Finally, with just one more season left to film, “Friday Night Lights” is gettin’ some much needed love and attention. A little TLC if you will. Not only were stars Kyle Chandler (that’s Coach Eric Taylor to you civilians) and his lovely costar the incredibly talented Connie Britton (counselor/principal/counselor Tami Taylor) nominated for Emmy awards, but the show itself was nominated as well. So, so happy. No wins, but finally, some attention from the quiet, patient, talented, bright child in the corner.
In its current issue, Relevant magazine took on the task of finding five shows that are “saving” TV. One of the most redemptive qualities of this show is its ability to portray what seems to me to be an accurate portrayal of family and especially marriage (not that you’re asking what I think marriage should look like, but you are here after all, so maybe I should stop ‘splainin’ myself already). Relevant calls the Taylors’ relationship “a hopeful picture of marriage as a partnership and a balm, soothing the struggles of everyday life through companionship.”
How great is that? Marriage as a “balm,” a refuge from the rest of the world. Not a tally of who did or didn’t do what, though sometimes, if we’re realistic and honest, it can become that on our worst days. To be fair, representations of those bad days make their way onscreen, too.
Recently, Kyle Chandler spoke to the delicate balance the series’ creator Peter Berg established in the Taylors’ marriage with Diablo Cody for her her Red Band Trailer. It’s also worth noting how warm and charming Cody is–such a stark contrast to the name she’s given herself in “Diablo.” Guess I should’ve expected nothing less from the genius who penned Juno and created HBO’s “The United States of Tara.” You can view the interview with Chandler entitled “Friday Afternoon Delight” (love!) here:
As a former actor, I appreciated the bit toward the end where Chandler talks about how he and Britton approach their characters’ marriage. Something about asking Berg if they were ever going to split up. Berg’s answer was a simple negative; the Taylors were/are in it for keeps. Chandler describes knowing this plan as giving he and Britton a lot of “freedom” in how they portray their characters and how they relate to one another. They find freedom in knowing the old ball-and-chain is staying fixed tight.
A delicate balance of freedom and commitment. Heavy and light. It’s almost as if these actors portray marriage as an anchor with a set of wings. That’s how I see it anyway. I find it refreshing, and I can only hope I offer that to the hubs.
Back in the day when we got married, I asked my friend the beautiful and talented Christine Brown to read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 before we exchanged our vows. I’d totally forgotten about it until I saw the interview on Red Band Trailer. It goes a little something like this:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
That Will. His Mama must’ve been real proud. By the by, who has a poem with the word “doom” in it read before she gets married? Uh, that’d be me. I think it’s sort of romantic in its straightforwardness: I’m not going anywhere. You’re stuck with me. No matter how the situations around us change, I’ll be your constant. (Extra points for me for making a reference to “Lost.” I heart you Desmond!)
Make no mistake that I do not think I have the perfect marriage, nor do I think I know exactly what it takes to go the distance. I guess just wanna say, “Babe, I’m a boulder. I ain’t goin’ nowhere.” Does that make you feel free? Light and airy?
Maybe I should rethink my metaphors.