Clear Eyes, Full Hearts… Friday Night Lights Finally Breaks Through at the Emmys!

I made a point to get up at 5:25am today just to watch the Emmy nominations live. The kinda TV geek that I am, I’ve sometimes been able to get myself up out of bed the last couple of years just to see the nominees read out live. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything much, if anything the already predicted nominees and comfort in the fact that The Amazing Race would take the first step towards their assured 8th consecutive Emmy.

I may still have been half-asleep, at least I thought I was. After seeing Joel McHale stand there and wrongly get snubbed (both him and Community), they came to the Drama Lead Actor category. And that’s when I thought I was still in bed dreaming.

“Kyle Chandler… Friday Night Lights”
Huh? What!?! Did Joel just say what I think he said? Kyle fracking Chandler from Friday Night Fracking Lights was just announced as a nominee for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series?!?!

The realization didn’t even start to sink in and before I could pick myself up off the floor, Sofia Vergara reads the nominees for Drama Lead Actress…

“Connie Britton… Friday Night Lights”
Now I’m in tears. Is it really happening? Did it really happen? Finally, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences actually decided to recognize this little show that could?

I would have been content with Kyle Chandler getting the nod, but having both him and Connie Britton is just amazing. I cried, I applauded, I cheered. After four years, these two amazing actors and this little amazing show finally getting recognized by the Academy. I never thought this day would come.

And while the series managed to get left off the Drama Series list (as well as no nomination for Zach Gilford in Guest Actor), the best hour of television this season, “The Son” was nominated in the Drama Series Writing category. Plus, the now-regular nomination for the show in Drama Series Casting.

It is such an incredible feeling. So many people wanted Kyle and Connie and the show to be nominated, but never really thought it would happen. And it actually has. For a show like Friday Night Lights that has gone through a unique television life, amidst critical and fan acclaim, to finally get recognized is just huge.

I wrote yesterday about Emmys not the be all, end all for television programs, actors, and creatives. And many people, including the cast and crew of the show itself were fine with the support they’ve received from the fans and the critics even if the greater American audience and the Emmys hadn’t joined in. But it means a lot for a show that many thought would remain a cult hit, to maybe finally break into the big leagues and be mentioned in the same conversations as some bigger, more mainstream television programs.

Of course, just being nominated is an honor, and Kyle and Connie certainly have done their part to deserve the nominations. Now it’s on to the big prize. They certainly have a shot and after today, can anyone really count Friday Night Lights out anymore?

Here’s to even bigger prizes next year!
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts… Can’t Lose!

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