Friday Night Lights: Season 1 (2006 - 2007)

SEASON:

Season 1
Friday Night Lights

Critics Consensus

Innovative for its time, Friday Night Lights offers a realistic glimpse into small-town life and the social issues that accompany it.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 31

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 155

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Episodes

1
Air date: Oct 3, 2006
2
Air date: Oct 10, 2006
3
Air date: Oct 17, 2006
4
Air date: Oct 24, 2006
5
Air date: Oct 30, 2006
6
Air date: Nov 7, 2006
7
Air date: Nov 14, 2006
8
Air date: Nov 28, 2006
9
Air date: Dec 5, 2006
10
Air date: Dec 12, 2006
Show More Episodes

Friday Night Lights: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Creator Peter Berg's critically acclaimed series adaptation of the book and movie of the same name centers on the coach and players of a high-school football team in Dillon, Texas, a small town in which football is near religion. New Panthers coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) arrives in Dillon amid soaring expectations and media scrutiny. It is clear that his coaching performance directly affects his welcome in the community, along with the acceptance of his wife, Tami (Connie Britton), and his daughter, Julie (Aimee Teegarden). Though Tami doesn't share her husband's passion for football, she is supportive nonetheless, and soon finds her own niche when she takes a job as the high school's guidance counselor. Julie, on the other hand, refuses to be friends with football players and doesn't like her new home in Dillon. The town's most beloved player is all-star quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter), who suffers a spinal injury in the pilot episode that leaves him in a wheelchair. His paralysis profoundly affects those close to him, especially his girlfriend, Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly). The good-natured cheerleader channels her grief by entering a secret and volatile relationship with Street's charming-but-troubled best friend, Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). Shy second-string quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) is thrust into the role of starter after spending much of his football career on the bench and under the radar of the fans and even his teammates. Cocky running back Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles), meanwhile, revels in the spotlight and keeps his focus determinedly set on gaining an athletic scholarship to college. Also looking to the future is the beautiful and jaded Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), who desperately wants to escape the small-town life that has consumed her mother and sister.

Cast

Kyle Chandler
as Eric Taylor
Scott Porter
as Jason Street
Gaius Charles
as Brian `Smash' Williams
Taylor Kitsch
as Tim Riggins
Connie Britton
as Tami Taylor
Zach Gilford
as Matt Saracen
Minka Kelly
as Lyla Garrity
Aimee Teegarden
as Julie Taylor
Adrianne Palicki
as Tyra Collette
Jesse Plemons
as Landry Clarke
Aldis Hodge
as Ray `Voodoo' Tatom
Brad Leland
as Buddy Garrity
Derek Phillips
as Billy Riggins
Liz Mikel
as Corrina Williams
Chad Brannon
as Lucas Mize
Patrick J. Adams
as Connor Hayes
Walter Perez
as Bobby Reyes
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Critic Reviews for Friday Night Lights Season 1

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (19)

[Friday Night Lights] is a meditation on subjects dear to the heartland, told with a deft touch, fastidiously choreographed football sequences and sophisticated camerawork.

Nov 6, 2019 | Full Review…

[I] find himself at full grovel, crawling toward Nielsen households, begging that they flip on [this show]. The show is terrific -- the most engrossing new drama of the fall season -- but it's also the worst-rated, and that's just not fair.

Feb 2, 2015 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Best of all, Berg balances gritty storytelling with uplift that's never phony or forced.

Feb 2, 2015 | Full Review…

It's the best high school coaching drama since The White Shadow, and deserves a chance.

Feb 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Friday Night Lights gets off to a rousing start. Everything about it is vividly drawn, with [Kyle] Chandler excelling as an up-against-it coach whose locker room rallying cry is "Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose."

Feb 3, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Top Critic

The documentary feel of Friday Night Lights is strengthened by the use of a hand-held camera and quick-cut editing.

Feb 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Even if you aren't a football fan, it isn't hard to get caught up in some of the show's dramatic storylines, which include teen romance, strong friendship, personal rivalry, and family unity.

Nov 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Sure, the show's a mildly entertaining look at the goings-on of a small football town in the heart of Texas, but it lingers too much on the soapish high school drama and crazy community antics for it to be considered one of the best new series on TV.

Nov 6, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

What makes Friday Night Lights superior is that it does not declaw the all-American pastime or present a bucolic version of small-town life. No, in this series, life and football are shown in all their gritty, sweaty, and, yes, dramatic glory.

Nov 6, 2019 | Full Review…

One looks forward to the games, as does every denizen of Dillon, which is what the viewer becomes.

Nov 5, 2018 | Full Review…

The show is radical in its realism.

Oct 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Hopefully, the writing and creativity will show up to alleviate my concerns, and where they don't show up, hopefully some of the cast will meet the challenge head on. I'm certainly willing to tune in and find out.

May 29, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Friday Night Lights: Season 1

  • Jun 14, 2017
    For five seasons, Friday Night Lights was the number one teen drama on television and I have yet to find a single person who didn't love this show. It's impossible to imagine that a show centered around a football team could be so successful, when TV shows centered around sports almost never succeed on television. Looking back, I can't find a single TV drama that was centered around a sports team that lasted longer, so why was Friday Night Lights so successful? The answer is quite simple. While the show was centered around the Dillon Panther football team, football wasn't the end all and be all of the show, it made up a quarter of the series. The other parts focused on the town of Dillon, the Taylor family, and the lives of the players. It's this mix that left something for everything. As a sports fan, I loved the football angle to the show and thought that Coach Taylor was on of the most realistic portrayals of a coach that I have ever seen. For the ladies, there is plenty of romance and teen drama involved with the show, surrounding the players, the high school, and the Taylor's young daughter. As for the adults, there is the family values aspect, as the Taylor's truly care and don't just take care of the students they are entrusted with, but they take an interest in helping the entire town that they are a part of. The story lines run deep and the character development is as good as you will ever find in any television show. In binging five seasons of this show, I felt as though I knew some of these characters as if they were members of my own family. As for the stars of the show, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton had amazing chemistry, which they used to play off each other and the result is that neither of them have ever been better than this. The Taylor's were career defining roles for both actors and they aren't the only ones. This show also launched the careers of Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemmons, and Zach Gilford, all of whom have gone on to some very successful roles following Friday Night Lights. If you're thinking that this show is just some MTV teen drama or a show about football, you couldn't be more wrong. This is one of the best depictions of life in small town Texas, Southern youth culture, and the struggles associated with life in a small town that you will ever find. I highly recommend this show for it's drama, it's exciting action, but most important of all for it's amazingly accurate portrayals and lessons associated with real life in small town America.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • May 16, 2019
    The characters touch the soul. They stick with you after you watch an episode . And, you are left feeling like they are your friends. Five stars all the way through the series.
  • Jan 13, 2019
    This is one of my favorite shows ever! I watched it a few years ago and am currently rewatching it. I don't even like football, but this show has depth that goes way beyond football. You'll laugh, cry, and cheer with the variety of characters.
  • Aug 27, 2018
    Friday Night Lights: Season 1 brings to us a great realistic story, that is at the same time clever and original, and that show us a lot of scenes with whom will be easy to identify with. The soundtrack is amazing.
  • Jun 29, 2017
    This joint will get ya in the mood for football. High school pigskin is everything in Texas.
  • Feb 25, 2017
    There are two kinds of TV dramas: Those that primarily make you think, and those that primarily make you feel. If you are drawn towards the "feeling" type, then "Friday Night Lights" should rocket to the top of your TV-watching list. For a basic plot summary, "FNL" tells the story of Dillon, TX, primarily focusing on the high school football team so revered by the community. When a new coach is hired and the star QB goes down via injury, the team is tested on the field as never before. But off the field, a cauldron of other issues exist (all somehow tied into the football team) that shapes and molds all the citizens of Dillon. The easy criticism of this show is that it is unrealistic in its portrayal of over-the-top football action, teenage sexual relationships, and just an overall level of drama that might seem a tad overblown in light of reality. While those criticisms are most certainly valid, "FNL" overcomes them with a steady dose of the one "X-factor" that can cure a lot of dramatic ills: heart. The showed is keyed by four "main characters": Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), wife Tami (Connie Britton), daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden), and new starting quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), who just happens to be Julie's boyfriend. Those four characters provide a solid emotional backbone to the show, touching on issues that are quite realistic and emotions that are familiar to all viewers. When these four characters are on the screen in any combination, "Friday Night Lights" is at its very best. "FNL" is an ensemble show, however, and the auxiliary cast is more than up to the task of providing even more avenues for drama and emotion. What's so great about these roles is that, in the Pilot episode, it seems as if they are going to be little more than "stock" characters: the injured football star (Scott Porter), the peppy cheerleader (Minka Kelly), the "school slut" (Adrianne Palicki), the guy who doesn't care about anything (Taylor Kitsch), and even the over-enthusiastic Dillon booster club leader (Brad Leland). Within just a couple of episodes, though, it becomes clear that nothing everything is as it seems, and all these unique characters have some depths to probe. On another note, the football scenes in this show (while admittedly a bit over-the-top at times) are very emotional and inspiring, adding a competitive, feisty aspect to a show that (from time to time) gets bogged down in some pretty heavy drama. In fact, the only time this season that "FNL" sags even the slightest is during a midseason stretch of episodes that lacks at least some football action. Overall, the first season of "Friday Night Lights" is remarkable in its ability to turn stereotypes on their head and provide some real-life drama (even if sometimes the situations aren't necessarily indicative of high-schoolers). You don't even have to be a football fan to enjoy this type of show (although it will only heighten the experience if you are!). It simultaneously is both innocent and yet complex on differing levels, a combination that makes for high drama/emotion that will carry you through episode after episode.
  • Jun 02, 2016
    While other shows use the first season as a stepping stone, Friday Night Light’s first season is a definite and defining one, complete in on itself. One of those rare, consistently good shows which without aspiring for Greatness nudges too close and too often with it. The chasm between its feeble mainstream popularity and critically acclaimed status amuses me, considering how Entertaining and accommodating the show really is.
  • Jan 02, 2016
    Watching the series makes me look forward to a version for every sport ---- so I can easily appreciate it better. Yes, it does contain teen angst though thankfully doesn't come off 'angst-y' as a whole. It might take you a couple of episodes to see past the 'high school' setting --- and realise that it is also a show that puts a light on different approaches to Parenting...and well...life really. I can't really recommend a series to start with...other than the start. It's really that good. :) Oh...and yes...it's funny too!
  • Sep 29, 2015
    I have to admit that it took me a while to give Friday Night Lights a real chance (I have zero interest in football), but it really only takes a few episodes to realize that the show isn't really about the sport. It's a show about community, that delves into a plethora of social issues, yet never feels preachy. While the material can at times verge on melodramatic, the acting, writing and presentation make the show completely palpable, and it's hard to believe that such a resonant show aired on a network station. My only real issue with the show is the casting of the high school characters. While they're all fine actors, it's just most of them look too old to play teenagers, and series like Freaks and Geeks proved that it is possible to work with younger actors and do great television. Still, it's a great first season, and one of the most intelligent network dramas ever.
  • Jul 11, 2015
    It just wasn't my cup of tea in all honesty.

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