Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Friday Night Lights The Third Season|
Actors: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Aimee Teegarden
Directors: Chris Eyre, David Boyd, Dean White, Jason Katims, Jeffrey Reiner
Genres: Drama, Television
Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 05/19/2009 Rating: Nr
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Linda M. (bonbons99) from ST JOHNSBURY, VT
Reviewed on 8/3/2014...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A great show gets even greater in its third season
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 02/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Warning! Spoilers galore! Do NOT read this review if you have not seen all of Season 3!
Season Three of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS represents one of the most interesting attempts ever to keep a great, but lightly watched series alive. After Season One the series was renewed primarily based on the huge critical acclaim the show received along with its intensely dedicated, though small (though I would like to think growing) fan base. I honestly thought that after Season One it was going to sweep the Emmys, garnering a host of awards that would propel it to the next tier in public consciousness, much like what happened to another series that debuted in the fall of 2006, 30 ROCK. For some unfathomable reason it did not receive a single major Emmy nomination. It did go on, however, to win what have come to be the three most reliable indicators of quality TV. It won a Peabody award, something that most Emmy winners never receive. It won Salon's annual Buffy award, given to the best show neglected by the Emmys (named after the greatest TV series never to receive Emmy attention). And it was named one of the ten best shows on TV by the American Film Institute. Fans of the show watched in horror as clearly inferior shows like BOSTON LEGAL, GREY'S ANATOMY, HOUSE M.D., and HEROES got recognition that continued to escape.
Still, fans hoped that Season Two would see an increased audience share. NBC hoped that moving it to Friday night (the night that most people assumed it was airing) would help. It didn't and its ratings slipped further. Normally a show with the kind of ratings FNL had would simply have been cancelled. Much to NBC's credit, they decided to take new steps to save the series. They arranged with DirecTV to have that network air the thirteen episodes of Season Three in the fall of 2008 (when many of us were lucky enough to see it), with NBC showing it in the winter and spring of 2009. According to some rumors, DirecTV was happy with the results and is interested in continuing with another season of the show. I've seen no reports on how NBC is thinking (though the head of programming for NBC Universal did, in response to a question about FNL's chances for a Season Four, said that there would continue to be a place on the NBC schedule for quality shows with a smaller audience share). In a recent interview FNL creator and executive producer Peter Berg said that the decision to continue could be as much their decision as the networks. Suffice it to say that at this point it isn't at all clear that there will be a Season Four and possibly just because Berg and show runner Jason Katims may decide not to continue.
The reason for Season Four being in doubt is very easy to see. There is a major creative question about where to take the series in a fourth season. Many of the key characters on the show for the past three seasons have graduated. At the very least, Tyra, Riggins, Lyla, and Matt are out of high school. There is debate about whether or not Landry is a senior or junior. Spoiler alert! At the end of Season Three it appears that those four are going to four different schools, Tyra to University of Texas (where Landry could certainly go if he is a senior), Riggins to the fictitious San Antonio State, and Lyla to Vanderbilt, while Matt's college plans are murky. Coach Taylor's plans were not in granite, though he was clearly confronted with a very different situation if the show continues. Apart from Julie (and possibly Landry, if he is indeed a junior), there are no established high school characters continuing on the show and no high school football players. There are three major possibilities. One is to start from scratch with Coach Taylor at the heart of things and introduce a host of new characters. A second is to introduce new high school players for Coach Taylor while continuing to follow the characters we've come to love over the past three years. This would be especially easy in Tyra's case (and possibly in Landry's if he is a senior) since she is attending UT and the show is actually filmed in Austin. The third possibility is to have Coach Taylor take a coaching job at, say, San Antonio State, where Riggins already is, and perhaps find a way to get Matt, Landry, Tyra, and Lyla all to go there for whatever reason they can think up. A fourth possibility would be for the show to say goodbye to Riggins, Tyra, Matt, Lyla, and possibly Landry in a series of episodes like they did in Season Three with Smash and Jason. One thing is clear: if they have a Season Four, it will be utterly unlike the first three seasons of the show.
Season Three of FNL just might be my favorite so far. I loved Season One, continued to enjoy the show even with some iffy moments (along with several glorious ones) in Season Two, but I was just blown away by Season Three. There were not merely no weak episodes in Season Three, but few weak moments. The way I expressed my love for FNL to a friend is that while BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is my favorite show on TV and probably has 20 episodes that I think are better than the best episode of FNL, BSG also probably has 20 episodes worse than the weakest episode of FNL. FNL is just an absurdly consistent show. It may not have BSG's highpoints, but neither does it have its lowpoints. [There are, btw, several interesting connections between BSG and FNL. The creator of FNL, Peter Berg, directed the pilot of BSG creator Ron Moore's new series VIRTUALITY, while FNL producer and frequent director Jeffrey Reiner directed the movie CAPRICA, which also serves as the pilot for the BSG prequel by the same name. There are also some stylistic similarities. Both are shot with hand held cameras, with the cameras playing to the actors rather than the actors to the cameras. Both feature rich and enormously talented casts. And then there are the convoluted connections. BSG executive producer David Eick worked on HERCULES, which was created by Rob Tappert. FNL producer John Cameron not only went to high school with Tappert and did some work on HERCULES and XENA, but Tappert married a Cylon, none other than D'Anna Biers aka Lucy Lawless.]
Season Three is the senior year of many of the major characters. The football arc centers on these players' last hurrah, the attempt to go to state one last time, and getting prepared to move on. Matt's situation is complicated by the presence of an enormously talented freshman quarterback who is clearly more gifted than he is. Riggins takes on new responsibilities and begins to grow up both on and off the field. And the team manages to overachieve and do things it clearly should not be capable of. The final game the seniors play is easily the football highlight of the series. The last scene is clearly the most poetic.
Off the field the major stories involve the rekindling of Matt and Julie's romance, which becomes one of the most realistic and sweetest relationships one can imagine. Matt struggles not only with his changing role on the football team, but his grandmother's decaying mental state, which indirectly leads to reestablishing a relationship with his mother. Tyra's story is especially interesting in Season Three. If in Season One she only gradually started to do battle with her own low self-expectations and in Season Two she fought hard to be more than the person everyone expected her to be, in Season Three he has to overcome additional obstacles to finding a more fulfilling life. She has to overcome a new guidance counselor who doesn't believe in her like Tami Taylor did, the temptation of an older and dangerous rodeo star boyfriend, and her own low self-esteem. The show's penultimate episode, in which she struggles to write her college application letter, contains one of the very finest moments in the entire series, as she finally finds the words to express what going to college truly represents, namely, "The possibility that things are going to change." And you have to love a show that has as one of the most triumphant moments a girl ecstatic in getting her college acceptance letter.
For the Taylors, life is quite different, as Tami takes on her new position as Dillon High School's new principal. Eric not only has to make difficult decisions regarding his quarterback but has to battle with that quarterback's father, who is overbearing to the point of being abusive (the mother, by the way, is nicely played by Janine Turner, who fans of NORTHERN EXPOSURE will remember affectionately as Maggie O'Connell). Buddy Garrity struggles with a series of bad decisions while Lyla is in a full-blown relationship with Tim Riggins. Meanwhile, Tim's brother Billy and Tyra's sister Mindy get engaged, which leads to the purchase of quite possibly the most hysterically ugly wedding dress in the history of network television.
One thing that is sometimes overlooked is how brilliantly executed the show is. People ignorant of film technique complain about the photography. It is all done with hand held cameras. The actors memorize their scripts and then are allowed to more or less ad lib along the direction of the script. No scenes are blocked, so that the actors are performing their actions in spontaneous fashion. They use a three camera arrangement so that even if they do only one take of a scene, they can edit the final version from different angles (look carefully at the scene in the episode "The Giving Tree" where Matt reluctantly goes to the patio where Coach Taylor is cleaning the grill and pay attention to where the cameras are during their conversation; this degree of technique runs throughout the series).
I hope there is a Season Four. Although I can't quite imagine how the series would continue, I'm fascinated to see how they would do so. For three years this has been a show that has done almost no wrong (except for the unfortunate killing in early Season Two). It has been one of the best series ever focused on the lower middle class. As a product of the lower middle class myself, I love seeing characters that are not privileged or wealthy or where all the parents are lawyers and corporate executives. I like that the closest thing to a rich guy on the show is the owner of a car dealership. I like that Tyra drives the same old ugly truck for all three seasons. Average, everyday folk have never, ever been so well served on television.
But if there is not a Season Four, the final episodes serve as a perfect conclusion to one of the most heartbreakingly gorgeous shows in the history of American television. Even if there is not another season, this show will live on. I've already watched the entire series three times and I fully expect that I'll watch it two or three more times in my lifetime. Shows like this are what quality television is all about."
THE BEST Great show...but beware of incomplete DVD release
Be Hopeful | Florida | 04/13/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I was heartbroken when it was cancelled and became a huge fan of directv when they picked it up for season 3...BUT I just read on [...] (which is linked to Amazon) that they are releasing only the shortened/edited NBC season 3 - not the full episodes aired on directv's Channel 101. AND changing the music for the dvds.
Basically, the fans and directv saved this show - and NBC is going to shaft the fans-AGAIN- by releasing shortened episodes instead of full directv episodes. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MAD. How much more could it really cost to release the entire episodes? And something has to be done to negotiate use of the music up front because fans of all shows usually love the music that was originally chosen by the original creative forces behind the show - rather than after the fact, haphazard changing the music to save money. If you are willing to spend $30 on season 3 (or buy it on sale) - you would probably spend $40 just as easily to get the full episodes with the real music.
What a racket! I usually hate 1 star reviews that have nothing to do with the show - but the way it was released(like a volume 1 etc. just to make money) but when the way it is being released means you have no access to the full episodes on dvd-I think it deserves 1 star because it is content related. At least with a volume 1, they may be squeezing you for money but you know you have the option to buy volume 2 and get the entire season. This way, you just get edited episodes - with no hope of full episodes.
By the way, it also said there would be a season 4&5 - YAHOO!!"
NBC Broadcast Version NOT the Extended DirectTV Version
B. Woyan | Ohio | 05/02/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Ok first let me state that I am huge fan of this show and own the first two seasons on DVD. When I found out about the deal with DirectTV I went through the pain of switching from cable to DirectTV because I had heard the season 3 episodes would be longer on DirectTV and shorter on NBC.
Now you are probably asking why I'm rating this season 3 release with one star. I just found out at TVSHOWSONDVD.COM that the season 3 release will the the shorter episodes broadcast on NBC and NOT the extended versions of season 3 that were broadcast on DirectTV. There will also be music substitutions according to TVSHOWSONDVD.COM. You can check out the story here at www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Friday-Night-Lights-Season-3/11616
This is just the [...] marketing decision I've seen in a while. This show has a clear fan base and deserves to have the extended versions of the episodes. Considering the hassle myself and other fans of the show went through to switch to DirectTV just for this show I feel we all deserve the extended versions. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that by providing the extended DirectTV versions would improve sales. I'm also upset with the music substitutions that they are doing on the release.
Based on this I'm boycotting this release and will not be buying it. I refuse to support [...]."