Friday Night Lights was one of the most criminally underrated shows on television. It wasn't until it got cancelled that we all started to appreciate the magic the Dillon Panthers brought us. Smash Williams, Jason Street, Tim Riggins, and Matt Saracen all gave us a love of football, even if we never thought it possible. Plus, Tami Taylor is the guidance counselor we all needed but never got.
Here are some things about Friday Night Lights that will leave you screaming "CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN'T LOSE!"
1. Life Imitating Art
Tim Riggins lead a troubled life and even found himself homeless. This is not unlike actor Taylor Kitsch, who says he would couch surf for a while when he tried to make it as an actor.
“I’d go to my buddy’s place, stay there ‘til 11 or 12 at night, and then say, ‘Well, I’ll see you in a bit!” says Kitsch. “ Then I’d go to the subway and pass out there in one of the subway cars until five or six in the morning—however long I could—and after that, go to the gym and shower.”
“I was living in my car in L.A. for, like, four months,” he says. “It was a Firefly—a tiny hatchback with 12-inch wheels. Not great to sleep in. And the fuckin’ thing—the window would jam on the side door, and I was so mad at it that I was pulling it one day and it just shattered. Cut to me with clear plastic over the window held down with duct tape."
Kitsch is now worth over $8 million, so hopefully he'll never have to live in his car again.
2. Hair of the Dog
When Kyle Chandler auditioned for the role of Coach Taylor, creator Peter Berg didn't like him. He thought Chandler was "too good-looking" for the role and that he wasn't rugged enough. Chandler showed up to his next audition on a motorcycle and completely hungover. How's that for rugged?
3. Second Chance
Before the show we all know and love came to be, NBC tried to do it first. In 1993, they launched a series called Against The Grain. It starred Ben Affleck and only lasted one season.
4. Come Drive With Me
When Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton were cast as the Taylors, they decided to take a road trip together to get to know one another. People were worried they would end up having an affair on the road, but they never did. Even still, their chemistry on-screen was so intense that people thought they were sleeping together. If only they knew that Kyle Chandler was so uncomfortable with doing a sex scene with Britton he actually refused to do one in season 1. They never had one for the rest of the series.
5. Is There A Doctor?
Tim Riggins lived in a terrible, run-down house. Though you may have thought it was just made to look like that for TV, the house they filmed in was actually as bad as it looked. It was so full of mold that Taylor Kitsch actually got sick. A doctor was called to the set and advised them to stop filming at that location.
6. Straight Face
Zach Gilford, who plays Matt Saracen, pointed out that his face is rarely shown in scenes when he's with his best friend Landry Clarke, played by Jesse Plemons. Gilford says this is because Plemons is so funny, he couldn't keep a straight face during any of their scenes together, regardless of the subject matter.
Lindsay Lohan was originally slated to play Tyra Collette on Friday Night Lights due to her popularity at the time. She declined the role, which went to Adrianne Palicki instead. Even though we're happy she turned it down, you have to wonder if this role would have kept her on the straight-and-narrow for a little while longer.
8. Who Are You?
Through the course of the series, Landry Clarke and Jason Street never speak to each other. The closet they get is when Street attends a Crucifictorious concert. The strangest part is that Plemons and Scott Porter (Street) are really good friends in real life and live close to each other in L.A.
When Jason Street and Tim Riggins say goodbye to each other in New York, it took 25 minutes for the actors to film the scene. Kitsch and Porter were such good friends they were feeling the emotions of their bromance breaking up. Kitsch started crying first, which set off Scott, and neither could hold it together long enough before they completely broke down.
10. Can You Keep Up, Kid?
In the fourth season of the show, Coach Taylor left to coach the East Dillon Lions. Because so many of the original cast became minor characters (or left completely), they had to bring in a whole new group. Tim Riggins was one of the only regulars to stay on, so everyone who auditioned for the new season had to read with Kitsch. If they could keep up, they got the part.