Despite a loyal – and vocal – fan base, “Friday Night Lights” has yet to catch on with a large viewing audience. Or even a medium viewing audience. NBC has banished the critically acclaimed show to Friday night at 9 p.m. – the hospice ward of time slots. Since CT doesn’t have any good shows to call its own these days, we here at The CuT have decided to adopt this Texas-based show as our very own. Maybe most of you nutmeggers are preparing for a night out at the local bar or a trashy Hartford dance club at 9 p.m. on Fridays, but we’re hoping you’ll wait until 10 to go out, and give our favorite show the chance it deserves.
If you played high school football in CT there’s a good chance you were looking at empty bleachers during games, while most of the school went to support the soccer team. So, you can relive your glory days, complete with actual crowds through “Friday Night Lights” and the Dillon Panthers – who might even be getting a jumbotron this season. A big game in CT (Greenwich/Darien, Southington/New Britain) might draw 3,000 spectators. Down there, a town shuts down for a game. That’s how they roll in Texas.
The football action is fairly realistic, even though the games are almost impossibly close and come down to the final play week after week. But you’ll find yourself rooting for the Dillon Panthers to take out Midland Lee even if you have no idea what first down is! I don’t want to scare off the ladies though, because this is not a show all about football–it has something for everyone. If you like drama, there’s plenty of that (the show is set in a high school, after all). There’s plenty of backstabbing, heartbreaking, and scheming going on but without the cheesiness or sense of entitlement of a show like “90210.”
That brings us to the shows real draw! Eye candy. It’s all over the place. The casting director deserves a big pat on the back because there’s an over abundance of hotness. All the principle ladies on the show are of legal age, so there’s no need to feel bad about fantasizing about women who are acting like they’re in high school.
Minka Kelly –who is unfortunately rumored to be dating Derek Jeter– is so smokin’ hot she might make you believe that if there’s a God, it has to be male. Connie Britton, who plays the coach’s wife/principal of the high school is also one very MILF-y character…if you’re into that sort of thing. (Seriously, if this level of talent were walking around my school back in the day, I would never have made it to college…or football practice.)
But not everyone is perfect. Even though they’re all good-looking, I still believe I might have a shot at them if I lived in Dillon, TX. The show looks a little like a documentary, which helps add to the feeling that these are real people. It gives an overall gritty feeling, making you believe Dillon is a town that’s depressed and only has its high school football team to hold onto. So they’re sort of like Ansonia, except the characters on the show are likable.
Ladies, I’m going to be honest–I have virtually no interest in football. Even when I was a sports reporter I hated football and convinced the parents to submit game summaries for me because I just couldn’t bare to sit through those games, especially once it started to get cold. So, you can trust me when I say, “Friday Night Lights” is the best show on TV.
Not only do I have a crush on just about every guy on the show – excluding the fat car salesman with a big, stupid head – but I don’t get the feeling that any of the female leads throw up their dinners on a regular basis. Unlike the girls on the aforementioned “90210” – most of whom, except Jenny Garth, look like walking brooms with expensive designer clothes – the ladies of Dillon, TX look like your really beautiful neighbors.
And the guys…well, there is one for every stage of your life. From the debonair Coach Eric Taylor, to drunken Tim Riggins, to awkward Matt Saracen just about every guy on the show is worthy of my love. Ladies, you’ll find you secretly want to bang Riggins, while dating the sweet Saracen, but ultimately marry Coach.
Here’s the real appeal to CT viewers though: it’s a little like watching The Travel Channel. I’ve often advocated getting rid of Texas. It’s practically its own weird little country anyway. I’m curious about Austin though, and that happens to be where FNL shoots. So not only do I tune in every Friday to find out if Smash will get into college, if Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen will work things out, and who (my hero) Tyra Collette is hooking up with this week, but it’s like taking a little trip to the baffling state of Texas without actually having to go there.
Last season there were a few plot missteps. Luckily, the writers’ strike put a quick end to the seriously annoying “murder” plot, and when we came back the paraplegic Jason Street was a daddy, and Lyla Garrity (apparently the object of RingNation’s late-night fantasies) had dropped Jesus in favor of boinking Tim Riggins. Why it took her so long I’ll never understand.
As long as we’re on the subject of Jason Street and Tim Riggins, I would like to mention the fact that FNL deals with characters other shows won’t touch. Street gets paralyzed in the first episode. Riggins (and my hero Tyra Collette) are white trash to the Nth degree – complete with trailers, strippers, big stupid trucks, stolen copper wire, and dirty, dirty, sexy hair. Matt Saracen not only lives alone with his cuckoo grandmother, but his dickhead father is off fighting in Iraq. This show is more “reality” than “The Hills” could ever dream of being.
So, CT if you’re looking to escape New England but you’re too effing broke thanks to a ponzi scheme, head to Dillon, TX for an hour every Friday.