Talking Television and Values.

Fall Preview: Friday Night Lights

Posted by Travis R Grant on August 15, 2006

There is one show that I am really looking forward to this season.

I can’t wait to see Friday Night Lights. Not because I am a football fan. Not because I think it will be a critically acclaimed show.

No, I want to watch this show because after his role as Gary Hobson on Early Edition, I have been a Kyle Chandler fan. And I want to see how he plays this role.

I honestly couldn’t see Chandler playing the role of a football coach. Other roles that I have seen him in just make it difficult for me to seeing him as a coach. Chandler doesn’t have the athletic appearance that Craig T. Neilson (Coach), or Denzel Washington (Remember the Titans) have. Can he pull off the part of a teen wrangling football coach?

However, as I viewed the previews that are available through NBC’s Website, I realized that Eric Taylor (Chandler’s new persona) is not your normal coach. He is a mentor, parent, guide, and so much more to a bunch of boys and their town.

In Friday Night Lights, Taylor is a recently hired high school football coach in Dillon, Texas. Dillon is a small town where football is the heart of the community. Thus, Taylor has a great burden on his shoulders. He is expected to win, but he has a larger goal in mind and that is to turn these young men in to men of character.

This character development aspect is where this show has great potential. It could be the American story of our day. This could be the show of the real American Dream, and I don’t mean getting rich playing football. This could be the story of the American dream of family, progress, freedom, and happiness. This show has the potential to be Middle America celebrated.

However, it could also be Middle America derided, Middle America mocked, or Middle America shamed. Based on the fact that this show is a follow-up to the movie by the same name and produced and directed by the same producer/director, Peter Berg. I am afraid that this show will end up being a grave disappointment for me. While I haven’t seen the movie, I am aware of many teen sexual situations from the movie that would have lead me to walking out of the theater. So, I am equally afraid, that this show will result in the demise of the remote control.

There is one simple thing that makes me think that I need not fear. The time slot (8/7 central) has been traditionally reserved for more family friendly fare. Television is changing, so this may not be the case, but I still have hope.

I am looking forward to watching Friday Night Lights. I am looking forward to seeing Chandler back as the lead character. I hope that this show portrays a positive message about America, small towns, and old-fashioned values. But knowing the direction of television and teen relationships, I fear that this will be a disappointment.


One Response to “Fall Preview: Friday Night Lights”

  1. That One Guy said


    Don’t get me wrong here, but now i can actually enjoy reading what you write…

    and you can kill this if you like.

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