Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sepinwall on TV: Wrapping up 'Friday Night Lights' season three

As season three of "Friday Night Lights" wraps up tonight on DirecTV before starting all over again Friday night on NBC, I devoted today's column to the show's two distinct constituencies, and to showering some spoiler-free praise on this resurgent third season.

As I promised back in the fall, and as I'll say at the end of tonight's finale review, sometime on Friday morning (Pacific time), I'm going to pull all the season three reviews from the blog and re-post them one-by-one as they air on NBC. The episodes will be slightly different on NBC due to running time -- NBC episodes can only run around 43 minutes, where the DirecTV cuts went anywhere from 43 minutes to 50 -- but I unfortunately don't have the time to go back and watch the NBC cuts, especially if I want to have the reviews ready to go at the end of each episode. So I'll probably add a disclaimer that the review may refer to a scene or line that didn't make it to the final NBC cut. Not an ideal solution, but best I can do. I assume the season three DVD will have the DirecTV cuts. Nobody I talked to at NBC seemed clear on which versions would be placed on Hulu.

16 comments:

Rich C said...

Alan, for myself, I'm happy to have any of your comments from the DirecTV version dealing with scenes that don't make NBC. I'm confident that they will provide a richer experience for my NBC viewing.
We've got DirecTV at the bar I work at, but I just could never get a TV to myself at the right time to watch. And at this point, I'm a little afraid these re-casts will be 30 mins plus commercials (not counting assorted Adver-lingus and other Followship-type product integration).

In any case: Clear eyes, full hearts. Can't lose!

Anonymous said...

When you re-post after NBC airings, will also be re-posting the insightful comments from the directv watchers, or will they be lost forever?

Anonymous said...
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Alan Sepinwall said...

The comment immediately above this one pointed out that I let one relatively small spoiler about the season slip into the column. It's gone now. My apologies. Like I said at the top of the column, it's tricky writing about the show for two audiences.

Alan Sepinwall said...

When you re-post after NBC airings, will also be re-posting the insightful comments from the directv watchers, or will they be lost forever?

I believe the comments will continue with the posts, but I'm going to do a few tests beforehand to see.

Brian Harrison said...

Hopefully this show will come back because it is one of the most entertaining and moving dramas on television.

Bobman said...

I have to say I'm impressed with myself for not going through illegal means to find this show and actually waiting for it to air on NBC. :pats self on back:

Glad to hear the season is a solid one. Look forward to the writeups, as always. Alan, you're almost lucky the DirecTV thing happened, considering what a busy winter it's going to be : almost all the shows that you write especially deep and thoughtful columns about are coming back at once (Lost, Battlestar, FNL, etc).

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I had no idea we could be missing out on up to 7 minutes per episode. I would watch the episodes online rather than on TV if I knew for sure that the extras would be included.

Isaac Lin said...

Having rewatched the pilot recently, it occurred to me that one of the most poignant aspects of Matt's character is his true heroism in assuming responsibilities of an adult and taking care of his grandmother, for which he gets no accolades. The recognition he got from becoming QB1 served, in a metaphoric sense, as recognition for Matt taking on a family role beyond his years.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone is interested or not, but Bill Simmons (whose occasionally referenced on this site) has a podcast with Peter Berg posted on his ESPN web page. It warrants mentioning that I'm 25 minutes into it (it's 56 minutes in full) and so far there are no season three spoilers:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

Some Jeff Zucker commentary (though it's not necessarily scathing), but mostly just banter about the show.

Adele said...

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose? Do this mean Eric needs a new inspiration phrase next season if there's a season 4?

Darn it.

Coach Carter said...

Did I miss something? I clearly saw Kim Dickens name in the opening credits but didn't see her at all in the episode.

I don't think she was at the wedding so did my DVR miss a scene or something?

wjm said...

Coach Carter, you must have missed one of the early scenes (it may have been the opener). She was there helping Grandma pack for her move.

wjm said...
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wjm said...

I just re-read the commentary for the Season 3 Premiere, and this observation really caught my eye:

"One of the few strong threads from last year was watching Riggins let his life fall apart because he didn't think he deserved any better, and the one disappointment of seeing him together with Lyla is that he's now sort of content, and even trying to better himself. Growth is good, but I hope we don't lose the epic self-destructive streak that made Riggins so compelling."

I've loved watching Riggins this year, and not just because watching Tayler is so damned enjoyable. He has developed a sense of peace over these few months that I would have never thought him capable of. I sense that a lot of it had its beginnings in finally "getting the girl," but it's come to encompass much more than that.

And yet, in the ep's last few minutes, there he was trying to shoot himself in the foot again. So, I guess he never quite lost it. And I'm glad. He was a unique person who will haunt me for a while.

Pacman Jones said...

As a connoisseur of strip clubs, I wonder if that Landing Strip T-shirt that Billy Riggins was wearing will be available for sale at the NBC store at some point in the future.