Last week the last new episode of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, my current favorite TV show aired. As it ended, with another fascinating and realistic portrayal into the lives of the Dillon Panthers of Dillon, Texas I couldn’t help but ask myself “why is no one watching this show?” It’s quite simply the best written, most compellingly acted show on television and for reasons that escape me, has yet to find an audience. What is wrong with you people?
There are lots of shows that get critical acclaim. There are lots of TV shows that have large audiences (I for one have about had all I can stand of American Idol). But it seems that it’s become more and more rare that shows that get the critical acclaim also get the large audience. I don’t know why this is. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS has become appointment television in our household. I watch because I love the quirky characters and the town’s devotion to it’s High School football team. My wife loves it because she thinks it’s one of the most realistic portrayals of a modern marriage ever shown on television and my daughter likes it because according to her “the guys are hot.”
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is that rare episodic TV show that manages it’s large ensemble cast with flare and depth. Each of the shows characters is fully drawn, flawed and in some way lovable. From the single minded Coach Taylor to the hunky, misunderstood loner Tim Riggins, every single one of them shines on the screen. So why aren’t you watching?
Maybe, you say, you don’t like football. FNL isn’t about football. Football is the backdrop and the thread that runs through each characters life, but it’s not the point. Maybe, you say, you don’t like shows about teenagers. Sure, there’s a lot of teenagers on the show but there’s also plenty of poignant adult characters who are trying to do right by each other and their children and finding it a very rocky road indeed. Maybe, you say, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is on at an inconvenient time or that you actually have a life and don’t sit home on Friday nights to watch TV. To that I say, first, ouch. And second: hello TIVO!
With the writer’s strike cutting into production there will be no new episodes of FNL this year and that’s too bad. And their may not be anymore ever. That would be a shame. NBC is apparently mulling whether or not to cancel the show and lots of fans have launched save FNL campaigns and are sending NBC executives light bulbs and miniature footballs. Which cracks me up. So here is what you can do. If you have high speed Internet you can go to NBC.com and watch every episode for free! So what are you waiting for.
Watch FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m just sayin’