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Showing posts with the label DirecTV

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

Channel Surfing: FOX Axes Lone Star, Lie to Me Moves to Mon and Human Target to Wed, Josh Schwartz/Rachel Bilson's Ghost and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's official: the axe has fallen on FOX's low-rated con-man drama Lone Star after just two episodes. The initial outing for the James Wolk-led ensemble drama lured only 4 million viewers or so and the second episode saw its fortunes decline further still, with only 3.2 million tuning in. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that production on the 20th Cenutyr Fox Television-produced drama will shut down immediately. “We will have shot five completed episodes after the pilot,” a studio spokesperson told Ausiello, “and will not complete principal photography on episode 106.” No word on the fate of the four unaired episodes that have already been shot. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) [Editor: As one unnamed network insider told Variety 's Michael Schneider: "The viewers have spoken." Meanwhile, AOL Television's Maureen Ryan explores her take on what the cancellation of

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

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

Damages Report: Televisionary Talks to Rose Byrne and Executive Producer Daniel Zelman About Season Four

I'm already getting excited about the fourth season of serpentine legal thriller Damages , which moves from FX to DirecTV next year, following a landmark deal that brought the series back from the brink of cancellation and guaranteed a fourth and fifth season. Quite a lot has changed since I spoke to creators Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler, and Todd A. Kessler for my Season Three postmortem over at The Daily Beast , not least of which is that surprising (and very welcome) two-season pickup and the series' move to the satcaster's The 101 Network. At last night's Sony Pictures Television party at the Beverly Hilton's Bar 210, I caught up with executive producer/co-creator Daniel Zelman and series lead (and Emmy Award nominee) Rose Byrne to discuss Season Four of Damages , why things always come back to the dock outside Patty's beach house, where we might find Ellen Parsons, whether we'll see Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan) again, why Ellen seems to have forgiven Pat