Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Friday Night Lights - Late to the Game

I really don't like football. I don't even like watching the Superbowl (although I appreciate the junk food). But for some reason, what I do love, is watching stories about the lives of athletes. Maybe it's all those years of One Tree Hill and being consumed with the basketball-related, small-town, high school drama. Perhaps it's seeing underdogs overcoming obstacles that sparks an emotional reaction in me. Either way, after these Friday Night Lights alums (Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Aimee Teegarden) started getting all famous and buzz-worthy, I thought I'd try watching an episode to see what it was all about so I could finally stop saying, "Who the hell are these people?!"

I'm hooked. Every episode I've seen so far has brought me to tears. Yes, it's jam-packed with drama, but it's more about the realistic kinds of social issues that make up small-town, high school football-loving America. It doesn't help that the star quarterback, who's the nicest guy ever, is now paralyzed and stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life (รก la Remember the Titans). And then there's the adorable and shy, second string quarterback, somehow managing to take care of his dementia-ridden grandmother while his dad is off in Iraq. It's always sad to see kids having to deal with things beyond their means, growing up alone and without role models. You end up getting consumed with their stories, seeing each character's unique perspective on their Football-loving town.

It takes a couple of episodes to get used to the show's production style, which is not typical of a TV drama. The camera work is shaky, as if someone is manually taping a home-movie. But it adds to the authenticity of Friday Night Lights, like you're right there in the game with them, getting a backstage pass into their complicated lives.

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