Friday Night Lights is one of the great dramas of our time, a show that really had it all. An abundance of warmth but a knack for stories that dealt with the harsh realities of life, a great sense of humour, some of the most stirringly emotional scenes ever seen on TV, and an incredible ability to make even the least sporty viewer deeply invested in football.
Most of all, it had one of the great ensembles in the medium’s history. Every role was cast perfectly, with the show taking what looked like archetypes, and instead developing each character into something whole and rounded. With the benefit of some tremendous actors and actresses, FNL assembled a brilliant cast - and then did it again with an almost entirely new one after season four’s shift in focus to the other side of town.
Some of the performers deservedly went on to become household names, box office draws and the stalwarts of successful shows. Others don’t get around so much anymore, for reasons understandable and otherwise. But the majority of them got their break coming out of Dillon, Texas.