Saturday, February 12, 2011

Farewell, Friday Night Lights!

This week included a public poop incident from my five-year-old, puking via Lego gag from my two-year-old, and an all-house chocolate-induced vomit-fest from my dog.  Not awesome.  I did a lot of watching TV because after all of the eventful days we had, all I wanted to do was let my brain fry.  
The Bachelor was boring--the highlight was when at the rose ceremony, Brad kept using the Bill Clinton “I did not have sex with that woman” know, the closed fist with the thumb sticking out.  Very weird.  American Idol wrapped up auditions and began Hollywood week.  Nothing all that shocking musically, but Steven Tyler wore a hot pink leopard-print see-through shirt which was highly disturbing.  The sitcoms were funny.  The dramas  OH!  Mr. Sunshine premiered--and I was reminded how much I missed Matthew Perry.  Anyway, blah blah blah blah...
The only thing I ACTUALLY want to talk about is how I’m mourning the loss of one of the greatest shows to ever air on television.  If you do not watch Friday Night Lights, do yourself a favor and start with Season 1 Episode 1 and watch it straight through if you can.  It's seriously one of the best shows ever written, beautifully and artfully directed.  And it's not about the football, but it doesn't hurt that there's football in every episode.  This week, the series finale aired on Directv’s 101 (it will air again on NBC later, and I will probably watch the whole season again...after watching the first four seasons again on Netflix).
The episode opened and closed with the faces of FNL with a voiceover of Coach Taylor praying.  Here were his opening words:
“Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile.  We are all vulnerable, and we will all at some point in our lives fall.  We will all fall.  We must carry this in our hearts--that what we have is special, that it can be taken from us, and that when it is taken from us, we will be tested.  We will be tested to our very souls.  We will all now be tested.  It is these times.  It is this pain--that allows us to look inside ourselves.”
I was not disappointed.  The writers did as well as they could in a situation where they had to wrap up a million story lines in one hour without it seeming completely ridiculous.  
In classic FNL style, the last show centered on the relationships--marriages, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, fathers, and sons, boyfriends and girlfriends.  There were a lot of I love yous thrown around, but all of them made perfect sense.  I may be super old, but my memories of high school are filed at the front of my mind.  The TV world too often portrays high school inaccurately with shows like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars pulling in the highest ratings from the high school crowd.  The first reason I love and will miss this show is because I lived out the dramatic/crazy teenage relationships portrayed, the kind of relationships that in hindsight provided so many lessons and were no less legitimate or valid just because of my age.  FNL gets this SO right.
The great thing, though, is that I’m not watching this show as a high school student.  I’m a 30-year-old wife and mother, and just as much as I connect with the teenage boys and girls, there were times especially in this episode that I was watching the TV version of my life unfold on screen in the beautiful form of Connie Britton’s Tami Taylor.  My heart literally hurt for her (stop it!  I don’t need anyone to tell me the show isn’t real) and rejoiced with her as she watched her husband struggle to make the right decisions for their family.  Pins and needles, people.  Pins and needles.
Part of me wants a spin-off because I’m just so sad that these people (mainly Tim Riggins) aren’t going to be in my life anymore, but I know--I really do know--that this show ended EXACTLY the way it needed to--on a high note, full of hope already injected with nostalgia.  Tim Riggins said it best--Texas forever!


  1. My mom is obsessed with FNL and keeps telling me to start it up. Now I'll have to.

  2. It's on watch instantly on Netflix! It really is worth the know, when you're done with Veronica Mars.