Make no mistake, this is one of the better gigs known to man. Swag. Groupies. More DVDs than you could ever hope to watch. (To be honest, it's mostly the swag and the DVDs. The groupies tend to be a little scary.)
But all that pales next to the feeling of steering readers toward a series they grow to love. It's the closest I'll ever come to a good deed.
On the other hand, nothing will make you lose faith in your fellow man quite like telling anyone who'll listen that the struggling "Friday Night Lights" (9 p.m. Friday, KVBC-TV, Channel 3) is the best thing on TV only to see them watch Marie Osmond foxtrot instead.
After going on like that for very long -- "Friday Night Lights" is the best thing on TV, "Friday Night Lights" is the best thing on TV -- you start sounding like any of the half-dozen guys you'd find downtown, shortly before sunrise, screaming at their mismatched shoes.
So here, in no particular order, are 10 reasons you should be watching. Consider it my final plea.
It's about football: "Friday Night Lights" follows the coaches, players and fans of Texas' Dillon High Panthers, from two-a-days to pep rallies to game night. Seriously, guys, it's football! What better setting could you ask for other than a brewery ("Laverne & Shirley" doesn't count) or Jessica Alba's bedroom?
It's not just about football: Relax, ladies. The drama focuses less on X's and O's than XX's and XY's. The series uses the sport as a jumping off point to look at relationships, love and all that sensitive stuff you normally get over on ABC.
It'll break your heart: Nobody in Dillon has it easy. Only one of the young characters has both parents at home, and quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gildford) has none. Watching the shy, awkward teenager struggle through each day -- balancing school, homework, practice, a job, dating the girl of his dreams and caring for his grandmother who, despite her dementia, is his only supervision -- is just wrenching.
But it'll also break it in a manly, "Brian's Song" way: When golden boy quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter) breaks his neck but not his spirit, it's perfectly OK to shed a few tears. Just try not to cause a scene.
It has a hot young cast: Adrianne Palicki -- as bad girl-turned-good girl Tyra Collette -- and Minka Kelly -- as good girl-turned-bad girl-turned really good girl Lyla Garrity -- are positively FHM-errific. Maxim-acious even. And it just seems wrong that posters of Taylor Kitsch -- as bad boy fullback Tim Riggins -- and Gaius Charles -- as flashy running back Smash Williams -- aren't on the walls of every teenage girl and, if you believe the statistics, 10 percent of the boys.
It's got some cool grown-ups, too: Emmys be damned, Kyle Chandler -- as head coach Eric Taylor -- and Connie Britton -- as his guidance counselor wife, Tami -- turned in the best performances of the past year. There was nothing showy, no histrionics. They're just the most believable couple on TV.
It's more real than reality: As much as I love MTV's "The Hills," almost every one of its conversations feels more tightly scripted than anything on "Friday Night Lights." And I promise you more than a few reality shows require more takes than the raw, you-are-there footage seen on "Lights." Nothing blows up real good, and you won't be knocked silly by anything in Friday's premiere. But before long, you'll be swept up in the little moments -- the little, perfectly executed moments that somehow feel more satisfying than the biggest plot twists other dramas offer.
It's the finest blend of religion and sex since Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video: From the locker rooms to the dinner tables to the church services, there's more praying going on here than at all the craps tables on the Strip. But that doesn't mean the characters don't know how to have a good time. "Yesterday I was baptized and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior," Lyla tells Riggins as a way of fending off his advances. "What did you do recently, Tim?" "I had a three-way with the Stratton sisters," he responds, while nursing a daytime beer in the middle of town.
You're guaranteed to love it: You can pick up the first season on DVD for around $20. While you're watching that, record the first few episodes of the second season, download them (vipaccess.nbc.com) or stream them later (nbc.com). If you're not completely satisfied, you can return the DVDs for a full refund. (See www.fnlguarantee.com for details.)
It's on a very short leash: The series was just barely renewed, and Kevin Reilly, the man who saved it and was one of its biggest fans, no longer works for NBC. If you don't watch it, and soon, the network will just fill the hour with more of "The Singing Bee." And nobody outside of host Joey Fatone wants that.
Christopher Lawrence's Life on the Couch column appears on Mondays. E-mail him at email@example.com.