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

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