Friday Night Lights

Well, it’s Friday but it’s no longer football season… unless you’re watching old seasons of ‘Friday Night Lights’ which I have to admit has been consuming a fair amount of my time lately.  I just finished watching season 2, which I found to be a little less satisfying than the first season, if only because it felt like some of the episodes were a little too ‘cleverly’ plotted instead of just organic developments of the characters.  Apparently they give the actors quite a lot of latitude to ‘feel’ their way into scenes, not forcing them to read the lines as written, and this gives things a nice freshness (along with the fact that it’s all shot on real locations near Austin, TX, not studios), even though it’s basically a bit of a soap opera.

The show has a big cast of about 10 main characters and probably 10 more people who appear regularly, and actually it’s not really about football (very much).  It does center on a football coach and his family, who live in a football-crazy Texas town called Dillon, where there’s a long track record of success on the field, and high expectations.  It follows a number of the high school kids, parents, coaches, teachers as they make their way through life.

Friday Night Lights had gotten a lot of critical acclaim but not great ratings, and I do wonder if it’s a show that kids could watch with their parents – seems to me that it may feel a little uncomfortable for both parties, as the kids in the show get into the usual troubles of drinking, sex and so forth.  But in any case I think it’s well done and worth watching. The fifth and final season will be starting in April.

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