Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bon voyage to the best show on TV

So, I have watched the final episode of "Friday Night Lights," the best show on television, the one most of you don't watch.

That is a shame, but it's a story for another day. Today is time to say so long, farewell, thanks for the memories, adios. For five improbable years, "FNL" has treated viewers to smart, realistic, funny, touching television. We've witnessed superb acting, even better writing, a gritty sense of realism and a rare sight in modern network television -- realistic, deeply realized character arcs.

Other than one major exception -- the silly "murder" plot in the second season -- this show has held true to itself, felt more like a documentary than drama, and offered fans wonderful moments in American television.

Oh, how I can brag -- about Kyle Chandler's Coach Eric Taylor, about Connie Britton's Tami Taylor, about their perfectly portrayed marriage; about Taylor Kitsch, and Zach Gilford, and Jesse Plemons and Minka Kelly and Michael B. Jordan and Gaius Charles and so many other fine young actors.

But, I have to brag about the best -- Brad Leland as Buddy Garrity, the most honest and perfectly played character on the program. Every community in America has a Buddy Garrity hovering around its high school football program. You know who they are. Watching Brad's Buddy, week after week, season after season, has been a true treat.

It was a show about high school football, but then again, it wasn't. It was about life, loving your family, growing up, overcoming adversity, making choices and learning to live with them. It was good, darn good, something to be savored.

I won't give away anything about the series finale in a nod to you poor souls who have to wait for the NBC spring broadcast or the final season DVD release. Don't want to spoil it. (I saw it on DirecTV's exclusive fall broadcast.)

This show has been so awesome, so authentic, so apt for this chapter of the American experience. In case you missed it, surf now over to Netflix or Amazon or somewhere to get the DVDs, or hold tight until the NBC airing of season five starts soon.

Forgive the trite analogy, but "Friday Night Lights" has been five years worth of forward passes, all thrown for touchdowns, proof positive that terrific television isn't a thing of the past.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, great show. Wish I had followed it closer.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Unfortunately, this tends to happen to really good shows. Many of us saw Arrested Development as the gatekeeper to a new generation of sitcoms, but as the promotion efforts of FOX shifted to newer shows, viewer ship waned. FOX pulled the plug. Other great shows are still on TV, but it seems that they're getting harder to find. Rescue Me and Breaking Bad are fantastic, but both are buried in the cable line up behind shows that embrace game show culture and tired re-runs of police procedurals. It makes me increasingly thankful for DVD.

9:24 PM  

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