A great TV drama, like a great football team, is often defined by its depth. You need stars to succeed, but you also need players further down the roster who can perform when their number gets called.
I wrote reams and reams of praise about the first season of NBC's "Friday Night Lights": how it's the best show on network TV right now, how it's a drama about high school football that's of equal appeal to sports fans and sports haters alike, how it's so obviously great that NBC actually set up a Web site (fnlguarantee.com) offering a full refund to any unlikely soul who buys today's season one DVD release and doesn't like it.
Most of my talk about the cast, though, focused on the fantastic lead performances by Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor and Connie "The Emmys Are Irrelevant" Britton as his wife, Tami. One of the best pleasures of today's "FNL" DVD release is the development of a great top-to-bottom cast. In particular, two actors who began the season chained to the end of the bench -- Adrianne Palicki as outcast sexpot Tyra and Jesse Plemons as outcast motormouth Landry -- were playing like MVPs by the time the finale rolled around, both separately and in a beauty-and-the-geek romantic arc.
To read the full thing (including interview stuff from Palicki, Plemons and Jason Katims), click here.