I saw the movie, and I remember not being overly impressed. I heard NBC was turning it into a television show, and I remember not being overly impressed. I’ve since watched… oh, about twenty-five episodes in the last couple weeks (yes, I am that pathetic), and I am impressed.
I was even more impressed when I saw this (about the show) on wikipedia:
Though scripted like any hour-long television drama performers are given great leeway in the delivery of their lines and the blocking of each scene. If actors feel that something is not true to their character or that a mode of delivery doesn’t work they are free to change it provided they still hit the vital plot points.
The freedom that producers have extended to the performers is complemented by the fact that the show is taped without rehearsal and without extensive blocking. Camera operators on the show are trained to follow the actors rather than actors standing in one place and having cameras fixed around them. This allows performers to not only feel free to make changes but to feel safe in making those changes because the infrastructure will work around them. Executive producer Jeffrey Reiner described this method as “no rehearsal, no blocking, just three cameras and we shoot.”
I hated high school, and I’m not a big fan of high school based fiction. However, Cheryl and I really like this show. Now I just hope it won’t be cancelled. That’s usually what happens to shows we like.
Here’s the pilot episode. Maybe you’ll watch next season too, and it won’t be cancelled after all (like all of my readers combined could make a Nielsen dent).