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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Fond Farewell to Friday Night Lights

The television drama, Friday Night Lights, came to an end last week after five seasons and 76 episodes. It was never a popular high-rated show, and I think most people - including myself initially - assumed it was all about football, which didn't entice me to tune in for its first two seasons. But I finally gave the series a chance at the beginning of its third season - and I quickly fell in love with the small town of Dillon, Texas, and its many engaging residents. FNL was about people dealing with their everyday lives, and the game of football served as a connective backdrop for all of them. However, it was the ever-changing romantic entanglements of the characters that kept me glued to my TV set for three years. I love a good soap opera - and FNL was a great one. I will miss spending time with Eric and Tami and the rest of the Dillon gang. They were like family whom I welcomed into my home every Friday night. So a big THANK YOU must go out to executive producers Peter Berg, Brian Grazer and David Nevins who adapted the series from the 2004 film that Berg directed and the 1990 non-fiction book by H.G. Bissinger (Berg's cousin). They created one of the best shows in the history of television.

Below is a list of my 10 favorite FNL characters with a few random comments about the series finale:

1) Tami Taylor (Connie Britton)
I could listen to Tami talk forever - and I love the video below of all the "y'alls" that she uttered. I'm looking forward to Ms. Britton's next series, American Horror Story, which begins October 5 on FX.

2) Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler)
I knew Eric would finally come to his senses and agree to move to Philadelphia for Tami's new job. He was a good and sexy husband.

3) Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch)
Sizzle my britches, he was the hottest guy in Dillon.

4) Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons)
I was happy to see Landry make a cameo appearance in the final episode, but I would've liked to have seen him interact with at least one of his former love interests, Tyra or Jess.

5) Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford)
He was the cutest guy in Dillon - and I loved his wonderful scene in the final episode in which he asked Coach Taylor for permission to marry his daughter.

6) Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly)
I was disappointed that Lyla didn't return to reunite with Tim in the finale - I always liked them together - but I guess Ms. Kelly was too busy being Derek Jeter's girlfriend and preparing for her role in the new TV remake of Charlie's Angels (which I predict will never be nominated for a Best Drama - or Comedy - Emmy).

7) Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki)
I would've preferred to see Tyra hook up with Landry rather than Tim, but it was still nice to see her again in the final episodes. And I did enjoy her last scene with Tim.

8) Luke Cafferty (Matt Lauria)
He was the second hottest guy in Dillon - but why did he have to join the Army? I didn't care for this unexpected plot twist.

9) Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan)
I was relieved when nothing bad happened to Vince, his mother or his father in the end. I thought for sure some tragedy was waiting around the corner for them. Vince's storyline was one of the best of the last two seasons of the series.

10) Jess Merriweather (Jurnee Smollett)
I adored this sassy, no-nonsense gal - even after she broke Landry's heart to be with Vince. I was happy to see Jess continuing to pursue her dream of becoming a football coach in the final scenes of the series (which you can watch below).

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