Originally based off a 1990 non-fiction book written by H. G. Bissinger. The book follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas as they made a run towards the Texas state championship.
Intended to be a Hoosiers-esq (another of my favorite sports films) story of high school sports monopolizing a small town, the final book ended up being critical about life in areas where football conquered most aspects of the town and academics were ignored for the sake of championships.
The movie and eventual TV show focus on a similar setting of the fictional town of Dillion, Texas. Dillion as well being predominately centered around the local high school football team and treating it's stars as local heroes.
Sadly the TV show, even being critically acclaimed, has never caught on with a large audience and has gone from being on primetime NBC to Direct TV first with a rebroadcast on NBC following the season's run.
In watching the 5th episode of the 5th and final season, I had a short conversation with my fiance about the show:
Fiance: "What show is this?"
Me: "Friday Night Lights, probably my favorite show of all time"
Fiance: "It sounds like a soap opera"
Me: "Sure, it's the closest thing to a soap opera for guys"
And yes it's exactly that, a male soap opera centered around football, as cast members changed over the years and plenty of "issues" between the central characters.
But it's a damn good soap opera and I'm proud to have gone along for the ride.
It's tough to say that I've enjoyed Friday Night Lights more than TV juggernauts like Lost, 24, Law & Order, House, The Wire or The Office...but at the end of the day, I enjoy FNL as much as someone would enjoy a fine wine, slowly and completely until the last drop.
It saddens me that the final drop of the show will come in eight episodes.
Do yourself a favor and plunge into Dillion, Texas and see what you've been missing!