Friday Night Lights

8 Series Finales…

In honor of last weekend’s season finales of Turn: Washington’s Spies and Orphan Black (which were both fantastic), I have made a list of other favorite series finales. Most of these finales are attached to personal memories, and some are just really good episodes of television. All these shows affected me in different ways at different times in my life, but I felt a real sense of loss when they ended. There were a couple great finales this year, but I did not include them because it is likely they will make my list of Best Episodes of 2017. As long as you do not watch the videos, there should not be any big spoilers.

1. Sex and the City: I was in high school when this show started, and I used to watch it at night when my parents were in bed, because my mother would have never approved. When I got to college, it was the show that everyone watched. It ended my junior year in college and I remember watching it with my roommates at our apartment in Elon, North Carolina. I would actually have preferred for Carrie to end up with Aiden, but I was happy with the way the other three women’s stories were wrapped up.



2. Parenthood: Jason Katims knows how to do a series finales, as evidenced by Friday Night Lights also being on this list. I do not like too much ambiguity in my series finales, and this let me know that the Bravermans would all be okay. I watched this finale at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas surrounded by other Parenthood fans for an ATX Television Festival event. There was something cathartic being in a theater full of people, all of whom were sobbing.



3. Sons of Anarchy: I got into SOA in the middle of season three. I had put off watching it because of the subject matter, but could not ignore the critics raving about it. It also came to me at a time in my life when I needed to just completely lose myself in a world so unlike my own. When I moved to Austin, I bonded with one of my new friends over our love of Charlie Hunnam and the show, and we started watching the episodes together each week at my apartment. Obviously, I wish every character could have had a happy ending, but that is not what this show was about. It was about dealing with the consequences of the life each of them had chosen, and the actions they had taken along the way.



4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I do not really have a fun story for where I was when I watched the finale of this show. I actually think I was alone in my parent’s basement, which sounds kind of creepy. I got into this show late, and I don’t think I had even caught up on all the seasons yet, but wanted to watch the finale live. I did not really know what was happening at the time, but have obviously gone back and watched the entire series several times since then. This speech still brings me to tears every time I watch it:

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8 Exciting Things Happening at ATX Television Festival Season Four…

This amazing festival brings together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television and it is all happening right here in Austin, Texas! From June 4th to 7th, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry’s leading professionals. These are the things which excite me the most.

1. James L. Brooks
The recipient of this year’s Achievement in Television eXcellence Award, Brooks is best known for creating The Simpsons, but also worked on The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, and so many more influential shows. He is participating in a conversation with fellow TV creator & friend Phil Rosenthal, as well as a panel on the evolution and history of The Simpsons.

2. The Whedonverse
Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, Much Ado About Nothing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Danny Strong (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sean Gunn (Angel), Joseph Sikora (Dollhouse) and Jesse Garcia (The Avengers). My Joss-Whedon-loving heart cannot handle the excitement!

3. From Dusk Till Dawn
I only just recently watched this show in preparation for the festival and it is fantastic! The first season follows the Gecko Brothers to Mexico after a bank heist. They are pursued by a Texas Ranger and make a dangerous stop at a strip club that is run by vampires. It is filmed right here in Austin and we are premiering the first episode of season 2. Most of the cast will be here for a Q&A following the screening.

4. Panels…Panels…Panels
A lot of attention is paid to the screenings, but there are also a ton of great panels going on throughout the weekend: CBS Summer Writer’s Forum, Turn Down for What?! A Look at Testing + Focus Groups, The Devoted Niche vs. The Casual Mass: Is It Really All In the Numbers?, Boy Meets Girl Meets World, A Kiss Is Just a Kiss presented by GLAAD, and SO MANY MORE! I do not actually get to see any of these live, but luckily they will all be on YouTube for those of you that cannot make it to Texas. Here is one from Season Three with Faking It creator Carter Covington and actor Michael Willett, moderated by ATX Ambassador Wilson Cruz:

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8 Scenes in the Rain…

April showers bring May flowers and, while we have not yet gotten an April rain here in Texas, I thought it was appropriate to make my list of favorite scenes that take place during or just after rain storms.

1. Ross and Rachel’s First Kiss – Friends
While on a date, Rachel gets drunk and leaves a message on Ross’s answering machine telling him she’s over him. After he hears the message, Ross must choose between Rachel and his current girlfriend Julie.



2. Doug Becomes a Hero – ER
Doug is leaving County General for a private practice and after his last shift, his car breaks down in the rain. A young boy approaches his car and asks for Doug’s help saving his brother, who is trapped in a flooded storm drain.

3. Angel Turns Into Angelus – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
After narrowly escaping Spike, Drusilla and The Judge, Buffy and Angel return to Angel’s apartment, where they have sex for the first time. This moment of pure happiness causes Angel to loose his soul and turn back into Angelus.



4. President Bartlett Decides He’s Seeking a Second Term – The West Wing
The President is not dealing well with the death of Mrs. Landingham and he has also just announced to the world that he has multiple sclerosis. Now, everyone wants to know if he is running for office again.

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8 Things I Would Want If I Were The Last Woman on Earth…

After watching the first episode of The Last Man on Earth on Sunday, I started to think about which TV memorabilia I would drive around the country to collect if I were the last woman on earth. Once I started thinking of things, I had way more than eight, so these are my top choices. Which items would you want?

1. Tim Riggins’ Truck from Friday Night Lights
After all, I will need something to drive around the country and I could attach a trailer to it to transport all my things.

2. Gilligan’s and The Skipper’s Hats from Gilligan’s Island
Headwear is important and it is always good to have options. I would probably pick up Raylan Givens’ hat as well.

3. Dr. Greene’s Scrubs from ER
If I am the only person left, then my appearance does not really matter, so why not be comfortable?

4. JJ Pryor’s Letterman Jacket from American Dreams
Even though I plan to live in a tropical climate, I would need something to keep me warm just in case it gets cold at night.

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8 Christian Characters…

It is the season of Lent and Easter is just five weeks away. Since I gave you my list of favorite Jewish characters during Rosh Hashanah, I decided now would be a great time for my list of favorite Christian television characters.

1. Alba Villanueva – Jane the Virgin played by Ivonne Coll.
Jane’s grandmother is a devout Catholic and sharing her faith with her family was important to her. It did not really stick with her daughter, Xiomara, but Jane took it very seriously.



2. President Josiah Bartlett – The West Wing played by Martin Sheen.
A graduate of the Univeristy of Notre Dame, he quoted scripture often (sometimes in Latin) and even considered becoming a priest before going into politics.



3. Coach and Tami Taylor – Friday Night Lights played by Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.
Their religion was not something they talked about all the time, but they went to church every Sunday and they always tried to instill their morals in their own children and the students they worked with every day.

4. Harriet Hayes – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip played by Sarah Paulson.
She was the only Christian on the cast for a SNL-like live sketch comedy show. One of my favorite Harriet lines is from the end of the second episode during a pre-show pep-talk: “We say this prayer in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who had to have been funny to get so many people to listen to him.”

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8 Restaurants Where I Would Most Like to Dine…

I am not what you would call a ‘foodie,’ but I do enjoy eating, especially if there is cheese involved. These are my favorite TV restaurants where I would most like to dine, either because of the ambiance or the food that they served.

1. Nolita – Kitchen Confidential
Two words: Bradley Cooper. Also, the food actually looked really good.

2. The Icehouse – Dawson’s Creek
I think it would have been fun to compare Bodie and Pacey’s cooking skills. Who was the better chef? The restaurant was a little classier when Pacey re-opened, but the original location had character.

3. Monk’s – Seinfeld
The one thing that Austin is lacking, in terms of food, is a good Jewish deli. All I’m asking for is a corn beef sandwich with a little cole slaw and Russian dressing, and maybe some matzo ball soup!

4. Rammer Jammer – Hart of Dixie
I don’t know if the food is any good, but they usually have live music or some crazy town event going on, so it would least be an entertaining meal.

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8 Awesome Coaches…

The NFL season is in full swing and my Philadelphia Eagles are 4-1. So, in honor of the awesome Chip Kelly, and in hopes of a win against the New York Giants on Sunday, this week’s list is my eight favorite TV coaches.

1. Ernie “Coach” Pantusso – Cheers, played by Nicholas Colasanto. Coach got his nickname from being the former third base coach of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. He was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he had a great heart.


2. Sue Sylvester – Glee, played by Jane Lynch. Sue is the cheerleading coach for the William McKinley High School Cheerios. I would not say that Sue is the best coach, in terms of inspiring her athletes, but she does have a lot of trophies.


3. Hayden Fox – Coach, played by Craig T. Nelson. Hayden was the head coach of the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles Football Team before being hired as the head coach of an NFL expansion team, the Orlando Breakers. He often had to deal with the issues of his fellow coaches more than his players. This clip does not really feature Nelson, but is just a funny scene from the show.


4. Math Rogers – Life Unexpected, played by Austin Basis. In addition to being a math teacher, Rogers also coached the Westmonte High School JV Girls Basketball Team. They did not win many games but they always had a good time.

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8 Schools It Would Have Been Fun to Have Attended…

Everyone went back to school this week here in Austin, so I thought I would give you my list of TV schools that would have been a lot of fun to have attended in real life. I was never a big fan of studying when I was in school, so most of these choices are not academic in the least.

1. Liberty High School – My So-Called Life Executive Producer Marshall Herskovitz is from Philadelphia and I am pretty sure that this show is supposed to have taken place at Lower Merion High School, so technically I did go to Liberty. However, I do not remember Jordan Catalano being there.


2. Neptune High – Veronica Mars Sadly, I probably would have been friends with the 09ers in high school, or at least the jocks. However, I definitely would have gravitated towards the Meg Mannings, as opposed to the Madison Sinclairs. Either way, Veronica always kept things interesting.


3. Cyprus-Rhodes University – Greek I was not in a sorority in college and I definitely would not have joined Zeta Beta Zeta, but I would have had a lot of fun hanging out with the Kappa Tau’s at all of their crazy parties.


4. S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to be a super secret agent?!


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8 Things I Am Most Looking Forward to at ATX Television Festival Season Three…

I was so lucky to have gotten involved with the ATX Television Festival before the first year and have looked forward to this weekend every year since! In case you do not already know, the festival brings together actors, writers, directors, producers, music supervisors, studio executives and fans to talk about the past, present and future of television here in Austin, Texas. From June 5-8, there will be screenings, panels, parties and live music with some of the industry’s leading professionals. There are SO MANY awesome things going on over the weekend, but this is what I am most looking forward to, in no particular order.

1. Hey Dude Reunion – I loved this show growing up and would watch the reruns on Nickelodeon whenever they were on. I remember wanting to be just like Brad and if there had been dude ranches in Philadelphia, I probably would have wanted to work at one. Just watch out for those man-eatin’ jackrabbits and those killer cacti!

2. Friday Night Lights Outdoor Screening – This is my favorite event every year. What could be better than watching Tim Riggins on a big screen out under the Texas sky?! This year there will also be great music from Sarah Watkins and Guiney & Grimes before the sun goes down.

3. Henry Winkler – ATX is presenting the first ever Achievement in Television Excellence award at this year’s festival and Mr. Winkler is the perfect recipient. His body of work encompasses the standards that drive ATX Television Festival: genuine, thoughtful, expansive, and most importantly, entertaining. His conversation with Royal Pains Executive Producer Michael Rauch is sure to be something you do not want to miss!

4. The Awesome Food and Drink Sponsors – Since I work all weekend from about 9 a.m. to whenever the party stops each night (or I fall asleep standing up), I pretty much live off of this food for four days. This year that includes KIND Snacks, Cornucopia popcorn, Blue Bell ice cream, Cuvée Coffee, Topo Chico, Tito’s Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Treaty Oak Rum and Waterloo Gin.

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