Thursday, May 3, 2007

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Will NBC save our marriages?

Either my wife has secretly married Entertainment Weekly writer Dalton Ross, or the television show Friday Night Lights has an interesting gender effect. Ross explains in his Glutton column:

It started just the other week as I watched FNL's season finale. I had never bothered to introduce my significant other to the show, because, well, she likes football about as much as she likes my Star Wars lightsaber collection which is to say, not very much so I viewed the entire season by myself. But then something else dawned on me: Christina loves teen shows.... It occurred to me that, hey, Friday Night Lights is as much -- if not more -- a teen show than it is a football drama. So I implored her to give it a chance. To my shock, she agreed (again, we're talking about football here). We had the first nine episodes on DVD. We watched one. Then we watched another. Then I went to bed, and she watched two more. Next night, same drill. She went through episodes the way I go through cans of Milwaukee's Best. Only she didn't wake up with a headache in the morning.

Now, I know what you're thinking: How is your marriage in trouble? You've found a show you both love! What's the problem? Well, the first problem is that when I asked Christina whether she was a Street girl or a Riggins girl, she replied emphatically, ''Riggins!'' This means she digs the bad boy, and not being a bad boy myself by any stretch of the imagination, this causes me some concern. (She in turn inquired whether I was a Lyla or Tyra guy, which I refused to answer because I am smart and realize that either answer would come back to haunt me in the long run.) The bigger problem, however, is this: I'm out of episodes. Like an addict that is being denied her fix, my wife is going through serious withdrawal symptoms. She actually ordered me to not come home until I got more DVDs (which might explain why I remain typing here at 10:23 in the evening). Luckily, I have my sources. My peeps over at NBC Universal have taken pity upon me and are hooking Christina up with the rest of the season.

Whew crisis averted. But for how long? Sure, we'll get a dozen more episodes, but at this rate that'll take her about a weekend to plow through them. What then? In case you hadn't noticed and judging by the ratings, you hadn't Friday Night Lights is not exactly what you'd call an audience favorite. A critical darling, to be sure, but a seriously low-rated one....

And as much as I absolutely adore Friday Night Lights, I clearly recognize that this show will never, ever be a hit. What fans love about it its realism and understated nature does not appeal to mass audiences. Twenty million people are simply not going to watch a show with shaky cam shots of kids in a diner, so it's hard for me to convince the powers-that-be to keep the show on the air in the hopes that it will suddenly do big numbers. Convincing NBC brass of the show's excellence is also rather futile, because everyone that works there seems to be a big fan of the program. They know it's good. So I am left to play the only card I have left the preservation of my holy matrimony. Look, NBC, I have children two of them! Do you want them to grow up in a broken home just because you benched what might be the best drama on network television?

I lack Ross' NBC connections, but my wife got so hooked on the show after I introduced her to it that she caught up on all the episodes by watching them online (they're all still available, by the way).

And, as in Ross' case, my wife is a huge Riggins fan, even though he's the bad boy of the show. "He's just gorgeous... and smoldering," she said. She then tried to assuage any anxiety I might have had by reassuring me that, "you are as un-Riggins-like as you can possibly be."

I feel much better now.

[Yes, you, who link to Salma Hayek at the drop of a hat, should get upset at this!!--ed. True, though I have never (and will never) told my wife that she was "un-Hayek like."]

Oh, and for FNL afficionados, I'm neither a Lyla or a Tyra guy -- I'm a Tami guy through and through.

posted by Dan on 05.03.07 at 08:40 AM


Sometimes you get lucky. My wife had no use for FNL but we both loved Scrubs from the beginning, sweated out more cancellation rumors than I can remember, but now it's wrapping up season #7. Sports Night, on the other hand.....

posted by: Ralph Hitchens on 05.03.07 at 08:40 AM [permalink]

No more love for the super-endangered Veronica Mars this year? There's even a connection beyond the structural if I recall correctly: VM showrunner Rob Thomas was to join FNL's writing room if VM hadn't gotten season three.

posted by: Jason M. Robertson on 05.03.07 at 08:40 AM [permalink]

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