Friday Night Lights: The High School Drama You Need In Your Life

FNL-Fans-friday-night-lights-286195_1024_768Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Full disclosure: We love TV. So much so that sometimes we'd rather spend a whole weekend in front of the tube than dancing at da club until 3 a.m. The lack of any kind of television service holding you back from feeling our joy? No problem! You can get by just fine on Netflix, Hulu, and the myriad other streaming services rapidly taking over the home entertainment industry (thank you, Internet!).
Some shows are just better when binge-watched. Whether it's the latest BBC comedy, a PBS miniseries from the '70s, or just that cultish show prematurely scrubbed from a network — we're hooked on the stream. So, we're unrolling Staying In(stant), a new feature highlighting the best of streaming content. Each week, we bring you a show we're obsessed with and think you should be, too.
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This week? Friday Night Lights — the only TV show guaranteed to make you care about Texas high school football.
Where To Watch: Netflix
How I Got Hooked:
I believe everything happens for a reason. For example, during most of the month of October 2013, I was very sick. For the first time in years, I actually took a sick day. And, in between bouts of fever napping, a friend advised me to take this opportunity to get acquainted with Friday Night Lights. I took her advice, and never looked back.
FNL is set in the very dramatic world that is Texas high school football. And, this show will make you feel all of the feelings. You will care about every character in the cast. Every. Single. One. It gives you everything you want, and then takes it away from you — in an instant. So, was I frustrated about being sick for weeks? Yes. But, I see now that it had to happen to me so that I might experience the magic of this show. Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose.
Best Episode:
Even though the show ran for five amazing seasons, the absolute best episode is the series pilot. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say it's one of the best pilots in recent memory (ever?). The beauty of FNL is that you don't need to let it grow on you: The first episode sucks you right in.
The scene is set in Dillon, TX, where the Dillon Panther football players are king. And, they don't just rule the high school, but seemingly the entire town. These guys are heroes — unimpeachable, gods among men. There's one scene in particular that's sure to induce goosebumps. QB1 Jason Street and his best friend and fellow teammate, Tim Riggins (a.k.a. the man against which all of your future boyfriends will be measured), share a moment of realization of just how good life is. Riggins raises a toast: "Here's to God and football. And, 10 years from now, Street, good friends livin' large in Texas. Texas forever, Street." Then, the finest hour is snatched from us. It feels wrong to tell you the manner in which the dreams of Dillon are dashed (and your dreams, too), but just know that you ought to be sitting down.
Why You'll Love It: Two words: Tim. Riggins.
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