Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Men of a Certain Age" are dead, but will "Friday Night Lights" shine on?

“Peter Berg told us he wants to do an FNL movie with Chandler/Britton off the final episode.”

As what you can without exaggeration call a rather huge fan of the recently deceased (just last night, in fact) "Friday Night Lights," the above tweet from Bill Simmons, aka The Sports Guy, definitely caught my eye this morning.

And while fans of TV shows that die, albeit with "FNL" after a five-year run that was quite impressive, always make the case for a movie to follow, this time it actually makes sense.

The show started out, after all, as a popular movie directed by Peter Berg, before going to develop a much richer panorama of characters in its TV life. And though I haven't seen the finale yet (it's aging like a fine wine on my DVR, mostly because it's hard to say goodbye to what I really think has been the best drama on network TV in the last 10 years or so), so I don't know what it set up for Kyle Chandler's Coach and Connie Britton's Tami Taylor, high school football is certainly a popular enough subject to warrant going forward with this, if all the right people (including show runner Jason Katims) are involved.

Besides, I haven't liked a Peter Berg movie since "The Kingdom," and last I looked he was dirtying his hands with a movie of the game Battleship (yes, really), so he'd certainly be better off pursuing this. 'Nuff said.

And moving on to another show I've come to love that certainly won't be heading to a movie theater anywhere near you or me, TNT has just cancelled the perpetually ratings-challenged "Men of a Certain Age."

Not terribly surprising news there, but disheartening all the same. The show definitely moved at its own extremely slow pace, but in doing so dived into the lives of the characters played by co-creator Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and the truly great Andre Braugher in rich and satisfying detail.

But I guess when your fans pretty much match the title of your show and you certainly don't fit in on a cookie-cutter network that specializes in facile buddy-buddy fare ("Franklin and Bash" and "Rizzoli & Isles," for example, neither of which I've seen), a two-year, 22-episode run is pretty much the best you can wish for. And with that, I'm off for a mundanely busy day of shopping, laundry and cooking, hopefully leavened with a viewing of that new "Winnie the Pooh" movie, which this man of a certain age still has plenty of time for. Peace out.


J. Marquis said...

Damn, I'm sorry to hear MOACA got cancelled. I really enjoyed it this season. It was so much better than 90 percent of the crap being offered to use these days.

Jake Mabe said...

I wanna hear your opinion of the final "Friday Night Lights" when you get to see it...

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll let you know, Jake ... I've only been putting it off because I don't really want to say goodbye to such a great show .. probably Monday night

Jake Mabe said...

I thought I'd post this here in case you didn't make it back to my blog. I'm so glad you enjoyed the finale. I knew you would. I am truly going to miss these characters -- probably as much if not more since the members of the 4077th "went home" on "M*A*S*H." Like you, I don't know how they do a movie, unless they update the characters' lives about five years or so into the future. It was a great series that will indeed be missed. I still can't believe it ran for five seasons. That in itself is a minor miracle.