“Friday Night Lights” was the television show I didn’t see coming.
When “Friday Night Lights” first aired I heard about it and knew it was getting some success. After a few years it fell off my radar and back in 2010 I was surprised to still see it airing. To me this was like Smallville, a show that had a seemingly simple premise but somehow managed to stay on the air.
I’m glad to say that “Friday Night Lights” blew away any preconceived notions I had about a TV show focusing on high school football in small town Texas. On the surface “Friday Night Lights” is simple, but after a few episodes you’re hooked by so much more.
The following quotes describe “Friday Night Lights” better than I ever could:
“For five seasons, “Friday Night Lights” was both the simplest and most complex show on TV. It felt like real life, and real life is complicated.”
TV Guide named the show among its Best TV Shows of 2011 praising the fact that “Friday Night Lights left its fans with the best portrait of a marriage ever on TV”.
The biggest appeal to the show was that there are real problems being dealt with in a real way by real people. It is a show about growing up and overcoming adversity. There is no reset at the end of an episode, situations carry over and aren’t magically resolved when you wake up. Not every story has a happy ending and you aren’t going to see five seasons of a dominating football team being supported by a picture perfect town.
Surprisingly, a show about football only uses football as a backdrop. You could go several episodes without seeing a game, and sometimes you only get a clip of it before you jump to the end of the game. This isn’t a sports show, it has more complexities than a teen drama, but it finds a happy middle between everything and was very appealing to Jenna and I.
After we finished watching the first season we immediately re-watched the pilot and enjoyed it even more on the second go around. This was the first time we have done this for any show and that was only the beginning of where “Friday Night Lights” started to separate itself from other shows. Unfortunately the second season did take a downturn in quality, with some silly plots and an absurd story line with a character. This was easily chalked up to a Sophomore Slump and the show quickly regained what made it special in season one and built on the characters and continued to deliver solid episodes.
In 2011 we started watching “Breaking Bad” and easily claimed the best thing we started watching and caught up on award. “Friday Night Lights” is a strong solid second place and deserves to be beside Walter White and his life in Albuquerque. This show is easy to overlook but it brought out an emotion I have only felt for a few shows (“Parks and Recreation” does this, but is grounded more in comedy), but always tread carefully between being too serious and comical.
This show should have had more success, but like a true underdog it fights and works for your affection and in the end you won’t regret it. Do yourself a favor and watch “Friday Night Lights”.
Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.