Full Hearts

I’ve been watching one of the Christmas presents my daughter sent me, a remarkable set of DVDs that goes by the name of Friday Night Lights – an NBC television serial drama based on the life of a fictional small town in Texas, with a particular focus on high school football. Season One is really fine – like other serials in the genre (Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) it both pays homage to its subject matter and transcends it, becoming an analysis not only of issues that trouble Middle America, but also of the human condition itself. There may be some echoes of British director Lindsay Anderson’s This Sporting Life of 1963, based on David Storey’s rugby classic, but in terms of human tragicomedy and sheer epic sweep this show goes far beyond anything in that novel or movie.

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