Friday Night Lights predominantly revolves around high school football, but that classic American sport is just the come-on. The drama surrounding these small-town kids follows suit.
The show has gone miles since its debut, coming from its book origins all the way to a film adaptation – starring Billy Bob Thornton – of the same title in 2004.
Now on its fourth season, the 2009 Emmy Award-winning series centers on life in Dillon, Texas where the football action brings the community together.
The series revolves around the people round Texas town, but most often features the agendas of Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), the town’s high school football coach having a difficult time balancing his family, job, and ambitions.
After losing his job last season, football coach Eric Taylor is back, but this time, he finds himself coaching against his former high school team.
Eric assembles his new team – the East Dillon High School Lions while Tami (Connie Britton) tries to adapt to the new and unsettling atmosphere of West Dillon.
What’s commendable about Friday Night Lights is its commitment to the details of football game similar to the ones we saw on the film version. Critics have even called it “the greatest sports-related show ever made.”
The plot of the show is very much toned down, simple enough to justify whatever’s happening on a Texan town. Apparently, an ensemble cast portraying a whole town can be quite engaging, with the likes of Minka Kelly and Aimee Teegarden leading the hot girl gang.
The football formula however, remains: a flurry of scenarios involving brotherhood drama and juvenile issues, much like every other football movie we’ve ever seen.
The good however, is in Coach Eric Taylor himself, who despite being the inspirational tool that binds them all together at times, manages to go deeper with his own version of struggles and lack of chivalry.
You’ll also see some familiar dudes here and there (Taylor Kitsch, who played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine comes to mind), ensuring ourselves more of the first half of the term “football drama”.
The rules of the game need not be known, but you’ll probably spend more time welcoming the hype of FNL if you know what a touchdown on a 4th down is, at the very least.
Nonetheless, with or without your share of football IQ, Friday Night Lights is looking to be a success in penetrating basketball-driven countries such as ours on its fourth season.
Friday Night Lights airs first in Asia exclusively on Fox Channel (Sky Cable channel 50 and Global Destiny Cable channel 32) from Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. Next day encores start at 7 a.m., 10:50 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. Weekend catch-ups start at 7 p.m. (Saturdays), 2:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. (Sundays).
WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO
SOUNDBITES COURTESY OF UFC.COM & HEAVY.COM