Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anonymous said: As someone who has not seen 'Friday Night Lights', I am curious to see what it is all about. Obviously you like it, judging from the gifs and all. What are the reasons you would recommend this show? The acting seems solid, but what else is there to it? I trust your judgement so I hope you'll answer. Thank you! :-)

oh, anon, the best purchase I ever made in the entirety of my life is the first season of Friday Night Lights on DVD. I’m not sure anything I can say will do it justice, however! I’ll see if I can try. the acting is very good, for starters, and there’s actually more to it than in a lot of shows. the writers of FNL allowed the actors to improvise a lot to help shape their own characters in the way they deemed most realistic. often when the characters reference random people, they’re referencing real people that the actor knows! but, seriously, it makes the characters all so real. on top of already good writing, the improvisation gives the characters such depth and detail that makes you slowly root for them all.

and you will root for them all eventually. FNL gives all the characters weaknesses, shows them in the best light and shows them in the worst. they all have struggles, and they deal with those realistically, growing as they do so but still remaining true to their core character throughout the series. the conflicts make sense, breaking your heart along the way, and even when I’m frustrated with how a character acts or how a situation plays out,I can still acknowledge that their actions makes perfect sense given the character and the situation.

I know FNL is a show, at its most basic level, about football, and it does have a lot of football. the pilot is basically Remember the Titans meets Varsity Blues meets Rudy, and the games themselves receive a fair amount of screen time throughout the series. but as anyone who actually watches FNL will tell you, it’s so much more than a football show—to the point that to call it such is almost an insult.

really, FNL is about a collection of people in a small West Texas town, and the struggles they deal with—such as a parent overseas or how vicious high school rumors can be or the pressure to perform well so you can earn a scholarship and help take care of your family. these kids are in really hard situations, but with the exception of a plot twist in the second season (you’ve probably heard mention of how the second season of FNL isn’t exactly as good as the other seasons), all the situations are real problems that people face.

and no one can watch FNL and not love the marriage of Coach Taylor and “Mrs. Coach,” who are really the main characters of the show. I have never seen—and I doubt there exists—a better television portrayal of a marriage. I can’t even rave about it enough. They are so in love with each, seen in little, domestic moments and support for each other that will melt your heart, and they disagree but never unrealistically, and it’s really all kinds of perfect.

other things that make FNL awesome:  the character Matt Saracen, a sweet, modest underdog who stutters and blushes when he talks to the girl he likes and has the weight of the world on his shoulders but is too polite to complain; the character Tim Riggins, a stereotypical jock who turns out to be the real hero of FNL if you make it through all five seasons; he’s a kid with no one but an earnest if ineffective older brother to look after him, and you’ll root for him no matter what happens, I guarantee.

really, though, all the characters are great, from the kids of the first generation, like the comically dorky Landry, the selfish yet sweet Julie, the arrogant but charming and utterly human Smash, and the cynical but determined Tyra, to the kids of the second generation, like the perky but insecure Becky and the sweet, confident farm boy Luke. and those are only a few of the characters. they’re all great, really, even the minor characters, like the dementia-stricken grandma, Mrs. Saracen, or the irritating but somehow endearing booster, Buddy.

in short:  YOU WILL LOVE THEM ALL. if you like shows with characters, I cannot recommend FNL enough, seriously.

and on that note—there is something of a “second generation,” because it’s about high school football, so a lot of the main characters leave in the third season, and a new set appears for the fourth and the fifth seasons. if you’re wary about this, DON’T BE. this beautifully written show will easily invest you in a new set of characters, and of everyone I’ve talked to, even the people who didn’t like the new characters as much as the old still really enjoyed the fourth and the fifth seasons.

the music throughout is also amazing. oh, and the setting, too! a lot of it is actually filmed in Austin, Texas, and it’s not only gorgeous scenery but also realistic. there’s a scene where two of the characters go into a jewelry store in the first season and they talk with the owner, who helps them pick a necklace. that owner, in fact, is actually the owner of that very jewelry shop, a real place, and she did an amazing job. there’s a lot of that in FNL, actually.

FNL isn’t set in a “could be anywhere” place, the way Glee could be set in any small town, if even that restriction is applied. instead, FNL builds off its setting in a small, largely poor, West Texas town, making the town a character in itself, and that makes for such a richer story.

on a personal note, I really love the couple Matt/Julie—and even if they’re the quarterback and the coach’s daughter, they’re so much more than a silly cliche, trust me. they’re probably my television OTP, so I’d say to see them is reason alone to watch the show! they’re the couple in my sidebar gifs :)

also, and this is my last reason, the filming is really superb. it might disorient you in the pilot, but it only adds to the realism, and you’ll really come to like it. and I should say that a lot of people love the pilot, but I’m not one of them. I watched it, thought it was good, really good, but wasn’t good golly, miss molly, that’s amazing—show, where have you been all my life?! impressed. by four or five episodes in, though, I was obsessed beyond belief. so if you try out the pilot and you don’t love it the way that some people do, I strongly encourage you to watch a few more episodes. you won’t regret it.

lastly, anon:  clear eyes. full hearts. can’t lose.

Notes

  1. livinginrhythm said: I wish I could reblog this. :)
  2. argyledpenguin posted this