“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
This is the rallying cry of one of my personal favorite television shows of all time, Friday Night Lights. Guaranteed to give you goosebumps of the “feelings” kind, and definitely draw a tear or two (or twenty), this is a television show like no other before it.
And in case you hadn’t heard, during the second week of June 2016, the cast re-united in Austin, Texas ten years after the show began. (And boy do I feel old!) If you’ve never gotten a chance to watch this iconic show, you’re in luck because it’s currently available on Netflix’s streaming service. If you’re already well-acquainted with FNL, then I do not have to tell you how amazing it was and remains to this day.
Throughout its five-year run on NBC/DirecTV, Friday Night Lights brought us countless stories: the all-too realistic depiction of a modern Texas small town (fictional Dillon, Texas), stories of high school and football politics, the revelation that was the on-screen marriage of Tami and Coach Eric Taylor, tales of painful familial loss, aging relatives, abuse, teen pregnancy and abortion, stories about living with disability, about living just above (and sometimes under) the poverty line, stories of first love, forbidden love, second love, (third love?), hard truths about parenthood, brotherhood, friendships and more. (Let’s not forget that almost-threesome in Mexico! I sure can’t!) There has never been anything like it on television, and I very seriously doubt there will ever be again.
But thankfully, there are a few books I’d like to recommend that might help to fill the void in some small way. Of course, nothing can ever match the brilliance that was this show, or the brooding gorgeousness of Timmy Riggins, but I hope that these selections will come close for many of you!
[Let's travel back to Dillon, Texas]