The long dark winter of Netflix

Since we had to give the telly away I’ve discovered a new life without the box. With all this spare time I’m writing poetry, I’m doing a hundred push ups at sunset; I’m trimming bonsai trees. Except that is a lie… I’m gorging on Netflix.

The first obsession was Twin Peaks. Gareth had seen in it high school but was foggy on the details, whereas I’d missed it completely as back in those olden days our telly didn’t have the channel that it was screened on.

My prior knowledge was the image of Laura Palmer, blue-lipped and wrapped in plastic, as gleaned from my stepmum’s TV Week magazines. I thought the show would be dark and eerie, which it was, but I hadn’t realised it was also hilarious and weird with a brilliant soundtrack and characters that worm their way into your dreams.

(Except for James and Donna, I just wanted to punch them the entire time.)

Agent Cooper on the other hand… swoon! I’d only seen Kyle MacLachlan in Portlandia and Sex and the City up to that point. I’m belatedly amazed how he managed to carry on, after that once-in-a-lifetime-delicious role.

The second season was long and wandered off into batshit bonkers territory. I started whinging to Gareth, I don’t know if I can make it to the end! and he’d say Just hold on!  If I’d said that all breathily and put a mullet wig on Gareth, it would have been a total James and Donna moment.

And then, deep in the throes of Agent Cooper lust, I accidentally spoiled the ending with a wayward Google image search. After suffering all those Season 2 hours of crazy, I could have screamed. But we ploughed on and it was great.

Agent Cooper

(Tangent: I just saw on Facebook, did you know Laura Palmer died 25 years ago today? 24 Feburary 1989!)

We’ve also dabbled in 30 Rock. I love it but they’ve lost me a bit in Season 6. There’ve been a few gimmicky episodes, and has Jack Donaghy trimmed down? Call me shallow but his appeal was the contrast between his conniving ways and his slightly lumpy exterior. The emerging cheekbones have somewhat quelled the flames.

It took ages to find our next obsession, Gareth scrolling impatiently through Netflix while moaning, ‘THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO WATCH IN THE WORLD, IT’S ALL SHITE!’. Then I saw Friday Night Lights and remembered someone saying on Facebook half a decade ago that they were really looking forward it, so we decided to give it bash.

I’m so in love, y’all.

I never thought small town Texas and American football would be something I’d get into but here I am, obsessed! I’ve crushed my way all around the town. Tyra and Landry are my favourites. I love Coach Taylor and all his Let me tell you somethings. I’d let him tell me something. I love Matt… those eyes! And at first with that Tim Riggins I was all, “Put down the drink and wash your hair, young man”. But then, you know… phwoar.

A minor highlight: Buddy Garrity begging his wife for forgiveness. It’s fantastic all the syllables you can cram into “Pam” with that accent. PAY-UM. PAY-UM. PAAAYYYY-UHM!

Why do I love “The Football”, as we call it round here? Because the characters basically do what people do in real life: they say and do stupid things, then they realise they’re idiots, then they do their best to fix it up. But unlike real life, they have amazing hair throughout the process.

Now Season 3 is over and some of my favourites are off to college and I fear it’s downhill from here. If that’s the case, please don’t tell me!

Perhaps the best thing about it is the excellent work by redheads. Gingers on the telly are usually psychopaths, sexual deviants, stalkers or power-crazed biatches, or all four at once.  In Friday Night Lights they get more range. I love Mrs Taylor, dispensing advice while looking ravishing. I gaze at her and daydream, Okay I just need to grow my hair another few inches and lose a gazillion pounds and adopt a drawl and we’d totally be twins and kick some ass. Never mind the show finished years ago and she’s on Nashville now. I also love Landry/Ginger Matt Damon. There was a scene with both of them, in which Mrs T reassures Landry that he’ll be fighting off the ladies when he grows up and I thought I’d keel over from sheer gingers-on-the-telly delight.

But Spring is almost here, y’all. So we shall shut down the laptop and head back out into the light.

Friday Night Lights

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for December 2022.

37 thoughts on “The long dark winter of Netflix

  1. I love Friday Night Lights too. I spent the first few episodes whining to Mike, “There’s too much football in this football show!” but it eventually won me over completely. Landry and Tyra were my favourite couple.

    1. “There’s too much football in this football show!” Hehehhehehee!

      Landry (Lance!) and Tyra are the bees’ KNEES 🙂

  2. If you liked 30 Rock, and I was a super
    fan until the Hazel character arrived in season 6, try Parks and Recreation. I also was surprised how much I laughed out loud at Raising Hope. My brother promises to watch Arrested Development if I promise to watch Friday Night Lights. We have so much snow in Minnesota that I fear I will be in my Netflix cocoon for another two months.

    1. Oh M, I’m not digging her either!

      I saw a few Parks and Recreation on the “real telly” last year and it was ace, I’d totally forgotten so will put it back on the list!

      I will cross fingers your endless winter lets up soon!

  3. What great shows! Funny how some are so timeless. One of my all time favorites is Freaks and Geeks. So well written!

  4. Yay for Netflix!
    I’m catching up on Dexter at the moment, which I love. I’ve also been working through Season 1 of Breaking Bad, but I just don’t get it, but I want to persevere a bit longer.
    Always love TV show recommendation posts 🙂

    1. I need to try Dexter! And almost too scared to try BB since everyone says it’s so amazing. Hope it comes good for you!

  5. I didn’t think I’d like Friday Night Lights and I was certain my Yorkshire born & bred husband would not, so imagine my surprise when we were hooked after the first few episodes. We say, “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” all the time — as we leave for a particularly crazy work day, before a big run, after a big discussion of where we’re going in life…it’s the perfect mantra!

  6. I turned TV time into exercise time … I only watch when I’m working out now. I LOVE Netflix, and catching up on seasons (and series) that are done. It’s totally spoiled me, I can’t stand to wait a week between episodes, or months between seasons. I don’t watch much “live” anymore, but just figure I’ll wait until it’s on Netflix, Amazon Prime or DVD. I really liked Friday Night Lights, I couldn’t help but benefit from the adrenaline … while they were working out and playing hard, the energy passed to me on my elliptical or treadmill 🙂

      1. I had a seriously bad eating in front of the TV habit long ago. I broke myself by only watching TV at the gym on a treadmill before I picked up kids M-F at school. I will eat a meal in front of the TV now, no mindless eating problems any more.

  7. “But unlike real life, they have amazing hair throughout the process.” SPOT ON.

    Also, ginger Matt Damon is in Breaking Bad. Which IS addictive. You have been warned xx

  8. Love friday night lights!I lost a good couple of weeks to it last year watching all the seasons in a row. when you finish it try parenthood or the gilmore girls x

    1. Oh Rachael, I have seen all of Parenthood too! So many of the actors popped up in FNL! Or the other way round, rather, since FNL came first. LOVE PARENTHOOD! Must try Gilmore Girls, thank you! 🙂

  9. This is my favorite show of all time!!! It used to break my heart that none of my friends were watching it, they all had the “I don’t like football” ideas, and I would try and convince them it was SO MUCH MORE!! I think what FNL does so well is really give you a sense of place and character-it felt so real to me. Thankfully my sister started watching, and just the other day we ended a phone conversation with “clear eyes, full hearts, CAN’T LOSE!”.

    I won’t say anything to spoil you,but to me-this show had the most perfect ending of any show I have ever watched. Sigh….I envy you watching for the first time!

  10. “Twin Peaks – Laura Palmer – 25 years ago?!”

    Mmmmn thanks for that, I feel “proper old” (as we say in Lincolnshire) now! That said, I was probably waaay too young, and much of it was so far over my head it was in space! Deliciously random though x

  11. My 24 year old just worked his way thru all eleven seasons of Frasier. I got a text each time an actor from any Star Trek series actor guest starred. There were a lot of texts. Kelsey obviously has a thing about Star Trek, he guest starred on Next Generation himself.

    I have watched SO MANY full series this way. Really like being able to immerse.

  12. Twin peaks was a favorite both then and now. My husband lusts after Audrey Horn. While I like to say “Damn good coffee!. And hot!” on occasion. My friends and I back in the day took photos dressed up as the log lady and Agent Cooper. Nerds.

  13. I love The Mindy Project! Do an internet search for the video of handsome Chris Messina doing the Aaliyah dance – amazeballs 😀

    Might have to finally check out Friday Night Lights… Thought it sounded lame but lots of friends seem to like it.

  14. Im like the only AUSTINITE who hasnt ever watched FNL!!
    Now on your recommendation — I shall.
    I always surmised Id dislike since I dont love me the football.

    1. Carla I am with you! I am a Houstonian and a high school teacher who has never watched FNL. I feel like I totally need to check this out!!

  15. Orange is the New Black! I watched it practically all in one go when I had a bad cold at the very end of my pregnancy and I exceeded our broadband limit for October :/

  16. Hi Shauna – our whole family (me, sports-watching hater husband, teenage son and daughter) has watched Friday Night Lights from start to finish (appropriately enough always on a Friday night). We know nothing, and care less, about American football but lerve this show.
    Enjoy Season 4 and 5, yáll!

  17. My Mom and I watched most of the seasons of Friday Night Lights on DVD during weekly viewings. Despite the fact that neither of us care anything about football, we both completely loved it. I always thought of it as a show about people making choices. Sometimes they make good choices, sometimes they make bad choices, often they make hard choices. Really one of the best TV shows of all time.

    Over the Christmas break, my husband and I went to West Texas and drove through the town that the book of Friday Night Lights was based on. And their high school football team in indeed called the Panthers.

  18. I should clarify that we didn’t purposefully drive through the FNL town; we were just passing through on our way to the mountains.

  19. Twin Peaks! I used to love that show, although it did become confused in later seasons. It was constantly being almost-cancelled and mucked around with. I FEEL YOU on the James and Donna bit – UGH. And cracking up at someone’s comment about their husband’s crush on Audrey. My husband will still say something like “She’s a real Audrey” – he loved her.

    I’m much more into watching TV shows than movies these days, but if you liked Twin Peaks you might try Blue Velvet directed by David Lynch. Quite dark indeed, but some of it was shot in Wilmington, where you visited, and it has Kyle McLaughlin. Very good film.

    On the highbrow end, have you ever seen episodes of The American Experience? You’re very well-traveled and have been here so many times, but I always like to recommend that to people who have never visited the U.S. and only know us from television and movies – it’s the counterpoint to things like The Jerry Springer show and Real Housewives.

    Was surprised how much I liked Breaking Bad; that’s not at all my sort of program.

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