The New York Times wrote about Texas-based TV shows this week (let's all take a moment to chuckle about a New York City newspaper writing about how accurate something about Texas is, reminds me of the old Pace salsa commercials).
Texas TV: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
What does it get exactly right? Friday Night Lights (are there still people who haven't watched this show? I don't understand how that's possible. Stop whatever you're doing and watch it. Thank me later):
It’s hard to describe the weird buzz of football Fridays in Texas towns, as anticipation builds throughout the day to explode that night in garish light, color and sound. Luckily I don’t have to: “Friday Night Lights” nailed it, as it did most details. These include the push and pull of hometown relationships that confine and nurture in equal amounts; the egalitarian marriage between the Taylors (Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton); and the cinematography captured in and around Austin. When the sunlight turned golden in the Dillon sky, it was enough to make a Texan expat homesick.
I grew up in a city, and had a pretty terrible high school football team, so the small-town aspect doesn't make me nostaglic, but just the general Texan-ness of the show does. Also, we should all strive to have the marriage of Tami and Eric Taylor. #WWTTD
It also is right about King of the Hill--my parents loved this show, and it was a really accurate picture of living in a burb in Texas, and all the normal-yet-quirky people you find. There was an especially poignant episode (stick with me here) about the teenage boy on the show getting misdiagnosed with ADHD and how stoned the medicine made him. They made it funny, but it also made you think.
They also hate on Walker, Texas Ranger. Ok. Easy, New York Times. First, WTR was often filmed in Dallas, so it was fun to see actual places that exist. You knew Walker (Cordell Walker) was always going to get the bad guy. The theme song was awesome. And, Clarence Gilyard, who played Walker's partner, went to my church a few times AND got his MFA at my alma mater. So, basically, it was a great show (sidenote: haven't watched this since I was in junior high so there's a good chance I would die over recommending it)
But the best way to experience Texas? Visit it. I've got tips!