24 March 2008

The Fate of Friday Night Lights?

Rumors have been a swirlin' for some time about the fate of NBC's critically adored and viewer neglected Friday Night Lights. Stalled with seven episodes remaining in its second season, the most recent reports seem to indicate that a third season is imminent. Hooray, right?

Not so fast. Nothing is certain yet, and word is that new NBC honcho Ben Silverman doesn't much care for the Dillon Panthers. This online petition to save the show has been circulating for quite awhile, but with a decision looming in the very near future we thought it was high time to bring it to your attention.

Yes, but what does this all have to do with music? Well, most obviously there's the Explosions in the Sky factor; that they've featured prominently in the show's soundtrack for the past two seasons and have undoubtedly and deservedly reached millions of additional ears as a result is reason enough to keep this little-show-that-could rolling, right?

And according to Spin, having your band's song on the show is like the new O.C. status symbol of sorts. Witness the recent Vampire Weekend cover story, when Andy Greenwald wrote:

Further, their (Vampire Weekend's) success demonstrates a radical redefinition of the very term at a time when quantifiable benchmarks are increasingly defined not by units shifted or radio airplay, but by less scientific means. "Success might mean a synch on Friday Night Lights," says Alexandra Patsavas, music supervisor for Grey's Anatomy, Chuck, and Gossip Girl, referring to the placement of Vampire Weekend's infectious "A-Punk" on an episode of the football drama last November.

So the moral is Friday Night Lights stays on the air and everyone wins, yes?

Listen:
Vampire Weekend - "A-Punk" AND "A-Punk" (EF Live recording from The Earl, Atlanta, GA 3/9/08)
Explosions in the Sky - "It's Natural To Be Afraid"

12 comments:

ar7983 said...

"Friday Night Lights" is a brilliant show, without a doubt. And, you're right - musically, the show holds a really significant place in the landscape of pop-centric television, not using obscure music for the hipster sensibilities, but for truly appropriate mechanism and mood enhancement.

One of the most genius forms of this took place in the first season, when early on, the show featured the Bright Eyes cover of Daniel Johnston's "Devil Town" to highlight the strange nature of Dillon, and ended up reusing it at the end of the season, to show the way that despite the big changes that took place that year, not much had actually changed.

It was sheer brilliance. You only see that kind of musical arrangement in films, and it really reiterates a truism of "FNL" - that it is a singular presence on television.

Mike said...

absolutely, and really well said, and I think that's one of the reasons that Explosions work so well within the show too, because it's so emotionally resonant with what's going on on-screen as well. Please don't cancel it!

Anonymous said...

I, too, love friday night lights. I thought i read that the 3rd season was greenlit, but it must not be a done deal yet. As far as explosions goes, maybe you could help me out with something. I always assumed W.G. "Snuffy" Walden was a pseudonym for Explosions, because the theme is so reminiscent of them and because they did the music for the film, but apparently he is a real windham hill artist and is credited with the shows theme. So, who really is responsible?

Mike said...

maybe someone else knows more about this than me but I was fairly shocked to find out that the theme song wasn't Explosions? Perhaps I put too much stock in Wikipedia?
It seems to me that it would have to be them, and yet "Snuffy" has apparently made a living scoring themes for shows....anyone else know?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. It sounds so much like explosions that I kept telling my kid it was them and that Snuffy wasn't real. Then I googled him.

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