Fond farewell: ‘Friday Night Lights’

I'm not married and I know that if I ever lived in Texas I'd die from the heat, yet I always respected "Friday Night Lights," TV's best show about marriage and best show about Texas. On Friday on NBC (and before that on DirecTV and on DVD), it bowed out after five seasons with a confident 90-minute episode that firmly reiterated that the series wasn't about the game of Texas high school football, it was about the culture of Texas high school football.

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First episode (of new season) impressions: ‘Friday Night Lights’

"Friday Night Lights' " (7 p.m. Central Fridays on NBC) continues to do the little things well: In the fifth-season premiere, Landry goes through his own version of "American Graffiti," playing one last show with Crucifictorious, saying goodbye to Matt's senile grandmother (who thinks he is going to SMU, not Rice), reminiscing in the Alamo Freeze parking lot with Julie, and then ultimately -- in a bit of bittersweet randomness -- ending up at a Dillon strip club.

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Why can’t the football stuff be good too?

Critics have often emphasized that "Friday Night Lights" isn't just for football fans, because so much of the drama happens off the field. That's completely true, but what's not often mentioned is the flip-side of the equation: The on-field stuff is often unrealistic or melodramatic enough to turn off football fans.

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‘Friday Night Lights’ introduces us to our new favorite team

The NFL draft hype has finally passed, but we still can't escape football, because "Friday Night Lights" (7 p.m. Central Fridays) has just started its fourth season on NBC (following its run on DirecTV, which I don't have). Although I'm not a big fan of America's new national pastime -- I prefer the old one, baseball -- this is one hour of football-themed TV that I can get behind.

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State of Television Address, Part 2: Shows I’m glad to see will be back

The first entry is a football show, so consider these my final power rankings for the 2008-09 TV season (only returning series are included, as a canceled show would be the equivalent of a franchise that folded).

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