Binge Guide

Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Finally Watch Friday Night Lights

The early work of some of TV's biggest stars is the ideal binge after football season.

by | February 11, 2015 | Comments

Football season may be over, but five seasons of Friday Night Lights are waiting to fill the void for you on Amazon Prime and Netflix. If you haven’t seen it already (and even if you have), Friday Night Lights is the perfect binge for sports fans and fans of good storytelling. For a show that launched the careers of Connie Britton (American Horror Story, Nashville) and Taylor Kitsch (Battleship and the upcoming season of True Detective), FNL deserves a chance to win over anyone who didn’t tune in during its first run.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

What’s the premise? A high school football coach in rural Texas discovers how football defines a town’s culture and influences the relationships of its residents.

What’s it like? FNL has a documentary style look to how it was shot, making each scene more intimate and allowing its audience to feel what each character is going through. It’s as if you took Parenthood — also produced by Jason Katims — mixed in the teen drama of Dawson’s Creek, and set it against a football backdrop.

Where can I see it? All five seasons are available to stream on Netflix, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Prime.

How long will it take? With 76 episodes at around 45 minutes each, it will take a few weeks if you’re trying to cram it in — which you will, because the show is that good. More realistically, it will probably take two to three months to get through all five seasons if you only watch a couple a day.

What do the critics think? Seasons one and four are Certified Fresh at 90 and 100 percent respectively, while season two is Fresh at 94 percent, and seasons three and five are perfectly Fresh at 100 percent on the Tomatometer. Most of the critics agree that Friday Night Lights is unlike anything on TV in recent years and despite its low ratings, they refused to give up on the show. Joanne Ostrow of the Denver Post said, “The story arcs dare to treat small-town American life in all its solemn complexity. The characters rise above inert cutouts, each following a journey, for better and worse, worth taking.” Matt Roush of TV Guide wrote, “This is a place, and a show, I will never want to leave. It feels like family. But we’re lucky to have been given this much of their story. Underdogs to the end, these are my TV heroes.”

Why should I watch this? If you went to a school where football was big, FNL will bring you right back to those glory days. Set in a small Texas town where a local high school team serves as a source of hope for the community, the series is a character-driven drama fueled by delicate storytelling and a talented cast. The show helped launch the careers of several young actors who were relatively unknown at the time — like Taylor Kitsch, Adrianne Palicki, and Jesse Plemons — and Kyle Chandler, who played Coach Eric Taylor, further established himself with a career-defining role. Thanks to their efforts, you’d be hard-pressed not to find at least one relatable character, which is part of the reason why the show has earned such a loyal fanbase. So you may come to FNL for the football, but it’s the exceptional writing, heartfelt performances, and realistic character relationships that will win you over.

What’s my next step? Friday Night Lights got its inspiration from the non-fiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, A Dream by H.G. “Buzz” Bigginger and Peter Berg’s 2004 film of the same name — so those are natural places to start. Also, executive producer Jason Katims was behind the late 1990s sci-fi drama Roswell, currently has About A Boy on the air, and most recently wrapped six seasons of NBC’s Parenthood. If you’re more interested in a quick fix of the two-hour variety, Remember the Titans, Rudy, or Varsity Blues will surely suffice. And if you’re interested in the actors themselves, check out Breaking Bad or the upcoming season of Fargo with Jesse Plemons, Nashville with Connie Britton, and the upcoming new drama from Netflix, Bloodline with Kyle Chandler. And remember, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

 

Are you ready to catch up on Friday Night Lights? Tells us why!


Tag Cloud

Martial Arts Captain marvel police drama witnail 45 period drama Disney Channel Amazon Studios Universal mcc zombies BET Awards sequels crime TCA Awards harry potter anime The Arrangement Tokyo Olympics blaxploitation international comic book movies See It Skip It technology godzilla kids DirecTV Chernobyl twilight Election ITV comiccon Cannes breaking bad medical drama cars television critic resources FX on Hulu Trivia legend Spectrum Originals Best and Worst unscripted japan Infographic blockbuster vs. serial killer video chucky MSNBC Syfy cops Ghostbusters Premiere Dates ABC Signature AMC BBC America slasher Dark Horse Comics cooking gangster TCA Nickelodeon Arrowverse reboot Trailer PBS toy story deadpool 2017 crime drama mission: impossible Avengers Netflix worst HBO foreign Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt telelvision toronto comics saw monster movies PlayStation sequel Mudbound die hard new york hist feel good scary cinemax ViacomCBS nature Disney Shudder stand-up comedy nfl El Rey CNN GoT transformers Paramount Network Pacific Islander Alien Hear Us Out thriller TLC franchise Year in Review dreamworks Drama Black History Month french Extras movies 24 frames romance laika docuseries politics Peacock BBC One worst movies supernatural ID TV renewals game show YouTube YouTube Red crossover Lifetime Christmas movies CW Seed marvel cinematic universe Pop TV Grammys zombie boxoffice Disney Plus Fox News theme song Sundance San Diego Comic-Con golden globe awards Vudu stoner Video Games Paramount spider-verse Winter TV 73rd Emmy Awards cults 2015 Animation Elton John Sci-Fi book adaptation President DGA spanish IFC Films documentary kaiju Sony Pictures Trophy Talk 2020 mutant TNT sopranos award winner Classic Film Winners facebook game of thrones boxing talk show Podcast posters FX composers RT21 dramedy Musical Instagram Live RT History child's play The Witch biography TV Neflix Red Carpet free movies criterion American Society of Cinematographers remakes Universal Pictures Hulu Emmys football Nominations Box Office indie HBO Max Cosplay versus scary movies Black Mirror Amazon Anna Paquin spain travel elevated horror Tomatazos disaster Certified Fresh australia critics Turner DC Universe Apple TV+ indiana jones revenge zero dark thirty A&E TV One true crime TCM Sundance Now Starz Tumblr target comic book movie Mary Poppins Returns Legendary Interview Superheroe space SDCC Thanksgiving marvel comics MTV Fantasy green book blockbusters all-time Amazon Prime Video series dark canceled 007 Calendar NBA popular black comedy superhero children's TV war historical drama documentaries Writers Guild of America concert what to watch Stephen King Action satire golden globes Lifetime pirates of the caribbean 4/20 Esquire E3 rt archives Reality Christmas hispanic a nightmare on elm street action-comedy political drama Lionsgate biopic cancelled Exclusive Video Comics on TV Pet Sematary screen actors guild Toys Schedule spider-man spy thriller IFC based on movie 20th Century Fox Music rotten movies we love First Look Television Academy TV Land Awards renewed TV shows teaser YA films The CW richard e. Grant 2019 wonder woman werewolf cartoon IMDb TV suspense anthology dogs Logo doctor who 2018 science fiction Star Wars Comedy ESPN new star wars movies aliens Polls and Games NBC festival animated psycho Adult Swim jamie lee curtis italian MCU Valentine's Day TBS Rock women TCA Winter 2020 Academy Awards Masterpiece Holidays 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Countdown cancelled television reviews sports scorecard batman spinoff social media Mary poppins diversity Nat Geo directors genre FOX The Purge live action know your critic Discovery Channel CBS All Access 1990s Shondaland Epix ABC Family asian-american BET Quiz Comedy Central Women's History Month Musicals CBS Awards Tour rotten psychological thriller superman quibi festivals Horror Hallmark Christmas movies LGBT black Mindy Kaling Pirates romantic comedy 2021 Watching Series Television Critics Association Image Comics CMT screenings obituary Marvel Studios Amazon Prime scene in color canceled TV shows christmas movies History Rocketman Walt Disney Pictures 90s Apple TV Plus justice league Sundance TV Mystery Brie Larson stop motion Ovation The Walking Dead X-Men Fox Searchlight Pride Month Pixar FXX Binge Guide 21st Century Fox comic books hidden camera Film BBC 71st Emmy Awards The Walt Disney Company Reality Competition Spring TV hollywood Columbia Pictures streaming strong female leads mob Kids & Family young adult slashers trailers cancelled TV shows heist movie Acorn TV king kong Endgame 93rd Oscars Food Network aapi name the review Bravo natural history Travel Channel lord of the rings joker halloween tv Apple james bond USA VH1 mockumentary Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TIFF Pop Hallmark Baby Yoda singing competition Marathons SXSW Photos kong Superheroes Rom-Com VOD dc ratings prank Rocky National Geographic 99% Comic-Con@Home 2021 adaptation cats news Crackle dceu TCA 2017 sitcom Turner Classic Movies Disney+ Disney Plus finale universal monsters debate japanese BAFTA discovery Crunchyroll New York Comic Con Lucasfilm Heroines Character Guide book king arthur Britbox docudrama Star Trek E! archives fresh basketball Biopics Western SundanceTV cancelled TV series best south america Netflix Christmas movies A24 First Reviews Wes Anderson Creative Arts Emmys Oscars latino Comic Book adventure USA Network ghosts Tubi rom-coms Sneak Peek live event Country rt labs critics edition nbcuniversal sag awards fast and furious emmy awards spanish language tv talk OWN dragons PaleyFest crime thriller Marvel Television TV movies art house rt labs WarnerMedia Spike Teen binge AMC Plus GIFs NYCC YouTube Premium Set visit Film Festival new zealand Freeform dexter adenture Warner Bros. venice TruTV Summer jurassic park independent Cartoon Network ABC The Academy Tarantino Showtime DC streaming service Emmy Nominations royal family razzies LGBTQ OneApp 72 Emmy Awards APB miniseries Holiday classics hispanic heritage month vampires HBO Go Broadway WGN DC Comics Funimation streaming movies Opinion comic olympics Disney streaming service Marvel video on demand Song of Ice and Fire robots parents Fall TV Super Bowl halloween VICE 2016 high school Family comedies Mary Tyler Moore GLAAD Paramount Plus Ellie Kemper casting movie