Right off the bat, I’d like to thank Netflix and their genius online streaming for making this all happen. Yeah, Netflix…you know, recently associated with unwatched DVD’s sitting on your TV stand for a month or so before you simply decide to return them unopened because frankly, the desire to watch Due Date has passed. Prior to Netflix’s move to online streaming, it could easily be considered one of the biggest wastes of a marginal amount of money in modern history, with ESPN Insider accounts finishing second- a close second. But this online streaming thing? Genius.
So the Wife and I settled in last night, the Christmas tree lit and the house all roasty toasty adorable and cued up episode 1 of season 1 of Friday Night Lights. It was the start of a trial run, not just of Netflix, but of the show. My loving wife generally gives the thumbs up or thumbs down when it comes to what TV shows we’re going to embark on. She’s a tough critic- it’s one of things I love about her. Homeland was a rousing success, but I still have a questionable record due to my recommendation of the Newsroom, which didn't make it past two episodes. She would give Friday Night Lights three to four episodes, which I feel is totally understandable and reasonable. I already knew I was going to like it, but marriage is a partnership, so we both had to be on board.
Well, without getting into it, the first episode of Friday Night Lights is flippin’ unreal television. Pilot episodes are generally hit or miss and this is largely because they need to get a lot done without boring the shit out of you. I recently watched the first episode of the Sopranos- that’s a great first episode. The first episode of The Wire, it’s all right, but not as succinct as The Sopranos. The first episode of Lost is the mack daddy of pilot episodes in that it literally contains everything you need to get both massively hooked and instantly engrossed in it. After watching only ten minutes of Friday Night Lights I was in. I was in like I was upon first hearing Band of Horses or first drinking Yuengling. Essentially it was love at first sight. I’m smitten.
Everything is laid out right there for you- Coach Taylor is facing enormous pressure from both the town (to win football games, which he’s expected to do) and from his wife (to nab that house with the his and hers closets, because it’s the key to a happy marriage, which is something I can personally attest too.) The town of Dillon is football crazy, Riggins is the wild card, the blond chick is the female wild card, the running back is cocky as hell and the quarterback is the golden boy with the golden girl cheerleader. It wasn’t a surprise that in the first game the Panthers played their defense was a problem. We had no idea who any of the defensive players were- never a good sign. At least The Program had that crazy bastard Lattimer to remind you that defensive players are living, breathing people too. Then there’s the backup quarterback who fishes things on out the trash for his coach and has a nob of a friend who wants to start a Christian speed metal band. I don’t know all the names of everyone yet and refuse to look them up because of fear of spoilers. But they’re all there. I like the mayor, especially when she tells golden boy QB to listen to more Black Sabbath because it’ll “make ‘em mean.”
The music is perfect, the way the game is shot is perfect and the tone is perfect. Shit, the entire thing might be perfect.
I went to bed last night thinking about what might happen next and was anxious to watch more episodes. I was hooked and I was stoked- stoked like a freakin' Bengal tiger stumbling upon a gang of tipsy water buffalo or Riggins demolishing a defensive line or a bottle of Jack Daniel's.
You were right, World, Friday Night Lights is an amazing television show. You were totally right all along. I never doubted you and if anything, feel ashamed it's taken me this long to get with the program. But I’m all in on Friday Night Lights after only episode and with a little luck, Wife is too.
Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose…