Monday, October 08, 2007


The New Yorker has a piece up on Friday Night Lights. What a world we've come to live in: The fave mag of erudite Easterners covering a show set in the world of Texas high school football. That's some Chuck Klosterman-like cross-referencing.

FNL's appeal, at least on this end? The storytelling it has has been marginalized in a sports media culture that, as Klosterman wrote in this month's Esquire, that is moving too fast for its own good. FNL probably allows itself more mood time than any show on a network. It's willing to slow down. A lot of people want that: How else to explain why more good books about sports seem to be appearing than was the case 10 or 15 years ago when the Internet and digital cable were in their infancy?

There's more to Friday Night Lights than that, of course. It seems to have something for the dude who's largely ignored by all the marketers and media conglomerates who seem bent on Maxim-izing sports coverage 5-6 years after the breasts-and-beer mags peaked as a cultural force. The show's trying to appeal to women more this season (i.e., less football scenes), since ultimately it needs more of that 53 per cent of the population to survive.

The show lets a man believe his own BS that he's a sports-loving Sensitive Guy. Too bad it's self-defeating: "Oh, you're 30 years old and you watch a show that's about high school football." It's not like that, honestly!


Anonymous said...

Hey Neate:
What can I tell you ... I'm a Friday Night Lights junkie (but what were they thinking about actually moving the show to Friday nights? Isn't that the kiss of death for TV shows??) I started watching last season and became hooked in a hurry (good storylines, a mixture of football ... and the girls are pretty cute, too).
It's a show that's well-produced and well-directed (hard to believe that someone could take a major motion picture and transform it to the small screen).
Let's hope there are many more Friday Nights to come.

sager said...

The Neilsons apparently can track how much a show is PVR'd and DVR'd.... apparently FNL is right up there for that. So the night of the week it's on doesn't matter as much as it used to, plus what really built its fanbase (speaking from personal experience) was NBC putting episodes online.... I watched most of the first season online, in fact.