This week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, we have a special theme! My fabulous writing partner Tiffany White debuted her novel Football Sweetheart last week. Here’s a little bit about her book:
Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year. She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.
Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her. As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella. Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance? Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup? The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.
Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed. Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting. Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?
Friday Night Lights follows the lives of Texas high school football coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), his wife (Connie Britton) and daughter (Aimee Teegarden), and the various players and members of town in love with their football team, the Dillon Panthers.
I’ll admit, I never watched Friday Night Lights before this review. The only football I really watch is the Super Bowl (and the occasional college game), so I didn’t really think that I would connect to this show. Now that I am an embarrassingly large number of episodes into it, I’m sorry I didn’t watch when it was on TV.
Since the show has several characters, storylines are varied, so I won’t get into the details of those (particularly since even in the first episode, things happen that I don’t want to spoil).
What I will instead focus on is what makes this show work for me. The characters in this show are well rounded and relatable. Taking place in small town Texas, I honestly expected more caricatures, more stereotypes, but the writers didn’t take the easy way out on this. (Head writer Jason Katims is also responsible for Parenthood, so I shouldn’t be surprised.)
In addition to crafting compelling characters, Friday Night Lights is unique in that the shows were not rehearsed ahead of time. While being scripted, actors were encouraged to do and say what felt right to the character. Camera operators were directed to follow the performers (rather than having set blocking), giving the actors the freedom to act in a way that felt natural.
This may explain why some of the performances in the show pulled me in as much as they did. So much so that I had to stop myself from watching more so I could write this review. Not only did I care about the characters’ stories, but I even found myself enjoying the football scenes.
Despite the initial marketing efforts for the show which focused mainly on the football aspect of the show (quite possibly part of the reason that viewership was not as good as it should have been), the show is really about family and life, the good and the bad of it, giving everyone something to relate to.
I give Friday Night Lights a GTV, definitely worth queuing up all five seasons on Netflix. It may even make you want to head back to your old high school this football season.
Did you watch Friday Night Lights when it was on television? Have you watched in on Netflix? What do you think of the show? Can anyone watch and NOT develop a crush on Kyle Chandler?
Now, if you watched Friday Night Lights, or if the idea of High School Football in Texas appeals to you, be sure to check out Tiffany’s book Football Sweetheart!
Head over to Tiffany’s blog, where she highlights the YA drama side of things with her revisit of Pretty Little Liars.
Come back next week we begin the 2012 Tamberny Awards…
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech