I didn’t have a chance to watch Friday NIght Lights this past season, so when I heard the DVD of the second season had been released, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Blockbuster had it, so last night, I sat and watched the first few episodes. My initial fear was that I wouldn’t like it nearly as much as the previous year, but as each episode progressed, I couldn’t help but marvel. Am I just being snookered by the fact that this is West Texas, not far from my home, and the fact that they get the rhythm of that part of the country so perfect? Is it just because I like football? Because I am frankly astonished that this show had not gotten the critical acclaim on a broad scale that it so obviously deserves. These performances are uncanny in their depth and evenness. From character to character, there are rarely any false notes. Even Lila, the former cheerleader who has become a born again Christian, is getting better. If there’s any stumbling in the writing, its the slightly over-the-top treatment of Lila’s witnessing, but her interaction with the other characters makes it all work far better than you expect.
Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor) and Connie Britton (Tami Taylor) make marriage look real, easily the most honest treatment of the difficult and beautiful process by which most people have to work to make marriages last on TV. Britton plays the emotional rollercoaster of a woman struggling to hold a family together with such range and plasticity…she is heartbreakingly real, holding her newborn while fighting for a relationship with her rebel teenager daughter. The subtleties of relationship that pass between the younger characters astound me over and over. Zach Gilford, the quarterback of the Dillon Panthers, nails the halting, stumbling speech of young West Texans with jaw-dropping perfection, and his world crumbles both on and off the field, he reacts with painful beauty. I could go on an on.
Maybe its just me and football and West Texas. But someone explain to me why this show hasn’t won major awards? But I just don’t understand… I mean, House is awesome, but Friday Night Lights is sublime.
Can’t wait to see what happens next…