Friday, November 17, 2006

Keeping the LIGHTS On

More welcome pickup news: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS got their full-season order.

If you're not watching this show, please start. Doesn't matter if you're not into football. This show is about football in the way that ROCKY is about boxing, or BULL DURHAM is about baseball: as catalyst and metaphor as much as the actual sport.

The storytelling is so deft that something as theoretically low-key as a high school football game -- hell, a single play in a high school football game -- carries emotional stakes as big as saving the world.

Filmed almost documentary-style, LIGHTS foregrounds details that give depth and authenticity to the stories it tells. Characters talk over each other. Fancy meals are eaten at Applebee's. The camera rests briefly on a Bible then moves to its owner, a player studying his playbook-- his second Bible. The coach goes to visit his quarterback, and over their conversation we see the boy's grandmother hurrying to put some cake on a plate for their guest. That is 100% South, folks.

All that and murderball, with real quad rugby players.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is something special. Watch it and let NBC know they made a good call, y'hear?

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