Stephen and I used to watch a lot of movies together. Now, we watch a lot of TV together. Typical, I suppose for people who have been married nine years. TV replaced movies, though, because TV has just gotten better. No, I'm not speaking from a moral point of view. I'm speaking from a character development and interesting plotline point of view. We tend to watch shows well after they've aired on television, seasons at a time. Mostly because we don't pay for cable, but rely on Netflix and Hulu to provide our television entertainment. There are some shows we can't agree on. He likes Fringe which I just cannot follow. I watch The Office which he just cannot laugh at. There have been lots of series that we've loved and watched together like LOST, Mad Men, Big Love and Dexter.
We are currently watching Friday Night Lights. He picked it from Netflix which surprised me. I had always assumed it was just a bad teenage soap opera. I think I heard an interview with the creator on Fresh Air one time. I think that was the first time I even considered taking it seriously. I have a lot of trust in Terry Gross.
So we start watching, and I think both of us were immediately hooked. Yes, there is a lot of underage drinking, but it feels more European in some way, like kids from Texas grew up drinking cheap beer at the dinner table which makes it culturally ok. Every man in the series has been in at least one fist fight, which is a bit far fetched. But what do I know? I've never lived in a small, football crazy Texas town. There is less sexual restraint than one might hope for, but everyone is not sleeping with EVERYONE else like most good soap operas (including shows like Grey's Anatomy). And I'm pretty sure this show was made for NBC so there isn't any of the Showtime or HBO nudity (I won't judge for you whether that's a good thing or bad thing). Most relationships last for more than one season, and several last for the whole series (well, we've only seen the first four seasons). Oh, and, thus far, only two people have died, only one person has become paralyzed, and only one teenage pregnancy has ensued (but she was nineteen so does that even count?).
All in all, this show does drama in a down to earth kind of way. You fall in love with most every character (and the writers are great about ditching story lines that are too ridiculous and fading out characters that have run their course). I'm in a place where I still can relate to the cares of a freedom seeking teenager and can also relate to the adults' desire to inspire. After one moving speech by the character Smash's mother, I looked at Stephen and said, "Now that is how you raise a son."