“Friday Night Lights”

by Mariah Morrill

Friday Night Lights was a popular television show that ran from 2006 to 2011. The show was directed by Peter Berg, and had a star studded cast that included co-stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. The show depicts a small town in Texas, whose identity seems to solely rest on the success of the high school’s football team, the Dillon Panthers. While the plot seems basic, the show is truly stunning in the way it explores each character so deeply, and how it brings a face to the small, Southern towns of America.

Dillon, Texas seems to embody the stereotypical characteristics that many associate with the South and Middle America. The accents. The small town with a burger joint where all the high schoolers congregate after class. The drama filled, seemingly Earth shattering break ups that occur between football players and cheerleaders. And of course, the ever famous echo of the Panthers motto, “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” For those who hail from communities similar to Dillon, Friday Night Lights offers scenes of nostalgia. And for those who come from communities that feel almost completely opposite, the show offers a great insight.

Some may say that this sweeping generalization of small town America does a great disservice to those living in one. However, as previously stated, Berg uses the small town of Dillon as a vehicle for intense character exploration and development. In addition, the show covers many issues relevant to teenagers today including teen pregnancy, sexual assault and racism and many of the characters come across as incredibly relatable, even to those living in completely different situations. 

All in all, Friday Night Lights is about more than football, and it is about more than the South. It is about everyday Americans trying to make a living and get through everyday. In the end, Friday Night Lights is a show that all can relate to, in a number of ways.  

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