Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Friday Night Lights: The Requiem

I have come to the point where I rarely watch television anymore. This is about one I watched, flaws and all. It is from August 14, 2011.

I did it. Last night, I brought myself to watch the final episode of Friday Night Lights on nbc.com. I had missed the finale while in Vietnam and I have to tell you, the end has brought me some sadness.Over the past five years, I've seen every episode. Before the TV version, I read the book and watched the movie but like many, found little relation between the original and the small screen program. And while the book was gripping and the movie enjoyable,  it was the television production that pulled me in totally. The last hurrah was terrific, maybe the finest final show I've ever seen. I wish they would have had at least cameo appearances from Lyla Garrity, Brian 'Smash' Williams, and Jason Street, but it was a superb effort of tying up the loose ends. It was a fitting ending to a marvelous show.

There were things about FNL I did not care for and many of them began with the letter A: adultery, addiction, alcohol use among minors, athletic boosters, abortion, abusive behavior, and abstinence, as in lack of. Sometimes, you also had to suspend your belief about the chronology of events especially as it dealt with the school day and the football season. But what I loved about the series was the characters and their flawed humanity. I remember only three cast members who had no likability to them- J.D. McCoy, his dad, and Voodoo Tatum, the talented QB who came from Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. We saw the Taylors work through family issues- husband/wife and parent/child. FNL dealt with Alzheimer's (Matt Saracen's grandmother) and prison twice this year with both Riggins and Vince Howard's dad being paroled. We saw love stories, both positive and negative and the violent nature of the sport when Street was paralyzed the very first episode. For five years, we watched life in a small town and those of us from small towns could relate. We saw the coming and going of actors/actresses who played people like folks we know and grew up with and lost track of. And now, there will be a television void for me and all the others who collectively were not enough to keep Friday Night Lights from cancellation.

On Friday in all five of my Bible classes, we began looking at the family of Jacob. I think at least a cursory exploration of this family is relevant to the telling of the story of Jesus which all of my classes center around. Has there ever been a family tale like Jacob's? Deceit, rape, revenge, murder, incest, blatant favoritism, anger, hate, jealousy, etc, etc, etc. It had it all! I told my students that if they made a soap opera of Jacob's family, no one would believe it- too far fetched. And yet God used this clan to produce the twelve tribes of Israel and ultimately, the Savior of the world. Like the make believe characters of FNL, this cast of relatives consistently fell on their faces and yet look how they became the family foundation of the Christian faith. Friday Night Lights did not make it past five seasons but then, they were fictional. Jacob's family is still hanging tough after thousands of years. You know, there's a time slot open on NBC. No...... too hard to believe.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose."
Battle Cry of the Dillon Panthers


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

1 comment:

Thess said...

I'm not exactly sure why I became a follower of the series for a short time, i am really not into soaps. it was short lived because they've stopped airing it in a local channel here, either that or it moved schedule and I just never catch it anymore.

I think I liked it because coach Taylor dealt with students/young people, although i handle much younger children, i do care much about them past the Sunday school hour so i guess I can relate.

I also like the way coach and wife (their characters) tackled the different issues they encounter in the show that really happen to real-life couples, as a married couple.

i'd probably never see the finale but it's nice to know one co-blogger watched it too from the other side of the planet.

God bless.