NBC and its various cable stations are making their presentations today and tomorrow. Since it is Sunday, the critics got a little bit of a break and didn't have to start until noon, when a lunch session was held for Friday Night Lights. This session had a little bit of added juice, due to the unique deal NBC struck to have DirecTV shoulder the cost of producing the series in exchange for the rights to air new episodes on the satellite service first, before they air on NBC. Thirteen episodes will be produced and will air in October on DirecTV's 101 Network, and they'll air in February on the Peacock network.
Not surprisingly, there were as many questions about the new arrangement as there were about the creative aspects of the show. Show-runner Jason Katims and DirecTV entertainment head Eric Shanks fielded most of those questions, and the cast of the show fielded the rest.
It's a question that popped up even before our pals in Dillon had their premiere. What are they going to do when these kids start graduating? Well, we have an answer now, and I'm not sure it's going to be embraced by everyone. EW's Michael Ausiello reports that Gaius Charles (Smash) and Scott Porter (Street) have been moved to recurring status.
Producer Jason Katims released a statement that says both characters will get four episode arcs to move them into the next chapter of their lives. Presumably, those would be chapters that won't be captured by the handheld Friday Night Lights cams. The cynic in me can't help thinking that this has as much to do with the shaky nature of the FNL renewal as it does with being able to work these characters into the show. After all, the idea of budget cuts after the strange Direct TV deal isn't an outlandish one. That being said, the explanation is reasonable. They were going to have to address the graduation dilemma eventually.
Another day, another list of 10 semifinalists from the Emmys. This time, it's the Best Actor in a Drama.
There are a lot of the usual suspects on the list (which will be knocked down to five nominees in the next round), including actors from Dexter, Mad Men, Grey's Anatomy, Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, and House. One show that's not represented is Lost. I thought Matthew Fox did some great work this season, especially his drunk/screwed-up scenes.
(S02E15) Yeah. So, we can't really talk about this episode without getting into the possibility that this was the series finale of Friday Night Lights. No matter what comes of the big meetings this weekend regarding the writer's strike, there are no guarantees that the show will even get to finish season two, let alone come back for a third go. Recent comments from the network certainly don't paint an optimistic picture. And all of that is important, because where this episode ends up in the time line of the show will ultimately determine how successful it was. As episode 15 of a 22 episode second season, it was solid. As the series finale, not so much.
(S02E14) This episode left me comparing the show itself to its own fictional Panthers football team. Both had their seasons get off to a rough start, but now everyone seems to be coming together in the hopes of a strong finish. There are still no guarantees for another run at state, or a third season, but tonight was a step in the right direction for both teams. With some great development for Saracen, a turn in the Landry/Tyra story that didn't make you want to kick a writer in the crotch, and the continuation of Smash's story, a lot of points were put on the board.
(S02E12) It's an interesting title for what was ultimately a strange episode. The show on the whole continues to improve after what was a weak start to the season, but it's not without some bumps in the road. We could ask that question of so many of the characters after what we saw in this episode. Lyla, Riggins, Smash, Buddy, Santiago, Mrs. Williams. Just as easily though, it could be turned on the powers that be over at FNL.
This week's question was rather easy.
"I'm trying to find about a tv show that was in the 1990s that was cancelled. It was about a guy living in the city. He would look at the newspaper. The newspaper told the future. He would see a disaster and then save the person. Do you know the name of this tv show?"
I'm sure most of you recognize that the show in question is Early Edition starring Kyle Chandler.
(S02E10) And we're back. After a month off for viewers to celebrate the holidays, and for the networks to try and figure out how to fill up the schedule as the strike stretches on, our old pals in Dillon have returned. And things picked up right where they left off. Riggins is still wandering from home to home. Buddy is still in denial. None of us are sure just why Shelley is still living with the Taylor's. And Landry has gone from being riddled with the guilt of committing murder to being emotionally pummeled by the fact that he's fallen for a passive aggressive nutjob. It's a lot to get to, but we'll give it a shot, after the jump.
(S02E09) "Can I tell you what gets me going? Pee." - Isabella
A combination of the coming holidays and the writers strike means that "The Confession" is the last we will see of our pals in Dillon until after the new year. Like so many other shows, the break is a disappointment, but this was the right episode to head into a break with. As the episode title implies, this week brought us the big conclusion to the controversial murder mystery that began with the pilot. That is as good a point as any to stop and reset a few things.
(S05E08) I know a few people, and I've read comments from a number of others here at TV Squad, who refuse to watch the promos for shows that the networks put out. It usually boils down to them being either full of spoilers or completely misleading. If you are one of those people, this episode was for you, because not only did those of us that saw the promo have the ending spoiled, but we were also completely misled as to what the episode would be about, and I'm really not sure why the network did it. More on that, and the rest of the happenings this week in Dillon, after the jump.
(S02E07) For episode seven, "Pantherama!" brings us what I would call an odd and uneven mix of stories. With a host of new and recurring characters (Santiago, Lauren, Noelle, Noah, Jackie, Billy, Mindy) in play, something had to give. That left our old pal Street on the sidelines for this game. While he got a breather though, the Smash finally got a story of his own.
(S02E06) And you may ask yourself - Well... How did I get here?
It's a great title for this episode as we find a lot of our pals in Dillon questioning, being questioned about, or owning up to the situation they are currently in. That doesn't make for huge plot points that you can point to and say, "Look at that!" But it does bring up some interesting questions, and pave the way for stories in the future. With so many of the characters getting time this week, all of these changes actually overshadowed the one big, holy smokes, moment of the episode. That little thing you see in the screen cap.
Week five of season two brings us another packed episode. Eric is getting settled back into his role as the Panther's coach, and being with his family. Big changes are in the air for Landry on, and off, the football field. A more assertive Matt is coming to some realizations about Julie. And we find out the result of the great Mexican shark blood surgery road trip. It's a lot to get to.
(S03E04) "The Eagle has landed. It's a done deal." - Buddy Garrity
Another Friday night spent with NBC, and this one came across as a little bit strange. Not bad strange, or good heavens, what now strange. Just that the story here caught me a little off guard. It's a little early in the season for what you might call a pivotal episode. Usually at this point things are being put in motion, or big picture stories are getting a break for a stand-alone episode. Such is not the case in Dillon, as three big stories had big moments this week. To balance it out, we also had more from the shark blood road trip, and the quickly getting away from us Lyla crusade. All that, and some other junk, after the jump.
(S02E03) "What if I told you I could make him go away and you could have your job back?" - Buddy Garrity
That line was the big feature in the promotion this week, and it certainly means a lot moving forward, but that was just a tiny part of what was a jam packed episode three. Really, sometimes when I look back over an episode of FNL I can't believe it's only an hour long show. When it's firing on all cylinders, they really can deliver a boatload of story. And that's what we got in episode three, with everybody getting involved.
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