Sunday may be the last NFL game any of us sees for a while due to a likely lockout next season. In a nutshell, the NFL Players Association (which may be the weakest union in the history of unions) wants to maintain the status quo (in which their players have awful benefits and literally kill themselves on the field every week for money a Major League Baseball player would laugh at), but the owners and the league want to screw over the players even more. On the other hand, the NFL wants to add two games to the NFL season, so I'm conflicted, which is probably how some Romans felt about the gladiators.
Even if the NFL is back next season, we're still facing a long time without football. So you should watch Friday Night Lights. Get season 1 on DVD and go to town.
Scratch that. You don't need to like football to watch Friday Night Lights. In fact, even if you couldn't care less about sports, you should watch Friday Night Lights. This is because Friday Night Lights has quietly been one of the best shows on television the past five years. The show is currently in its fifth and final season, and while it'll be sad to see it go, few series have had a more consistently great run. No show portrays family dynamics or life in a mid-sized Texas town as well. Actually, I don't know about the last part, because I've never lived in a mid-sized Texas town. I visited Waco once, and I left amazed at how little there was to do.
Fact: I've converted more people to Friday Night Lights than I have to Jesus. Which is embarrassing since I grew up evangelical. Why do people listen when I tell them about FNL, but not when I tell them Christ died for their salvation?
All times Arizona
Portlandia - Friday, February 4th. 10:30 PM on IFC
I wasn't sold at first, but Portlandia's second episode was very, very funny. This was the opening sketch:
There were other great moments, like a cameo from Portland mayor Sam Adams, and the city's theme song. I'm coming around on Portlandia.
Saturday Night Live - Saturday, February 5th. 10:30 PM on NBC
Dana Carvey is hosting, which is strange since Dana Carvey doesn't seem to be up to anything these days. Instead of SNL, why not hop on Hulu and catch the entirety of the short-lived Dana Carvey Show, which was absolutely amazing. Really. Look at the show's writing team. At one point in history, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Louis C.K. and Charlie Kaufman worked together. And it was canceled after eight episodes.
The Super Bowl - Sunday, February 6th. 4:30 PM on Fox
Maybe the NFL won't be back next year. Let's live it up while it's still around. Super Bowl 45 (I hate roman numerals) pits two of the NFL's most storied franchises against each other. This has people like Jim Nantz and Peter King wetting themselves, which is insufferable. But let's be honest: Pittsburgh v. Green Bay is cool. Two small market teams with rabid fans. One likable quarterback (the Jakarta Globe said so!) against a total dickweed. One likable defensive force facing another total dickweed. Two players with long, luxurious locks. Dr. Foreman versus some doughy white guy. It has all the makings of a classic.
Plus, there are the commercials. The Black Eyed Peas are playing the half-time show, so feel free to switch over to the Puppy Bowl.
Shameless - Sunday, February 6th. 10 PM on Showtime
I finally caught the series premiere of this show. It was solid. I haven't seen the British version, but the show felt English (the American version is set in Chicago). Very frantic and stylized and dark. It also reminded me of The Riches, which had a terrific premise and cast, but never really felt cohesive. Anyway, it's worth a shot, especially if you're into watching a bunch of kids take care of themselves while their single father drinks himself to death. What is the deal with Showtime? How do AMC and HBO hit home runs while Showtime settles for singles?
Enjoy! Now, if you'll excuse me, my daughter is vomiting.