So this Friday night (10/5) at 8/7pm, do me a favor: turn your T.V. to NBC. You don't have to watch (though you should), and you don't even have to be home. But please have your televisions tuned to the show, Friday Night Lights. If not for me, do it for art, or at least the future of good T.V.
Season Two of Lights begins this Friday night, and hopefully (with your help) will not end until next May. I can't tell you how great this show is in less than 1000 words, but if you want to hear me go on and on about it, read my new article for Relevant magazine.
In the meantime, you don't have to take my word for it… take the word of almost every critic in America, who joins me in aching for this show to be more widely seen and appreciated. Here are just some of what others have had to say about Lights:
Tom Shales, Washington Post
“Extraordinary in just about every conceivable way—but especially in the quality of its cast… "Friday Night Lights" is great, heavy-duty, high-impact TV.”
Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
“With any luck, popular success will follow the critical, because pretty much everyone who sees "Friday Night Lights" falls hard. With its fuzzy lighting and slow-as-a-summer-night cadence, it's the antithesis of many of the slick hyper-dramas ruling the airways. It attempts to show life for folks who live without a freeway or a subway, complete with ugly violence and choked-back silence.”
Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle
“Friday Night Lights is not good. It's great… If viewers get over their preconceived notions about what they think this series is about and actually give it a shot, they'll be as stunned as everyone else.”
Adam Buckman, New York Post
“The best live-action show about contemporary life in America that is currently on the air.”
Robert Bianco, USA Today
“Lights has a rare ability to portray life in small-town America without being condescending or sentimental.”
Bill Simmons, ESPN
“It's the greatest sports-related show ever made… Every nuance is nailed, every hug seems genuine, every fight makes sense, every sarcastic barb and flustered reaction ring true. If there are better TV actors than Kyle Chandler (Coach) and Connie Britton (Mrs. Coach), I haven't TiVoed them.”
Matt Roush, TV Guide
“Friday Night Lights moves me like no other show. It reminds me of where I came from and of what it truly means to keep one’s eye on the ball. And yet, as wrenching as the show can be, it’s also terrifically entertaining, with plenty of dry wit, edge-of-the-seat suspense, sexy romance and even the occasional laugh-out-loud moment.”
Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune
“I not only think it's the best show on network television, I also think it’s as good as The Wire… This extraordinary drama lets us peek inside the lives and the minds of people who aren’t any different than we are, who are struggling with the mundane and major problems of real life. And it’s done with such subtlety, surprising wit and grace, that at the end of every hour, I devoutly wish it wasn’t over.”
American Film Institute—Television show of the year (2006):
“FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is a celebration of America - its hopes and dreams, its heart and its heartland. Rare is the show that presents family and faith in such an authentic way - rich with emotion and illuminated by the pulse-quickening thrill of football. Peter Berg's small town tale is one with community at its core, but universal in scope - the struggle of winning and losing, the drive to reach for more and the challenge of seeing a future beyond the glare of Friday night's lights.”
Peabody Award (2006):
“No dramatic series, broadcast or cable, is more grounded in contemporary American reality than this clear eyed serial about the hopes, dreams, livelihoods and egos intertwined with the fate of high-school football in a Texas town.”
Television Critics Association: Friday Night Lights won “Outstanding New Program” in 2007.