the Buzz for September 19th, 2011


Tony Lucca — “Devil Town”
(from Friday Night Lights [Original Television Soundtrack]) — Devil Town - Friday Night Lights (Original Television Soundtrack)

Most sincere congratulations to the underdog team behind what I’m certain history will judge as one of this young century’s absolute finest television series, NBC’s ferociously engrossing character study Friday Night Lights, which, after five grueling years of being largely ignored by the Academy, finally struck Emmy gold last night for its titanically terrific final season, with showrunner Jason Katims picking up a statuette for Outstanding Drama Series Writing for his graceful, gloriously transcendent work in penning the series finale (which might just be the greatest closing episode a television program has ever conjured), and to Lights’ eternally low-key leading man Kyle Chandler, nabbing the Lead Actor Emmy over Mad Men‘s more favored Jon Hamm. Chandler’s victory was particularly sweet and satisfying, precisely because his work on Lights is the diametric opposite of the kinds of performances that generally win these kinds of awards: as steady-like-a-stone Coach Eric Taylor, the typical strong and silent type (yet brought to life by an astounding actor who is anything but typical), Chandler didn’t strut and scream and thrash about. He didn’t employ or engage in hollow histrionics. He simply, subtly — in ways that were, at times, so extraordinarily intimate that it hurt to watch — allowed the camera to see him. He just played the truth — every scene, every time — of how it feels to be a frustrated father, a loving husband, a fierce football coach, and a humble hero to a ragtag group of young men for whom heroes were in painfully short supply. Take a bow, Kyle: you’re proof that, sometimes, the underdog does make it to the winner’s circle.