Seconds [1966]

Friday Night Lights is deeply entrenched in the world of football and teamwork, but the series transcends sports and delves into rich, human relationships that at times are heartbreakingly real. A compelling drama, the show also features one of the strongest (and best looking) ensemble casts. The second season fulfills the promise of its debut. Full of drama, heart, and superb acting, the series is set in fictional Dillon, Texas--a town where everyone lives and breathes football. The first season had Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) accepting a college coaching job, while his pregnant wife Tami (Connie Britton) and their 16-year-old daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden) stayed behind in Dillon. Unfulfilled by his diminished duties and cognizant of the fact that he no longer is the head guy who calls all the shots, Eric returns to the Dillon Panthers. Meanwhile, Julie breaks up with starting quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), who ends up finding love with a young nurse's aide. Paralyzed football hero Jason Street (Scott Porter) tries to find his place in the world, moving out of his parents' home and accepting--and then quitting--an assistant coaching job with the Dillon Panthers. And bad boy Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) gets thrown off the squad and ends up squatting in a meth dealer's home before Coach Taylor temporarily takes him in. But the strongest storyline belongs to Gaius Charles, who is pitch perfect as cocky star runningback Brian "Smash" Williams. Ensured a spot on a university with an elite football program, Williams believes that he is unstoppable. When a run-in with some racist kids turns into a media frenzy, the school rescinds its invitation and Smash finds himself scrambling to get into any school, regardless of its football program. A powerful actor who is equally adept at portraying a strutting football hero as he is a humbled teen, Charles conveys passion as well as numbing reality. Season two also deals with the aftermath of Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) and Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons), who try to cover up a murder. While the storyline is flawed and implausible, the actors do a stellar job with the material. It is also sweet to watch the couple's relationship--initially based on desperation--forge into a strong friendship and romance. Things don't always end neatly, but that only adds to the drama of Friday Night Lights. Look for series writer Peter Berg to guest star as Tami's former high-school boyfriend and Eric's nemesis. If the finale seems a little disjointed, it is because of the 2008 writers strike, which forced the series to truncate its episodes from a planned 22 episodes to just 15. The four-disc set also includes audio commentary and almost 40 minutes of deleted footage. --Jae-Ha Kim

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