How good is Friday Night Lights? Only one of the best things on US television, according to salon.com, which gave it a Buffy last year – that’s their award for an underappreciated TV show. I love it too, and it’s fun to contrast and compare Lights with Gossip Girl, which was screening at the same time (TV2 is moving Gossip Girl and the odious Make Me a Supermodel to later timeslots as of this Friday). One is a frothy, expensive confection of nothingness, but is so pretty we cannot turn away; the other is a complex, tightly-plotted evocation of small-town America, featuring teens that mumble like the real thing and where you’re left in no doubt what winning the game means. Salon’s Heather Havrilesky reviews it here.
The only thing slightly distracting about Lights is the close-up, hand-held camera, which is so close-up and hand-held that it’s a relief to get a wide shot. I get why they do it that way, it’s just really claustrophobic sometimes. There’s a good explanation here of how it’s done, which is basically on the fly.
I know that the set design of 3 News has to be the opposite of TV1’s, but the new glass-and-steel gymnasium look is a bit cold don’t you think? Also, there’s a very distracting vertical line on the world as it slowly spins around behind Hillary and Mike. What is it there for? And how about those climbing bars at the side of the set? John Campbell looks somewhat dazzled by his new, ultra-bright lighting set up as well. HD can be so cruel.
As always, my blog tardiness is related to my 9-5 job, which now includes a wee news snippet blog on The Listener website. Feel free to email, as it then become actual proper work that I can do at work, while working.
Lastly, the good old Letterman list:
September 23: Actor Seth Rogen; musical guests Fleet Foxes
September 24: Actor Robin Williams; actress Shannen Doherty; musical guest Duffy
September 25: Actor/comedian Chris Rock; author Bob Woodward; musical guests TV on the Radio
September 26: Actress Julianne Moore; comedians Tom Dreesen and Tim Reid; musical guests Kings of Leon
September 29: Republican Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain; Jamaican Olympic Track and Field gold medalist Usain Bolt
September 30: Reality television star Paris Hilton; musical guests Morningwood
October 1: Cycling legend Lance Armstrong; actress Kristen Wiig; musical guest Darius Rucker
October 2: Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus; actor Michael Cera; musical guest Pete Seeger
October 3: Actress Kate Walsh; Josette Sheeran, executive director of the UN World Food Programme; musical guests The Virgins
October 6: Actor Tim Robbins; actress Sarah Chalke
October 7: Actor/comedian Bill Hader; musical guest Lucinda Williams
October 8: Actress Anne Hathaway; director Barry Sonnenfeld