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

Disney streaming service Hollywood Foreign Press Association batman vs. Reality Competition Star Trek IMDb TV American Society of Cinematographers ABC Sony Pictures Cosplay Star Wars Celebration The Walking Dead Pirates Tumblr DC Universe See It Skip It 99% Song of Ice and Fire MCU Oscars Polls and Games hispanic heritage month stand-up comedy spanish language free movies Pixar Focus Features The Academy Extras politics MGM Black History Month remakes Thanksgiving NYCC NBA adventure Summer RT21 Lifetime Christmas movies Martial Arts BAFTA Sundance TV Schedule scary movies SXSW 2022 YouTube dramedy Dark Horse Comics Creative Arts Emmys best war Endgame heist movie kong leaderboard TV Walt Disney Pictures satire 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards parents video YouTube Premium Comic Book composers hispanic target telelvision FX on Hulu Fox Searchlight 20th Century Fox TCA Awards Ghostbusters suspense The Arrangement FXX Esquire E3 streaming period drama Winners E! Holidays Neflix japanese breaking bad Pop TV spinoff National Geographic comic books Hallmark crime Paramount Network Hear Us Out IFC Pet Sematary Mindy Kaling Syfy Masterpiece toronto South by Southwest Film Festival Awards Tour 94th Oscars pirates of the caribbean scene in color Drama Photos 2019 LGBT adenture BET green book justice league kaiju movies Travel Channel versus SXSW Opinion aapi summer preview docudrama Mary poppins aliens concert PBS nature Writers Guild of America Musical Ellie Kemper Comedy El Rey dceu Alien Universal Pictures harry potter Emmy Nominations mission: impossible teaser BBC 2015 Starz independent reviews halloween tv Rom-Com Disney+ Disney Plus comic book movies Best Actress golden globes south america Arrowverse screenings OneApp Best Picture Tomatazos Lifetime 93rd Oscars romantic comedy animated laika Classic Film Prime Video true crime basketball transformers Baby Yoda football summer TV preview HFPA comedies Nat Geo Amazon Prime Country Paramount Plus ABC Family emmy awards science fiction indie The CW SundanceTV Sci-Fi hollywood Superheroe werewolf discovery SDCC Chernobyl police drama TCA 2017 spy thriller children's TV christmas movies Mary Poppins Returns Grammys ID adaptation CMT RT History toy story MTV First Look obi wan spider-verse richard e. Grant royal family thriller Legendary Ovation Certified Fresh Geeked Week dogs ghosts critic resources new york Shondaland festivals blockbuster technology TV Land canceled TV shows Hulu romance USA Network Rock Disney Channel all-time asian-american Apple TV Plus APB Turner TruTV comiccon archives Apple TV+ mockumentary scene in color film series CNN worst movies ViacomCBS FX WGN game of thrones revenge 007 24 frames TV movies Academy Awards Best and Worst travel WarnerMedia Women's History Month Spring TV boxoffice Video Games First Reviews rt labs Britbox dark political drama obituary international Freeform rotten Box Office zombies HBO Max Christmas 73rd Emmy Awards jamie lee curtis rt labs critics edition kids TCM hist Toys Tarantino marvel cinematic universe foreign BET Awards razzies king kong Family Universal vampires Peacock Spike directors VH1 facebook godzilla Vudu 2018 spain 2021 canceled Netflix Christmas movies Instagram Live Television Critics Association universal monsters stop motion cancelled television blaxploitation Avengers based on movie scorecard Emmys Mystery Paramount ITV twilight unscripted space documentary ratings feel good Binge Guide Rocketman Biopics Shudder Turner Classic Movies Teen comic book movie DirecTV YA 1990s hidden camera Countdown mob reboot spider-man binge crime drama finale screen actors guild diversity GoT Set visit interviews miniseries doctor who Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Watching Series 79th Golden Globes Awards monster movies TIFF child's play biopic Reality Comics on TV anime CBS All Access indiana jones Black Mirror Rocky Marathons Election Comedy Central dragons 4/20 NBC Acorn TV historical drama Kids & Family 72 Emmy Awards black CBS ABC Signature supernatural classics sequel TV One Super Bowl posters Captain marvel Calendar GIFs Quiz Stephen King series Anna Paquin 21st Century Fox Film Festival genre Broadway zero dark thirty Podcast die hard new star wars movies FOX zombie X-Men Musicals A&E jurassic park psychological thriller Lucasfilm AMC Plus ESPN Paramount Pictures Sony Tubi Trailer Funimation critics 2020 Film rotten movies we love stoner cinemax films Best Director Valentine's Day japan movie docuseries Music Amazon Studios award winner serial killer TLC live event news Interview theme song Infographic Logo dreamworks superhero Adult Swim USA documentaries 2016 History Trivia OWN venice broadcast Awards streamig cats Cannes Trophy Talk Winter TV Pride Month elevated horror Disney Plus new zealand Mudbound target scene in color Bravo A24 Holiday nfl comic natural history Discovery Channel art house crime thriller video on demand festival cults Superheroes Columbia Pictures what to watch Spectrum Originals BBC One Elton John psycho TNT cancelled TV shows medical drama PlayStation fresh PaleyFest boxing Horror Marvel Studios DC streaming service Sneak Peek Premiere Dates Pacific Islander Disney summer TV italian TBS comics BBC America franchise Star Wars 71st Emmy Awards The Witch book adaptation Lionsgate mutant criterion TV renewals cops Character Guide lord of the rings Western Tags: Comedy HBO Go mcc Crackle slasher fast and furious IFC Films DC Comics Image Comics popular slashers a nightmare on elm street gangster Nominations Best Actor quibi young adult women wonder woman Food Network olympics cancelled TV series cancelled french disaster 45 CW Seed Amazon Action President television Tokyo Olympics Indigenous rt archives blockbusters Fall TV saw Marvel Television 90s legend halloween trophy superman golden globe awards action-comedy Mary Tyler Moore Nickelodeon MSNBC name the review rom-coms YouTube Red VOD sag awards tv talk Sundance Fargo LGBTQ book sequels know your critic strong female leads marvel comics chucky AMC GLAAD Sundance Now TCA Winter 2020 San Diego Comic-Con dc spanish Amazon Prime Video Native black comedy robots The Walt Disney Company social media Hallmark Christmas movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 Oscar Television Academy VICE New York Comic Con streaming movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Heroines scene in color series sopranos renewed TV shows king arthur HBO game show Showtime scary cooking australia Warner Bros. singing competition Animation casting Cartoon Network Exclusive Video Epix dexter prank james bond worst Pop Fantasy deadpool Wes Anderson debate The Purge TCA Crunchyroll live action Apple high school cartoon witnail cars latino Brie Larson talk show Marvel sitcom Year in Review sports DGA Red Carpet anthology 2017 Fox News biography nbcuniversal Netflix joker crossover trailers