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Friday Night Lights: The First Season 

Peter Berg and Jason Katims

Friday Night Lights: The First Season
Directed by: Peter Berg and Jason Katims
The winner of this year’s Emmy for casting was Friday Night Lights, the struggling NBC ensemble series that has moved from its Wednesday time slot so as to attract the kind of idiots that need it to be on Fridays. As the network has discovered, FNL’s a hard sell---a show about high school football that has little football in it. Women won’t watch because it’s too sporty. Men won’t watch because it’s too soapy. Guess what, human race? Your willingness to reinforce stereotypes means you’re missing out on some fucking art here. Shot on location in Austin with three constantly moving cameras, no marks, minimal lighting and a loose script structure, the show marries the intimacy of theatre with the scope of cinema, set to a shimmering, epic soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky. At its heart are Eric and Tami Taylor (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, giving two of the most assured, complex performances going) as the football coach and guidance counsellor at the high school in Dillon, TX, a place that lives and dies by the success of its team. But Friday Night Lights lives and dies on the shoulders of the bravest cast on television, bringing to life people just like us, searching to find exceptional moments in their ordinary lives. This is reality TV. Watch it. (Now on Fridays.)

Tara Thorne

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