Under the Lights One Last Time

Tonight, one of the best shows on TV airs for the final time.  Friday Night Lights is ending its fifth and final season and it will be sad to see such a well written and shot show leave the airwaves.  In a time when reality tv and singing competitions ruled the air, when sitcom tv has been underwhelming, this 1 hour gem of a show about life surrounding a middle-class town in Texas that loves their football has been the class of network tv since it’s pilot episode.  The problem, no one watched.  The people who did though, like myself and my family, will speak glowingly about it for years. 

FNL really struck a chord with me.  It was a show about coaching high school, but also, and more importantly, the lives and characters that are directly affected by it.  You could see that football, while being the central figure of the show, was always secondary and that was the genius of the show.  You saw the characters evolve and you could relate to each one.  They all had flaws, the same flaws that all teenagers have.  They didn’t sugarcoat modern issues: there have been arrests, pregnancies, partying, budget issues, love, heart-break, loyalty, cheating, growth, demise, hate, sacrifice, confusion and anger.  All real issues in real high schools around the country. 

This is a show that came in with great hope but was a fantastic ratings flop.  It gained second life when DirecTV picked it up for seasons 3-5 and now, ESPN is running it again, giving the show that wouldn’t quit another chance to shine.  I hope that viewers give it a chance the second time around.  I promise, it is worth the time.

Here is a piece that ran on grantland.com about the show.  Much better read than I could ever do.

Clear Eyes, Full Heart Can’t Lose!!


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