Friday Night Lights: Season 1
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TV's hottest new drama, Friday Night Lights, touches down on DVD with all 22 Season One episodes in a 5-disc collection! In the small town of Dillon, everyone comes together on Friday nights when the Dillon High Panthers play. But life is not a game; and the charismatic players, new coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), and the passionate fans find that their biggest challenges and obstacles come off the field in the compelling day-to-day dramas of their tight-knit community. From producers Brian Grazer (The Da Vinci Code) and Peter Berg (The Kingdom) comes the critically acclaimed TV series based on the best-selling novel and hit theatrical movie. Discover why The Associated Press calls it "breathtaking in how it captures ordinary life set against extraordinary passions."
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 KimSee all Editorial Reviews
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I feel I just emerged from a coma after watching all 5 seasons in a binge watching session you wouldn't believe. I stayed up late; I got up early; I didn't watch anything else on TV.
I lived in Texas for a few years, so I know all about high school football in Texas. My daughter was one of those flag waving girls cheering for the team, so I went to every game. I didn't pay much attention to the game and everyone I knew thought that was strange. The whole town LOVED football, and we didn't even have a very good team.
The characters in this show are so real, I feel as if I have stepped back in time and am still living in Texas. The kids are real, the adults are real. I love Kyle Chandler, who plays the head coach, Eric Taylor. Coach Taylor and his wife have the best marriage ever portrayed on TV, or in the movies. They are very happily married, although they still have disagreements. Their marriage is so realistic, it seems as if I know the couple. Their daughter, Julie, and the other "teens" are just like typical teens everywhere, but especially in Texas. But these are mostly good teens, who still drink alcohol, and have sex, just as all good teens do. No one seems to spend much time in school, although they always show up for football practice, even if they have a hangover. And some of the teens seem to have no adult who looks after them. Tim Riggins lives with his brother and the two drink beer all the time. Matt Sorenson live with his grandmother, who suffers from dementia (although the mildest case I have ever seen), so he takes care of her. Tyra lives with her single mother, and her older sister, a stripper. The mother doesn't seem to care what the girls do, or who they bring home to sleep with them. Lyla Garrity is a spoiled rich girl, who has everything she could want, until her boyfriend becomes paralyzed after an injury in a game. Their plans of going to the same college (whichever one from which he accepts a scholarship), him playing pro football, and marriage and a family are all dashed in an instant.
The final season of this show ties up all the loose ends. Yet I felt so sad when it was over. Like I lost a friend. I will probably watch it again, although not as fast this time.
I purchased the first season and had it sent to my aunt. She doesn't think she will like it - because it is about football. I hope she actually watches it so she will find out it isn't really about football.
But I did learn a little about football by watching this. I may actually watch a game on TV sometime.
Now I didn't think this show was going to be nearly as good as the movie, since it's not based on a true story and it's on a TV budget... not a movie budget. But I still wanted to give it a try. And man am I glad I did. Friday Night Lights is MUCH more than just some dumb football show. Yes it does have football and yes it's centered on football, but in all honesty, it feels like football is just a secondary to the great story that we have going on right before our eyes.
Coach Eric Taylor has taken the reigns as the new head coach of The Dillon Panthers football team. QB#1 Jason Street is the golden boy on the team. He's supposedly one of the best quarterbacks that's ever been seen (according to Notre Dame at least). A close second to Jason would be Brian `Smash' Williams. The star running back that can actually back up the big mouth he has. Smash is also a star player that WILL be going somewhere someday. The Panthers are littered with talent in other spots as well, but a curveball is thrown to them in their first game of the season and Jason Street has to leave the game only to be replaced by the somewhat shy Matthew Saracen. Can Saracen help lead the team and win them and Coach Taylor the first game of the season? Well, watch the show and find out...hehe.
Coach Taylor is played by Kyle Chandler. His wife Tami is played by Connie Britton. I seriously do not think they are even acting when you see these two together. I completely forget I'm watching actors. They meld together so seamlessly you would think they are actually married. You can see the love in their eyes when they talk to each other on just little things like grocery shopping. You can see the hurt in their eyes when one of them slips up with the wrong thing said. You can see the irritation in their actions of having to explain themselves to one another because they've been together for so long. And even though they have their faults... they have the type of relationship most of us look forward to having one day (hopefully). Julie Taylor, their daughter, is played by the ever so cute Aimee Teegarden. She is perfectly matched with her parents. Even though she acts a little to smart for britches (like my grandpa used to say), she is still a really good daughter... who Matthew Saracen has a secret crush on. It's great to watch this high school romance happen between the two. It seems almost real to me. Saracen always starts to talk, only to come out with half sentences before she walks off, because he can barely keep his head straight when she's around... lol... I love it. These two relationships on camera work so well that you really do just fall back into high school again as a teenager. Plus, and boy have I been there, the relationship between Coach Taylor and Matthew Saracen has to be some of the funniest stuff to watch. Poor Matt gets in from Coach on AND off the field.
That's only two things I love about this show with much more going on that I won't really go into great detail. But you have Tim Riggins who is the `misunderstood bad boy'. Sounds pretty cliché but it he pulls it off pretty darn well. Then you have Lyla Garrity, the beautiful (and oh is she ever) cheerleader/church girl that is going to marry Jason Street one day. She's slowly being pushed away by Jason because of what he's going through. Her life and future is changing drastically, and sadly, around her. Tyra Collete is, what I'm thinking at least, the school bad girl (drinking and sex of course). Her home living is a mess due to her mom and her school life is bad because she's always with Tim Riggins and she's just doesn't care about school. Or so we think. Another funny character is Landry Clarke, the best friend of Saracen. Just about every part he's in has me laughing.
Friday Night Lights deal with a lot of high school issues such as love, sex, family, drugs, and friendships. The one thing that I just did NOT care for AT ALL was the few episodes on racism. A friend of mine said the same exact thing to me the other day when he got done watching the show. That's the only thing I just did not like at all about this show. It seemed like it had no actual ground to be brought up. Like it was forced on us. And it was basically one coach vs. all the black kids (kids... not parents) on the team. It was completely idiotic and just seemed out of place. Ah well.
I thought the show was going to be cancelled after the second season, but thankfully it's still alive and made it into the third season. I just don't see how TV execs can cancel such a good show when they don't even have any idea of where to put it on TV. The first time was up against American Idol (I believe)... and the second time is on Friday Night. Um. Don't you think your main targeted audience would be OUT on Friday Night watching high school football games or going out and hanging out with friends? Hmmm... smart thinking TV execs.
As for this DVD set, it's got some good extras on it, according to my friend. Sorry I haven't gotten around to them yet. But for 20 bucks... this is a STEAL of a deal.
Support Friday Night Lights. Don't let another good TV show get cancelled again (I miss you Arrested Development!)