I THINK I'M IN LOVE - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

 

Saturday, October 07, 2006

We just watched Tuesday's pilot of Friday Night Lights. Hot damn that is some amazing television. I was swept up in a world I'm not familiar with, but felt real and true. The characters felt so concrete, so-un-tv. Rather than feeling like there were A stories and B stories and C stories, it felt like there were a bunch of people who had a web of relationships, and we were watching their lives. Of course it all built up to a hell of a bang in the end.

Yeah, as Denis says: football and West Texas isn't a big part of my life. But it felt much more real and close to my own life than Shark, or Grey's Anatomy, or Studio 60. Which is odd, 'cause I have friends who are prosecutors and doctors and comedy writers, and I probably couldn't live in that small Texas town without getting beat up on a regular basis.

The storytelling was so rich and dense, I kept worrying I wasn't watching a hour pilot. It felt like it must be a two hour pilot, and damn if my PVR wasn't going to cut off before the resolution. But it was all squeezed into the one hour. (Forgive me if my grammar has gone all Texas on y'all; it does that whenever I'm exposed to the axayunt.)

It felt like 6 acts. Bridget, was it 6 acts? Sure as hell wudn't no 4 acts.

And I am glad to see a TV show where people believe in God. Quite a few people believe in God, but I see very few characters on TV who seem to have a spiritual life without it becoming a Story Point. Sorkin has one Christian on his show, and it's worth writing home about. But in FNL, the whole town is folk who take it for granted that Jesus Christ is a part of their lives. I grew up among atheist Jews, and my own spiritual path isn't mainstream. But religion seems to me too big a part of our cultural life to leave it out of so many of the stories we tell.

Nice work, guys. I'm signing on for the season.

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

Unfortunately, it might be a short season.

By Blogger Diane Kristine, at 2:18 AM  

Studio 60 is only doing 8-9m viewers; it won't last long either.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:25 AM  

Uh, Alex, wasn't there a TV show called Seventh Heaven that ran for at least ten years about people that believed in God?

Touched by an Angel? Highway to Heaven? Joan of Arcada (okay, that one didn't last) -

I grew up in an almost incredibly similar environment to that of FNL (and have seen the film as well) and while I don't have a problem with someone depicted that world view, I see it almost everywhere - I mean, the Christian viewpoint to me is oppressively everywhere, countless episodes of shows take place in churches with priests and preachers as characters, etc.

I think we could all do with a little less christian flavor, but perhaps that's just me.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 10:12 AM  

Joshua, the difference is that those shows are ABOUT faith. This is a show about football. The religion isn't a supernatural element here, it's just part of the way of life.

I went to high school in a town very much like the one on the show, and the show gets everything right. (Well, except for the two "teenage" actresses who have California accents.)

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 10:56 AM  

I loved FNL too. I'm a Pantheist, but I totally dug the praying.

I'm interested how the season develops. Does each episode end with a game? This is sort of a format I was toying with for my own sports related spec show.

By Blogger Jutratest, at 11:13 AM  

Well Lisa, all I can say that there are a multitude of shows that feature praying and / advice from a pastor or priest in time of trouble, shows that are not about faith but generally work it in whenever there's a crisis - to list the number of shows that feature such, as part of the life, would be difficult, don't you think?

And most all sports movies feature praying (from Hoosiers onward) so that's not really new, either.

I'm not saying that FNL is bad, I'm just saying that featuring rural people who talk and believe in christianity is not really original.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 7:33 PM  

Alex, I agree with just about everything you said re: FNL, Studio 60 and Shark. But just because its real, doesn't mean its a reality I think I want to sign on for every week.

Don't get me wrong ... huge professional crush on Peter Berg and what he's done with the show. I can admire it for its craft but as a viewer and writer, it isn't quite my cup of tea.

Joshua, I take your point about 7th Heaven and Touched by An Angel. If we are honest, we will agree that they are all pretty lousy shows in just about every way possible (plot, storytelling, even most of the acting) but they stayed on the air. I suspect because they were filling some kind of spiritual void, however badly. BTW, Touched by an Angel wasn't overtly Christian. They never actually referred to Jesus, just God. There is a difference. I take you point on different points of view, and things are changing in the reality world (Rabbi Schmuley on TLC is a ratings hit) but sadly, I don't think America is ready for a spiritual series about Muslims or Hindus or even Native Americans.

I consider myself to be a person of faith, if not religion -- I was raised in 8 of them (I could possibly be the living poster girl for diversity, but that's another story for another day). And I think we are way overdue for a series that treats spirituality in a meaningful way, not as some bad punchline like Book of Daniel did.

Is this a good time to mention I'm in development on a killer series set in the world of televangelism?

Happy Turkey Day everyone, and blessed be you and yours.

By Blogger Caroline, at 1:26 AM  

It was so accurate, too. I haven't lived in Texas, but the town I used to teach in in NC was just like the one on the show. People pray before all big events there. They don't understand why anyone wouldn't. Word has started to spread about how good this show is. I think it will stick around.

And for the record, 7th Heaven may have been about faith and it may still be dragging its plotlines into infinity, but that doesn't change the fact that it blows goat chunks.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 PM  

Emily, my long-distance non-stalking crush upon you grows by leaps and bounds.

And can I add that praying before a school sponsored event (which I also did in high school football) is a direct violation of this country's constitution.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 10:47 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.