Sunday, 7 June 2015

musical interlude: "devil town"

For a few years, my sisters have been trying to convince me to watch Friday Night Lights, and for years I've not watched it, partly because I just wasn't in the mood for it, partly because I don't particularly enjoy sports movie/television and partly to annoy them. But, we began watching an episode a night a few of months ago, and we're now about to finish it completely and I am actually kicking myself for not watching it sooner, because it's amazing. I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

If you don't know it, Friday Night Lights is about high school football, the obsessive nature of the game and the importance one town in Texas, places on it. Initially it was a book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (1990) by H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, a piece of non-fiction about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas. No names were changed and to the author, it was a piece of journalism, then in 2004, the book was made into a film, Friday Night Lights, starring Billy-Bob Thornton, which followed the Odessa Panthers through the 1988 season - I can't really say more than that, because I've still not actually watched it.

Two years later, in 2006, it was adapted for television by Peter Berg for NBC, brought into present day and made to exist within the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The heart of the five series is Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), his relationships with his wife Tami (Connie Briton) and daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden); the football players he coaches and the strains and stresses which come from trying to succeed in the whole towns dream of football success.

Four of the best reasons to watch it:

1) Coach, and his beautiful mixture of surliness and compassion.
2) WWTRD: What Would Tim Riggins Do? Drink it, shag it or fight it, probably. Tim (Taylor Kitsch) is made out to be a fuck up, but a loveable one. In Riggins we trust! (Maybe not in his brother Billy though.)
3) Poor Matt Saracen - which is chorused nearly every episode. Matt (Zach Gilford) is a lovely, sweet guy and if it can go wrong, it will.

4) Tami Taylor, y'all. Chandler and Briton make a really believable couple throughout and enviable during their best moments. Plus don't mess with Mrs Coach! Y'all got that?
Now for the music, W G Snuffy Walden, who scored The West Wing also responsible for Friday Night Lights, but with popular music interspersed, including this cover of Daniel Johnston's song, "Devil Town". This version by Tony Lucca, was commissioned by the show, after they were unable to secure the right of the Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) version. It has been used a few times during the five series and the first time it played there was a scramble for a google machine to find out who the song was by, and it's now stuck firmly in my head.

Oh, and I may get stick off my sisters for using possibly the girliest/hipster incarnation of Coaches motto "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," as I could find, but at least it's spelt correctly, unlike on the menu of every disc from seasons four and five we've watched.

Link | Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose Print by Peinthesky on Etsy
Link | Friday Night Lights on IMBd
Link | Friday Night Lights on Wikipedia

Listening: Devil Town - Tony Lucca

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails