• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

You are feeling sleepy. Very, very sleepy. Now, count back from 10, and allow yourself to hear nothing but my voice. Good...good...now...

YOU MUST CANCEL YOUR PLANS FOR TONIGHT AND WATCH FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS ON NBC!

Did my attempt at hypnosis work? No? Not even a little? Hmm...well, okay, then how about I break it down alphabetically and say that (a) Friday Night Lights is TV's best kept secret; (b) it would've been a breakout hit, à la Heroes, if it'd had a proper time slot last year; and (c) the series returns tonight—to kick off a mind-blowlingly good second season.

I just returned from visiting FNL's set in Austin, Texas—pinch me!—in order to bring to you the Top 5 Reasons You Must Watch Friday Night Lights, which you can see in my latest Vine show above. (Psst...it includes some juicy spoilers straight from the cast!)

Hopefully, the video will give you a glimpse of what a truly remarkable and unique television series FNL is, not to mention that the actors who bring it to life are some of the sweetest and most grounded people you could ever hope to meet in this biz.

I spent my day in Austin at the Taylor home, which is a real house in a Dillon-esque suburb, and it didn't feel like work at all but rather like hanging out with a very cool family who legitimately like one another.

These guys are clearly having a good time, from Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor) and Taylor Kitsch (Riggins) cracking each other up between takes (remind me to tell you their nicknames for each other in the next chat—shameless) to Aimee Teagarden (Julie Taylor) joining in the giggly fun when the crew began sucking air from helium balloon props to Scott Porter (Jason) and Kevin Rankin (Herc) razzing each other while talking incessantly about—what else—football.

And, oh yeah, how could I forget about Kyle taking orders and cooking up bacon and eggs for the whole crew while shooting that day's breakfast scene (so adorable!).

Friday Night Lights

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

But that's not to say these guys aren't also busting their backsides. Friday Night Lights is produced in an entirely different way than any other show on television, because there are no rehearsals. Very often, the entire script for a scene can be thrown out the window.

So, there is no room for slacking. The actors have to be on their toes—and ready to improv—at a moment's notice. Even while on set, surrounded by cameras and lights, there were moments I honestly forgot the situation wasn't real and the people were actors—a true testament to their talent.

Jessalyn Gilsig (Nip/Tuck) was on set—guest-starring for six episodes as the sister of Connie Britton's character, Tami—and told me with huge, excited eyes that the production process is "insane!"

Her scene in the Taylor casa was supposed to revolve around yoga, but once they started shooting, the director chucked the yoga angle, and the actors improvised the entire scene. "This is the reason I'm such a huge fan of the show," Gilsig told me. "They are doing what no one else is doing."

You can see that very fact for yourself when you tune in to tonight's second-season premiere of Friday Night Lights at 9 on NBC.

And as we just discussed, you will watch!