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Why aren't you watching Friday Night Lights?

Lights, Friday Night
Photo courtesy Flickr user evoo73,
CC Licensed

You don't like evocative storytelling, exceptional acting, or funny jokes? No, that can't be it. You only watch one hour of television a week and you save it for American Idol? Hmm, maybe.

The Best Show on Television, also known as Friday Night Lights, returns tonight for its third season after a terrifying (for me, personally) cancellation scare. Just like the movie and book of the same name, the show centers on a small town in Texas where football is an all-consuming obsession.

But more than it is about sports, FNL is about real life. There are no designer clothes and no huge apartments in New York City for groups of unemployed friends. The characters aren't just caricatures of a "Mom," "Dad," and "Texan." Everyone is part of an extended family, the members of which come in and out of focus through the passing episodes, and together makes an at times gritty, other times heartwarming portrait of America. The coach's wife, Tami (Connie Britton), is an almost radical character as far as TV moms go, dealing with a stubborn teenage daughter and then a newborn, thinking she knows best while sometimes faltering in her search for fulfillment as a mother, wife, and woman. Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) usually has a strap for the sunglasses around his neck -- talk about realism!

An equally compelling, but maybe less respectable, reason to watch the show is the character Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). To know Riggins is to love Riggins. He's a super-dreamy bad boy with a heart of gold, and like the women on the show, once you experience his charms there will be no turning back.

Tell me again why you're not watching this show?

Friday Night Lights, Fridays 8pm Central, NBC