6. Friday Night Lights:
When Lost ended, I assumed the hole it left in my heart wouldn’t be filled. But as 2011 progressed, I found myself surprisingly OK with its conclusion and its departure from my life. Friday Night Lights has been over (the first time) for something like 10 months. I’m still not over it. I watched the final season four times this year (DirecTV by myself, NBC with my parents, DVD with the girlfriend and another for good measure) and just thinking about those final episodes swells my heart on cue. For as great as something like Lost is, there’s just no way to totally quantify how deeply connected we can feel to certain characters, worlds and stories and that’s where Friday Night Lights is for me. More to the point, the final season of FNL nicely and unsurprisingly balanced new character stories and familiar character stories and managed to bring everyone who mattered to a fine concluding point. The Lions’ journey to state was the most fulfilling in the series’ run and by the end of it, Vince, Luke and Tinker felt just as fully-formed and important to me as Matt, Riggins and Street. And finally, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. I don’t need to say anything else. You know.
Best episodes: “Always,” “Don’t Go,” “Texas Whatever”