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Showing posts with the label Friday Night Lights

Striving to Be Better: Expectations and Deviations on Friday Night Lights

I'm just going to say it upfront: I'm hating Julie's storyline. I always like to give Friday Night Lights the benefit of the doubt when it comes to storytelling (except, maybe, for the murder conspiracy storyline in Season Two ), but the weakness of the current college plot for Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) was all the more apparent this week when it was juxtaposed with the strength and grace of the storyline for Vince (Michael B. Jordan). This week's episode of Friday Night Lights ("The Right Hand of the Father"), written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman and directed by David Boyd, attempted to balance the two plots, as well as a third about striving to be a better person in light of last week's disastrous party and the drunken behavior of Maura (Denise Williamson) but it didn't quite all come together for me in the end, due to the lackluster nature of that Julie subplot. Which is a bit of a disappointment, as Jordan's Vince delivered some

Outsiders: Cynicism and Optimism on Friday Night Lights

"State." Throughout the four-plus season run of Friday Night Lights , we've gotten quite a few inspirational speeches from Coach Taylor, spirit-rallying calls to action, soul-stirring St. Crispin's Day speeches intended to join men into a single unit, to merge them together into a single entity before they leap once more into the fray. Sometimes, however, all it takes is a single word scrawled on a dry-erase board. On this week's episode of Friday Night Lights ("On the Outside Looking In"), written by Kerry Ehrin and directed by Michael Waxman, a number of stories about isolation and unity tumbled together in an appealingly loose fashion. There was the nicely rendered parallel stories of Tami and Julie, each adrift in their own way, desperately seeking to fit into an environment that has them ill at ease. Despite the distance between mother and daughter, they're linked here by a taut thematic thread. For Tami, it's an effort to fit into her

Of Lions and Lambs: Thoughts on the Season Premiere of Friday Night Lights

"I'm going to miss this." - Eric Taylor Those words, spoken by Kyle Chandler's Eric Taylor in the season premiere of Friday Night Lights ("Expectations"), written by David Hudgins and directed by Michael Waxman, are said as he looks over at the minor squabble developing between wife Tami (Connie Britton) and daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden). But that simple sentence, offered in a sweet and rather sad tone, might as well encapsulate the overall feeling of the audience: we're going to miss this too. Even though the "this" in question might be yet flare-up of adolescence angst from Julie Taylor. But it's the fact that the Taylors are together, engaged in the regular rigors of daily life, that the entire declarative statement takes on bigger meaning. Change is coming for the Taylors, with Julie heading off the school. Their family is once again being split up and those breakfasts, those arguments, those stolen moments are soon to be a thing

The Last Waltz: An Advance Review of Season Five of Friday Night Lights

Well, this is it: the beginning of the end. After four seasons of emotionally resonant drama, a nuanced exploration of life in small town Texas, and one of the most realistic portrayals of marriage ever, television masterpiece Friday Night Lights is heading towards the its final days, beginning with this week's thrilling and evocative season premiere ("Expectations"), written by David Hudgins and directed by Michael Waxman. It's not surprising that "Expectations" had me getting choked up no less than four times over the course of 40-odd minutes, as characters made their farewells and prepared to leave Dillon behind. While their goodbyes might be temporary, it was a canny way of signaling to the audience that the final parting is still to come, that with just a dozen or so episodes left, there would be no going back to Dillon. The first two episodes of the fifth and final season--"Expectations" and next week's installment ("On the Outsi

When the Lights Go Out: Friday Night Lights Season Five Promo

Yes, it's Clear Eyes, Full Hearts time... DirecTV has unveiled its first promo trailer for the fifth and final season of Friday Night Lights , which kicks off at the end of the month on the 101 Network (and will likely air next summer on NBC). Set to The Black Keys' "When the Lights Go Out," the trailer is light on story but heavy on atmosphere as it depicts the cast of characters--including Kyle Chandler's Eric Taylor, Connie Britton's Tami, Jurnee Smollett's Jess Merriweather, Aimee Teegarden's Julie, Michael B. Jordan's Vince Howard, Madison Burge's Becky Sproles, and Matt Lauria's Luke Cafferty--getting dressed and assembling so that they can walk en masse to some kick-ass beats. The full promo for Season Five of Friday Night Lights can be viewed below as well as the episode description for the season opener. Episode 501 ("Expectations"): Coach Taylor tempers high expectations for East Dillon’s impending season as Tami

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Grey's Anatomy, Dexter, 30 Rock and More"

With so many new fall series premiering over the next two weeks, it's possible to forget that some of our favorites are heading back to the airwaves as well. Can’t remember how Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock ended? Head over to the Daily Beast to read my latest feature, "Here Comes the TV Season!" , in which I round-up 13 cliffhangers for returning shows—and offer previews of what’s to come. (It goes without saying: minor SPOILERS aheads.) The series in question? Oh, the usual suspects, including Dexter, The Good Wife, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Chuck, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Bones, Community, Castle , and 30 Rock , presented in order of premiere dates. (Which means Chuck is up first.) Plus, you can watch video previews for all 22 new network series , to boot. Which returning series are you most excited about watching this fall? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Friday Night Lights Watch: Courage and Conviction on Season Four of FNL

Earlier this week, I finished watching Season Four of Friday Night Lights and, wiping away the manly tears that fell from my eyes, I'm already anxiously awaiting the start of the fifth and final season this fall. Over the course of the summer, my wife and I have gone back and watched all four seasons of Friday Night Lights and fallen in love with this remarkable and heartfelt drama series, which in its fourth season inverted its premise to present even more complications for the central couple of Eric and Tami Taylor (Emmy Award nominees Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton), who found themselves under attack from a number of directions at once. From the school board, from the townspeople, from parents, from those who would see them fail rather than triumph. (If you missed my earlier posts about the first three seasons, you can read my thoughts on Season One here , Season Two here , and Season Three here .) Whereas the first three seasons presented a series of struggles both mari

Channel Surfing: Kara DioGuardi Leaves Idol, Treadstone Heads to CBS, Ashmore Twins Land Fringe, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. With the holiday weekend having just wrapped, no one was breaking too much news. Which isn't to say that there are no key television-based headlines, because, well, there are. Let's get to it. It's official: Kara DioGuardi will not be returning to FOX's American Idol this season. The singer-songwriter joined the judges table two years ago and FOX has now confirmed the long-gestating rumors that DioGuardi would not be returning for another season of the musical competition series. "I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave IDOL," said DioGuardi in an official statement. "I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol - it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my ne

The Daily Beast: "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already"

Could Friday Night Lights finally win an Emmy Award? Or, more importantly, isn't about time that the Academy recognized the amazing quality of this fantastic series and its lead actors? That's the question that I'm asking in a new feature over at The Daily Beast entitled "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already" where I talk to stars--and current Emmy underdogs--Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. In the piece, which went live this morning, I talk to Chandler and Britton about their nominations, saying goodbye to one another, the end of Friday Night Lights , and what the fifth and final season of FNL holds for Coach Eric and Tami Taylor. Head to the comments section to discuss why you think this series has been criminally overlooked by the Television Academy and whether you think Chandler and Britton are more than deserving to take home a statuette or two this weekend at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Season Five of Friday Night Lights begins October 27th on D

Channel Surfing: AMC Finds The Killing, Lotus Caves for Syfy and Bryan Fuller, More Office Rumors, FNL Launch Date, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. AMC has given a series order to pilot The Killing , which hails from writer/executive producer Veena Sud and Fox Television Studios and is based on Danish television series Forbrydelsen , ordering thirteen episodes which will air sometime in 2011. Series, which will star Big Love 's Mireille Enos, revolves around the murder of a young girl and a police investigation that connects several seemingly separate story threads. "We are thrilled to be moving forward with this stunning piece of television," said Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vp of original programming, production and digital content, in a statement. "It is a crime drama, but it is also a gripping character based story that pulls you in and doesn't let go. The storytelling is completely compelling, and the show is visually breathtaking." In addition to Enos, the project--which will be renamed, sadly--also stars Billy Campbell, Michelle Forbes,

Friday Night Lights Watch: Dreams Deferred (and Achieved) on Season Three of FNL

Last night, we finished watching Season Three of Friday Night Lights . I'm still recovering, emotionally, from the end of a season that brought the promise and potential back to this extraordinary series. I had no doubts that the series would come back around and be able to find its true creative direction (one without murder conspiracy cover-up plots or capital-D Drama) after the uneven and truncated second season , which screamed of network interference and, no sooner did it finally begin to find its way again, the season was cut short due to the writers strike. While I had extreme doubts about the second season, I knew that the writers--with Jason Katims at the helm--could bring back the emotional resonance and connection that the groundbreaking first season of Friday Night Lights had so effortlessly pulled off. My belief wasn't mislaid: with Season Three, the writers not only brought back the very elements that had made the series a success but built upon them, continu

Channel Surfing: HBO's Miraculous Year Lands Lee Pace, Team Darlton Talk Lost, Friday Night Lights, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. According to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, HBO's drama pilot Miraculous Year , from executive producer Kathryn Bigelow just got even more miraculous. The project, which is described as "an examination of a New York family as seen through the eyes of a charismatic, self-destructive Broadway composer," just signed a slew of stars to round out its cast, including former Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace, Linus Roache ( Law & Order ), and Stark Sands ( Generation Kill )... who will join the already high-wattage cast of Eddie Redmayne, Hope Davis, Frank Langella, and Patti LuPone. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) E! Online's Megan Masters spoke to former Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about the ABC drama's Emmy nominations now that the series has wrapped up its six-season run... and why they chose to break their radio silence. "Every year after the finale we'

Emmy Nominations Unveiled: Love for Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, Mad Men, Lost, True Blood, and More

It's that time of year again: Emmy nominations. Modern Family 's Sofia Vergara and Community 's Joel McHale were on hand bright and early this morning to announce the Primetime Emmy Award nominations. (I stayed home to watch E! Online's stream of the press conference rather than drive over there bleary-eyed and unable to conceal my frustration about overlooked performances and series in person.) While Vergara ultimately walked away with a nomination for supporting actress for Modern Family (as did most of her co-stars, in fact), McHale was sadly shut out of the nominations, as was Community , a real slap in the face (along with that for Parks and Recreation ) considering that Community and Parks were both streets ahead of The Office and 30 Rock this season. Grr. So which series did the best overall? HBO's The Pacific walked away with an impressive 24 nominations, followed closely by FOX's Glee at 19 nods, AMC's Mad Men at 17, and 15 nominations