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October 23, 2014

Does Friday Night Lights have a chance?

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 29th 2007 1:22PM
Friday Night LightsI've been checking out Friday Night Lights on and off throughout the season, and every time I tune in, I'm always blown away at a) how well acted it is, b) how the stories don't always fall into the cliche, and c) how the show can suck you in even if you're not a week-in-week-out watcher. Last night's episode demonstrated all three attributes. Brett's review goes into more details than I ever could, but there were two scenes in particular where the show could have fallen into the usual TV and movie conventions, but steps around them, giving the viewer much more compelling results.

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.

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phyllis Carpenter

What are they thinking!!! this show is wonderfully realistic
FNL deserves a better TIME SLOT. I will be terribly disappointed if the one thing on tv that is so beleivable is canceled. It has been a long time since I have seen anything so well written. Please tell everyone you know to give this one a chance, they're sure to be addicted to FNL

April 12 2007 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lauren

My boyfriend and I are hooked to this Show and we don't know what we'd do if it were to be cancelled. Excellent acting, excellent cinematography, excellent storylines. I look forward to this Show every week. Timeslot might be an issue, and if a petition needs to be written to save the show...I am all about that! Love Friday Night Lights!!!!

April 05 2007 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melissa

Please keep FNL!! It is the best show on TV. Please give it a good time slot and let viewers find it.

April 04 2007 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DQ

FNL is an excellent show that I hope makes it for the long haul. I've been watching from day one and sometimes watch episodes a second time on NBC.com... it's just that good. Dig the show... acting, writing, premise all top notch!

April 04 2007 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
susan dunn

I love this show, so does my family. I am a school counselor at a high school, my daughter is a varsity cheerleader, and let me tell you, every bit of it rings true. The material is so well written and it spawns family discussion every time we watch. What can we do to ensure that the show gets renewed? I will write letters, whatever it takes. I have told all of my friends to watch...we love it.

April 03 2007 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

This is by far, the best show on television. The fact that a discussion on whether NBC will renew is true, yet disturbing. It is just a matter of time before this series wins awards and ultimately viewers. I fault NBC for not finding an audience, but hopefully they'll fix that next year. NBC, if you are listening, this show deserves a second year. Each week I'm captivated by the plot, acting and directing. Watching FNL is a privilege and I hope you'll allow more people to find this incredible show.

April 03 2007 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mk

this is the best work Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton has done so far. They're real and so are the supporting cast. My husband & i never miss a show - it's so well-written and acted - the stories grab you & make you care for all the characters. Thanks for a great season NBC!

April 02 2007 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Poorbeer

Great show. I love the football tie in but it is so much more than a football show. The emotion is real and the issues are real. I played football in high school and dated the coach's daughter and I know what Matt is going through, too. They could promote it a bit more and a better time slot certainly wouldn't hurt.

April 02 2007 at 1:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lori

this is the greatest show ever....please dont cancel it. lori

April 01 2007 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MJames59

This is an amazing show. The quality is so far above
anything else
that is out there. The acting, the writing, the directing - this
show really, really needs a 2nd season. The quality of the show, and
it's situation reminds me of Hill Street Blues when it first started.
I hope it lasts at least as long as Blues did.

April 01 2007 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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