Friday Night Lights Season 2 Review

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Review:

After a practically perfect season one, Friday Night Lights fell apart in its second season. Like most other shows in 2007-2008, it had a shortened, 15 episode season thanks to the Writer’s Strike that gave many shows a weak year.

On top of the problems with pacing faced by most other shows affected by the strike, the FNL writers also made some mystifyingly dumb story choices, most notably the disastrous murder subplot. (In fairness to the writers, some of these poor story choices were reportedly the result of Executive Meddling.) Other storylines from season one were dropped completely. Waverly? Who’s that?

Disappointed, I gave up about halfway into the season and haven’t watched the show again since, although I’m told that the later seasons were closer in quality to the first season than the second, and they are on my to watch list.

Friday Night Lights Season One Review

Review:

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I grew up in one of the most football-crazy states in the nation, and as a non-fan, got so sick of hearing about it all the time that I almost didn’t give this show a chance just from sheer dislike of the sport. However, it got such good reviews from critics and several (more football tolerant) friends that I eventually gave in and ended up really enjoying it.

Friday Night Lights paints one of the most realistic portraits of life in a football-crazy small town America that I’ve seen on screen, both for the team, their coaches and fans, and those like myself who are indifferent or even resentful of the sport’s prominence.

The acting is excellent, especially Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as the team’s coach and his wife, who has to juggle her role as “Mrs. Coach” with her duties to students both on the team and off as the school’s guidance counselor. The show doesn’t flinch from exploring human pain, failure, and weakness in many different guises, but at the same time, its central characters (especially Coach and Mrs. Coach) are essentially good and moral human beings in a way that inspires the best of human nature not only in many of the other characters, but also in the audience. In a time when dark, grim narratives are common on television, Friday Night Lights is fundamentally uplifting. And there’s something to be said for shows like that.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

My rating:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

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