I hope both shows find a bigger audience to keep them around. I really liked the book Friday Night Lights is loosely based on, and was surprised when I saw they were making a tv show of it (since Peter Berg already made a movie of his cousin’s book in 2004). The book seemed more about holding up the football culture of West Texas up for examination and judgement. The tv show doesn’t take the same arms-length perspective of the book, and has more time to develop the characters beyond what was done in the movie. Before I watched, I was worried it would devote too much to each football game, but they wisely focus on the build up to each friday night game. The Friday Night Lights soundtrack is very well done with plenty of lonely-sounding guitar playing that, like the show overall, can move between celebrating and criticizing the town’s all-consuming focus on football. And this week’s episode had a well placed Jose Gonzalez song weaved in briefly, too.
30 Rock is very funny and deserves to be more popular than it is. I’m worried it’s going to be the next Arrested Development and slip through the cracks (hopefully being on Thursday’s will help). The show is smartly written to play to the strengths to each of the actors, without relying on one person for too many the jokes. And if I wasn’t completely sold before, the bit with Tracy Morgan on Conan as a “stabbing robot” hooked me.