this week I love… Friday Night Lights
I say it all the time: Just because a show is good doesn’t mean I’ll be watching. There are tons of good shows on TV but it’s simply impossible to catch them all. So I have to choose. And my decisions are always based on the actors, first, and my emotional response to the premise and/or the first episodes I see. Friday Night Lights didn’t draw me with actors or with its premise, so I never put it on my schedule. Then, once a series begins, I rarely start watching midway. So I never watched it… until now.
I did see the film upon which this TV series is based, and I really liked it. Still do. But it’s not a favorite and it’s not my typical interest, so building a series around it didn’t appeal to me either. I don’t care for sports-centric entertainment, to be honest, and though Friday Night Lights deals with football only as a setting and a thread that binds characters, it honestly held no draw for me. Not during its first season, not at any moment when my sister was gushing about it, not even when my good friend Meredith kept telling me, “It’s not about football. You would love it.” I just didn’t want to make the time. But then earlier this year I began searching for a physical representation of a newly created literary character of mine, and in searching for a specific look I ran across Taylor Kitsch. Though I’d never heard of him before, he did embody my character’s physical appearance, but because I also use my character models as inspiration for mannerisms and speech, I decided to watch a few episodes of Friday Night Lights as it played out its most recent season. I also knew this was dangerous for me, that I would most certainly get hooked, but I decided it was as good a time as any. And of course, I got hooked.
This week, ABC Family began airing the entire series from the beginning. So I’ve jumped in with both feet to follow the tales from Dillon, Texas. In just the few episodes I saw from this past year, I already have a couple of favorites among the characters, and beginning from the early days has been a bit of a challenge in not always seeing those same characters every week. I can see how much the series has evolved, and I disagree with those people who say the best episodes were the first ones. I enjoyed the most recent season far better than many of the first few episodes I’ve seen so far. Which means it’ll get better as it goes along. At least for me. This is one of those times I can happily say I was wrong in my first impressions. And one of the few times I am happy that I was wrong.