#CurrentlyWatching: Friday Night Lights

I haven’t done an actual #CurrentlyWatching post over a year (I am not joking, the last one was back in 2018), so this should prove to you how important this show is to me. While I very much enjoy the short-opinion paragraphs I offer you in my “What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching” feature, I simply could not resist writing a proper full length post about Friday Night Lights. Yes, it was THAT good!

Friday Night Lights is a Football-centric sports drama series set in Texas that ran from 2006 until 2011 on NBC. Even before the show, there was a movie with the same title in 2004, however, the show is not a continuation, but the story told anew (names are different, etc.). I very much realise that I am super late to the party, but I don’t think the show ever aired in my own country and honestly, Football wasn’t much of a priority of mine until recently.

Friday Night Lights follows Football team at a Texan High School, with a special focus on the coach, Eric Taylor, his wife, daughter and a select number of players. The show highlights the struggles each and every member of this tight-knit community has to face.

I am not sure I have the vocabulary to describe how this show made me feel. A lot of people think that Friday Night Lights is a piece of flawless work of television, I do not agree with that statement. Do I think it is utterly brilliant? Compelling and emotional and addicting? Absolutely! But … it is not perfect and that is okay. Some characters fell victim to bad timing and writer’s strikes, some storylines never got resolved properly, but regardless, Friday Night Lights manages to reel you in, create an emotional connection and make this an unforgettable experience. I am not surprised that it has become a TV classic at all.

At first, I was unsure about the style. There’s mostly use of hand-held camera and extreme close ups that give the entire show a certain documentary-esque look. But after having gotten used to it, I found that these specific cinematographic choices added to the feeling of really being with the characters and in the moment yourself. After some time, you could almost think you are living in Dillon, Texas, yourself.

One of the massive strengths of Friday Night Lights is managing to create a universal appeal, despite a very specific setting and situation. I really am not a Football buff, but I was so invested in the outcome of these games. I literally jumped up and cheered or flailed in agony at a loss (to the dismay of the people around me) whenever the team played.

This show is about so much more than Football though. It’s also so much more than the artistic choices taken. It’s first and foremost about people. People you root and care for. Great storytelling that involves aspects of life that feel authentic and relevant. Not everyone is nice all the time, not everyone is perfect and not every conflict gets a satisfying resolution, but that is life. And life is messy and beautiful.

So, there are some seasons that are better than others, but if you look at the show as a whole, it’s really a piece of television art. I didn’t need them to pair everyone up all neat and nicely, but I did appreciate that we got a look at what was in store. At how the lives of everyone changed and how they were impacted by the relationships they formed in that small town in Texas.

Now, there are very many characters to love. Picking just one honestly feels a little bit like a crime. Obviously, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) is an iconic character and so is his wife, as portrayed by Connie Britton. Both carried a heavy portion of this show on their backs and respect that to no end. They were the adult voices of reason and are 100% the kind of educators and support system I wish every child would receive in their academic career. Then there are so many fantastic characters on and off the field that brought me laughter and tears alike. I don’t want to go into too much detail in case anyone still wants to check it out or hasn’t seen it, but it all comes down to one thing: Looking at the five glorious seasons that I have just watched, the standout character for me remains Tim Riggins (portrayed by Taylor Kitsch).

While the team constantly changed and not even all adults stuck around, you get to follow Tim Riggins’ journey through all seasons. You meet him as a bit of a mess and watch him grow and change, while one thing remains – he cares so much about everyone around him! He was never after glory or recognition and I will never forget the one ultimate sacrifice he pulled, because IT. BROKE. MY. HEART. And yes, I went so far as to draw that very moment, because I am that extra.

Just thinking back to this moment, I get anxious for Tim.

Everyone sort of used Tim as their personal punching bags. He was called “useless”, “disgusting”, “unwanted”, “lazy”, “mediocre” and many more ugly words, while all I saw was a very lost boy. Kitsch was probably in his 20s when this was filmed, but all I could see was the fragility of abandoned youth. Someone who put everyone’s needs above his own. He wasn’t a perfect gentleman or anything like that, he made plenty of mistake and probably drank way too much, but he also had a certain nobility about him and he loved those around him unconditionally. Every time he was on screen, my heart broke just a little bit and while many wanted more out of the finale (which I kind of get but also not), I thought Tim was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do.

I can honestly say that I feel like this show has spoiled me for almost all other TV. I am nursing a huge hangover now, after I decided to watch the final episode on this very Friday. There’s just something poetic about ending it all on this day.

So, there is only one thing to say to finish this post:

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

Have you watched FNL? Do you want to? What is a show that has completely grabbed you lately?

#CurrentlyWatching: Rise

This week’s #CurrentlyWatching is another one I am just going to be cautiously optimistic about. As I have mentioned in previous posts, when I did this last year, a lot of the shows I actually wanted to save or draw attention to with my writing still got cancelled and I was devastated. So, I usually try to not do a whole post for it anymore before at least an entire season has aired, but I couldn’t hold off on Rise any longer.

The show airs on NBC and is a couple episodes away from its first season finale. While it may seem like a cross between Glee and Friday Night Lights, it is actually based on real life events that were chronicled in the non-fiction book Drama High by Michael Sokolove. I haven’t read it, but I checked out some reviews on Goodreads, where a couple of the former students definitively agreed to the excellence of that teacher (while the narrator’s voice and his depiction of the small town is apparently debatable). I know how valuable of an experience it is to have someone like that during your school years, so I always liked the idea for this show from the beginning.

Rise follows teacher Lou Mazzuchelli as he tries to revive the High School’s theater department and faces a lot of pushback from the community about his unconventional approach.

I remember watching the first episode of Rise and it hitting directly home where my heart is. Most of the time, I am not a huge fan of big ensemble casts, just because I like to focus on individuals which gets increasingly more difficult as the plot thickens. So, of course, there’s always episodes that focus on some characters more than on others to the point where there’s still people left to discover halfway through the season. It’s something you have to be prepared for, but I don’t think that it distracted from the overall most important story arcs.

As I mentioned above, many people have compared it to Glee, but the show strikes a much more mature tone. Due to it focusing on a musical production and not Glee club in general, there is also less singing and especially no random bursting into a song when they aren’t actually auditioning or rehearsing for the play. The problems the characters are facing seem very tailored to the characters they are playing in the chosen musical, “Spring Awakening”, so I wonder how that will go over the span of several seasons.

Overall, there’s a lot of different topics that are being treated. There’s a definite focus on the parent-child-relationships and I really loved seeing the various nuances of that so far. In addition to that, there’s conversations about transgender issues, teen pregnancy, underage drinking and alcoholism, exploring ones sexuality, the foster system and general societal pressure to fit into a certain mold. It does all that with a lot of compassion, showing the characters when they overstep or make something about themselves when it’s really not. I am not trying to say Rise does everything right, but it offers a platform for a lot of representation.

I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, because I am terrible at picking just one person to spotlight, especially when there is such a huge cast. Everyone brings something to the table, but I guess I am a little partial to Maashous’ storyline.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I would like to foster or adopt children in the future. From a young age on, I always had this idea of wanting to help those kids and teens once I was grown up (and able to care for someone else), but somehow I was also too chicken to pursue a career as a social worker. Anyway, before I get off track too much, Maashous is one of those kids in the foster system and I guess that’s why I was so invested in his story.

He is quiet, the kind of person you may not notice, but who is always around. He cares for his friends, seems very open-minded from what I saw so far and is willing to help whenever someone needs him. So, it broke my heart to know that he had troubles in his foster home and ended up sleeping at school. He deserves so much better! I don’t want to spoil what happens, but it gets better and I hope you might tune in to find out how exactly.

Have you watched Rise? Do you want to? Let’s talk!

#CurrentlyWatching: The Good Place

By some miracle, I am able to keep having a theme for each week of #CurrentlyWatching posts and this week is all about sitcoms with depth. I can’t exactly say what it is with sitcoms, but usually they are terrible at holding my attention. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy watching them, but they rarely have a compelling overarching theme or storyline that compels me to watch every single episode. Well, until the shows came around that I am going to present to you now, starting with The Good Place.

The Good Place airs on NBC, has currently 2 seasons available and is already renewed for a third one (Major YAAAS! for that). As I mentioned, it’s a sitcom, so episodes are usually about 20 minutes long.

Eleanor died and made it to the Good Place. Or has she? A seemingly small mix-up that Eleanor refuses to clear up in fear of having to go to the bad place, leads to consequences for all the inhabitants of her new neighborhood.

Is everything really fine? No, it is not and it’s hilarious. Surprisingly enough, I keep meeting people who haven’t even heard of The Good Place yet, but for me it was such a breakout star when it premiered at the end of 2016. While it is funny at all times, it also manages to carry a life message or get an ethical point across without ever turning really heavy. I can appreciate that, because there are days you don’t want the heavy stuff on your screen.

Also, while the concept may seem formulaic, I can promise you that there are tons of twists and turns that you won’t be expecting. Obviously I am not going to give anything away here, but let’s just say it’s big and very good!

During the past two season, I’d say we’ve gotten a pretty good look at the main characters, without having seen ALL there is to them. With flashbacks (that are thankfully not overused) we discover more about the humans, but also Michael – the architect of the this particular neighborhood in the Good Place.

I like that there is such variation in the personalities. You are bound to recognize both, good and bad, traits in each of them that you are probably also able to find in yourself. Eleanor, for example, may be rude and selfish, but it’s mostly because she had to fend for herself from a young age on and therefore knows the world doesn’t hand out freebies. Or Chidi, the ethics and moral professor, who is so flustered by the idea of making the right choice that he sometimes fails to make any choice at all. I’d like to go more into detail, because these characters are absolutely fantastic, but I just realised how many spoilers are potentially in their description, so I’d rather have you discover them yourselves.

There is so much to love about this show. Janet, who can’t technically be classified as a person, is definitely among the favourite parts of the show. However, there was always something about Eleanor and Chidi’s relationship that fascinated me the most. Actually, all relationships Eleanor has are interesting, because they don’t just make her but the other person a better being as well. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that there are several main characters, with Kristen Bell’s Eleanor kind of being the main main character among them.

So, that’s it for today. I hope I could pique your interest for this show a little bit. Again, it is funny, explores some moral issues but never fails to surprise and stay interesting as it continues on the long run (seriously, the season finales are the bomb!).

Have you watched The Good Place? Do you like it as much as me? Who else is pumped for Season 3?

#CurrentlyWatching: Timeless


It’s that time of the week again where I get too swoon over a show. As you can see, I have chosen Timeless and I just want to clarify that I am not getting paid by NBC to talk about these shows (seriously, I WISH that was the case. I’d be living the dream). No, no, it’s a complete coincidence that I am featuring two NBC shows in a row, but when my TV-obsession strikes, I just have to go with it.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of time travel, but there were a couple new shows coming out and paired with the already running program from this season and I felt like the topic was a bit of an overkill. I tried pretty much all of them and Timeless definitely stuck with me the most so far.

An unlikely trio, made up of historian Lucy, soldier Wyatt and programmer/pilot Rufus, has to chase a criminal throughout history to prevent him from changing reality as they know it. All the while they are dealing with ripple effects in their personal life and the dangerous agendas of secret societies they are unaware of.


So, I want you to go into this with low expectations. Not just with that show, but pretty much everything! It helps so much in terms of enjoyment, believe me on this one. Timeless isn’t a bad show at all, however, it also isn’t groundbreaking. It is low-key SciFi. The episodes are sort of formulaic, with similar things happening each week. Let me break it down for you:

  • Flynn (villain) registers somewhere in time, the trio follows with a vague idea of which historic event they have to protect.
  • Some guy (in every single time period) crushes on Lucy.
  • Rufus struggles being the black guy stranded in history, yet remains the character with the most sense of humour.
  • Wyatt goes into situations guns blazing and finds a way to mention his dead wife.
  • Flynn escapes because he was 5 steps ahead the entire time.
  • They get back to their time, something has changed and only they can remember how it was before.

I do realise that it doesn’t sound like I am making much of a case for the show here, but you have to consider that once you know what you are getting into, you can enjoy the really fun part of the show – the characters! Lucy (Abigail Spencer – whom I love) is an insanely smart and strong woman. She might not literally run around kicking people’s asses, but that’s honestly what Wyatt is for. She is so dedicated to saving her family, beating herself up over things that weren’t really her fault, and all the while she’s doing an incredibly difficult job and trying to hold her life together. Wyatt (Matt Lanter) is a bit of a tough one for me. He’s like the Southern gentleman who wants to get his dead wife back, former soldier who went a little astray, if you know what I mean? I usually like Matt, but he’s sometimes a little too rash and then again also bland. He really shines when he takes care of Lucy though, but we are getting to that later. Now, Rufus (Malcolm Barrett) – he’s my precious cinnamon roll! He’s definitely the funniest of the bunch but also the geekiest. So, maybe that’s how I relate to him. He has to make some difficult decisions, but I think at his heart he’s a really good guy, he just needs to believe in himself more.

So, generally, I really enjoy watching this show. I can overlook holes in the time travel logic in favour of interesting historical cameos and development among the relationships of the main characters. If you can dispense belief as well at times, it is definitely worth checking out!


Choosing a ship was actually really difficult this week! On the one side there is the adorableness of Rufus and Jiya, but ultimately the angst of Lucy and Wyatt won. It’s just that Rufus and Jiya are so much less complicated. They simply had to express their feelings once and they were good to go. Now, if they can keep the communication coming, I am not worried about them one bit.


Lucy and Wyatt are a different story though. Wyatt still very much wants his wife back and Lucy is technically engaged, even if he is a by-product of changed reality. But those two have crazy chemistry and no one can tell me that they aren’t falling for each other. Can you grasp the implications of that though? Wyatt will have to let go of his wife, which I very much doubt that he is ready for. And Lucy, well, she’s going to sound crazy if she ever comes clean to her family. I think her part in all of this is easier, although she knows that he isn’t emotionally available. Oh, how I love couples that will probably need 3 seasons to get together! I mean, of course they are incredibly frustrating, but it works very well for me on this show.


There honestly aren’t that many reasons why you shouldn’t watch it. At least nothing much I can think of. Maybe stir clear of this if you aren’t into historical inaccuracies, time travel that doesn’t always make sense (especially when it comes to memory) and shows that don’t take themselves too seriously. *cough* Or if you find it ridiculous that there is at least one guy in every era who’s hitting on Lucy *cough*

Are you watching Timeless? Are you interested in checking it out?

#CurrentlyWatching: Emerald City


I know, I know, there was something about me not wanting to talk about Emerald City all too soon, but what can I say? I couldn’t hold back any longer, I just love it too much. In case you’ve missed the previous post in this awesomely new feature, you can go check out the the first ever #CurrentlyWatching here. Right now I am just going to jump into the matter at hand!

Emerald City is a new show on NBC, currently in its first season with episodes that last about 40-something minutes. This is a story where The Wizard of Oz meets Game of Thrones. You definitely shouldn’t expect some sort of faithful retelling, because you are sure not going to get it. But go into it with an open mind and I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy about this show. Take a look!

Dorothy Gale, a 20-year old Kansas nurse, wants to build a relationship with her biological mother, who gave her up for adoption. But when she goes to find her, she finds a crime scene and a brewing storm instead. Taking shelter in a police squad car, the twister transports her and a police dog to the Land of Oz where Dorothy promptly runs over the Wicked Witch of the East. Facing a world she doesn’t know, where magic exists but is firmly banned, Dorothy has to find her way home again. All the while she doesn’t know that she is part of a prophecy that will change things in Oz forever.


You still get Dorothy (let’s not dwell on the fact that there’s no way she’s only 20) the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (took me a while to figure that last one out), but all of it with a twist! The Wizard is a man of science who has banned magic, but the Witches are still considered most prestigious among the people. It’s a corrupted and more dark version of Oz, one very afraid of what might happen upon the arrival of Dorothy, because there haven’t been any travelers coming this way for a very long time.

I immediately fell in love with the show. The costumes, the make up, the set design – everything! Most of the visuals are gorgeous and it is so much fun to figure out all the similarities and differences to the original story. Not once have I been so invested in anything Oz related (it wasn’t even one of my favourite classic stories before), but there’s such an air of mystery to it now, you simply never know what might happen next. I don’t want to give away any of the twists and turns, because that would take all the fun out of you watching the show, however, there is so much unexpected to explore. I mean, peoples, there is even a transgender storyline! The cast is simply amazing and everyone is fully convincing in their roles. Rather than just focusing on Dorothy alone (although she is being capable and badass AF), you get to see all perspectives, without an overload of information (more the opposite of that). There are so many morally ambiguous characters we don’t know half of the motivation of yet, each week, I am sitting in agony, because I can’t wait for the next episode.


This is a new part of #CurrentlyWatching that will probably make an appearance in several of the upcoming posts. The thing is, I can’t really commit to a show without people to ship with each other. Interpersonal relationships are my jam and even my dramaturgy teacher had to admit that I was pretty darn good at spying a romantic entanglement from a single scene in a script. So, here I am, needing a place to swoon over all those amazing couples TV offers, starting with Dorothy and Lucas!

Right from the beginning, when Dorothy saves Lucas’ life, you can see sparks flying. The attraction is immediate and palpable TV chemistry at its best. The way they lean into each other or even just the way they look at each other, there was simply no way around me shipping them. But don’t you worry, they are not just perfect boring couple material. Lucas, which is not even his real name (really cute-Dorothy-involving scene how he got that name by the way!), can’t remember a thing about his life before he met Dorothy. The man is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but when scraps of the man he used to be surface, there is clear tension between him an Dorothy. So, there is conflict, but at the same time they don’t tease you forever, but progress quite nicely.


One of the things I love most about them, is the way they act when there is danger ahead. It’s like they subconsciously move closer to each other, seeking comfort, even when they had known each other for all of five minutes. They hold hands or half-hug each other as if they could protect the other person that way somehow and it just makes my heart do all sorts of happy jumps. Sometimes it’s the little things that are the best!


Again, this portion of the post will be pretty short. I would not recommend you watch this show if you are uncomfortable with/don’t like one or more of the following things: unfaithful retellings, suicide, amputations, violence in general, recreational drug use, prostitution, …

So, what do you say folks? Are you going to tune in to Emerald City? If so, don’t forget to let me know, either here or on Twitter!