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Samuel Delaney (#110 of 1)

T.V. on TV: Friday Night Lights, The Nine, & Battlestar Galactica

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T.V. on TV: <em>Friday Night Lights</em>, <em>The Nine</em>, & <em>Battlestar Galactica</em>
T.V. on TV: <em>Friday Night Lights</em>, <em>The Nine</em>, & <em>Battlestar Galactica</em>

Friday Night Lights (tonight 8 p.m., NBC) is the most accurate and honest portrayal of contemporary small town life in the small screen’s history. Relocated from the 1980s to the present, the pilot cribs heavily from the 2004 movie (which, like the series, was written and directed by Peter Berg), yet it manages to stand apart from it. If you’ve seen any sports movie ever, you won’t be surprised by much that happens; Friday Night Lights marches through the expected cliches in its portrayal of the “big game,” and even repeats a heartrending moment from the movie (though it happens to a different character). Still, for anyone who has attended a high school football game, much of the series will ring true, and the emotions that Berg earns through sports movie cliche are genuine. And the overall emphasis is different. Unlike the film, where nearly every event was directed toward the climactic showdown, in the series pilot the game is almost an afterthought; bits of it even feel rushed and perfunctory. This time around, Berg is more interested in the town itself.