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October 9, 2015

Friday Night Lights: El Accidente

by Brett Love, posted Nov 8th 2006 7:05AM
Friday Night Lights
This show just keeps getting better. Episode six brought to a head a few different story lines that have been brewing over the course of the first five episodes, some bigger than others. And some more surprising than others. The episode should have been called Do The Right Thing, as we had a number of characters all struggling with that idea. Would Eric come clean about the Voodoo recruiting? How would he deal with Reyes? Does Saracen stick up for his friend or take one for the team? Will Riggins finally live up to being Street's best friend? Will Lyla finally put an end to the cheating relationship with Riggins?

We've known that the Saracen/Landry relationship was going to be tested at some point with Matt becoming QB1, and this was a good way to do it. It was interesting how they set it all up with Smash calling him over and Castor questioning whether he had crossed over. The one drawback here is that there should have been some kind of development for Castor previous to this. It worked fine this way, but could have been better.

While Castor felt kind of jammed in to serve the story, the interaction with Landry and Saracen was terrific. Julie's input that "the two of you look pretty pathetic without each other" was good too. She's an interesting character. Always tells it like it is. I'll be curious to see the reunion now that Saracen finally came around. It was an interesting parallel for Saracen and Coach Taylor. Both of them knew what they should do, but just couldn't seem to get over the hump and get it done. Saracen's line to the coach when he went to visit him was perfect. "I might have been confused about what was right for the team and what was right."

They really went all out with making Voodoo the bad guy. I think anyone that was still sitting on the fence or giving the benefit of the doubt probably picked a side tonight. His actions in the diner showed that the team has come together, but without including him, and dovetailed nicely into the situation at practice. I didn't expect him to steal away in the middle of the night. I thought it would be something grander than that. But that did lead to a good scene with Buddy showing up at the Taylor house in the middle of the night with the news. How obsessed is this guy?

The Street/Lyla/Riggins angle got some good play tonight. The scene where Street called Riggins out for not visiting was very good. He was right, we knew it, and Riggins knew it. It was great to see the difference it made for Street too. That was well done. When Lyla and Riggins finally hashed it all out and decided it would be best for everyone if they just put it all behind them, I foolishly bought it. What was I thinking? I'll be sure to catch a couple episodes of Dawson's Creek on The-N this week to get my teen romance chops back up to snuff. Clearly, Street seeing the two of them from the window is going to lead to a confrontation, and it's not going to be pretty.

Eric continues to have a tough job. From the preview, I thought he was going to take the hit for the Voodoo shenanigans when they went to the hearing. But that was before the Buddy factor. Of course the guy in charge would be one of his pals. Everything's bigger in Texas, except for the social circles. You just knew that it wouldn't be that easy. But Eric also has Tami, and once again their relationship is one of the highlights of the episode. The writers handle these two so well. They are such a team, and both of them are better for it. Next week, homecoming. It should be fun.

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I just LOVE this show and am hoping that they announce that it's picked up for the entire season. I only wish NBC.com would have ALL the episodes online. I'd love to be able to watch the pilot again. :-)

November 10 2006 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in Texas, went to high school here, remember driving through east Texas on Friday nights and scrolling the AM dial to listen to static-filled game day broadcasts from Corrigan, Lufkin, Schulenberg, etc.. This show is great for many reasons, the way it's filmed, the way everyone is a little morally suspect, the way it's a more realistic depiction of high school kids lives than anything in a long time (sorry, but small town teenage girls do sometimes see scary 25 year olds as a way out), the way the team actually loses sometimes, etc.

But the very best thing about the show is the way it get Texas exactly right. I know exterior shots are filmed there, which is half the battle (compare with Heroes version of a hilly, green Odessa, Texas which almost made me stop watching the show), but it's more than that. The mothers in the show are exactly right, the coach is exactly right, the deference paid to different people in different positions of authority is exactly right. Little things like the jerseys of opposing teams being almost exactly (or are they exact?) copies of famous Texas high school teams (Westlake and A&M Consolidated so far). There is a lot of attention to small details like that in the show. I hope the audience grows without them selling out the gritty reality that makes the show great.

November 09 2006 at 6:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We're often told that kids who join gangs are in need of a sense of family, of structure. That's what the football team offers so many boys who have a hard time showing affection and who need an outlet for all their confused emotions and aggression. In a small town there just aren't many opportunities for young men to be part of something. It's why Saracen is so conflicted right now, wanting to be part of the team but not wanting to lose the friend who isn't a part of it.

The men in the town take a personal interest, to the point of obsession, because being on the high school team was their shining moment, their greatest adventure, those relationships with teammates some of the most intense they'll ever have. They long for that time and take a proprietary interest in the team.

One of the best scenes in the series came in the episode where Coach Taylor comes to Saracen's house and you can see the kid doesn't want to let the coach inside because he's worried what his grandmother might say or do and by the fact that they don't have a great house, but the Coach does a terrific thing . . . he insists on coming inside. If he was going to turn this kid into a leader he had to know him inside and out and to show him that in the team family -- especially between the coach and his quarterback -- there are no walls, no secrets.

Great show. Besides House, the only one I'm watching on a regular basis.

November 09 2006 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OMG. I played high school football, but I was no where near texas. This show not only focuses on what football means to this community, but also what it means to all young kids who just want to play on the big stage and find unity on a team. Being part of something gives a warm feeling to young kids still trying to figure themselves out.

This show is by far one the greatest new shows on television (better than Heroes, Ugly Betty and all that crap). I just hope they keep it on.

November 08 2006 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Mark, I'm not sure how you could depict football in a small city in Texas without having the players and indeed the whole town praying to the "Christian God". It is a fact of life in this sort of community and not depicting it would be dishonest in the extreme. It's too bad you have taken this sort of attitude because if you are missing one of the best shows of the season.

November 08 2006 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

damn it all to hell! much as i'm happy with the election results, i didn't need three hours of local coverage to preempt my FNL! i'm going to watch it online today, but will miss the HD feed... though NBC's HD is pretty crappy over cable.

November 08 2006 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mark...what kind of attitude is that? I am by no means Christian and have the upmost respect for freedom of religion, but you got to be kidding me. You're going to stop watching the show because they prayed? As I know personally and you said it yourself, that IS what football teams do, they pray to the Christian God. It is just the show being realistic, do you really expect them to use any other religion? I'll be the first to stand up for you if anyone presecutes you because of your faith, but most of the country is christian and that's how it is.

November 08 2006 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave T.

That may be the way it SHOULD be but obviously that's not the way it is. In texas they do this I guess and at major universities there are priests on the sidelines (i'm talking U of Miami in the past, not Notre Dame) so that's realistic. Too bad you missed last night's episode. it was all about the outsider crowd the QB used to be a part of and how he turned his back on them, somewhat.

November 08 2006 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the first episode and when they all started praying to the Christian god on the football field, I turned it off and never will watch it again. As a person from another religion, I was annoyed to see this. I remember my days in high school and this stuff being done on my football team it made me feel really uncomfortable. High school should be about inclusion and not exclusion, IMHO.

November 08 2006 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked how the show didn't wrap up perfectly. Other shows would've had the coach realize the right thing to do after Sarecen told the truth about his dilemna. This one wrapped up a little more realistically as the proud coach thinks he can get away with it.

I wonder how Riggs and Street will work out their differences RE: Lyla, without being able to have a scuffle first like most studs would.

November 08 2006 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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