High school football is everything in this small Texas town.
As a general rule, movies based off of television shows tend to be awful, so when Friday Night Lights came along, a television show based off a movie, I assumed that the reverse held true. I could not have been more wrong. FNL is not the poorly-acted, shallow gimmick that I assumed it would be based on its title. In actuality, it's a top-notch show with more heart than, perhaps, any other show on television. Even though the storyline revolves around football, the plot is more about life in a small Texas town than it is about the pigskin. Sure there's the expected "star player gets paralyzed" and "running back takes steroids to impress the scout" angles, but those tired cliché's are few and far between. In any given episode you're more likely to find the quarterback taking care of his grandmother with Alzheimer's or the coach trying to control his daughter's dating habits.
Friday Night Lights brings a level of complexity to each of the characters that you normally don't see in a "teen" drama. While Friday Night Lights does lack the humor and shock value of the early seasons of The OC brought us, it's this depth that may allow it to continue churning out high quality episodes for several seasons. I certainly don't foresee this show spiraling downward to the point where slutty green aliens are stealing pregnancy tests. At this point, the only thing that can stop Coach Taylor and his team are their "so-so" ratings. Friday Night Lights certainly has a loyal "cult" fan base, but there are many folks out there like myself who pre-judge the show and don't give it a chance. Hopefully the word will spread that FNL is a gem in a gimmick's clothing, and people will start to tune in. After all, it only takes one episode of this show before you're hooked. Because once you've met the Dillon Panthers, there's no other team you'd rather root for.