In this time of social distancing, I’ve been watching a lot of TV. As in, more than I care to admit. After binge-watching all of Locke & Key (which I highly recommend), I found myself struggling to decide what to stream next, since it takes a lot to truly hold my attention with so many options available at my fingertips.

That’s when I stumbled across All American on Netflix, which is basically a modern-day version of Friday Night Lights. And comparing the two actually means a ton coming from me, since I’m a big-time Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) fan and have yet to find a TV character that meets his greatness. (Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose…need I say more?)

This is why I was skeptical of All American at first, because it sounds like a knock-off version of the NBC series, following a dedicated high school football team as they strive for a national championship.

After watching a few episodes of All American, I realized it had serious potential. And now that I’ve binged both seasons of The CW series on Netflix, you can believe me when I say this: All American is a must-watch for Friday Night Light lovers, and here’s why.

all american tv show
Kevin Estrada/The CW

First, it’s inspired by real events, just like Friday Night Lights. The series is based on the life story of NFL player Spencer Paysinger, known as Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) in All American. The character starts off as a student at South Crenshaw High, but after witnessing a shooting, his mom makes arrangements for him to transfer to Beverly Hills High School, where he meets Coach Billy Baker (Taye Diggs).

all american netflix
Tina Thorpe/The CW

Speaking of, another bonus is that All American has a Coach Taylor element. Introducing Coach Baker, the leader of the Beverly Hills High football team. He, too, went to South Crenshaw and eventually made it to the NFL before settling down as the BH football coach.

Similar to Friday Night Lights, the series follows Coach Baker as he and his wife, Laura (Monet Mazur), navigate their marriage, all while raising their teenage twins: Olivia (Samantha Logan) and quarterback Jordan (Michael Evans Behling). The banter between Coach Baker and Laura will take you right back to Coach Taylor and Tami.

all american baker family
Tina Thorpe/The CW

And lastly, it’s a totally binge-worthy coming-of-age story. From paternity tests to surprising deaths, All American has all the chaos you’d expect in a drama series, plus a few plot twists that will keep you guessing until the very end. It combines your typical soap drama with America’s favorite pastime, ultimately creating a must-watch series for Friday Night Lights fans.

Oh, and did we mention that season three of All American is expected to premiere on The CW later this year? Just enough time for you to binge seasons one and two.

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