Tag Archives: arrested development

TV Hits Big Screen for ATX Fest

13 Jun

As an avid TV watcher and Netflix binger, I highly anticipated Season 2 of the ATX Television Festival this past weekend, June 6-9, 2013. The previous year, I worked behind the scenes as a volunteer of the inaugural festival seeing a small, but memorable glimpse of fest. This year, I decided to spring for a weekend badge. Why not?

It was well worth it! Stepping into the State Theatre Opening Night, I was surrounded by some my favorite TV stars from shows past and current.  Devon Gummersall of My So-Called Life, Rider Strong, Matthew Lawrence, and Ben Savage of Boy Meets World, Lacey Chabert of Party of Five; and Scott Porter and Wilson Bethel of Hart of Dixie were just a few who strutted their stuff on the Red Carpet for opening night.

Season 2 of the ATX Television Festival kicked off with a screening and a panel of one of my favorite comedies, Arrested Development. The Netflix Opening Night celebrated the re-launch of the critically acclaimed show. The fest screened the new episodes that featured the night’s two special guests, Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby Fünke and seasoned, young actress, Mae Whitman, who plays George Michael’s often overlooked ex-girlfriend, Ann. The besties shared what it was like working with the cast after such a lengthy hiatus and their longtime friendship. As a somewhat latecomer to the series which I just discovered only a few years ago, I felt like the show took up right where it left off. Strong, poignant, and awkwardly funny!

Attendees, including myself were immersed in a world of TV culture as the fest continued through the weekend, celebrating all aspects of television: writing, directing, casting, acting, and screenings galore for fans.

Some of the screenings on the State Theatre’s and Alamo Ritz’s big screens included: AMC’s Hell on Wheels and AMC’s new drama, Low Winter Sun; Fox Comedies like New Girl, The Mindy Project and Raising Hope; My So-Called Life, Boys Meets World; Party of Five; American Dreams; Scandal; and Falling Skies.

The most memorable moment for me was the Friday Night Lights (FNL) panel; which brought tears to my eyes as Executive Producer; David Hudgins played his favorite clips from the four seasons. Hudgins was joined by Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor ) , Connie Britton (Tami Taylor), Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity), Scott Porter (Jason Street) and other FNL cast members.

I think Friday Night Lights will always hold a special place in my heart, not just because it was an excellent series, but because of its ties to Austin. I was there the day the pilot was first shot. I witnessed the series from its beginning. A fresh-faced cast just beginning its journey, and I lived the journey with them for four years through my television set. Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

This Texas girl will always have a place within her heart for Friday Night Lights and the ATX Television Festival.

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