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Eric Taylor Invites Us to Take a Knee

Yesterday Vulture polled a bunch of showrunners of TV series past and present to ask how their characters would be responding to the Coronavirus. They range from amusing to hilarious to, well, the speech Jason Katims wrote for his most beloved character, Dillon Pathers/Tigers coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights. Needless to say, it’s pitch perfect, and just what the doctor ordered. Here’s how it ends:

He looks at them. He knows now he’s got to say good-bye to them for a while. This is hard.

COACH TAYLOR
There’s a reason why we got a football team and that’s not just to win games. It’s so in difficult times we have each other. Well, this is about as difficult of a time as any of us could imagine. I want you to use each other. Stay in touch as a community. Be there for each other on your phones, on Twitter, on FaceTime or whatever other kind of crap you use. And you all got my number. Call me. I know I usually tell you knuckleheads not to call me on my cell unless it’s an emergency, but right now everything is an emergency. You feeling a little sick, call me. Feeling a little down, call me. Is that understood?

TEAM
Yes, sir.

COACH TAYLOR
We may not be on the field together right now, but we are all in this together. Together, we are going to stay strong. We are going to stay united. We are going to stay healthy. And anyone who thinks that we’re not going to beat this, they don’t know this town, they don’t know this nation, and they sure as hell don’t know this team. I’ll miss you all. Tell your families that Tami and I are thinking of them. Tell them you’re all in our prayers. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus: What to Do in Quarantine

With the fate of our world currently resting in the hands of infectious disease expert Mike Pence (just kidding! It’s still in God’s hands), life seems to be hanging by a thread. Or a square of toilet paper, if you will, which is something I just bought a 24-pack of as it was unloaded off […]

If Only I Were a Seattle Surgeon: Reflections on Grey’s Anatomy

This one comes from Isabella Yosuico.  Last January I started binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy from season one and I’m nearly caught up. That’s a viewing pace of something like 27 episodes a day, which comes with a diagnosis and 12-step program referral. My saving grace is that I’m nearly done, so I can finally reclaim my […]

What We’re Watching and Listening To: February Edition

Sarah Condon Dracula. This version (BBC/Netflix) takes a wildly beautiful twist where Professor Abraham Van Helsing is replaced by Sister Agatha Van Helsing. It is totally engaging and utterly rapturous. In other words, this is Fleabag season 3. Miss Americana. Hear me when I say: I’ve always been a little suspicious of Taylor Swift. Hear […]

The Despairing Place

Spoilers below. Early in the final episode of The Good Place, we find Jeff the doorman sitting at the gate between Earth and the afterlife. Jeff has an affinity for frogs, and as the episode progresses, he accumulates more of them — plastic frogs, plush frogs — until he barely registers any interest in them […]

Netflix’s “Cheer”: Law and Grace in Action

It took just three days to plow through the six episodes of Netflix’s latest docuseries Cheer, but it was well worth it. I’m not a cheerleading expert, or even a casual fan, but my initial skepticism was quickly won over by the show’s tear-jerking storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, the flips are as amazing to […]

One Thing You Can’t Say About Pope Pius XIII

The following comes to us from Alan Jacobs. There are many things you could say about Pope Pius XIII, AKA Lenny Belardo. You could say that is he a saint. You could say that he is a con artist. You could say that he is a man of great humility, who wants to become “the […]

A Top Ten TV List for the Decade

The following is not a definitive list or an official “Mockingbird list” — it’s just my list. Responses are welcome below! Criteria: Must be a scripted TV series (no reality shows or documentaries, etc.) Series must have “begun” in 2010 or later (hence why you don’t see Breaking Bad) Shows with much love here at […]

10 Best TV Shows of 2019, I’m Assuming

The complete list, from Brian McMillen: Each year, as our society traverses deeper and deeper into the Golden Era of Television, it becomes increasingly important to acknowledge this form of entertainment’s substantial contributions to the zeitgeist. In the year 2019, we saw an abundance of brilliant shows created and conveniently distributed across the streaming platforms […]

What We’re Watching and Listening to, November Edition: The Crown Season 3 (and a Couple Other Things)

This contains spoilers from Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown. Carrie Willard Netflix released Season 3 of The Crown this past week, and there is simply too much to unpack all at once. I’ve been enthralled since Season 1, and again in Season 2. This third season is so very good, and so very rich in […]

You Don’t Know Me, Fred Rogers

As a Generation X child who grew up with a stay-at-home mom in the upper Midwest, it was almost mandatory that my younger brother and I watched Sesame Street during lunch, and then afterward, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I know exactly what my mom was thinking, putting two preschoolers in front of the television like that […]

The Breakdown Is Just the Beginning: Reese and Payton’s Rules for Life

Recently, I was bequeathed a second-hand copy of Reese Witherspoon’s book, Whiskey in a Teacup, by a friend who knows my fraught relationship with all things Witherspoon/Hello Sunshine/Draper James. When said friend handed over the tome on the school playground, my eyes rolled even as my breath caught: the hot-pink cover (because OF COURSE it’s […]