National Bestseller
Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Great art, on iTunes

    I took about seven years off watching television -- seriously, NetFlix only. I spent much of my childhood watching between three to four hours a day. Junkie, might be an appropriate word.

    This year, I've started watching again... mostly thanks to "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy." The former I've caught up with via DVDs; the later I bought an iTunes pass that I almost never use because Thursday nights at 9pm have become a permanent fixture in the house.

    But that's not what I'm posting about.

    I was stunned to download a free pilot to "Friday Night Lights" and, being stuck traveling this week, happened to watch it.

    The show is a stunner. It is certainly the best television show I've seen in years, perhaps ever. It strikes me that what is happening to network tv is akin to the publishing movement: overall, the general level of quality has dropped, but it's averaging out between complete vapidity -- e.g. 1 vs. 100 or Two and Half Men -- or works of near art: Fright Night Lights, Lost, Grey's or even the comic genius of My Name is Earl or The Office. All of these are shot like film: looser, less constrained, more visionary and without the punchy trappings of one-liners and flat characters.

    Television is dead; long live television.


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