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Friday Night Lights (2006)
A little slice of Texas!
Friday Night Lights is a what good TV is supposed to be! It's escapism, it's realism, it's insightful, it's thought provoking, but mostly it's great entertainment. I am a little biased because I lived the "Friday Night Lights" High School life in a small to medium sized town in Central Texas. So for me this show was a more than just good entertainment. For me it was a time machine back to some pretty great times when you were old enough to have fun like an adult, but young enough not to have all the responsibility that usually goes along with that fun. I see many of my old HS friends & teammate's in the characters of FNL and see those characters experiencing a lot of the same trials that we did. The great part about this show though is it's appeal to a broad audience, not just a niche group of people like me who can personally identify with the specifics of the setting and the plot. Change the State from Texas and the activity from Football and it could be anywhere in the U.S. Kids at this age have the common bond that they are growing up and all have challenges that the process of growing up will throw at them. FNL shows that depending on how you handle those challenges can effect your life a little or a lot. Watching the show as an adult, I remember how little we understood how serious some of the decisions we made as teenagers were and how easily we made them without much thought to the consequences. Thank god most of us made the right decision and the wrong decisions were minor and inconsequential.
So enjoy FNL, if you're from Texas it has enough Lone Star State, Football crazy realism to make you homesick and if you are not it has enough universal, coming of age appeal to keep you riveted.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
D&C takes you back to a time and place . . . . AHHHH!!!!
I love Dazed and Confused for two reasons; 1. One of the best examples of a Hollywood film that actually gets a time and place not just correct, but DEAD ON PERFECT! 2. Reminds me of a time and place very near and dear to my heart! The state of Texas in my youth!
I grew up in Texas in '70's and '80's and watching this movie reminds me of my big sister and her friends at Killeen High School in Central Texas. (about 60 miles north of Austin, where the film is set.) Everything from the kids hanging out by their Pick-up trucks in the parking lot of school, to the Freshmen initiations, to the beer keg party out in the middle of nowhere is SOOOO High School in Texas at that time. I especially love the soundtrack since it reminds me of how my big sister introduced me to "cool rock & roll" ala "Almost Famous."
Change the music and clothes and it was pretty much the same when I entered High School four years later in 1980. Although the drug use in the early '80's was kept more on the "down-low" in my High School years. I think that had more to do with the '80's evolving from the '70's than a reduction in toking! I was a football player, so there weren't too many "Heads" in my clique, but we did drink some serious beer!!!
I really feel sorry for kids today who don't have the opportunity to have the kind of fun I had with my friends and my sister had with hers. I think the PC, alcohol free, straight edge life today's kids are expected to live is completely unrealistic. I really feel that the healthy social life I had as a High School kid helped me develop into a well rounded adult. I KNOW that learning to drink beer in HS made sure that I didn't make a fool out of myself in College and as a young adult. All that partying did nothing to adversely effect my development or my sister's. We both went to college and have successful professional careers as do most of the people we went to HS and College with.
I think kids today are more likely to use drugs BECAUSE they are denied beer at that age, not the opposite. Teenagers like to experiment; with sex, with alcohol and with drugs. I know if I had my choice I would rather have my kids experiment with beer and a little weed instead of coke, crystal meth, etc.