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Friday Night Lights (2006)
FNL is Television at its Finest
I've watched the show from its initial NBC launch throughout its completion along with help from DIRECTV for picking up seasons 4 and 5. Since the show's completion, I've probably marathon watched the series four or five times and for me, I just can't get enough.
Sure, people can complain about the shaky "Blair Witch Project-esque" camera work and some dry deliveries as a result of stiff acting in season 1, but once the actors found themselves and the production crew and directors found their vision, everything fell into place alongside what was already a damned-well written first season.
For me, the show had a little bit of everything that added up to a whole lot of nostalgia. At the center of the show isn't football, but a football coach and his family facing the harsh realities of Texas football. Add to that the teenage drama that surrounds the football players lives--both on and off the field--and throw in some action- packed, in-game sequences and it's easy to fall in love with the show.
If you've grown up in a football town like I have, then you can see how closely art imitates life through the picture painted by FNL. Friday nights are regarded as religiously as Sunday mornings are for Christians in football towns, and the game gets a grip on everyone, encapsulating their lives whether they are fans or not; due to the tradition of competition. The parade's through town after each victory and the dissection of every element of every loss impacts the very environment that surrounds you. You can get swept up in the uproar of celebration and have your heart ripped right out of you at the hands of defeat. The pep-rally's where the students and faculty psyche the team up for the big game, and the rally girls--the REAL rally girls--are at the player's beckoning call.
For myself, FNL represents the crossroads where art imitates life, and life initiates art. For that reason, Friday Night Lights--to this viewer--is television at is finest.