TV is not one of my vices. At the moment, I'm not watching much at all. I'm a season behind with Lost. I'm patiently awaiting the return of 24. And lastly, I'm a big fan of a wonderful show that recently stared directly into the abyss of premature cancellation and lived to tell about it: Friday Night Lights. I don't watch enough to make a pronouncement like "it's the best drama on television," but it wouldn't surprise me: the show is consistently beautiful, subtle heartbreaking, and -- most important -- amazingly well-acted (this despite its practice of casting actors in their mid-20s to portray highschoolers, regrettable but necessary given the difficulty of finding good teenage actors who can credibly portray football players).

One of Friday Night Lights' MVPs is Zach Gilford, whose Matt Saracen -- a sophomore second-stringer shoved into the spotlight in the first season after the career-ending injury of the team's star quarterback -- is the heart and soul of the show. It remains to be seen whether the shy, awkward, good-hearted Saracen is an acting creation or if Gilford is mostly playing himself (in the only other place I've seen him -- Larry Fessenden's The Last Winter -- his performance was basically the same). Meanwhile, I'm glad to see that he's been able to capitalize on Friday Night Lights to secure a couple more roles. He will appear alongside Emmy Rossum in an indie drama called Dare, and is in final talks to star in an adaptation of David James Duncan's popular The River Why.
Originally published by the Sierra Club, The River Why is a coming-of-age story about a young fly-fisherman who goes on an adventure that turns into a spiritual (and environmentalist) quest. Yeah, I know, but I swear, they say it's really good. Matt Leutwyler, who cut his teeth on low-budget horror (Dead & Breakfast, Unearthed) will direct.

Dare, indie filmmaker Adam Salky's adaptation of his own short film, will have Gilford playing another high-schooler in a story about a group of teenagers who do some shocking stuff (to say anything more, from what I can find out, would be a spoiler). It's reportedly begun to film in Philadelphia (whoo!).