Five years, five seasons. Friday Night Lights defied the odds and remained TV’s biggest underdog. It might not have been grabbed the ratings, but it certainly captured the hearts and minds of the millions of fans who were lucky enough to have watched.
A drama series about the residents of a small football-loving town in Texas doesn’t immediately scream memorable television. But that is what made the series even more special. It premiered in 2006 as a rare pleasant surprise. The exceptional writing, directing, and acting over its five years have propelled Friday Night Lights into the upper echelon of TV history.
Critics and fans alike have praised the series’ realism, its humble and honest approach to everyday life. Relatable, but still engaging. Dramatic, fun, and with plenty of heart.
But in spite of its critical reception, fan support, and honors from other award giving bodies, Friday Night Lights has been largely overlooked by the Emmys. Though an Emmy winner for Casting (and rightly so), it took four seasons before the series broke into the big Emmy categories last year with nominations for writing and lead actors Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.
With its fifth and final season currently airing on NBC, this will be the last chance for the Emmys to honor a series that has presented work more than deserving of television’s top prize.
For five seasons, Friday Night Lights produced excellence week in and week out. Its fifth season was no different. Along with a sentimental and emotional march toward the series finale, Friday Night Lights continued telling the stories of these characters just as they would have if the series were assured sixth and seventh seasons.
Life goes on and Friday Night Lights was able to wrap the series up while still maintaining its sincere portrayal of everyday life. No other series on the air today does that. No other series captures those moments as beautifully and as meaningful.
And as Friday Night Lights signs off for the last time, it will be difficult to find another series like it for a very long time… if ever.