Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Dec 21, 2009

The Best TV of 2009

... "Yes, this year, bad TV was still bad. But good TV? Good TV was smart and weird and hilarious and fun and provocative -- remarkably so. This year, TV overachieved, and instead of one or two quirky, original, suspenseful, strange shows, we had about 15 of them. If that sounds like an exaggeration, well, maybe you're watching the wrong stuff.

6. "Friday Night Lights"

Instead of keeping its high school graduates around indefinitely, all of them becoming general managers at Applebee's, doomed to comp Coach Taylor's (Kyle Chandler) barbecue rib platters until the end of time, the show's writers wisely chose to send these kids off into the world on their own. A third season dominated by long goodbyes should've been an intolerable, uneven mess, but "Friday Night Lights" milked every moment for all it was worth, and in so doing, sent Smash Williams (Gaius Charles), Jason Street (Scott Porter), Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) and the others off in style. Only Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) and Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) remained in the show's fourth season this fall on DirecTV (the show will air on NBC in 2010), but the writers have wisely taken their time to weave new characters into the mix. Coach Taylor's new gig at East Dillon High has proved a rich and necessary source of story lines. While the "bad boy gets drunk and reckless" plot is probably repeated a little bit too often, ultimately the emotional impact of "Friday Night Lights" remains as strong as ever, most recently evidenced by an unexpected major turn in Matt Saracen's life that led to the show's strongest episode this season. Although its odd on-air schedule makes it challenging to write about "Friday Night Lights" in anything but veiled terms (to avoid spoiling it for those who'll eventually watch it on NBC), thank the good lord that DirecTV and NBC found a way to keep this sweet, humble, yet utterly original drama on the air for as long as they have, because, in its best moments, "Friday Night Lights" is simply transcendent."

Here's to ending 2009 on a VERY positive note.

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