Tuesday, October 03, 2006

TV Watch: "Friday Night Lights"

In the fall's biggest sports/primetime-TV crossover, the new series "Friday Night Lights" premieres tonight.

Translated into everyone's favorite "Blank Meets Blank" game, it's "Playmakers" meets "The O.C." Whee!

I was all set to gently mock the series: After all, "Friday" is being broadcast on TUESDAYS.

Then I started reading the reviews:

The dean of all TV critics, Tom Shales in the Washington Post, raved. So did Virginia Heffernan in the NY Times.

I was planning to watch before, if only out of curiosity and a sense that if there's a network-TV show about sports, I should be watching.

But now I go in with some pretty high expectations. If you sneak away from the Yankees game to watch, let's circle back on it tomorrow for everyone's reactions.

-- D.S.

17 comments:

Theo said...

The FNL movie is one of my all-time favorites, especially because of the sweet soundtrack by Explosions In The Sky. I have really high hopes for this show. Except that I'll be at work while it airs. Damn.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Incredible book...decent movie...crappy TV show? It seems like it can only go down from here!

Also, I read that it isn't even about Permian. No MoJo? Disappointing right there.

Charlie (Seattle) said...

Yeah, I'll pass. I already saw Varsity Blues andI thought it sucked, I don't see any reason to watch a longer drawn out version.

manninghamheisman said...

This show will be much better than PlayMakers. I can't wait!!! The fact that it's not about Permian and Mojo is fine. It'll have the same parallels will made us love the movie.

Richard said...

Did anyone notice how potentially huge Tuesday night is for TV?

Friday Night Lights
Boston Legal
Nip/Tuck
House (although not this week)

rafael said...

gee..a series about a bunch of overhyped high schoolers in a town that has no real priorities...
classic stuff.

Varsity Blues had the whipped cream bikini...FNL can't beat that.

Cody said...

I didn't read the book, but I was disappointed in the movie. The movie depicted Permian losing to Dallas Carter in the State Final. In actuality, Permian lost to Carter in the state semi-finals. Carter played Converse-Judson in the finals and blew them out. However Carter was found to have played an inelgible player, had to forfit, and the state title was handed to Judson. Some argue that Permian should have had to chance to play Judson for the title. A controversial year in Texas High School football and none of this was in the movie. If your going to make a football movie/tv series, make it about football. I don't need to know who the quarterback is taking to prom. I have a feeling we are going to have another Dawson's Creek on our hands, maybe not in the first few episodes but it will eventually turn to this.

jen said...

I like the cheesy show Two-A-Days" on MTV, so I'll give FNL a chance.

CorrND said...

I find it interesting that you referred to the game tonight as the "Yankees game". Then again, it really doesn't matter who they're playing, does it?

The Rover said...

Saw the pilot a couple of weeks ago at the Museum of Radio & TV here in NYC - not bad. It's in the same style of the movie - every hit is a huge one, very fast-paced, MTV-style. The "older" people in the audience didn't enjoy it as much as the younger ones. And while some totally cliche, predictible things happen in the first episode, the series has some promise. I'll keep tabs on it for the first few episodes.

Mike said...

I liked both the FNL book and movie. They changed a few things for the movie, but then again pretty much every "true" sports movie ever has had a few things moved around. It's like the "Invincible" real/reel life, there were a lot of changes, but it didn't change the fact I liked the movie.

I'll watch FNL a few times to give it a chance. Call me a fan of "Two A Days" too, the football storylines are actually really good. But man, I don't know who is crazier: the coach or the team chaplain! "You boys gotta take their heads off today! Now, let's bow our heads in prayer".

I wish they could keep out the drama with the girlfriends/cheerleaders, but then again it wouldn't be MTV if they did.

jen said...

Mike~ Hey, someone else likes "Two-A-Days"! My husband won't watch it because of the "MTV dramatics" that are added to the football storyline. That's the part I like, but hey, I'm a female. Plus, that's the kind of petty crap that goes on in high school. I do watch the show because of my love of football too.

BTW, that coach is a psycho!! When I was in HS, the coach was a wuss compared to that guy. No wonder we missed the playoffs by losing our last game of the regular season.

My husband's HS coach asked him if he could get him some rubber bands for his pants so the ants wouldn't get to his candy-ass after he missed a tackle in practice. To this day, I use that line in jest and laugh like hell when the story gets told.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

I haven't read the book. I haven't seen the movie. But that was fantastic. Although you knew when the nervous kid was hitting on the coach's daughter and saying he was the backup QB who's never taken a snap that he would... well, I'll shut up, in case anyone is TIVOing it.

Metamorphosis of Life said...

I'm drinking the kool-aid.

Thought the movie was OK, but due to the reviews of this, I'm giving it a shot. As a coach (not of football), I was really moved by the first thing. One of the things I'm trying to instill in my charges is the team concept -- we're all in this together. It spoke to me when the running back said "when one of us comes to practice drunk, we all come to practice drunk." Obviously the higher the level of athletics, the more this reigns true...but just the idea of if one person screws up, the whole team deals with the consequences. That is a key tennet in building a team. I'm anxious to see what other "teamness" items they address.

thirdstringjd said...

Alright watched the show and I'm pleasently surprised. The starting QB gets injured during the game bit was definately something everyone saw coming and it was fun for the first 35 minutes of the show to guess how it would happen.

I personally thought that drunk FB would get them both hurt in a car accident.

I thought a lot of the hits were realistic in that they looked violent but they weren't insane biggest hits in history looking shots so I can accept that.

All in all I'll give it another week which is more then I can say for a lot of the new shows I've watched thus far this season.

BobbyStompy said...

They're re-airing it on Wednesday at 8/7 Central.

Marco said...

I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time getting interested in a show about High School Football. I thought the movie was Ok. I get the idea already, high school football is important in Texas. This show is pushing it