Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Friday Night Lights Continues to Not Suck

In fact, it's doing much better than that. Friday Night Lights is beautiful. I won't say it's the highlight of my tv-watching week (that spot in my heart is reserved for Battlestar Gallactica) but it's creeping right up there. I don't think I've ever watched a television show that every week looks and feels like a brilliantly executed one hour film. There's nothing lazy about it. Every scene is gorgeous and real. And it honestly treats the race and class issues that haunt the small-town west without beating you over the head with them or preaching. They show up in the little moments. Last week we got the contrast between the black church services where people were cooling themselves with hand fans and the white church services in an air-conditioned 1960s style cathedral. This week when Saracen was on his tiny scorched front lawn trying to scrub the "loser" off his sign so his grandma wouldn't see, a bunch of kids drove by shouting insults out the window of their car. What got me about that scene was that the car had a big old dent in the driver's side and a fair share of primer on the hood. This was no highschool-on-TV car, it seemed real. And it contrasted with the shiny late-model vehicle we saw Lilah driving later in the episode.

The show conveys menace and dread in the smallest details. The sight of the new "refugee" quarterback walking off the field, shot from below so he looked 8 feet tall. You could just feel the dull thrum of panic in the team that this new, unknown element caused. And in the new quarterback's face, the face of someone who had lost everything and was being used by everyone around him . . . there was nothing.

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