Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Sunday Trumpet--Friday Night Lights

Some of you are probably wondering, "Friday Night Lights--that's a movie and a television show...which one is he going to review?"

Well, chances are they both reek worse than your ass after eating Chinese food purchased at a bus station. In this case, however, I've only been 'fortunate' enough to have seen the television series.

And by 'fortunate' what I really mean is 'very, very unfortunate.'

Friday Night Lights premiered in the fall of 2006. It's sort of a stupid time to premiere a football-related television show since there's, you know, real football on TV. Guys like me love football though, and I thought it might be a good idea to get into the show so I can continue to get my football fix long after the season is over. That's where I discovered the first problem about the show.

Read: it's not about football.

I should have known better the second I saw it was starring this (and many other) doofus(es):

You might recognize him from a piece of crap TV show a while back called "Early Edition." His name is Kyle Chandler, and he hasn't really done anything of merit with the rest of his acting career if you don't count "making some poor bastard gouge out his own eyes and ears because he couldn't reach the remote." Read it for yourself here. Anyway, on to the show.

As I mentioned earlier, the show claims to be about a state championship-caliber high school football team in Texas in their first season with a new head coach. Naturally, in an hour of programming, I expected to see at least five minutes of actual football. In the full first season (yes, I braved every episode under the foolish expectation that it simply had to get better. It didn't), I never saw an episode with that much.

So what the hell is the show about? Queue the bullet points please...
  • High school dating relationships
  • Challenges in coaching a team that loses its star
  • Steroid abuse at high schools (or lack thereof)
If you care about any of these things, stop reading right now. I'm afraid you'll somehow make me stupider by even being present at my blog. Get out of here. Now! Get! Go on! I'm serious.

Okay, for those of you that are still here, kudos. We're all in agreement that these concepts make for a show that completely alienates all potential viewers. People who like football don't care about the bullets (and don't get any football), and people who care about the bullets (approximately 34 people in the nation?) will be turned off by the football backdrop. Let's break this down one by one:

1) High School Dating Relationships

I didn't care about these when I was IN HIGH SCHOOL. Why would I care about them as a grown man? Holy crap! Jason got cheated on once he was wheelchair-bound? No crap! You mean his girlfriend actually went out and found someone who could get it up? Shocking!

I guess the producers thought if they made it as much like the OC as possible, but made it football oriented, they could get EVERY VIEWER IN THE NATION. It's not happening, guys. Stick with one demographic and go with it. We become more sophisticated buyers each year, not less.

2) Challenges in Coaching a Team that Loses its Star

You know who cares about this part of the plot? High school football coaches that just lost their star player (i.e., 7 of the 34 aforementioned people who care about the show's premises).

3) Steroid Abuse at High Schools

This is going to start off as a backhanded compliment. It's tough, touchy subject material, and it's a big deal right now, in the Pros, amateurs, colleges, and high schools. It's commendable that they try to tackle the subject in the show. But they're clueless.

In the show, ONE player STARTED using steroids mid-season after blowing a shot with a scout. That's so sweet that they think the problem is so small in high schools! I knew guys that never had a shot to even play in states. Half the goddamn team was juiced. It's a huge problem in sports, and to downplay it like this is deplorable.

So there you have it. One thing's for sure, if the movie this show is based on is fifty times as good as the show itself, I hope I NEVER, EVER SEE IT.

Man, my ass feels a lot better now. If relief was only that easy from the damage FNL did to my eyes, ears, and mind.
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Attila The Mom said...

Brilliant! I loved it!

Nightmare said...

Unlike yourself I saw the previews and KNEW this was going to suck some major assage, so I boycotted the whole fucking dealio. I'm sorry you lost so Much of your life on this show.

OH and the could have been written about the 1984 Manhattan Kansas High School Indians football team....yes I was on that team, and it did suck losing State.

tom said...

I'm so glad I never watched it, somehow I just knew it was going to be a soap opera..great review

Kate said...

Great review! It sounds like a bit of a mess - there seems to be a trend for programmes like this. The producers pick a popular subject, then make a generic soap about it.