The best show on television is Friday Night Lights, and when the Emmy nominees for Best Drama were announced, FNL was not on the list of nominees. Some other show will take home the prize as the best show on TV. The only equivalent I could find to this is if the NBA decided that San Antonio Spurs would not be allowed in the playoffs.
Many people complain about TV -- they whine and say, The Sopranos was the only good show, oh, Entourage has turned out to be so crappy, oh, all that's on are Law & Order's and CSIs. They're wrong.
FNL is the best show on TV, from its opening montage to the closing credits. It features great characters, excellent acting, and storylines that do not condescend.
I realize that the ratings for the show are low. I have a couple of theories about that. One, many people think the show is about football, which is reasonable to assume, since the book Friday Night Lights and the movie based on the book were about football. But football has moved into the backdrop on the show, and it is really just a jumping off point to get to the rich stories, about dating, racism, parenting, and small-town life.
Two, it's not on on Friday nights, which leaves people confused; next season, though, it will be on Friday nights.
Three, it takes place in a small town in a red state. People think they're too cool to watch a show like that; if it took place in Beverly Hills, people would watch.
Speaking of Beverly Hills, the kids on the show actually look and act like they're in high school (I'm pretty sure that, in year one of Beverly Hills, 90210, Ian Ziering was on year five of Propecia). They're a lot better looking than the people I went to high school with (500 students in my high school, four good-looking girls. I'm not kidding. You wonder why Mary Stuart Masterson had a fan club? We were desperate). But the actors on FNL look about the right age.
The stories aren't of the stereotypical variety. When a husband cheats on his wife, and his wife won't take him back, and his daughter hates him, you can feel his pain -- now, that's good writing; when a coach makes a comment that is racist, and he won't apologize for it, you can empathize with him -- even though he really should be the bad guy. How many shows can make you look at a person at their worst, and then convince you that a person is more than just a statement, or an action -- that good people do bad things, and bad people are capable of good things. Oh, sorry, I'm sure Boston Legal is that deep.
Not to name drop, but I was at Nordstrom's (that's not the name I'm dropping) at the Grove (still no) in West Hollywood (not yet) when I saw Connie Britton (there it is), who plays Tami Taylor, wife of Coach Taylor, on the show.
I had worked on the same show as Connie, for one season about 10 years ago, before I became a speechwriter. I walked up to her, not sure if she'd recognize me, but I introduced myself, and she convincingly seemed to recognize me (which is really proof that she deserves an Emmy for Best Actress). I tried not to embarrass her as I told her how great she is on FNL, and how it's my favorite show on TV. She was very gracious, and she managed to drop in that she was at the store with her Dad (probably saying that a male was there in case I was a stalker and her mace wasn't up to par).
Connie told me to tell other people to watch the show. And I have been doing that for these last few months, trying to spread the gospel about the best show on television.
And so, I say this to you: don't complain about TV if you're not watching Friday Night Lights. It's like complaining about an election when you don't vote. Watch the show; I promise you have not seen anything like it on TV.
As for the Emmys: your awards are rendered meaningless. The best show on TV is the one you didn't nominate.