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Friday Night Lights: The Complete Series
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When they struggled, we held our breath. When they lost, we felt their pain. And when they won, we cheered them on again and again. Through five extraordinary seasons, the residents of Dillon, Texas, kept viewers captivated with the small-town struggles, victories, and heartbreaks that resonated across America with breathtaking realness, and made Friday Night Lights, a Primetime Emmy award-winning drama, one of the best dramas ever to air on TV. Now, relive the spirit of this small town with a big heart: from the pride and pitfalls of high school football to the intimate relationships between lovers, parents and friends. Every moment of this critically acclaimed dramatic series is featured in this incredible collection that includes 19 discs packaged in a beautiful book filled with striking photography from the series. Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton and an all-star ensemble shine in this American drama series that will never be forgotten. Texas forever…
The first season of Friday Night Lights accomplishes something that few television dramas are able to do: It betters the 2004 film (starring Billy Bob Thornton) on which the series is based. Set in Dillon, Texas, where football--even on the high school level--is everything, Friday Night Lights is a compelling drama with a football subplot. Poignantly and effectively touching on racism, rape, steroids, jealousy, infidelity, and life-changing injuries, the series presents the inhabitants of Dillon as real people who are flawed, but remarkable in their ordinariness. Though the series struggled to find an audience during its inaugural year, it was a critical favorite thanks to some fine acting by leads Kyle Chandler (as Coach Eric Taylor) and Connie Britton (who portrays his wife, Tami). Coach Taylor's career depends on his ability to get the Dillon Panthers to the state championship. If the team suffers a losing streak, he knows his family, which includes daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden), will no longer be welcome in Dillon. Britton, who also played the coach's wife in the film version, is a phenomenal actress who shares simmering chemistry with Chandler. Not content at just being the coach's wife, she lands a job as a counselor at the local high school. That position plays a pivotal role in the season finale, which leaves viewers wondering whether Eric will leave Dillon to accept a coveted coaching job with a university. Though the majority of the twentysomething actors appear too mature to portray high school students, they have the mannerisms of teens down pat. Gaius Charles is perfect as cocky running back Brian "Smash" Williams, who'll risk his health to make sure he gets a football scholarship to college. Local sweethearts Jason Street (Scott Porter) and Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) are the high school's golden couple. When a football injury leaves him paralyzed, he finds strength in what the future holds for him, but Lyla finds herself in a short-lived affair with Jason's best friend Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). Once the relationship comes out in the open, their classmates' reactions to the "traitors" show that sexual inequality is rampant even in the teen set. Tim's teammates briefly ostracize him, but just as quickly forgive him, especially since he's so valuable on the football field. But Lyla becomes persona non grata to the girls at school who take too much glee in calling the head cheerleader a slut. The hits she takes verbally are no less lethal than the ones the boys take on the gridiron. And the tentative relationship between Julie Taylor and Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) is the best depiction of teenage love since Angela Chase fell for Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life. The actors do a wonderful job conveying the sweetness, pain, and hurt of falling in love without really understanding all of its implications. Peter Berg, who co-wrote and co-directed the film, has a strong presence as a writer on the series and evenly distributes the storylines between the kids and the adults. Friday Night Lights is a drama with teenage characters at its core. But the stories are universal. --Jae-Ha Kim
Friday Night Lights is deeply entrenched in the world of football and teamwork, but the series transcends sports and delves into rich, human relationships that at times are heartbreakingly real. A compelling drama, the show also features one of the strongest (and best looking) ensemble casts. The second season fulfills the promise of its debut. Full of drama, heart, and superb acting, the series is set in fictional Dillon, Texas--a town where everyone lives and breathes football. The first season had Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) accepting a college coaching job, while his pregnant wife Tami (Connie Britton) and their 16-year-old daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden) stayed behind in Dillon. Unfulfilled by his diminished duties and cognizant of the fact that he no longer is the head guy who calls all the shots, Eric returns to the Dillon Panthers. Meanwhile, Julie breaks up with starting quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), who ends up finding love with a young nurse's aide. Paralyzed football hero Jason Street (Scott Porter) tries to find his place in the world, moving out of his parents' home and accepting--and then quitting--an assistant coaching job with the Dillon Panthers. And bad boy Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) gets thrown off the squad and ends up squatting in a meth dealer's home before Coach Taylor temporarily takes him in. But the strongest storyline belongs to Gaius Charles, who is pitch perfect as cocky star runningback Brian "Smash" Williams. Ensured a spot on a university with an elite football program, Williams believes that he is unstoppable. When a run-in with some racist kids turns into a media frenzy, the school rescinds its invitation and Smash finds himself scrambling to get into any school, regardless of its football program. A powerful actor who is equally adept at portraying a strutting football hero as he is a humbled teen, Charles conveys passion as well as numbing reality. Season two also deals with the aftermath of Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) and Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons), who try to cover up a murder. While the storyline is flawed and implausible, the actors do a stellar job with the material. It is also sweet to watch the couple's relationship--initially based on desperation--forge into a strong friendship and romance. Things don't always end neatly, but that only adds to the drama of Friday Night Lights. Look for series writer Peter Berg to guest star as Tami's former high-school boyfriend and Eric's nemesis. If the finale seems a little disjointed, it is because of the 2008 writers strike, which forced the series to truncate its episodes from a planned 22 episodes to just 15. The four-disc set also includes audio commentary and almost 40 minutes of deleted footage. --Jae-Ha Kim
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Top Customer Reviews
What I experienced instead? A very deep and moving television series that happens to use football as a backdrop as it delves into so many issues of life. Basically it turned into a lesson in ontology, an exploration of our humanity as crazy as that may sound.
Honestly I had no idea that the show was going to stretch so many characters the way they did. What you may see initially seems like standard fare typical characters, two dimensional so to speak. A loud and cocky star running back, a former player who is a successful business man but still lives vicariously through the team as a top booster etc etc. So many of the characters in this show get challenged and tested in ways that any person who breathes a breath can relate to.
During my first viewing of the series I constantly thought to myself, "I love Friday Night Lights." I would think this as I was cheering, laughing, shaking my head incredulously and so many times, wiping the tears from my eye either from joy or sadness.
I passed on the series when it was on television because I thought it was a cliche show about a small town that revolves around high school football. I'm glad that a compulsive blind buy brought it into my viewing collection. It's easily one of the best shows I have seen on so many levels and has limitless replay value.
I will say, seasons 1, 3, 4 and 5 are nearly flawless. One storyline in season 2 is universally hated, and rightfully so. It almost derails what is one of the most realistic depictions of small town life I've ever seen. However, it wasn't as bad the second time through (binge watching has its perks). And even factoring that small hiccup in, I can't give this show anything less than 5 stars.
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