Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Jan 23, 2010

FNLs: May Be Best Dramatic Series in the History of Television

On the return of Friday Night Lights to NBC on April 30th:

"...Still, at a time when NBC is being vilified, here is one thing it has done right. Despite paltry ratings, it has continued to support what may be the best dramatic series in the history of television. That's right: history."

"...Much has been made of the series' realism, of how close it seems to get to the nub of life. In directing the pilot, Berg opted for: a hand-held camera (the early shows were so jiggly NBC asked him to pull back a bit); shooting entirely on location in Texas with largely local extras; following the actors with the cameras, rather than blocking for the camera as most series do; and letting actors improvise dialogue. That seemingly artless style has become the series' trademark. On "Friday Night Lights" you seem to be glimpsing life itself, not watching a television show. Even the show's melodrama seems honest -- the heightened reality of teenagers groping their way through life."

"...The major point of departure between the series and its two "FNL" forebears is the fictional couple Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami, the high school guidance counselor and later its principal. Coach Gaines of Odessa was a coach, as besotted with football as everyone else in the town because his livelihood depended on it. The Taylors, unerringly played by Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, on the other hand, are the moral and physical center of Dillon as well as the stars of the show. Eric Taylor is no saint. He will do what is in the best interests of his team even when it is not always in the best interests of one of his players.

But grave and unflappable, Taylor also seems to appreciate the metaphoric nature of football and he is the one character on the show who has come to terms with it. He understands that football isn't the way out of a dead-end life; at best it can provide a lesson for justifying a life. The team's chant -- "Clear eyes, full hearts can't lose" -- is obviously not just a rallying cry; it is his guide to survival." ...,0,6040932.story

We've presented only snippets of this excellent article. Please read, in its entirety, about the struggle to keep this quiet, award winning, critically acclaimed series on the air. And forward it to those you know. Friday Night Lights deserves to be seen.

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