I watched season I of ‘Friday Night Lights’ over the weekend. Twenty-two episodes in 72 hours. The series has been critically acclaimed but audiences haven’t really warmed up to it.
I was curious about the series because I’m pitching my own football show and I wanted to know what I was up against.
I liked the series. However, despite being a ‘football’ show, there’s very little football in it. There’s also a massive cast. Every single character wants something, and has some kind of problem getting it. In some cases, those wants are profound. In others, it’s a bit of a weak effort… more like the writers followed a writing principal that says stories need conflict, but they don’t really have a good reason for putting it there.
I realized I need to make a much more thorough effort of mapping out the series arc for ‘Highwaymen’. I need to treat it like a four hour story, rather than a series of half hours. I have some strong ideas about some things. I’m drawing a blank for others. I need to write characters who don’t exist yet. I need to tie them into the overall series arc, not to mention the theme.
Where to begin? ‘WHEN to begin’ is a better question. I need some sort of positive movement with the pilot episode script. These things take time. I’ve made inroads to a production company with a sterling track record for producing popular TV series in Canada. I made a connection at TSN as well. Select members of the football community and the media also have been acquainted with the project. It’s a matter of patience… again.
I guess I need more information if I’m going to write the rest of the series. I need to talk to football people and pick up old war stories. I need to dig deeper into my philosophy texts. I need to learn more about psychology, and schizophrenia.
That’s a lot of work, and there’s not much of a point doing it until the pilot script gets a decision maker’s blessing. Still, I really want to do it. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than writing a great story.