Over at The Awl, Sarah Blackwood has written a perceptive ode to Friday Night Lights, which veteran Cafe readers know is a favorite of ours. The show signs off tonight, after five under-appreciated seasons as the best show on network television.
We have written about the show frequently, but never said all that needed to be said. Blackburn's essay fills in many of the gaps:
"FNL" is about football in the same way that Ulysses is about perambulation. Also, "FNL" is about: hometowns, teens, adults, the city, the country, the rich, the poor, huddled masses, yearning, hard-core Christian rock, girls with long legs, nachos, rich farmland, and men wielding pink plastic bicycles against doofus TAs who have seduced their daughters.
One way you could put it is that "FNL" is about how silly, even tragic it is to be "about" something. How freeing it can be to turn your back on what you are supposed to be or to like. It points its fingers directly at self-professed "sophisticated" media consumers and asks us: "Don't you like things that are beautiful?"
And this is basically what "Friday Night Lights" talks to us about, how time moves so strangely, how we go from late nights drinking beer and messing around in a deserted field with our friends, our problems seemingly so huge, to late nights drinking wine with a partner, the very hair on our heads weary, our problems seemingly so huge. The thing that the show did so beautifully was refuse to belittle any of these micro-times that we all pass through during a life lived.
Say it with me: Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.