east dillon.


I wrote about this once before, a long time ago. But I need to write about it again. There is no better television show currently on the air than Friday Night Lights. And chances are, you've either never heard of it, or you dismissed it because it's "about football."

It's not about football. It's about drama, relationships, family, high school, marriage, and small-town America, wrapped up in a football package. It's a double shot of life with a football chaser.

Friday Night Lights is filmed in an almost documentary style, all hand-held cameras and tight frame shots and unconventional angles, which combined with the superb acting leads to the feeling that these are real people, with real joys and sorrows, and we're all being granted a beautiful opportunity to share in everything. And Coach Eric Taylor, his wife Tami, and his daughter Julie are hands-down the most genuine family in television history.

It's like a reality TV show if reality TV didn't suck.





And this season (the show's fourth, which is currently airing exclusively on DirecTV but will come to NBC next year) may be the best of all, as it puts Coach Taylor in an impossible situation (reviving the dirt-poor crosstown high school's football team with a bunch of scrubs and no funding) and still manages to make his failures almost absurdly heroic.



(Also prominent in that scene: the Sufjan Stevens version of "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing," a perfect example of FNL's impeccable taste in soundtrack. Most incidental music in the series is provided by West Texas ambient-rock band Explosions In The Sky, a group I can't recommend highly enough.)

Look: if you like football, you need to watch this show. If you couldn't care less about football, you need to watch this show. (I privately suspect that more than a couple of girls I have dated enjoyed watching FNL with me more than they enjoyed, you know, me.)

If you are at all interested in good television, you need to watch this show.

I will buy you Season 1 myself if I have to.

Because I know you'll buy the rest on your own.

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