Thursday 29 October 2009

FNL Week - Kaz Mahoney

Karen Mahoney (Eternal Kiss, The Iron Witch) is the first non-American YA author to contribute to FNL Week. Kaz is a delightful soul who was easily coerced (two weeks of nagging) to watch FNL and I loved reading her reaction to the Pilot.

And here's the fantastic Karen and her thoughts on FNL...

With a Little Help from My Friends

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl in possession of a DVD player must be in want of a new TV show to watch.

Thankfully, the lovely and super-cool Adele - the one and only Persnickety Snark - came to my rescue with Friday Night Lights. I must also give a big shout out to Jenny from Wondrous Reads, as a few weeks ago both she and Adele set about ‘encouraging’ me to give FNL a try. Yes, people, it’s true: Twitter can be used to gang up on your friends and force them to buy the box sets of your most-loved TV series. ;)

My first thought: Um… why would I want to watch a TV show about American football when I’m a Brit? What’s with all the padding and helmets? I like real football! And I can’t stand rugby. *grumble*

My second thought: Oh, but then… Adele is Australian and Jenny is another Brit. Maybe I should listen to what these fine ladies are saying! They are quite sensible, really. Most of the time…

And what they said really hit home. There was talk of amazing writing, incredible storylines, actors who were both pretty and who could act, not to mention the fact that emotional punches are never pulled in the telling of these storiese. All the things I love in good drama.

So I ordered FNL Season One online (for a mighty bargain!) and then proceeded to not watch it while I was busy with other things. Until this very week when Adele announced her Friday Night Lights week. I realised that here was my chance! I carved out just 45 minutes of my day last Sunday and curled up with the pilot episode.

Reader, I was not disappointed.

Adele said that I should give the pilot a chance - at the very least - and she believed I would be hooked. She was so certain I would love it that I like to think that if I hadn’t, she would’ve paid me back the nine quid I spent on it in the first place. (Heh. Kidding!) But honestly, I have never been so quickly sucked into a TV show. Okay, let me rephrase that. Maybe I have been drawn in to others pretty fast, but it’s almost unheard of these days. Too many classics have come and gone. And I’m talking about pilot episodes, here, notoriously tricky beasts. I remember the pilot of Veronica Mars making me sit up and take notice. Same for Six Feet Under. But it’s incredibly rare for a pilot episode of a TV show to so perfectly encapsulate the HEART of everything it’s all about.

For me, the pilot of Friday Night Lights did that - and more.

What I took away from those 45 minutes was how important football is - no, how important the Dillon Panthers are - to the residents of this small town in Texas. But I also took away this: It doesn’t matter to the viewer if you like American football or not. Other people have said this during these posts, but it bears repeating. It couldn’t matter one little bit if you understand the first thing about it. The show is so cleverly written that, yes, it all centres on this game that means so much to the characters, while making absolutely certain that the viewer only cares about the characters themselves.

It’s just… genius.

The other thing I took away from this single episode is: OMG, Coach Taylor!! I am not ashamed to say that I already have a huge crush on this guy. Maybe I’m showing my age here, but I can’t say I was terribly passionate about the younger guys (though Tim Riggins is undeniably pretty) - at least, on looks alone. But Coach Taylor… I could definitely go for him, and I love how he and his wife are set up to be the fulcrum of the entire show. I totally, get that and I think it’s awesome. It reminds me so much of when I was a teenager and fell in love with the original Beverly Hills 90210 - the ‘parent’ figures, Jim and Cindy Walsh, were just brilliant. And the same could be said of Mitch and Gail Leery from Dawson’s Creek. And who could ever forget Sandy and Kirsten Cohen in The O.C.? Yes, I can see Coach Taylor having the same sort of impact as a Sandy Cohen, or even a Keith Mars.

So yeah, I’m a new fan of FNL. I’ll be watching the rest of my Season One set as soon as I can make time for a marathon sitting or two. And then I’ll watch the next season, and the one after that.

Thanks so much Adele. You can twist my arm over a TV show any day!

Kaz, let me tell you about a show called Greek....

I am rubbing my hands together with glee (no, not the Rachel and Finn kind) as converts are beginning to build in number. If you are one of these fantastic people that's jumping aboard SS FNL then please post about it on your own blog and spread the word. Thanks Kaz!


Anonymous said...

It really didn't take a whole lot to convince me, I'm sold. Plus it's Watch It Now on Netflix!!!

Karen Mahoney said...

Yay! Thanks for having me over to ramble on about FNL! :)

prophecygirl said...

YAY Kaz and your new FNL love! I knew you'd like it, and believe it or not, it gets even better! :)

Adele - I do believe we deserve a pat on the back, my friend.. now... who shall we convert next?

Maria Lima said...

From someone who *lived* her version of FNL (small town Texas) - everything on this show was so REAL and true-to-life.

I hated the thought of the show [as I am most definitely NOT a fan of football, especially the cutthroat Texas HS kind], but was pimped into it by friends. I fell instantly in love.

Coach Taylor, FTW!!

Oh, and BTW, my wonderful charity bear signed by Taylor Kitsch {Tim Riggins) arrived and is on my desk.

Anonymous said...

Yes, YES IT IS GENIUS, KAZ. Except for the second season which made me slightly insane.