If You Like Friday Night Lights

“If You Like…” is a new weekly feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and more based on the things you already know and love. This week includes suggestions based on the television show Friday Night Lights, a drama in its fifth and final season that chronicles a football team in an impoverished Texas community.

If you like FNL, you might like….


  • Sarah Dessen: Anything by Sarah Dessen, but specifically Along for the Ride. Not just because Sarah is a FNL fanatic, either. Because Sarah’s novels are so character driven, I think that they provide the same type of experience as the show. You go on a journey with the characters, rooting for them. Along for the Ride reminds me of FNL most specifically just because of Auden’s introspection and her relationship with Eli. — Ashley (Book Labyrinth)
  • Friday Night Lights: If you like the TV Series, you would also like Friday Night Lights, the movie and Friday Night Lights, the book. It’s a true story of the Permian Panthers in Odessa, Texas.  The author lived there for the 1988 – 1989 season.  This book is what made high school football (and especially in Texas) very controversial. — Annette (The More You Read, The More You Will Know)


  • Post-Grad: While I’ve heard that this movie disappointed a lot of people, I actually found it to be charming and sweet, perhaps because I identified with Alexis Bledel’s character at the time. But most of all, if you like FNL as much as I do, you want to see the show’s stars in other things. Catch this film to see Zach Gilford in a Matt Saracen-esque type of role. — Ashley (Book Labyrinth)
  • Varsity Blues and The Rookie: If you’re a fan of the TV show Friday Night Lights, then I have some suggestions worth checking out!  Being a girl from Texas I know ALL about Texas high school football.  It’s definitely a world of it’s own.  If you’re a fan of the TV show, then I suggest taking a sneak peak at the following movies too: Varsity Blues and The Rookie.  Both are set in west Texas and deal with a small town centered around their prize possession sport. — Ginger (G Reads)

TV Shows

  • Everwood: Everwood has a similar tone to FNL; they share a certain quietness that has both depth and humor. They’re also both shows that have a specific setting that is an important backdrop to the show. — Ashley (Book Labyrinth)
  • Heartland: I’m having a hard time putting my finger on what the comparison is here, but I think it might have something to do with Heartland’s abundance of cowboys reminding me of FNL’s Texan setting. Beyond that, they both feature romantic and family drama, and interesting characters who you grow to love. — Ashley (Book Labyrinth)
  • Gilmore Girls: I see a little bit of Lorelai’s zany yet wise maternal instincts in Tami Taylor. Gilmore Girls is more humorous, but FNL has that same heart that Gilmore Girls had. — Ashley (Book Labyrinth)
  • Heroes: For me, Friday Night Lights is a tight community that has some intense situations and drama. We learn to really love some of the characters (and not like others) – so I thought of books and television shows that got me really invested in the characters. Heroes season 1 is a supernatural twist on a normal television series, but is very high drama. — Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)


  • Explosions in the Sky: This band performs the FNL theme song (though they didn’t write it), and a lot of their work has been included in both the TV show and the original movie. Beautiful instrumentals that make for lovely background music when working or reading. You can stream the music here. (Start with “First Breath After Coma” and “Your Hand in Mine.”) Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! — Anna (Anna Reads)
  • Varsity Blues Soundtrack: The soundtrack for Varsity Blues is worth listening to as well.  Definitely check out “My Hero” by Foo Fighters.  If that doesn’t get you pumped up, I don’t know what will! — Ginger (G Reads)

Do you watch Friday Night Lights? If so, do you have any of your own recommendations to share?

Next week, bloggers will be sharing recommendations based on the movie Pleasantville. If you like Pleasantville and want to share recommendations or get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information.


13 Responses to "If You Like Friday Night Lights"

  • These are awesome recommendations! I was worried some of mine may have been overlapped (especially Varsity Blues – really? I was the only one who thought of that movie? lol)

    And if you’re wondering about Texas high school football & how “real” this show is – IT IS! Yes, we are that big of freaks when it comes to our high school football games. I’ve grown up around it & don’t know anything different. But I’m sure to someone who hasn’t, we must look pretty darn crazy lol!

    1 Ginger @ GReads! said this (November 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM)

  • I just wanted to add a quick addendum to explain some of my motivation for this feature:

    I love getting targeted recommendations when I buy things online, but they tend to only be book to book or movie to movie or show to show. I know that there’s a bigger picture to taste. Movie, book, tv, and music preferences are all interconnected. I haven’t seen anything that addresses that very well. I’m hopeful that other bloggers will be as excited as I am to contribute to this and make recommendations that transcend media type. It’s a little harder to do, I know, but I think it is really interesting and I’m having a lot of fun working on it.

    2 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 8:58 AM)

  • Ginger, you are right. It does look pretty crazy 😛

    Crazy is fun to watch, though.

    3 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 8:58 AM)

  • A great idea, Melanie, but where I live we don’t get Friday Night Lights….When we lived in the UK they had a fantastic programme called Footballers Wives…! I will read your Blogs just in case there is something I can add. Until next time…Licks to Wiki from Poppy & Barney. x

    4 Pauline Barclay said this (November 22, 2010 at 8:59 AM)

  • It looks great, Melanie! I think I’m going to have to start watching FNL. Gotta add that along to the list with TVD! Can’t wait for future ones!

    PS. Good call on Explosions in the Sky, Anna! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    5 Jamie said this (November 22, 2010 at 9:12 AM)

  • Thanks Pauline! Hope we can find something that will work for you international folks soon 🙂

    6 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 9:12 AM)

  • Thanks Jamie! You should definitely watch; you won’t regret it. I’m pretty sure it would take some kind of miracle to get me to watch TVD, though. I don’t know if the eye candy could even do it for me.

    I think when I finish all the seasons of FNL I’m going to reward myself with the soundtracks and possibly some more of Explosions in the Sky’s stuff.

    7 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 9:16 AM)

  • This is seriously a great idea for a meme Melanie! I can’t wait to participate next week as I love Pleasentville!

    8 Tara said this (November 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM)

  • Yay, this is great… I can’t wait to participate again in future weeks, and see what everyone has to recommend.

    9 Ashley said this (November 22, 2010 at 10:50 AM)

  • Thank you Tara and Ashley! Can’t wait to see you come up with next time 🙂

    10 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 2:13 PM)

  • I <3 Matt Saracen. He's mine, ladies.

    11 Anna said this (November 22, 2010 at 5:11 PM)

  • I don’t know about that Anna. I’m not sure I can let you have him without a fight.

    12 Melanie said this (November 22, 2010 at 5:29 PM)

  • I love Explosions in the Sky! I actually already have the soundtrack they did for the FNL movie – Your Hand in Mine (Goodbye) is one of my favorites. I also love A Slow Dance and Home 🙂

    13 Sarah said this (April 18, 2011 at 9:03 AM)