Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This is gonna be fun

I was listening to Emma Caulfield's episode of the Nerdist podcast from 2011 earlier today, and she mentioned that she loves football. She also brought up Friday Night Lights, saying that it's "not about football," as I've heard multiple times from other sources. That, along with, for some reason, the latest Nerdist podcast episode with Dominic Monaghan -- in which Dom talks about soccer, American sports, and the misunderstandings of soccer in America -- prompted me to search for the show on Netflix. And it's available!

I had no idea what to expect when I hit play on the Pilot episode. I've heard so many praises about the show, but I somehow managed to avoid any plot points. It's the pilot episode so they had to introduce all the characters, and I was a bit overwhelmed by all these names and faces thrown at me at the beginning of the episode. About halfway through the episode, I felt like I was getting the hang of it. I hadn't learned the characters' names yet, but I kinda understood who these people were supposed to be.

I knew that it's a drama show, and the fact that everything seemed be going nicely meant that something bad was going to happen in the episode. There were a few scenarios I could see playing out:
  1. The Panthers are going to lose the game, putting Coach Taylor under pressure from the whole town. I thought that this was the most likely scenario; it's a little bit of drama, but not too much. Just enough for a pilot episode. But, I also thought that it would have been too obvious.
  2. Coach Taylor would bench star quarterback Jason Street, or a few other star players, as a tactical surprise to the other team, and the whole town. I thought this had a slim possibility, as I couldn't see the advantage of doing this, since they seem to be the superior team throughout.
  3. Quarterback Street would get a career ending injury. Street was portrayed as the nice kid who's got it all, which is why I thought this scenario would be both the most likely and the cruelest.

Of course, scenario three was the one. Their backup quarterback, Matt Saracen, was the character that clearly was built up to be the zero-to-hero character, which he ended up being. We didn't know how good he was because he was always overshadowed by Street. He was shy, quiet, and nice; the type of person who would be one of the main characters in a show. I don't think they've established that Street's injury is career ending; they suggested spinal cord injury, but I don't think it was confirmed. But I got the feeling that Saracen would be the new star, meaning that Street would be out of the team.

In any case, the third act of the episode had me in tears, which is very rare for a pilot episode, therefore I am incredibly excited to continue watching this show.

And hey, maybe I'd learn more about football through this show, and end up as a fan of the sport.