"FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS" RETURNS TONIGHT
- Wednesday, October 28, 2009
1. KYLE CHANDLER & CONNIE BRITTON: Quite honestly, the most realistic healthy marriage portrayed on television these days. As Coach & Tami Taylor, Chandler and Britton play, respectively, a High School Football Coach and Principal with old-school morals in a new-morality school. Their meltdowns amid the excesses of modern youth culture are both hilarious and touching, and they always bring needed gravitas and perspective to a world where immature athletes get whatever they want.
2. RESPECT FOR FAITH: Though many of the high school students engage in less-than-Godly behavior (see #4), "Friday Night Lights" holds the pivotal role of the church community, faith, and even Christianity in high regard. It is one of the few programs to not brush off church-going as square or archaic. Rather, prayer is an integral part of this small-town life and weekly church services admonish, convict, and bring communities together. Though an imperfect example (aren't we all?), the arc of Lyla Garity becoming a born-again Christian as a response to her father's infidelity was heartfelt, impacting, and has signified a change in her character that has been sustained.
3. A REAL FATHER FIGURE. Again with Kyle Chandler as Coach Taylor. In a town (and a modern generation) where abandoned sons are left wanting for true father figures, Coach Taylor is the very picture of someone who loves these boys enough to challenge them toward integrity. There are as many genuine manly embraces as there is tough love, and all it takes is one glance of a disappointed Kyle Chandler to set a 270-pound linebacker back on the right course.
4. BAD DECISIONS UNREWARDED. In a television landscape where immoral choices come with very little downside (Grey's Anatomy anyone?), "Friday Night Lights" reveals modern high school life the way it unfortunately is for young people who have their every whim catered to. Yes, there is debauchery, but it always comes with a significant price. Sin separates people and in FNL, bad behavior causes rifts in relationships. It makes superstars yearning for humanity even less human. A powerful statement that modern young people are hearing.
Did I also mention astounding writing and performances (even if some of the storylines lean a little soapish)? "Friday Night Lights" is worth a try. And tonight, you have your chance. Seasons 1, 2, and 3 are also available on DVD.
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