It's all about the football

If you missed the comments on my previous post (because it took me, like, a week to moderate them - oops, sorry), go have a look. Then come back here for more Friday Night Lights talk.

Okay, first, an anecdote. I bought the FNL DVDs as soon as I finished watching the shows online. Yeah, I just wanted to see them again right away (in DVD quality). Also, my big plan was to make my husband watch them, so he would experience the FNL joy. I keep trying to get him to sit down to watch the first episode, and finally, last night he says to me "I don't care about FNL." Granted, he was feeling a bit grumpy from too much weekend partying, but, still, I was hurt. How could he not care about something so wonderful? Oh yeah, cuz he hasn't seen it yet. I will make him love it, I swear.

Anyway, if you haven't yet watched FNL:
a) Why the hell not?
b) Do not read past this point. You'll hate yourself for it. You will.


Here's a secret for those of you who know and obviously love the show. I don't think FNL is perfect. Nope. There were some little glitches in the second season. And I'm not even talking about the hotly detested Landry murder plotline. That was just a symptom of a larger disease.

You see, for a while there, FNL forgot what it was.

A football procedural.

Which means, when something happens in Dillon, Texas, we want to know how it reflects on the team. If it doesn't cause a ripple in the Panthers' world, then go tell it to someone else, I don't care.

Now, I'm not saying I want to see 46 minutes of football each week. That's obviously not what the show is about.

I want to know when Smash pops a racist c*** in the mouth and gets suspended from games. I want to know when Coach Taylor takes a job at UMT and abandons the Panthers. I want to know when Riggins can't get the girl he wants, causing him to drown his sorrows in beer and miss practice. When Landry murdered that guy, don't you think we should have seen how he sweated it on the field? How he almost quit the team, or couldn't handle the pressure, or blocked the stuffing out of an opponent twice his size all because of the stress he felt? If that had happened, I think we all would have been more accepting of that storyline (maybe?). It would have been even more interesting to see how Landry handled being a benchwarmer, while his best friend was QB1. A small story, but an effective one.

On the other hand, I really don't care that the ex-quarterback is having a baby. He's the ex- quarterback. He's not on the team, he's not a coach, he's not friends with any of the other team members anymore. Sure, a Jason Street spinoff might work. But what does he have to do with football? And why is Mrs Taylor coaching volleyball? And do we really care about Lyla and her new boyfriend (other than in the ways it disturbs Riggins?). Those scenes are a little boring, because, what does it have to do with football? Plus, why does Julie Taylor seem so self-centered and whiny? Because she doesn't give a crap about football. Think about it. What was the best Julie moment? When she QB'd the Powder Puffs. Right? So, let's get back to the football, FNL.

And Coach Taylor? Why are his stories always intriguing, no matter what they're about? Because anything that affects the coach is fair game. He is the heart of the Panthers. He is football.

When you're coming up with your FNL specs, think about this. Do all your stories relate to football in some way? If not, I say, axe them, or figure out the connection, otherwise you might leave your readers wondering why your stories matter.

After all, as much as Friday Night Lights isn't a show about football, it's really all about the football.


Hollie Nell said...

It is nice to know that there are others out there who are as equally as fanatic about one of my favorite shows ever. I grew up in a small Texas town that loved football and swore I'd never watch this show. I've definitely changed my tune. So good!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I still bought and enjoyed the second season, but I hope they turn away from the O.C. next year.