A few months back, wondering if we had missed something when Rox & I decided not to watch Friday Night Lights because we were suffering from new show serial overload. It was a rough week: we also gave up on Heroes pretty early, but were saved over last Xmas by a friend with a good bittorrent site and a DVD burner.
In any event, I wrote a post that said that if NBC would release the DVD of Friday Night Lights in time to reasonably consume it prior to the new season starting, I would purchase it. Well, NBC did, and so I did.
After watching the entire first season DVD and falling in love with the combination of heart-stopping comebacks and heart-wrenching drama, Rox and I are eagerly looking forward to watching the next season, which starts this Friday. And NBC is rewarded for the short window between the season and the DVD.
Well, sort of rewarded: we’ll be TiVoing it, naturally, and zipping through the ads. But if the second season is as good as the first — which depends totally on how much NBC fracks with the show to attempt to inflate the ratings — we’ll no doubt purchase that DVD.
But, of course, the show actually making it all the way through to a second season is up in the air, which is why Friday Night Lights takes the place of Veronica Mars in my pantheon of Doomed But Loved TV Shows.
Since I just made this pantheon up, it currently only includes Friday Night Lights. And I guess that Veronica is grandmothered in. Oh, and Police Squad! and Square Pegs, and things like Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Grosse Pointe, Firefly, The Ben Stiller Show, Karen Sisco, and a bunch of other shows I can’t remember right now.
Friday Night Lights is a TV show that you should be watching. It’s a show about High School Football in the same way that The Sopranos was about the Mafia or Battlestar Galactica is about killer robots who want to destroy humanity. Which is to say that High School Football is a catalyst, but it ain’t what makes the show so great. What makes the show so great is the hard look at family dynamics in small-town America when everybody knows that the thing that they are living for is fleeting and won’t help them escape the rest of their lives.
It’s also about how amazing Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are as Eric and Tami Taylor, the not-really-all-that-calm center around which the rest of the series rotates.
That said, I gotta admit that there there is more than a little bit of cheese in Friday Night Lights. I hate cheese, and not just metaphorically, either. So this is like the cheese in pizza — where it somehow is just part of a full pie of unstoppable chewy goodness.
How good is Friday Night Lights? During the season finale, it got me to reconsider the possibility that stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play could be a good place. I’ve always hated the Dallas Cowboys more than just about any institution you could name: more than the Dodgers or Yankees; more than the Christian Coalition; even more than the Republican Party! And that stadium — with its hole in the center so that God could watch His Team — is the symbol of all of that evil.
And despite all of that, when they showed that evil place from the perspective of the Dillon Panthers, I felt their goosebumps and shared their awe.
That’s how good this show is. It made me hate the Dallas Cowboys slightly less.
And even if you missed the first season, you should be able to pick it up now. I realize that there is some grumbling that they’ve put it on a night where the natural audience is, you know, actually at High School Football games, but that doesn’t mean that all of those people should timeshift it. Seriously, add it to your DVR list — it’s certainly better than any of the new shows this season.
If enough people do that, maybe it won’t be so doomed after all.