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Marathon of 'Friday Night Lights' to Air this Thanksgiving on Pivot!

We Love Football Week Starts Monday, November 24th.   Read More... http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Tvbythenumbers/~3/1AqXhBCoTfc/

SideReel Salutes Dads

Dads are pretty great, right? (Right.) Your dad is probably the coolest person you know! TV dads are a totally different deal, though. They run the gamut from the platonic ideal to the complete nightmare. In honor of Father's Day, SideReel's taking a moment to honor iconic TV dads, from the sublime (Uncle Phil) to the terrifying (Tony Soprano). Check out our list and then thank your lucky stars Tobias Fünke wasn't your role model.   King of the Hill : Hank Hill King of the Hill was probably the most naturalistic cartoon ever to grace the screen, and Hank Hill was its standard-bearer. As head of the household, he strove to be unambiguously normal, despite Bobby and Peggy's needs to stand out. His own father, Cotton, was everything he couldn't stand (profane, misogynistic, racist, and... well... shinless), and so, though he never quite understood Bobby, he always, always supported him—except when it came to Dog Dancing . That was every man for himself.     Friday Night Lights : Eric Taylor As James Poniewozik, Time 's television critic, once wrote , Kyle Chandler's portrayal of Coach Eric Taylor was "the How to Be a God Damn Man seminar." And really, it was. Though understated, Coach is fiercely loyal to his family (yes, even awful Julie), and also serves as a surrogate father to what seems like half of the football players in Dillon. He handles every obstacle with aplomb, and has already taken his place among the pantheon of perfect TV dads.       Arrested Development : Tobias Fünke And then there's Tobias Fünke. Both flamboyant and repressed, his self-absorbed whims are a perfect fit for the bizarre antics of his in-laws. He veers between forgetting he has a daughter and yearning for her respect—and in trying to achieve it uses means so totally repulsive, he only manages to drive her further away. Luckily for Maeby, raising oneself is probably better than being raised by a Never-Nude.       The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air : Uncle Phil There is a generation out there (and I know it, because it's mine) that wanted nothing more than to be Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air —and it had nothing to do with being able to perform the theme song. No, it was all thanks to Uncle Phil, the only real father-figure Will ever had, and the man who comforted him when he was rejected by his biological father. Tough yet fair, Uncle Phil knew when to indulge his family and when to tighten the reins, and, judging by the reactions to actor James Avery's death, Phil was inspirational in his approach to parenting.     Seinfeld : Morty Seinfeld Come on, the man owns a shirt that says "Number 1 Dad." So much of the time when talking about fathers on Seinfeld , we focus on Frank Costanza, but Barney Martin's Morty Seinfeld was a terrific addition to the ensemble in his own right. As vain and spite-driven as his son, he had dreams of political dominance (in the rarefied world of Miami old-person condo associations) and saw such a strong legacy in his invention of the beltless trenchcoat ("The Executive") that he derailed a chartered trip to Paris. Besides, his devotion to the Early Bird special rivals that of his devotion to his son, so we'd be remiss if we didn't mention him.     The Cosby Show : Cliff Huxtable Cliff Huxtable was probably the defining TV dad (and pudding pitchman) of the 1980s. His perfect, sweetly funny, be-sweatered family was the envy of America, and, per TV Guide , "single-handedly revived the sitcom genre." In the days of very-special-episode comedy, Cliff Huxtable was king of his fictional castle, and Bill Cosby was the king of the medium.       The Sopranos : Tony Soprano Premiering at the very tail-end of the '90s (seriously, it premiered January '99), The Sopranos launched the anti-hero-driven dramas of the 2000s, and Tony Soprano, effortlessly played by James Gandolfini, was the anti-hero of our time. Patriarch of the Sopranos and the DiMeo organization, Tony's life in both was complicated enough to spawn the brilliant first season tagline "If one family doesn't kill him, the other will."       Fringe : Walter Bishop Dr. Walter Bishop: actual genius, criminal genius, lover of hallucinogens, and father to two universes' worth of Peter Bishop. This is a man who crossed dimensional barriers to rescue his double's dying boy in order to save himself from despair. This act of fatherly love would be the catalyst for gruesome trans-universal crimes against humanity, a dimensional war, and a pretty damn bleak future, but he never regrets saving his son. Besides, all that LSD he ingested probably took the sting out of it.     Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. Her dad taught her everything she knows. You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

SideReel Loves Moms

To paraphrase Homer Simpson, moms: the cause of, and solution to all of life's problems. Or at least, the cause of and solution to most of television's problems. It was tough to narrow this list of TV's iconic moms to just eight—we suspect that both Sofia Petrillo and Carmela Soprano have it out for us now—but we took our best stab at it, though, OK, we  kind of  slipped in a ninth. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!       Game of Thrones : Cersei Lannister/Daenerys Targaryen One is the mother of dragons and the other is the mother of a monster, and they're two of Game of Thrones ' most notorious power players. By turns ruthless and loving, Cersei and Daenerys will do anything to ensure their legacies—including using their children to do their bidding.       Arrested Development : Lucille Bluth Speaking of power players, Lucille, matriarch of the dysfunctional Bluth clan, turned out to be the real brains behind the "lightly treasonous" business deals that shaped the AD storyline in seasons one through three—only to be stuck under house arrest come season four.       How I Met Your Mother : Tracy (The Mother) Tracy, the titular-yet-oft-unseen mother, is the reason we got to spend nine years with the HIMYM crew, even though we only got to spend one year (or is it more like one weekend?) with her. She may not have been integral to the story in the end, but as the catalyst of the long-running sitcom, she gets to take her place among the iconic TV moms of the new millennium.     Seinfeld : Estelle Costanza For decades, television tended to idealize mothers. Thankfully, '90s tended towards cynicism—in large part due to the success of Seinfeld —and brought us the wonder that was Estelle Costanza. Shrill, nuts, adoring, and petty, she was every bit the equal to her husband, Frank, and a big part of what made George so, well... George.     Friday Night Lights : Tami Taylor Not that there's anything wrong with idealized moms—and Tami is living proof. She's loving, dedicated, ambitious, brilliant and a perfect partner to husband Eric ("Coach") Taylor. She's so great, she managed to make a career jump from guidance counselor to principal after just two years at Dillon High! Coach might get cast aside, but Tami is irreplaceable (except maybe to daughter Julie, but eventually, she'll learn).     Mad Men : Betty Draper/Francis Pity Betty. She's had a poor little rich girl existence since the start of Mad Men , what with Don constantly cheating on her, her kids not loving her (not that she's been any great help on that front), and getting remarried to a guy she's not entirely sure is on her side. As Tolstoy said, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." At least when it comes to Betty, that unhappiness makes for a mesmerizing character.     Roseanne : Roseanne Conner Roseanne Conner might just have been the anti-Betty. She was working class, and caught zero breaks, but she was a bedrock for her family. Her husband adored her, her kids respected her, and before things went all wacky in the final season, she was one of the (very) few everywomen on TV, with a family we didn't admire so much as relate to.     Parenthood : Kristina Braverman Kristina is the closest thing we have on this earth to an angel. She's even got a halo of white-blonde hair to prove it. She's the sounding board for her (extremely large and complicated) family, she has the patience of a saint (yes, the metaphors just got mixed; deal with it), and it's pretty impossible not to love her. You'll cry with her, laugh with her, hurt with her and generally just want to be her. Given that she's perfect, she's the only acceptable way to end this list.     Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. She loves her mom. You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

SideReel Takes One for the Team

March is an epic sports month. Baseball is back, March Madness is imminent (or in progress, depending on when you're reading this), regular season pro-basketball and hockey games start to have a desperate feel to them. (Also, it's lacrosse season, which probably means something to a select few!) SideReel doesn't cover sports, but we do cover sports-themed television, so we've put together a list of the most sportacular episodes of our favorite shows. Did your choice make the Elite Eight?   How I Met Your Mother  S3E14: The Bracket (The Final Four) Truthfully, this is only tangentially related to sports, but given that it was a nod to the, uh... growing field of bracketology (and not at all a shameless ploy to promote CBS 's ownership of the NCAA Basketball tournament), but it is a well-crafted episode that finally acknowledges that Barney is kind of (and by kind of I mean extremely) cruel to women. Turns out that in the aftermath of being Barn-stormed (did he ever use that? If not, he should have), they don't really hold him in high regard. Also, basketball is referenced.   Friday Night Lights  S7E42: State Season one of FNL was basically flawless. From its heartbreaking pilot to its joyful finale, it was a perfect and gorgeously paced paean to the long game. For my money, "State" has the most touching scene in the entire series: the victory parade set to Tony Lucca 's cover of Texas legend Daniel Johnston 's " Devil Town ". As the Greek chorus that is local sports radio says of Coach Eric Taylor at the end, "He healed this team, and he healed this town."     The Simpsons  S3E17: Homer at the Bat There are many strange and wonderful moments in the third season of The Simpsons , but this episode certainly serves as a time capsule of the era we chose to believe the best of our baseball players. The roster of stars in this episode also does double-duty as a list of "Yikes, that guy! Eeesh." True, there are some on there who survived the '90s with their reputations intact, but there were some other spectacular flameouts. Luckily, the best line in the episode is uttered by good guy Ken Griffey, Jr., and I'll tune in every time to hear him say, "There's a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited!" (a line he reportedly had great trouble recording).   Switched at Birth  S7E40: Game On Switched at Birth is a pioneering show that should get more respect among the wider population than it does. Newsflash, America: ABC Family is not just for teens! Aside from the fact that it's given wonderful exposure to the deaf community, its characters have real, multidimensional personalities. Bay Kennish is a talented modern artist, while Daphne Vasquez (the terrific Katie Leclerc) is a gifted basketball player. "Game On" puts her team (from Carlton School for the Deaf) into a regional basketball tournament—and they truly shine. Sure, the underdog victory is a frequently-used trope on TV, but SaB never makes it feel trite, just exciting, honest, and well-deserved.   Star Trek: Deep Space Nine  S7E4: Take Me Out to the Holosuite There's no crying in spaceball! I was always charmed by DS9 's references to baseball as an obscure and weird obsession of Captain Sisko's. It was one of those things that made the show actually feel like it was from the future, looking at something so omnipresent to us now the way we look at the harpsichord. Imagine trying to learn a sport that went out of fashion hundreds of years ago—and playing it against a species that's stronger, smarter, and (supposedly) unphased by pressure? Vulcans are practically naturally dosed with PEDs! It's a cheerful hour in an overwhelmingly dark final season, and all the more wonderful for that.   The Colbert Report  S6E11: Dick Ebersol Stephen Colbert takes on speedskating and the Winter Olympics in general in this 2010 episode featuring Shani Davis and then-head of NBC Sports, Dick Ebersol. Doing what he does best—skewering those who take themselves too seriously, something the Winter Olympics (and the Summer Olympics!) have long been guilty of—Colbert is untouchable. The guy probably deserves some kind of gold medal—in fact, I'm sure he'd be the first to agree.     It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  S5E7: The Gang Wrestles for the Troops Pro-wrestling is a sport! Or, at the very least, it's a "sport"... probably... maybe. Its overt narcissism and "villainy" are the same qualities found in an average episode of It's Always Sunny , which make the two an ideal match. Plus, having donned their eagle (pigeon) costumes, the guys sing about being BIRDS OF WAR before taking on poor Rickety Cricket, shown here having the most demeaning moment of his life up to this point. Oh, Cricks, it doesn't get better. [Sadface.]   The League  S2E13: The Sacko Bowl SideReel kind of loves The League ! And by kind of, I mean WE LOVE THE LEAGUE ! None of us actually do fantasy sports, but it doesn't stop us from enjoying it vicariously through this show, what with its excellent cast and mean jokes (we, too, are excellent and mean). So it's appreciated that there's a competition for last place (the titular bowl) which leads to a year-long shaming of the "winner." We're not bad people, we just like watching them on TV.   Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. When she was 8, she asked a JCC basketball coach to take her out of the game due to perspiration. You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

‘Parenthood’ To Feature ‘Friday Night Lights’ Alums

With the Olympics currently airing on NBC, regular programming on the network is temporarily stalled, but one of the net’s dramas-  Parenthood  – will be giving its fan a fun little filler, the new four-part digital companion series “Friday Night at the Luncheonette”. On February 13, the companion series will debut online, following Amber (series regular Mae Whitman) as “she keeps an eye on her cousin Max (series regular Max Burkholder) while working after hours at the recording studio. During Amber’s odyssey, ‘Friday Night Lights’ alums Jesse Plemmons and Derek Phillips will reprise their roles of Landry Clarke and Billy Riggins (respectively) when the ban Crucifictorious shows up to jam”. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2014/02/11/parenthood-to-feature-friday-night-lights-alums/

'Parenthood' gets 'Friday Night Lights' crossover in new web series

"Parenthood" has seen its fair share of "Friday Night Lights" alumni make appearances on the show (both are executive produced by Jason Katims), but never have they played their characters from the beloved former NBC series. Until now.NBC announced on Monday (Feb. 10) that "Parenthood" would be getting a four-part digital series, "Friday Night at the Luncheonette," as a way of keeping viewers engaged in the series during the 2014 Winter Olympics hiatus. The series will follow Amber (Mae Whitman) as she watches after cousin Max (Max Burkholder) while working after hours at the studio.During her adventures, "FNL" stars Jesse Plemons and Derek Phillips reprise their roles of Landry Clarke and Billy Riggins, respectively, showing up as the band Crucifictorious. (And presumably explaining how Billy came to be part of the band.) Phillips has appeared on "Parenthood" as a different character in the past, so continuity sticklers would be advised to look the other way."Friday... http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2014/02/parenthood-gets-friday-night-lights-crossover-in-new-web-series.html

'Friday Night Lights'' Kyle Chandler to star in Netflix drama from 'Damages' creators

"Friday Night Lights" alum Kyle Chandler has signed on to star in a new Netflix psychological thriller series from the creators of "Damages." http://www.hitfix.com/news/friday-night-lights-kyle-chandler-to-star-in-netflix-drama-from-damages-creators

Connie Britton: Kyle Chandler Doesn't Want to Make a Friday Night Lights Movie

  The script has been written, but there's still one thing missing from the potential  Friday Night Lights   movie: Coach Taylor himself. During her appearance on Monday's  Watch What Happens: Live ,  Connie Britton  revealed that her former co-star  Kyle Chandler  isn't so keen on doing the film.   Read More... http://www.tvguide.com/News/Connie-Britton-Kyle-Chandler-Friday-Night-Lights-Movie-1071809.aspx?rss=breakingnews

SideReel Goes Back to School

As Billy Madison once sang "Back to school/back to school/to prove to Dad/that I'm not a fool." There are several reasons so many shows have at least one "back to school" episode (some even have more than one!), the primary one being that schools generally start around the same time as the fall TV season. Timing, as great minds have noted, is everything. Besides that, the first day of school is a universally shared/reviled experience! But maybe the biggest reason of all is that  just like any insecure middle schooler, a returning series wants to make it clear how much cooler and more attractive they've become since the spring. With that in mind, here's a list of our favorite back-to-school-themed episodes :       Full House S3E2 : Back to School Blues Full House was a terrible show (and I say this as someone who is still known to watch hours of its reruns on Nick at Night), but it has stuck in the collective memory of millennials because of a few choice episodes, this being one of them. DJ excitedly heads off to her first day of junior high, only to find out she's not dressed sluttily enough to sit with the cool girls. To make matters worse, she has the same slammin' outfit as the lunchroom monitor everyone thinks is a HUGE LOSER thus rendering her a HUGE LOSER by association. She eats lunch in the phone booth (oh man) listening to the operator recite the date and time. Oh Deej, take it from me, it doesn't get better.     Community S2E1 : Anthropology 101 The first season of Community was kind of a split decision. The first 12 or so episodes were a fairly traditional (if such a thing can be said of a single-camera comedy) sitcom before veering into the weird, pastiche-heavy, practically anthology-like glory it became. This second season opener was its pilot should have been, taking all the genre clichés of the back-to-school episode and turning them on their sides.        The Simpsons S5E3 : Homer Goes to College You try tutoring Homer Simpson in nuclear physics and see how far you get. When a person's view of college comes from repeated viewings of Animal House -esque comedies and considers it his moral duty to pick on nerds , getting him a passing grade in something the vast majority of the educated public doesn't understand becomes an exercise in nihilism. And yet Homer's tutors, with their Star Trek obsessions and rock collections, try their hardest — only to find themselves facing expulsion. If there's one thing The Simpsons taught us, it's to never try.     Degrassi The Next Generation S3E1 : Father Figure (1) Degrassi ! It's so REAL! Except that at its best it's also completely and utterly ridiculous, going so far beyond soap opera territory that it's an entity unto itself. One thing it does accurately capture is the identity confusion of the teenage psyche — it just spins it out to epic proportions. Poor Emma Nelson is just trying to figure out who she is, both in terms of the high school social structure and as part of a blended family, so she runs off in search of her biological father without telling anyone of her intention. I'm not sure where this stacks up against her battles against STDs and eating disorders, but she can't even claim the gold medal in the misery olympics that is Degrassi High School.     Friday Night Lights S2E1 : Last Days of Summer Season 2 was probably Friday Night Lights ' weakest season, but FNL at its worst was still better than pretty much anything else at its best. In the season premiere, Coach Taylor is off in search of greater glory at TMU while Tami, in the final days of a pregnancy, has to deal with her teenage daughter's histrionics. Matt Saracen is dealing with his mentor's abandonment, while Tyra and Landry... sigh... take the law into their own hands. To be clear "The Last Days of Summer" isn't on the list because it's great, but because it proved that this gem of a show still had stories to tell after its first, perfect season. As the great Tami Taylor once said, "There's no weakness in forgiveness."     It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia S6E9 : Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth The gang (as they're known) really shouldn't be allowed any contact with developing minds. How they were not legally barred from working near or with children after their ill-advised community service escapade is a mystery. Yet here we have Charlie doing his best Good Will Hunting , janitor savant impression, while Mac, Dennis, and Frank hijack Dee's drama class in order to show their incredibly racist, homemade cinematic masterpiece: Lethal Weapon 5. Also there are juggalo jokes. Given the current state of public education in Philadelphia, this may be a chilling portrait of things to come.     Frasier S8E11 : Motor Skills This one should ring true for those who are used to being at the top of every class, only to find themselves suddenly out of their depth. For me it was a class called "20th Century French Literature and the History of Ideas" but for the brothers Crane it was auto repair. Despite being multiple degree holders and leading lights of their profession, this is the first episode in which we see Frasier and Niles in a class. They fail miserably and decide to turn into happy underachievers — and manage to fail miserably at that as well.       Mad Men S6E12 : The Quality of Mercy Northeastern boarding schools are the source of much literary fixation, so it only makes sense that a literary show like Mad Men might find itself besotted by the idea as well. Sally, whose recently crushed innocence still has a few softly sparking tendrils of life, applies to Miss Porter's to get away from her nightmarish parents, only to find 1) that girls from boarding schools are kind of awful ( myself included, jk?), and 2) creepy Glenn has become a champion of women's safety to the detriment of his budding sex life. What are your favorite back-to-school episodes? Let us know in the comments — unless you want to get an F for participation.   Leah E. Friedman is the editor of SideReel.com. You can follow her musings on Twitter .

'Friday Night Lights' Alum Matt Lauria Returning to 'Parenthood'

Amber (Mae Whitman) and Ryan's (Matt Lauria) on-and-off romance is leaning toward on. Individuals close to NBC's "Parenthood" told TheWrap that the "Friday Night Lights" alum has closed his deal for a Season 5 return. Booked for a long story arc that will last roughly half of NBC's 22-episode order for the drama's fifth season, Lauria will reprise his role as the soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder reentering civilian life. Read More... http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/friday-night-lights-matt-lauria-closes-deal-parenthood-return-102516
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