Thursday, October 02, 2008

'Lights' burn brightly again

Well, my guilty pleasure is back.

After a considerable hiatus (thank you, writer's strike), "Friday Night Lights," television's best hour-long drama, is back on TV. The catch is it's only on DIRECTV, so if you aren't a subscriber, you'll have to wait until the show airs on NBC early next year.

The first episode of the new season aired last night. Got distracted, so I had to click the TiVO. But, from what I saw, it looks like our old friends are back with a bang.

Early reviews suggest the show's budget has been tweaked considerably. Popular characters are being phased out or are no longer on the show.

But it's hard to complain. We wouldn't even have enjoyed a third season if not for the unique partnership between DIRECTV and NBC that gives the satellite provider exclusive first broadcasting rights to the show.

I don't know why more people haven't discovered this little gem. I think folks think the show is about football and won't give it a chance. But it captures modern day small-town life better than anything I've seen in many moons, especially on network TV. The characters feel real, not like the blowed-dry stereotypes that usually populate these kind of shows.

The only misstep in three seasons was the insane "murder" subplot that kicked off the show's second season. Thankfully, all that's behind us now, never to be remembered.

I'll post up a review of the season premiere as soon as I have time to watch it. Glad to see that those "Friday Night Lights" are burning brightly again.

Check "FNL" out on The 101 if you are a DIRECTV subscriber. Otherwise, be looking for it in February on NBC.

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