Clear Eyes, Full Hearts – How Friday Night Lights and Works of Fiction Can and Should Inspire Anyone

It’s been over a year now that Coach and Mrs. Taylor walked off the field on NBC’s Friday Night Lights. But for fans, the show continues to live on with fond memories of five seasons (well, maybe half-fond for season 2) of exemplary television.

Surprisingly enough, the series has popped up in the last week in the most unlikely of places… the presidential campaign. Continue reading

For Your Emmy Consideration – Friday Night Lights

Five years, five seasons. Friday Night Lights defied the odds and remained TV’s biggest underdog. It might not have been grabbed the ratings, but it certainly captured the hearts and minds of the millions of fans who were lucky enough to have watched.

A drama series about the residents of a small football-loving town in Texas doesn’t immediately scream Continue reading

Reviews: Friday Night Lights + Veronica Mars = Perfect Tuesday

Tonight will be a great night of television; the best new show of the season followed by one of television’s best returning dramas. While they’re both on different networks, the travel time will be well worth it.

Of course, I’m talking about Friday Night Lights (8PM/7c, NBC) and Veronica Mars (9PM/8c, CW). Two amazing dramas back to back… check them out!


FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC)
Tuesdays at 8:00PM/7:00c
It isn’t a high concept thriller like Lost or 24 or a standard CBS procedural, but Friday Night Lights packs just as much (if not more) emotional punch as the rest of the dramas on primetime television.

You don’t have to be a fan of football to enjoy the show, but if you are, you’ll love it even more.

The story of a small town in Texas all rallying behind its high school football team resonates on so many levels. From scenes of team practices, teenage/high school “drama,” family life (both comedy and drama), and the “big game” itself; everyone will find something to enjoy. But in reality, it is difficult not to enjoy all aspects of the show.

If you were a fan of NBC’s late, great American Dreams, Friday Night Lights definitely fills at least some of the void left by that great family drama. It doesn’t have to shock and awe, it doesn’t have to add some mystical supernatural element to it… Friday Night Lights is filled with many genuinely truthful and sincere moments and all of them make up an overall warm, exciting, thrilling, down to earth drama series.

Its premise sounds so simple, yet it entertains and satisfies everything you could want in a primetime drama series, while still going beyond. Easily the best new show of the season.


VERONICA MARS (CW)
Tuesdays at 9:00PM/8:00cThis critical darling may need to pull something big out to save itself. Though never a ratings hit, Veronica Mars has consistently been one of network television’s best dramas. Kristen Bell delivers numerous Emmy worthy performances, as well as her on-screen father, Enrico Colantoni. As the show adopts a new format and with Veronica starting a new life in college, the series will get a refreshing and welcome change. The CW is pushing its pairing with Gilmore Girls, but everyone will have to wait and see what will be the ultimate fate of this television gem.
The pilot is absolutely great and effortlessly brings Veronica to Hearst College without skipping a beat. The new characters are interesting, the returning characters are their usual selves, it should be a great season (hopefully a full 22 episode season!).

First Impression Reviews: 2006 Fall Season!

TYPE OF REVIEW : FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEWS
These are from 2006, so spoiler warning is irrelevant lol

BEST NEW SHOW OF THE SEASON
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC)
Premieres Tuesday, October 3 at 8:00PM/7:00c
The single, best new series of the fall season. With an amazing cast, an outstandingly written story, spectacular cinematography, and genuine sincerity, Friday Night Lights will appeal to everyone. It isn’t a high concept thriller like Lost or 24 or a standard CBS procedural, but Friday Night Lights packs just as much (if not more) emotional punch as the rest of the dramas on primetime television.
If you were a fan of NBC’s late, great American Dreams, Friday Night Lights definitely fills at least some of the void left by that great family drama. It does not have to shock and awe, it doesn’t have to add some mystical supernatural element to it… Friday Night Lights is filled with many genuinely truthful and sincere moments and all of them make up an overall warm, exciting, thrilling, down to earth drama series.
Its premise sounds so simple, yet it entertains and satisfies everything you could want in a primetime drama series, while still going beyond. Easily the best new drama of the season.

CREAM OF THE CROP
HEROES (NBC)
Premieres Monday, September 25 at 9:00PM/8:00c
As one of the most talked about new shows of the season, Heroes manages to live up to most of the hype.
In an overarching plot, an Indian professor whose father has compiled research supporting the possibility that humans have not yet reach their full evolutionary potential. The series introduces us to the other main characters as we see them in their different stages of discovering that they indeed possess supernatural powers.
While the series introduces the characters one after the other, the viewer does not feel overwhelmed. Each character has a distinct personality, all interesting in their own ways, and all able to draw in the viewer. By the last 5 minutes of the pilot, the viewer should already be hooked, but a couple of revelations at the end of the first hour seal the deal.
Heroes definitely does a great job at pulling the audience into what will become an epic story and exciting adventure.

KIDNAPPED (NBC)
Premieres Wednesday, September 20 at 10:00PM/9:00c
“The son of a wealthy New York family is kidnapped and everyone is a suspect.” It’s a simple premise, but the show manages to make it into an exciting and intriguing story. Kidnapped offers much more than what is on paper. It is well paced with many different story possibilities branching out from this one, sad event in a family’s life. The superb acting adds a lot more to the show and the actors effortlessly portray the wide range of emotions that their characters go through. It is simply a good show.

JERICHO (CBS)
Premieres Wednesday, September 20 at 8:00PM/7:00c
A mushroom cloud is seen on the horizon. And so everything changes. Jericho effectively captures the rush and mix of emotions that would be caused by the unexpected event of a nuclear explosion. The show includes many very emotional and touching moments, while also emphasizing the intriguing premise of a town disconnected from the entire world. Jericho lacked something in the pilot (I can’t put my finger on it), but it did set up the series very well and one can easily see the potential.

HAS POTENTIAL
30 ROCK (NBC)
Premieres Wednesday, October 11 at 8:30PM/7:30c

IS IT MIDSEASON YET?
Two of the best new dramas of the 2006-2007 season won’t even reach the airwaves until midseason.
TRAVELER (ABC)
ABC’s Traveler is easily one of the most exciting and well paced new dramas this upcoming season. Scheduled for midseason, Traveler tells the story of three college buddies, Jay, Tyler, and Will, embarking on a cross country road trip. “They are about to depart on a summer trip when a simple prank to rollerblade through one of New York City’s most famous museums makes Jay and Tyler prime suspects in a terrorist bombing that destroys the museum seconds later.” Will soon turns up missing, and they fear him dead.
The series goes beyond its seemingly simple premise to present a real nonstop thriller. The look and feel of the show has a certain cinematic feel that few on network television can achieve. Traveler is definitely one of the most promising new shows of the new season. It is unfortunate that we all have to wait a couple more months for it.

THE BLACK DONNELLYS (NBC)
As someone who passes on The Sopranos and doesn’t see what the big deal is about The Godfather, I have to say that The Black Donnellys is one of the best new dramas of the season. The pilot is unbelievably well written, and while watching it, I completely forgot that it was “from Academy Award winners Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco,” who were behind Crash.
The series focuses on an Irish-American family, living in New York City, who would do anything to protect and defend their family. Bottom line, it’s about the mob. But before you think Sopranos, The Black Donnellys has a completely different feel and vibe about it that places itself in its own category. It has an engaging story, and the series manages to effortlessly balance light comedy with VERY heavy, dramatic moments. The cast is solid and carry the show well. As I said earlier, the pilot is very well written with intricate points that all add up. A simply amazing pilot, setting up what should be an amazing series.