Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nothing But Heart

"Five years is something that you have to pay attention to... A five-year contract—that's not something that comes along every day."

2010 was a year that saw some remarkable television shows say goodbye. I've already written about the epic swan song of Lost and the overdue conclusion of 24, but I haven't gotten around to blogging about NBC's beloved high school football drama, Friday Night Lights. Although most fans didn't watch the show's fifth and final season until it aired on NBC in 2011, the series wrapped in 2010, with Season 5 airing exclusively on DirecTV that Fall. So, technically speaking, three of my favorite shows—three that are considered the decade's best—saw themselves to the door in 2010.

I didn't start watching Friday Night Lights until the Spring of 2008 when the show was in its second season. A female co-worker had recommended it and lent me the Season 1 DVDs. I have to admit that I hadn't paid much attention to the series up to that point. Even though I liked the 2004 film (then an adaptation of the 1990 book by H.G. Bissinger), I wondered if a more drawn-out TV adaptation was really necessary, and if it could really be better than the movie.

That doubt of mine was quickly quelled after watching a few episodes on DVD. It didn't take long before I preferred the TV series to its silver-screen counterpart, even though it's never fair to compare apples to oranges. If anything, the difference between the two mediums speaks more about the inherent advantage television shows have in getting far more time to develop stories and characters. As it turns out, this was the primary reason why Peter Berg, who directed the film version of Friday Night Lights, wanted to delve deeper into the world with the TV edition, since he had to leave so much out of the book in making the movie.