‘Friday Night Lights’ Signs Off as One of My Top 5 TV Shows Ever

Posted: February 9, 2011 in buffy the vampire slayer, coupling, e.r., friday night lights, my so-called life

Tonight brings the last episode of Friday Night Lights (on DirecTV). Ever. I know — take a breath and let that sink in. It takes a while. I don’t think it’s hit me yet, and I’ve been lucky enough to view the episode already. Recently, I told a non-FNL watching friend that the show is one of my Top 5 TV Shows Ever. “Really?” she replied, surprised. Yes, without a doubt, I thought. And then I thought, what are the other 4 shows?

I decided to take the dilemma to Twitter, asking my followers for their Top 5. I’ve included their responses at the bottom of this post. One of my shows wasn’t on any of their lists. Some of my shows also made their lists. But no one had the same Top 5 as I did.

I also limited myself to shows that are off the air or going off the air in the case of FNL because it’s hard for me to judge a series that’s still in progress. Here are my picks, in no particular order:

1. Friday Night Lights

What can I say about this show that I haven’t already? A beautifully acted, written and directed slice of life that filled a place in my heart like no other show ever has or will.

2. Buffy

Still the gold standard for genre shows.

3. My So-Called Life

No matter how much time passes, the feelings and stories in this show remain as relevant and touching as ever. And let’s not forget Jordan Catalano is the original Tim Riggins. Also, we have a theme now! Jason Katims, who created FNL, was a writer on MSCL.

4. Coupling (UK)

I can watch the same episode over and over and still laugh every time. It’s also one of the most quotable shows I’ve ever watched. “I’ve got the key to the gates of paradise, but I’ve got too many legs!” Oh, Jeffrey.

5. ER

I didn’t watch all of the later seasons, but when ER was good, it was so very good: Carter and Lucy getting stabbed, Mark trying to connect with his dying father, Peter getting Carter to go to rehab, Carol and Doug reuniting in Seattle. The show’s legacy from camerawork to storytelling can still be felt in many of today’s shows.

Others that I considered: Friends, Wonderfalls, I Love Lucy, Profit, Once & Again, Everwood

And here are your picks. Some of these shows just missed the cut for my list. Some I had to disqualify for creative fall off in the final season(s). Others I simply haven’t seen.

@pantherama FNL, Once and Again, Bones, Buffy, My So Called Life. (Editor’s Note: I think this was the closest anyone came to matching my list.)

@jalinkletter FNL, Lost, Sports Night, West Wing, Gilmore Girls

@TEE1031 I’m late but #soap, #lost, #buffy, #spn & thewire

@olaf78 No1 Battlestar Galatica 2. Arrested Development 3. Black Books 4. Better off Ted 5. X-files? Haven’t yet watched FNL, tho.

@cheesebagel101 Lost, Pushing Daisies, House, Modern Family, and a tie between HIMYM and Bones. But I haven’t watched old classics…

@TVandDinners Dawson’s Creek, Veronica Mars, The Wire, Deadwood, Freaks & Geeks 🙂

@davidclark Friends, Sports Night, Cosby Show, Chuck, Big Bang Theory. All different — but I love comedy!

@chrisharnick Tough to narrow down, but: #TheGoodWife, #VeronicaMars, Buffy, #30Rock & either Xena (don’t judge), ER or #ParksandRec

@KEMattison Friday Night Lights, Six Feet Under, The Wonder Years, Alias and Sesame Street.

@x_rose_tyler_x Friends, Buffy, Pushing Daisies, Doctor Who and the fifth is a tie between a lot of comedies and Wonderfalls actually.

@angelsteph Everwood, Dawson’s Creek, FNL, Alias and Gilmore Girls

@jillybobww Definitely Buffy, West Wing, Northern Exposure. Maybe Friends. Then No. 5 is a many-way tie. Pushing Daisies? St. Elsewhere? MTM?

@TVObssessedArrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, The OC, and Friends.

@carstairs38  Top TV shows ever – Babylon 5, I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, Chuck, & Newhart

@rachem Freaks & Geeks, The Wire, HIMYM, Roseanne, and…Scrubs. I think.

@frazbelina FNL easily, Alias, X Files, Buffy and Six Feet Under. Only done off air shows, too hard to do five otherwise.

@WCaddict White Collar, NCIS, Macgyver, The A-Team, The Cosby Show

@LacyMB .@stayingin asked, so Top 5 Shows of All Time: #DoctorWho, Buffy, The West Wing, The Wire & Arrested Development. Friday Night Lights is #6

@wonderboylb wonder woman (duh), Buffy, X-files, Roseanne, Alias, Tru Calling, Invasion, Commander in Chief, Strangers with candy, AbFab

@roofs_EW Roof’s okay…so its probably #FNL, #HIMYM, #Survivor, #SavedByTheBell, & #PrisonBreak season 1

@Bixie23 Lost, Twin Peaks, Darkwing Duck, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Sports Night #top5tvshowsofalltime

@AnjuliVelazquez 1. Friends 2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer 3. Grey’s Anatomy 4. The Vampire Diaries 5. Bones

@bsugirl Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Friends, Fringe, Lost

@djkeng In no particular order, and only shows that are off the air: Firefly, Three’s Company, Another World, The Wire and Sports Night

@Snoodit FNL, Friends, Buffy, Dawson’s Creek and Happy Days.

@moonthatcher House, VMars, Lost, Community, Arrested Devt

@StacytheTVqueen  Top 5: Friends, Lost, Melrose Place, Growing Pains, Monk.

@amysbp Veronica Mars, Alias, Friends, Glee, and Will and Grace. (That was TOUGH).

@Brynnalia If only counting shows off the air, my Top Five: Lost, BSG, Firefly, Buffy, and The Wire.

@mahogany_soul FNL, buffy, oz, lost, and freaks & geeks. i think. it changes a lot.

@bnchile4444 terriers, freeks & geeks, , pushing daisies , moonlight, arrested devolpment + more forsure

@SarahLovesTV FNL, Buffy/Angel, VMars, Alias, BSG

@rozfost West Wing, Buffy, Wonderfalls, Party Down and FNL probably.

@Taragel BSG (despite the end), FNL, Veronica Mars (can I limit to S1?) , not sure on rest. EVER is hard.

@ShaneSSaunders “CSI,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Lost,” “The District,” and “Party Down.”

  1. Ben Phelps says:

    I’m surprised by the lack of The Wire on a lot of people’s lists… But FNL definitely deserves a spot.

    I’d say, also limiting it to show that are off the air:

    FNL, The Wire, Arrested Development, Scrubs, Lost

    Lots of old stuff I haven’t seen (Deadwood, The Shield, The Sopranos, Sports Night) that could conceivably make the list, too. So much to watch!

  2. jillybobww says:

    What I get from your list & everyone else’s:

    1. We all have some pretty damn good taste.

    2. We are all pretty damn young.

  3. CRAP I FORGOT THE X FILES. I am a terrible tv fan. Therefore, I remove Freaks and Geeks and replace it with X Files. That was the first show I ever loved.

  4. […] personification cocktail enlightenment Sophie’s Choice is branch down a plea — so when Staying In dared me to name my 5 favorite TV shows of all-time, it was unfit to behind […]

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