Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Friday Night Lights

I recently started watching NBC's 2006-2011 series, Friday Night Lights. I remember seeing the original film in theaters and, apart from my appreciation of Billy Bob Thornton's depiction of Coach Gary Gaines, didn't think it was much to write home about. However, when I was shopping around for a new TV show to watch in my off-time, Netflix recommended that I give Peter Berg's series a second look. 

I'll admit that initially I had very little interest. I come from Texas, and actually went to college about ten minutes away from the filming location, so watching a TV series about small town Texas seemed a little redundant. But Netflix has rarely lead me astray, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Boy ever am I glad I did. 

The series is, to put it lightly, complex. It deals with a multitude of series issues, everything from socioeconomic disparity to rape, abortion to domestic abuse -- and it does so with a poise I hadn't really expected of a mainstream television show. With the controversy surrounding Ferguson making media headlines the last few months, the light this show cast on racial tension within the United States seems more salient than ever. 

And as for the cast, I don't think I've ever been more impressed with such an ensemble before. I fell in love with just about every character, though I have a special place in my heart for the tragically stoic Tim Riggins, played to perfection by Taylor Kitsch. The characters feel real, much more than the stereotype I'd come to expect from sports dramas.

It's a show that goes beyond mere entertainment. It has something to say. And with every frivolous sitcom, hyper-dramatic "reality" show, and vacant drama about teen vampires or lawyers skirting the justice system, my appreciation for a series that talks about real-world issues grows. If you haven't seen Friday Night Lights before, I'd recommend giving it a look.


  1. I've heard good things about this show though I never watched it. My sons played football in high school and one played in college. I guess a fictional show about football never appealed to me. Maybe I'll give it a look.

  2. The trend does seem to be toward more hard-hitting TV drama. I wait for Netflix. Gave up on TV a few years ago, so I'm always behind the curve.

  3. I have never seen it and I am one who watches allot of TV but when it has to do with anything involving sports, I glaze over

  4. Doesn't that show take place somewhere like Odessa? I've spent a lot of time in West Texas. Not a big football fan though. I've heard a lot of people say the series was pretty good.

    Tossing It Out