A couple of people have written to find out why I hadn't followed up on my purported interest in Kyle Chandler's new high school football drama, "Friday Night Lights." A few things conspired to keep me from watching it the past few weeks, but as of last night I'm all caught up on the four episodes that have aired to date.
Despite my enormously high expectations and the hype surrounding it, I was not disappointed one bit. In fact, it somehow managed to be better than I expected. (For those who aren't familiar with the book or movie of the same name, it's about the trials and tribulations of a new coach coming to work in a small West Texas town that lives and dies by its high school football). I immediately fell in love with Coach's wife, Tami. She brings a much-needed balance to the show's hypermasculine storyline For the life of me couldn't figure out where I knew the actress who plays her from then I finally figured out that she's Connie Britton, who was wonderful as the wife wronged Molly in Ed Burns first film, "The Brothers McMullen." The girl who plays their daughter is great too.
Taylor Kitsch (on sofa) as bad boy Tim Riggins is about the hottest guy on primetime television, and the gal who plays good girl cheerleader Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) is a very impressive young actress with incredible range. Zach Gilford as backup QB Matt Saracen -- the kid with way too much on his plate -- is also a standout (as well as a cutie, below).
Having gotten a semi-late start watching the show you can only imagine my horror when I read in The Washington Post that it's already "ratings starved" and in danger of being canceled (has this ever not happened with a show I've watched? (See "The Comeback" and "Sons & Daughters" and so on.) I spoke to a couple of people who have watched it and they all agree that it's "very well-done," yet many of them said they weren't completely "into it" yet. Despite America's obsession with sports (particularly football) it was ironic to me that many of them -- straight men at work, no less -- cited a lack of interest in the football aspect of the show. Go figure -- I've read that NBC is "standing by" the show for now and even giving it a special airing on Monday night after one of their bigger hits. Check it out and let me know what you think. (WP)