Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Savoring final season of 'Friday Night Lights'

Given that much of television is a wasteland, for four seasons now "Friday Night Lights" has been an oasis in a desert.

Nobody watches it and I don't understand why. I'm tempted to be a snob and say it's because the viewing public wouldn't know class if it bit them in the ass. Others say they stay away because everybody thinks the show is about football.

But it isn't about football. It's about family and friendship and having faith. It's about growing up. It's about navigating through the slings and arrows of adolescence.

And, as corny as this sounds, it's about heart.

The thing I love about the show is it feels so darn real. It's character driven, which makes it another TV anomaly, and for once the characters don't seem like cardboard cutouts. Other than one big misstep during its second year (involving a murder), "FNL" has stayed true to that standard.

It is playing out its last season. I'm going to be sad to see it go.

I miss the original cast, but like real life high school, kids come and go. I love the show's two stars, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. Their Coach Eric and Tammy Taylor play out one of the most realistic marriages ever portrayed on the tube. And, oh, that every high school football player could come of age under the tutelage of a coach with Taylor's character.

"Lights" has shown a remarkable ability to reinvent itself every other year or so. Kids come and go, but nary a beat is missed. Coach Taylor has transitioned from successful, well-funded Dillon High to the poor-side-of-the-tracks East Dillon High. His team can't get too worked up about wins. They're lining the field or replacing lights in the scoreboard the following Monday. It may be an even better show now than it was during that fantastic first season.

OK, so it's idealistic and maybe even a bit soapy. But it's well-written, well-acted and a hell of a lot of fun.

Sorry you've missed it. Shows like this deserve to be savored.

The final season of "Friday Night Lights" is airing at 9 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesdays on DirecTV's 101 Network. It will air on NBC in 2011.

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Blogger Jason said...

I couldn't agree more, Jake. I think this is the best show on television right now, and like you, can't understand why so few people watch it.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thanks for reading, Jason. And I agree -- it's a shame more viewers didn't discover this true gem of a TV show.

9:20 PM  

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