The biggest hurdle for many viewers is that Friday Night Lights is ostensibly about football, and people like you and me, we don't care about football. In high school, I went to maybe two or three football games, tops, and even then, it was only to hang out. I don't think I ever once paid attention to what was happening on the field.
But Friday Night Lights is about more than just football. It is about people who are under incredible pressure, who care about something deeply, and that is the essence of drama. It is quiet, subtle, oddly beautiful and achingly real. It captures the verve and spirit of a certain kind of American small town and its inhabitants with breathless intensity and authenticity. It does this without the sheen of Hollywood melodrama that coats the small town inhabitants of Jericho, and without sinking to the hamfisted stereotypes and condescending "sympathy" of Studio 60's take on the midwest. It is about small town life without looking down on small town life. This show finds real drama on a human scale, and makes you feel it; it makes it matter. Don't care about football? When the game rolls around on this show, you will.
I'm always a little reluctant to hit play on the TiVo, since I really have to brace myself to be absorbed into the show's world, but every time, it is exhilaratingly worth it.
Aw, heck. I like how Sarah puts it:
Here is what “Friday Night Lights” is like: it’s like some scientists took a gigantic bottle of Awesome into the lab and turned it into a TV show. I know what you’re thinking: it’s about football. And teenagers. Yes, but no. Not really. If you have eyes and ears and a heart not made of concrete, you should be watching this show. Actually, you should be watching it especially if you have a concrete heart, because it will BREAK IT AND REPLACE IT WITH A REAL ONE. That is how good it is.