Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Looking forward to next season

"Friday Night Lights," one of my favorite TV serials, has been re-upped for at least another six episodes next season. Here's hoping it makes it through to the end just like it did this time around, despite having low ratings. There are a lot of solid fans for this show out there, and I'm one of them. Another one writes for the Onion's (not-fake-news) AV Club Blog, as you can see from this recent rundown of why the Peabody Award-winning NBC hour-long drama matters. No. 7 hits upon a good point that may explain why it's not more popular and why I especially like it: "It is and isn’t about football." Now, I went to a football-obsessed high school (although not quite like the fictional Dillon) and an equally obsessed college, so I can definitely identify with that sense of spirit with which a game fills a place. But in general, I wouldn't say I'm a sports fan. I usually treat them more as current events and less as sheer entertainment. And this show gets that on some level. Football's there, but so is the rest of life. It just punctuates it when it's fall and you live in a town that takes it so seriously. That doesn't mean you pay attention to all details of it, or follow every minute of every game religiously, or devote more than the necessary amount of time in any given episode to on-the-field scenes. That's what makes it so palatable: the football doesn't get in the way of the drama. That said, I have to say I was a little disappointed by the final episode of the first season. But I understand why, on some level, it couldn't be as good as the earlier ones. The threads of each story are left hanging, but not in the satisfying cliffhanger way of 1 through 21. More like: If this is the end for us, then it was a good run, but if it isn't, then there's lots more to be done and said next time around. All 22 episodes are there onlne for your perusing. No Netflix, no DVD required. As promised by the critics' early glowing reviews, watch the first episode and you might be hooked.

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