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“It’s a show that, on the surface at least, is about things I’m happily distanced from – organized sports, parental rules, teen angst, and curfews – and I was going to write about something completely different this month (ie. something germane to Art 21 and Open Enrollment, something to do with contemporary art and graduate school life). Then I realized I’d fallen for it so quickly because it wasn’t that wide of the mark in terms of current experience (hence my overextended football metaphor at the start). I have to admit that I was hooked as soon as the opening credits began with the symphonic guitar arrangements of Texas-based post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. I spent a lot of time a decade ago in the fog and rain of Glasgow completing my undergrad essays in a rather grim library building listening to EITS and Mogwai, and both (along with other staples of that time – Arab Stap, Belle & Sebastian, the Manic Street Preachers) are almost synonymous with the slogging tedium of sitting for full weekend days (and nights) ticking off one academic deadline after another before starting all over again on Monday morning. Like another recent favorite, Lena Dunham’sTiny Furniture, which perfectly captures the confusion of the first summer of post-undergraduate life, FNL invokes the nostalgia of teenage-hood, when everything mattered so intensely (though unlike Dunham’s well-observed navel-gazing, the FNL kids all have part time jobs at Applebee’s and the local burger joint, rather than an artsy parent to go home to talk over life with). FNL reminds me of a time when homework ended, and spring nights were for running around aimlessly with friends in fields, in back yards, out of the eyesight of parents – and I shamelessly luxuriate in this easy nostalgia (I, too, grew up in a small town where contact sports and post-rock ruled). It reminds me to take pleasure in the parts of school that still matter, still so intensely, while slogging through the Applebee’s/grading/minimum-wage aspects of grad school life. Or, let’s be honest, it just lets me forget about those parts for 43 glorious minutes….”