Monday, February 11, 2013

Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)

by Jeanine McAdam

Yes, it’s about football but it’s also a television show about relationships. Between a husband and wife, a parent and child, plus the thrill of first love. And…it explores the huge mistakes and bad decisions we all make while seeking love.

The show revolves around Eric Taylor (football coach) and Tami Taylor (high school guidance counselor/principal). A young, middle aged couple very much in love but facing the numerous challenges of life. Lack of money, air conditioners breaking, a surly teenage daughter and unexpected baby. Plus careers that are pulling them in different directions. They fight like real people. They get mean with each other and say words like “shut up” and “I hate you” but somehow find a way back to cherishing their love.

Then there’s Matt Saracen and Julie Taylor (Eric & Tami’s daughter). Their story is about tentative, young love. Then she decides she wants to have sex. The plan is to get it over with. But when it comes to the actual act, Julie chickens out. An older boy enters the picture and she breaks up with Matt.

And…there is tragedy. The star quarterback, Jason Street is rendered a quadriplegic after a football accident. His cheerleader girlfriend, Lyla Garrity tries to support him, his parents try also. All those relationships shatter in different ways. But something new is starting to be built from the ruins. I’m only in the second season and I have a feeling there is a different kind of love coming Jason’s way.

Of course, the rebel without a cause is on the team. Tim Riggins, is looking for something but not finding it between the legs of the numerous women he dates. However he’s not a one dimensional womanizer. He cares about people in this own stunted way. Making friends with the bullied boy next door while at the same time sleeping with the kid’s mother.

Finally, there is the hugely talented running back Smash Brain Williams. He’s a bit of a loud-mouth and flashy but also shouldering the success of the entire team. While single-handedly winning football games he’s being chased by college recruiters and dealing with racism. His relationships with his mother and sisters are extremely touching.

The tag line for the team is: Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. There’s lots of full hearts characterized on this show. The eyes aren’t always clear, but through winning and losing in the game of life a lot is learned about love. Well worth the time for any romance writer. Available on Netflix.

"Cowboy's Toughest Ride" Secret Cravings Publishing, May 2012

"Inhuman Resources" HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE: An Anthology of Zombie Romance, St. Martin's Press. Publishers Weekly, a “zippy stor[y] about the sexy turn-on of successful zombie hunting.”

"The Redesigned Heart" True Confessions, July 2011


  1. I love how you take inspiration from this program. Sounds like it's well written with well developed characters. Those are the best. Yes, inspiration is everywhere, even on TV! Great post, Jeanine.

  2. Thanks Jean! I'm completely hooked on this show!

  3. It sounds almost as good as a romance novel. :-) Thanks for the recommendation. -maria