Does Friday Night Lights have a chance?
The first was during the cow pasture game. Instead of having a game where the Dillon Panthers take advantage of their impromptu field and flummox the Vikings, or have them fall behind by a lot then come back, the writers decided to start a downpour. So during the entire game, both teams slid around the muddy field, fumbling, missing easy kicks, and playing like most football teams would play in the muck (and cow poop, I'd imagine). Yes, Dillon won, but it wasn't like they were coming back from a huge deficit; the eight points the Vikings scored right off the bat held up through halftime. The whole game was nicely shot and directed; it felt like a real mud game, not one that's played through sheets of "movie rain."
The attempted rape on Tyra was also handled well. While she's being attacked, you half expect to see the show cut away to Landry finally getting his car started and driving to the restaurant, unaware that his crush is in trouble. On just about any other show or movie, he would have pulled in just in time to thwart the attack. But on FNL, Tyra has the strength and resourcefulness to get out of the attack on her own, something that is a much more realistic situation; people in trouble usually don't have people swoop in and bail them out all the time, and neither did Tyra.
This is a show that deserves a second season. And we know that Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, is a proponent of his "quality" shows, like FNL, 30 Rock, and even Studio 60. But the ratings for the show have been dismal; last night's show got an overnight rating of 3.8 overall and a 1.8 amongst adults 18-49. So, will NBC pick it up for next year, just on the strength of the show's quality? Or will the miniscule ratings doom it to Bravo's "Brilliant But Canceled" website? Let me know in the comments.