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Texas Forever: Goodbye To Friday Night Lights

February 10, 2011

Last night, the final episode of the last season of Friday Night Lights aired on DirecTV. We didn't see it because we're waiting to watch and savor the episodes of the fifth season on Hulu after they begin airing on NBC this April. If you're in the dark completely, the first seasons are on Netflix Instant Watch and will keep you company through the night. If you've already been healed, you know that Tami and Eric Taylor speak beautifully about commitment, relationships, teamwork and doubt, but FNL isn't about witty banter, really. It's beautifully acted, leaves plenty of room for characters to be quiet, tense and inspired. It's ridiculous that Friday Night Lights was the first show to mention on abortion on network television, but wonderful that it did so with graceful intelligence and without condescension, engaging the 'controversial' theme in the manner it presented many complex, unpredictable life events. When we wrote last year about Ceci Bastida, a young woman as compelling and rare as the ones on FNL, we lamented that the show had failed to really feature Mexican characters, music and culture that make actual Texas life so dynamic and luxurious. Our point wasn't entirely off base --, the show certainly did not take on the enormous task of translating one of our nation's most significant culture clusters. Still, there were a lot of Latino actors on Friday Night Lights in the course of it's run. Here's a comprehensive survey of their performances, ranked by episode appearance:

1. Pablo Flores as Coach Pablo, 17 episodes, 2006-2007

2. Benjamin Haze as Santiago Herrera, 11 episodes, 2007-2008

3. Daniella Alonso as Carlotta Alonso, 10 episodes, 2007-2008

4. Walter Perez as Bobby "Bull" Reyes, 5 episodes, 2006

5. Isaac Rodriguez as Diner Customer / Reporter (uncredited), 5 episodes, 2006-2007

6. Uncredited actor as un-bribable Mexican Police Officer, 1 episode, 2007

Texas Forever: Goodbye To Friday Night Lights