Home > TV Reviews > REVIEW: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS returns tonight on DirecTV. Hello, old friend.

REVIEW: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS returns tonight on DirecTV. Hello, old friend.

by Jim on October 27, 2010 · 1 comment

The fifth season cast of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

As you have certainly gleaned over the last five years, the people that LOVE Friday Night Lights REALLY love it and I count myself as one of those people. I could wax poetically how watching any given episode is like a warm blanket on a cold night. Or how the show is one of a handful that always makes my eyes weep a little (or a lot at times) on a regular basis. And how 99% of the time I can refrain from gushing when I’m interviewing someone from a show I really like but, come on, you sit down for a chat with Connie Britton and you must gush! And while you may think there are way too many choices on the tube right now and too many channels all vying for our attention, the truth of the matter is without the array of programming and networks out there, Friday Night Lights probably would’ve been cancelled a long time ago.

DirecTV broke some new ground by going into a partnership with NBC a few years back to keep the show alive and, yes, it’s pretty much the primary reason that I have DirecTV in my home. This is the kind of show you shut the computer off for and turn off the Blackberry. And, even if you’ve never jumped in, tonight’s season premiere is as perfect time as any mainly because these are the types of TV characters that you feel like you know from the first frame.  And, more importantly, while it’s always beneficial to know the history of characters and storylines, Friday Night Lights welcomes viewers in pretty much at every point. Try it and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

The season premiere tonight (did I mention it’s on DirecTV? NBC will air the episodes in early 2011), we get to see a few of our favorites before they leave – Taylor Kitsch as the imprisoned Tim Riggins and Jesse Plemons as Landry, who is about to leave for college. And this is another perfect reason to love this show. We knew at the end of the last season that both characters were leaving the show and the season premiere could have easily just reminded us of their departures in some exposition but we get to see them both again and not in any big flashy way. They’re still a part of the fabric of the show and by the show honoring them, they honor us.  I LOVE THAT! (We also get a great, small scene with Landry saying goodbye to Matt Seracen’s dementia-ridden grandmother (the awesome Louanne Stephens), who I hope will keep popping up on the show.

I can go through the rest of the storylines like Coach Eric Taylor (one half of the rock that grounds the show, Kyle Chandler) recruiting a new player from the basketball team, the romantic course for Vince (Michael B. Jordan) and Jess (Jurnee Smollett), the going-to-college Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden, who is NOT leaving the series), Billy Riggins (Derek Phillips) taking in in need Becky (Madison Burge) much to the chagrin of his wife, Mindy (Stacey Oristano) and the adjustments of Tami Taylor (the other half of the rock, Connie Britton) being a guidance counselor at East Dillon. But why do that? The show still does not disappoint and just tells great stories, with great acting and direction along with writing. The fact that the actors are allowed to improv keeps the show very real-feeling and while I’m not even going to pray that enough viewers show up to warrant sixth season (I do believe if this was going to become a Top 10 hit, it would have a long time ago), it’s going to be hard as hell to say goodbye.

Tonight’s season premiere of Friday Night Lights airs at 9pm ET/PT on DirecTV. If you don’t have DirecTV, change that NOW. Go to www.DirecTV.com for all the options. It’ll be worth it.

photo courtesy of DirecTV

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nate March 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

DISH Network also shows Friday night lights and they have more programming choices than DirecTV does. I work for DISH and I have there services so I can tell you DISH offers there customers HD free for life and we can provide you TV everywhere on your mobile device. We have a cheaper basic Latino package than DirecTV which cost twice as much. DISH Network carries your favorite movie channels in HD that DirecTV does not carry: HBO Comedy, HBO Latino, HBO Family, EPIX, HBO Signature, and Turner Classic Movies. Check it out http://www.dish.com.

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