Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Greek vs. Friday Night Lights

Two shows I’ve been watching recently are Friday Night Lights and Greek. I’ve seen every episode of each of them. I started watching Friday Night Lights back in 2008, during the writer’s strike. Since none of my usual shows were on, I ordered the discs off of Netflix because Entertainment Weekly so highly recommended it. Even though I don’t like football, I quickly became hooked on the stylistic filming, raw acting, subtle yet dramatic storylines, and the music that would accompany each episode.

Greek is another show I Netflixed based off of high praise from Entertainment Weekly. I figured it would be a good show to have on in the mornings while I worked out, because it would be entertaining and easy to follow. Since it was produced by ABC Family I assumed it would be okay for Eli to see should he get up and join me while I exercised. Well, I was wrong about that last part, but it is cleverly done and funny, the characters’ lives are involving, and even though I disparaged sororities while in college, I got into the show. Now that I work out down in the basement (so I don’t accidentally wake Eli up), I’ve been streaming episode after episode, and I watch while I’m chugging away on my elliptical machine.

So yeah, both shows are most likely written with a demographic in mind that is younger than the one I belong to, especially Greek. But it’s actually Friday Night Lights that has been alienating me lately. I really dislike Tami’s storyline this year. She’s the coach’s wife, and she’s the new guidance counselor in this tough, poor high school that isn’t unlike where I work. Her whole thing is you don’t need funding to help these kids, and let’s create homework centers after school and have the teachers volunteer their time, and we shouldn’t be suspending kids for fighting because they’re the ones who need to be at school the most.

I won’t go into why I disagree with all that (you can see other, past blog posts on similar subjects if you’re interested). But I will say this; while the show isn’t exactly vilifying the teachers who don’t see eye to eye with Tami, they’re not really representing their point of view either, at least not in a way I feel is equal. Nevertheless, at the end of a long day, watching this show does not help me unwind. But I’ll still watch it; I’m too involved in the characters to stop this close to the end. Besides, it’s a quality show. My personal feelings/biases aside, there is no denying that it is well done.

Greek I’ve been enjoying more and more. I’m getting close to being done with it; there’s one more season after the one I’m on, and that’s it. Some characters have already graduated, and others are facing graduation. I love how the characters have been allowed to grow, and most of them have grown a lot. The show’s central theme has become how hard it is to become an adult and figure out who you are and what you want to be. They’re all afraid in some way of letting go of the freedoms attached to being young. Who isn’t? When I watch it I don’t feel like it was so long ago that I was facing those dilemmas, even though it’s been a very long time. Nevertheless, watching it while I work out is a great way to start my day.

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