Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, One More Time
It has come to our attention that Friday Night Lights has been nominated for a DGA award! As usual, cheers and delight. And before I go any further, you really have to look at the company in which the show is nominated.
Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Killing, Game of Thrones.
These are the shows people talked about more than any other this year. FNL is in really highly distinguished company, and that is, in and of itself, almost a reward of its own.
And it’ll have to be, because there’s no way they’re going to win.
I know how I sound. Kind of smug and incautious. But the reality is that compared to the Killing and Game of Thrones – do you know how many horses were in Game of Thrones? - it’s not going to happen. There aren’t enough voters who will choose FNL instead.
You know, it’s not even because of the horses. There’s just epic amounts of all that is grandiose in these shows. And our show has none of it. Nobody dies (except that one time, shhhh), nobody changes their lives in ways that look like a real change of life; instead they change in small, imperceptible ways. Like life.
We have to accept it now. This show is our private thing, between us. And you can’t predict who is going to get the bug. It’s a secret code between us and it doesn’t discriminate. Sasha’s husband is the latest one I know who has grown addicted, in a way that I know is consuming. I can tell by the desperate way he texts about the show. You never know who else is going to be a carrier. And though we may convince people one by one, a convert here or there, the fact is - our tribe is assembled. This is who we get.
One of the things that makes me happiest about the nomination is that the directorial team is included in the show. In TV, directors are the traveling gypsies who travel from show to show. They don’t stay for the whole season like the rest of the crew (although of course they can come back) but have to rely on a group of people who are established without them to make them work. It’s a really nice thing to do, and I notice not all the productions have submitted their team, so it seems optional.
Those people are working on other shows by now, but I bet any money Friday Night Lights is the high water mark they’ll remember. That the grips and sound recordists and makeup people will talk about on breaks and on lunches when they’re telling war stories.
There’s a saying that comes up, actually, during those war-story times: “Two (or three) for the pocketbook, one for the heart”. It means that not everything you do when you’re going from show to show is going to be great – into every TV career, there falls some sort of ridiculous embarrassment you don’t bother to tell your inlaws about. But if you can do one every so often that you care about, it goes a long way.
I hope they win. I know they won’t. I’m glad we got the show.