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'Friday Night Lights' Leaves, 'Breaking Bad' Returns
July 15, 2011  | By David Bianculli

What a weekend for quality TV. I don't know whether it's coming or going -- and this weekend, with Friday Night Lights leaving NBC and Breaking Bad returning to AMC, it's doing both...

In both cases, I'll end up referring you elsewhere.

The gang at NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross decided that we should devote Friday's show to the last telecast of Lights, even though the finale episode already was presented on DirecTV and available on DVD. (Thanks, guys!)

So, in a show that you can hear on NPR (or, after about 5 pm. ET Friday, by clicking HERE), you get highlights of Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies' 2007 interview with Friday Night Lights executive producer Peter Berg, and my interviews with series stars Kyle Chandler (from 2008) and Connie Britton (from last year).


You also can grab prior seasons of Friday Night Lights by clicking HERE. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Empty wallets. But for good reason.


As for Breaking Bad, I don't have to bother writing an enthusiastic welcome-back column, and doing that tricky dance of explaining exactly what makes the show so brilliant without revealing any significant particulars.

I don't have to bother because one of our TVWW contributors, Eric Gould of The Cold Light Reader already has done just that. So read his preview HERE, without fear of learning anything you don't want to know -- and get ready for Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on AMC, and the welcome, riveting, squirmingly tense return of Walter White and Breaking Bad.



Eileen said:

A friend of mine had the perfect reflection on Breaking Bad. She would always TIVO it because, as she said, "By the time this show ended at 11 pm on Sunday evening my heart was pounding and my pulse was racing. Not good on the night before a workday."

But that's the joy of this show. The hour flies by and seems like 15 minutes. It's an excitement, danger high I've never experienced watching anything else.

The acting on Breaking Bad is just superb with Bryan Cranston leading a pack of quite able enablers.

So welcome, welcome back!

[Well, well said, Eileen. I suspect you were a TV critic in a former life. Before you evolved... -- DB]

Comment posted on July 15, 2011 4:23 PM

Mark N said:

Hi David...
I was watching the "Friday Night Lights" finale(again) and ruminating and crying. Great adaptation from film to TV in a tv sense ... underapreciated as a series indeed.... the show and Connie Bitton's nod's aside, what does it take to get truly recognition of these rarest of GREAT shows that impart feeling through story, whatever it may be? Well written, cast and acted. It feels like a historic fluke... an aberration... in these "We cancel the show you like " times. I watched it from pillar to post and feel that it was one of the best series of the past 10 years. Special credit for the new-age machination deals that give us FNL's and DAMAGES!

PS..working on 3d season of Breaking Bad...just a little behind

PPS...seriously disturbed by it

Comment posted on July 16, 2011 12:27 AM

Mac said:

David,I understand that ESPN Classic will be running all five seasons starting in a few days. (and ESPN already ran a few episodes as teasers this week during the all star break). Any knowledge if episodes will be trimmed for extra commercials? You know, Disney greed. It's rare for this household to catch a show on network TV during its run and ABC Family cried "low ratings" after a short run, so this seems like a good place to start. BTW, good "Fresh Air" duties this week.

[Thanks. I didn't even bother mentioning the ESPN Classic run on "Fresh Air," because I thought - after NBC, DirecTV and DVD -- are new fans actually going to be persuaded the FOURTH time around? My recommendation, for late-comers, or FNL fans, peiod: buy or rent the DVDs. Uncut. Watch at your own pace. And they're worth keeping. -- DB]

Comment posted on July 16, 2011 7:54 AM
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