Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Ready to turn night into day
London, Ontario, June 2007

[Click to embiggen]


I don't watch a lot of television. Although I appreciate great programming as much as the next person, I don't believe in rearranging my life so that I can be in front of the TV at a given time. It just isn't that important to me.

I know I could always tape or DVR/PVR my favorite shows. But that demands investment that's rarely justified by the shows I'd be saving. I'd rather keep the squawking box off and enjoy peace and quiet in the house. The voices of our kids, after all, won't be echoing off these walls forever.

But once in a very long while, I find myself thinking about a show. The rare production that piques my curiosity is incredibly well written, beautifully acted, poignantly directed and artfully photographed. When you put all the pieces together, it is a production that burrows its way into my subconscious and stays there long after I've finished watching. The characters are real to me, with stories that seem to matter, that I want to follow. I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened in my lifetime.

That number went up by one last year with the premiere of Friday Night Lights. I had no intention of watching it. I'm not a big football fan (click here for background). I thought it would be about football. I happened to be home the night it first aired, and I happened to be flipping channels on my way to the local weather forecast when I caught the opening scene. I stopped in my tracks and barely breathed for much of the next hour. Television that takes your breath away: who would have thought?

Typical of a critically acclaimed show that demands a level of involvement and commitment from its viewers that's slightly deeper than that required of, say, Survivor or Deal or No Deal, ratings were weak. The show teetered on the edge of survival before NBC gave it the green light for its second season. That season starts tonight, and I'll be watching. I hope others with an interest in maintaining the state of the television art will consider doing the same.

Your turn: Television that really matters. Please discuss.

About this image: Taken at London's TD Waterhouse Stadium. It was a cold, windy, gray day when I was there for our daughter's track meet. The lights weren't needed in the middle of the afternoon, but the towers still imposed their presence on the place.

One more thing: I wrote a followup to this entry, dated January 29, 2008. Please click here to read it.

23 comments:

Janet said...

I don't know if this is television that matters, but I absolutely adore the new show, Pushing Daisies. Very quirky, just how I like!

Hi, Michele sent me :-)

Anne said...

Michele sent me.

Love, love, love FNL! great show, cast, writing, etc. I gotta check the TiVo to see if it's set. It still should be from last year. Love the TiVo, btw, you should reconsider.

surcie said...

I'm not ashamed to admit that I love television and always have. I don't plan my free time around it, nor do I TiVo that many shows, but I enjoy it when I can. Good TV expands your horizons.

Karen said...

Hi Carmi! Just returning a visit. I have never watched this show, but my sister raves about it. Alas, I have WAY too many other favorite shows: (Office, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, Survivor, Dirty Sexy Money....) Yeah, I'm a TV junkie. What can I say?

Have a great weekend!

Anna said...

I will be watching also! Great image Carmi!

shannon said...

I fell in love with Friday Night Lights last year as well. I'm telling everyone I know to watch. I fear it will be canceled and yet another wonderful show will be gone.

Lisa said...

I watch way too much TV. I love "smart" comedies like Arrested Development, both of which.. sadly... are off the air. I saw the preview of Pushing Daisies and it was very funny. Also can't miss Lost and Grey's Anatomy. I know there is more "important" education stuff out there, but my TV time is escape time!

Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me back after I was here on my own...

I tend to like shows like Criminal Minds...and watch tv a lot of the time to keep me company while I knit or quilt.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm with you -- the TV is off more than it's on.

Leigh in Atlanta said...

I really just don't watch TV all that often. My dad s a big TV person so we have the DVR and on demand stuff whcih means when I do watch TV it's eiter a movie that I missed in the theatres or something on the discovery channel or something. I'm in love with the show Mythbusters but that is the ONLY show I actually make an effort to watch.

Michele sent me to say hi.

Rod said...

The West Wing.

Period.

Shephard said...

Hmmm. TV that really matters?
I enjoy HEROES. But I haven't been really into or thoroughly excited by any TV shows since Babylon 5 and Northern Exposure. :)

The light-pole looks like a very strange but friendly alien.

Michele sent me to tell you that DVRs are a marvelous invention that put time-management firmly in the viewer's hands. :)

~S

honestyrain said...

oh you do not have the time or internet space available to aloow my television chatter. i could bore you to tears....

Jadedprimadonna said...

My current addiction is Mad Men on HBO. It makes me mad to watch it, but the characters are just really intriguing. I haven't watched FNL, but I will definitely check it out if you like it.

colleen said...

Just when I find a show I like it gets lost or bumped. I like Studio 60 and The New Adventures of Old Christine. Where are they? I don't even like to see previews for some shows, like Deal or No Deal and Heroes.

Kerry said...

Very neat photo!

Foster Dogs said...

Very cool photo!

forgetfulone said...

Television doesn't really matter, in my opinion, but I watch it as an escape. Soap operas occasionally, but lately, Grey's Anatomy. There isn't anything of consequence on the telly, though. Movies? Most of them are also inconsequential. What does matter to me is talking to other people whether face to face or on the Internet, communicating, sharing ideas, and learning new things.

flleenie said...

Hello everyone. My name is flleenie and I'm addicted to reality TV. (Hello flleenie..)

Yes, I watch reality TV. I like alot of different shows, but every Wednesday night my daughter & I watch "Kid Nation", and on Friday nights we watch "Ghost Whisperer"

Moogie said...

I don't watch much TV. We do love CSI and Law and Order, Cold Cases, House and things like that but we just watch them when we have the time. We also enjoy the Discovery Health channel.

CG said...

I love ER,HEROES, CSI and Cold Case. But I'm more of a movie person!

Beverly said...

I must confess that I like TV as well, although I don't record anything, and I don't HAVE to be home to watch any particular program.

After saying I would never watch Grey's Anatomy, I do. I'm a Law & Order addict.

Anne said...

I need your help, a thunderstorm went through during FNL yesterday (10/19) and scrambled the reception on our dish during the conversation with Tira and Landry's dad. What did she say? Thanks!