...).

 

Interesting, according to Wikipedia, Gaius Charles (Smash Williams) went to Drew University to pursue a degree in theology after his time on FNL ended.


Edited by winter shaker, 14 July 2014 - 01:45 AM.


#52 Tyler

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:58 AM

Also, the unexplained disappearances of characters was annoying (Waverly, Santiago, etc...).
 

 

That happens with JD McCoy, too. He would have still been the Dillon quarterback when East Dillon goes back to play them, but he's not with the team. Maybe he transferred.



#53 winter shaker

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 02:07 PM

 

Also, the unexplained disappearances of characters was annoying (Waverly, Santiago, etc...).
 

 

That happens with JD McCoy, too. He would have still been the Dillon quarterback when East Dillon goes back to play them, but he's not with the team. Maybe he transferred.

 

 

The disappearance of JD and his father in particular was unfortunate because they, particularly the father, provided the show with its greatest villain.

 

Since Wade Eichmann is no longer the coach of West Dillon presumably he and the McCoys relocated.


Edited by winter shaker, 14 July 2014 - 02:08 PM.


#54 Darren H

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 02:16 PM

Remember that time Landry killed a guy?

 

(Sorry. That was the one storyline I hated in an otherwise great show, so I never pass up a chance to make fun of it.)



#55 M. Leary

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:13 PM

Darren, that is where I tuned out and my wife kept going. She insisted it got better.



#56 Tyler

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:23 PM

Yeah, the second season is the weakest for a number of reasons, one of them being the murder storyline. It also ends really abruptly, because that's when the WGA strike was starting.



#57 Darren H

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:56 PM

Darren, that is where I tuned out and my wife kept going. She insisted it got better.

 

Oh, it gets much, much better.



#58 Nick Alexander

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:02 PM

FNL is the reverse Star Trek.  The must-haves are the odd-numbered ones.  The avoids are the even-numbered ones.