Friday Night Lights

Back in 2006 when I took a look at the upcoming fall TV season, I said:

Friday Night Lights? Didn’t enjoy the movie, I’ll probably not enjoy the show.

At the time, that was accurate.  I’d seen the movie and while “didn’t enjoy” might have been a tad harsh, the movie was decent but it didn’t blow me away.  I certainly didn’t see why it would be turned into a TV show.  Later on, people would tell me how good of a show it was, but I still avoided watching it.  I didn’t want to watch a show about football.

Thanks to Netflix’s Instant streaming service and my Xbox 360, I’ve caught up on 4 seasons of the show and am now watching season 5.

Surprised is just too small a word to describe my reaction to Friday Night Lights.  I was naive to have dismissed the show as being “about football” when football is just the backdrop for this story about people living in a small town.  The drama depicted here is just so well done, so deftly written and played out, I’m kicking myself for having waited so long.

And it isn’t just the story or the writing, the performances by the actors here is amazing.  I suppose it helps that many of them are people I don’t recognize.  Outside of Kyle Chandler (who I know from various places including Early Edition) and Connie Britton (from Spin City), I don’t think I’d seen any of them before, and if I did it was clearly not enough for me to remember them.  But each of them clearly understands their characters and their scenes play out so naturally, so real.

The main reason I write about the show now though is that this season, the fifth, is going to be the last.  And it will be missed.  If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend watching Friday Night Lights.

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