Friday Night Lights Finale’s Exceptional Use Of Music

One of my favorite shows over the last few years has been Friday Night Lights — a show with a small but dedicated fanbase. The show has always been more than about football: Friday Night Lights always wore its heart proudly on its sleeve and I’ve always loved the way it has lovingly depicted its characters with respect, its small town location of Dillon, Texas with gritty accuracy and its story lines (for the most part) with a devoted and detailed realism.

The show payed attention to the little moments — establishing a feeling of both mundane claustrophobic life and a romantic nostalgia for a sense of place in a part of America that seems long since forgotten. Life can be hard, and not everyone gets a happy ending or escape these tiny, often dead-end towns. But because of football and family and friends, Friday Night Lights proved that people can overcome a whole hell of a lot and become something greater, even if just for a single game.

The series finale aired last week and it was a perfect capper to a nearly flawless five-season run. One of the most remarkable scenes, in an episode that had MANY beautiful and emotional scenes, was the montage of the state championship game. And what put it over the top from a good scene to a great one was its use of music.

Read more after the jump, and if you haven’t seen the finale, SPOILER ALERT!

Three Reasons Why I’ve Dropped ‘True Blood’

Ah, True Blood. As the HBO Southern Gothic vampire soap opera wraps up its third season, I have been thinking back about what transpired. The show used to inspire so much enjoyment thanks to its over-the-top exploits and campy humor, not to mention because it’s preposterously gory (bloody explosions after a vampire is staked to death) and unbelievably sexy (Boobies! Vampire Sex!). And with those insane cliffhangers every episode, you can’t wait to tune in again next week. That is, until this season.

Season three has been so all over the place that it has me wondering if the show has lost its way or simply going in a direction I don’t want it to go. Where it used to be one of the first things I would watch each week, I’ve let many episodes pile up in recent weeks. In anticipation of the finale, I finally caught up, and while there is still much to admire, the show is not hitting the same highs it used to. I think I have it pegged down to these three issues:

1) Too Many Characters.

True Blood is not the first show with an ever-expanding cast. Deadwood, Sopranos, and The Wire rarely had an issue with huge rosters of characters to keep track of. True Blood hasn’t delivered as seamlessly as it expands its universe. Because the show is primarily plot-driven rather than character-driven, we see little in the way of character development. As such, True Blood continues to introduce new people* with little for us to care about, while leaving others on the sidelines for long extended periods of time, or mired in inane story lines.

Continue reading Three Reasons Why I’ve Dropped ‘True Blood’

Compare and Contrast: “The Elevation” vs. “Californication”

Surely the similarities here have been pointed out in the past. But it just struck me today how nearly identical the guitar parts and the general tone are in both of these songs. Interesting…

“The Elevation” by Television from Marquee Moon


“Californication” by Red Hot Chili Peppers from Californication