They were stacking up on the DVR and I knew it was time. There’s a finite amount of space on our box and it wasn’t fair that I monopolized every GB simply because I didn’t know how to say goodbye. Alas, Friday was perfectly suited for the moment and here we are. Today we say hello, and begin our goodbyes, to the best hour of television for the past five years – Friday Night Lights.
Every season I wonder if I’m going to watch it again. Not because the quality slipped. Not because I had a better option for my Friday nights. Friday Night Lights is like my mom’s orange creamsicle cake. I wonder if I really want a slice, decide to take the plunge, then remember it’s the friggin’ best thing on the planet. That’s FNL, and I go through it every year. It’s an exhausting show, and I mean that in the best possible way.
It’s exhausting because life is exhausting, and FNL captures life better than any other show out there. Ok, sure, I know they’ve practically turned the Hail Mary pass into a premeditated game plan. And yes, they had to cram every obstacle, triumph, and misfortune on this entire planet into a few characters. But no one does the impossible with the honesty and punch of FNL. How many dramas today still offer us a stable, functional marriage five years later? Who wouldn’t want to have the
in their lives? I’m still crossing my fingers for an invite to one of their famous rib nights. Man, I love ribs. Taylors
You don’t even have to like football to appreciate FNL. You just have to like being a human. (There are plenty of shows for those who don’t, too. Start with Vampire Diaries. Or True Blood if you have a stomach of steel and think humanity is a waste of oxygen.)
FNL thinks we’re flawed but redeemable with the right amount of effort and support. It thinks our character is shaped by the fight to be a better person in whatever circumstances life throws at us. It thinks it’s still important to stand for something, that poor choices reap consequences, and making a mistake doesn’t make us monsters, only as messed up as everyone else. It doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
We’re all in this together, navigating life the best we can, and it’s our responsibility not only to make our own choices, but impact the choices of those around us. It’s not good enough to look out for number 1. You need to leave your part of planet better than when you entered it. And I’m not talking about recycling or picking up your dog’s donuts. FNL is about community, compassion, redemption, suffering, and forgiveness.
If you’ve never checked it out, I suggest you drop what you’re doing. Go rent season 1. Carve yourself a generous slice, dig in, and remind yourself that there’s still a lot worth fighting for in this world even when things seem dark.
I had five episodes stacked up on my DVR yesterday. Today I have none.