Top 7 of '07: Best Shows - Friday Night Lights
Top 7 of '07: Best Shows - Friday Night Lights
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Check out all our lists for BuddyTV's Top 7 of '07 to relive the best and the worst of the year in television.

Don Williams ranked Friday Night Lights 1st.  He says...

Despite the monumental critical acclaim, I avoided watching Friday Night Lights for the entirety of its first season. I'm not into football, I've never stepped foot in Texas, and I'm usually not big on family dramas. I figured this show just wasn't for me. Boy, was I wrong.

When I finally gave Friday Night Lights a chance, all of my expectations were subverted. This show wasn't really about football, but about characters with a singular, driving passion in life. This show didn't deal in the cloying clichés that most family dramas delve into, but instead handled each situation with a messy sort of honesty found only in real life. What I discovered wasn't just the best show of the year, but one of the best shows ever to air on television.

Friday Night Lights transcends the trappings of most television shows, capturing the heartbreaking minutiae of everyday life in a near documentary fashion. It's achingly real, with expert performances from a top notch cast. It also features, hands down, the best couple currently on the air in Eric and Tami Taylor. Their marriage has a passion, a playfulness, and a sincerity that is sorely lacking from most TV couples. Like everything else on this show, they feel real.

The people who populate the fictional town of Dillon, Texas inspire me, touch me, and break my heart every single week. They feel like some of my best friends. That's what easily makes this the best show of the year. Nothing else can compare.

(click here to read Don Williams' complete Top 7 list)

John Kubicek ranked Friday Night Lights 4th.  He says...

While the second season of Friday Night Lights has paled in comparison to the first, the second half of that first season offered so many brilliant episodes that warrant the show's placement on this list. The first season dealt with racial issues in a smart two-parter that didn't shy away from tough subject matter, but handled it with great writing and acting. The finale was uplifting and had me on the edge of my seat rooting for the Dillon Panthers to win the state championship.

There was Tami Taylor giving her daughter the speech about sex in what is, for me, the single best acted scene all year thanks to Connie Britton, who was robbed of an Emmy nomination and win. And above all else, Friday Night Lights gave us “Mud Bowl,” one of the best episodes of television all year in which Eric had his Field of Dreams moment getting back to basics in a dirty, exhilarating game of football that was masterfully intercut with the gruesome attempted rape of Tyra, a scene that still gives me chills every time I think about it.

(click here to read John Kubicek's complete Top 7 list)

Debbie Chang ranked Friday Night Lights 6th.  She says...

Friday Night Lights was hands-down my favorite show of the 2006-2007 season. It had everything: heartwarming drama, hot boys and funny Texas accents. But above all, it had an unmatched purity in its portrayal of normal life.

Take Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), the painfully shy young boy who is thrust into the spotlight against his will when he must take over as first-string quarterback. He navigates through other landmines of high school life, such as asking out the girl of his dreams Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden), all the while taking care of his increasingly senile grandmother. The episode "I Think We Should Have Sex" was the most honest portrayal of teen sex that I have ever seen on television. In fact, every single episode of the first season was stellar and deserves mention.

Also, can this show possibly have a more appealing cast? Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), the glue who holds the town of Dillon, Texas together, is such an inspiring leader to his young athletes, but is never portrayed one-dimensionally. His relationship with Tami Taylor (the fantastic Connie Britton) gives me hope that marriage isn't the death sentence that I often fear it will be.

The reason why Friday Night Lights isn't higher up on my list is because of the spate of melodrama that the beginning of the second season brought. From the murder plot involving Landry (Jesse Plemons) and Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) to the burgeoning sexual relationship between Matt and his grandmother's hot Latin nurse, it's clear that the writers were trying to up the soap operatics to angle for more viewers. It's understandable, considering that the series has flirted with cancellation more times than is comfortable, but it's jarring when juxtaposed with the stark beauty of the first season. Still, the amazing cast continues to act the hell out of their scenes, even if the direction of the stories take an unrealistic turn, and I'll continue to tune in.

(click here to read Debbie Chang's complete Top 7 list)


(Image courtesy of NBC)