In the absence of Battlestar Galactica, Spartacus has become my favorite Friday night TV show during the winter months in recent years. At first glance, it may seem like little more than a blood-drenched period piece, full of sex, swords and violence, but it's so much more than that. Sure, there's plenty of blood and naked to go around, but there are also great characters, a hero's story, romance, a tale of brotherhood and a fight between good and evil playing out each season.
At the end of a long week, my imagination is ready to let go, and Spartacus has proven to be a great series for that mindset. Each episode feels like a movie in terms of its scale, but also fits neatly into the flow of the series, always leaving me satisfied and at the same time, eager to see what happens next. There's nothing quite like it on television, which makes it a great series to cap off the week. With the upcoming Gods of the Arena set to be the last season of the series, I have no idea how I'll quench my thirst for Spartacus drama on Friday nights when the Starz series comes to an end. -Kelly West
Despite Fox mishandling Firefly from the very beginning, like playing the episodes completely out of order (Serenity, the intended two hour pilot, became the ninth forcing Joss Whedon and Tim Minear to whip up the script for “The Train Job” in two days), those 11 weeks in the fall of 2002 offered a lot of joy. ‘Shiny, browncoated, go tsao de’ joy but it was short lived. Scheduling woes aside, I wouldn’t attribute its Friday night broadcast as a primary cause of the sci-fi western’s cancellation.
As a fan of Whedon’s Buffy, a Monday night series and perfect start to the week (especially when paired with Angel), I was obviously interested in checking out his new show but it didn’t take long for the series with its Han Solo-esque lead to have me forgetting all about the vampire slayer and her brooding spin-off boyfriend. The week seemed too long waiting for another installment of Firefly to see how the crew of the smuggling vessel Serenity would start my weekend. Then too long quickly became too short and, in the end, Firefly probably aided the myth of the death slot. Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiou sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo! -Jesse Carp
The Dukes of Hazzard
Growing up, my dad loved The Dukes of Hazzard, and that meant we all sat down to watch those Duke boys get into a weekly heap of trouble. At the end of a long work week, my father wanted to have a laugh and enjoy a little escapism at the same time, and that made The Dukes of Hazzard the perfect choice for his Friday evening viewing.
You could count on some fantastic car chases, some butt-kicking in short shorts, and of course the Duke boys always coming out on top – somehow. It was a show that parents could enjoy watching with their kids, because somehow in between the “yee-haws”, the horn playing Dixie, and the inevitable car flying through the air, it still had family values – those Duke boys stuck together along with Uncle Jessie and of course Daisy, who may secretly (ok, not so secretly) have been the part my dad looked forward to the most. While it may not have been Emmy-award winning television, it was a show we could look forward to all week. The Dukes of Hazzard was without pretension and reveled in it. Just the good ol’ boys keeping us entertained on a Friday night. -Leslie Kasperowicz