Many, many times have I told you about “the best show on television.” I think it was The Wire. Battlestar Galactica is up there, of course.
Tonight let me tell you about Friday Night Lights.
Seemingly cancelled, twice, I think. It just keeps coming back for more. And delivering high-quality scripted drama, every week. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were several episodes last season where they almost lost me. The Landry/Tyra I-killed-someone subplot had me reaching for the remote, I admit. But Zach Gilford is either completely like that in real life, or else he is one of the best—if not the best—actor on television today, bar none. I know that TV shows about high schoolers played by people in their 30s gets annoying, but this is well worth it. From Coach Taylor’s Texas reticence, to Buddy Garrity’s Texas flamboyance, the creators of this show have captured Texas football.
But this is not a show about football. It uses football to examine its characters, and the tensions that flow behind the game. Brilliantly, in my humble opinion.
Check out the pilot, and episode two of season one called Eyes Wide Open. The last scene with Matt and the coach are worth it all. Zach puts so much into one line, and one lopsided smile. He’s in the same category as Andre Braugher from Homicide (which for me is the gold standard of television acting).