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April 16, 2014

Friday Night Lights: Nevermind

by Brett Love, posted Jan 4th 2007 10:01AM
Zach Gilford(S01E11) After almost a month off, Friday Night Lights is back on a new night. It's great to see a new episode, but will the move give the show a much needed ratings boost? We'll have to wait and see. They did pick a good episode to come back with though. There was a lot of good stuff going on this week.

They tipped their hand with where this episode was going in the previously on segment. Lots of Street and Saracen, and a look back at Saracen talking with his dad. That was driven home with the scene where Henry returned home. At first, I thought it maybe missed the mark a little bit, because it didn't seem to be the happy homecoming it should have been. Of course, as we found out later, it wasn't a happy homecoming.

Almost all of the Saracen story was really good. They've done a great job over the first ten episodes setting up the stresses and pressures on Matt. He's been put in a very difficult position, raising himself and taking care of his grandmother at an age when he really shouldn't have to. Part of what got him through all of that was the belief that with his father's return would come a break from all of it. A chance to just be normal and let someone else carry all the weight. When that didn't come through, he finally snapped. And that was a fantastic scene.

The part of the story that I had some problems with was Henry's insistence that they aren't done over there, and so he has to return to Iraq. It was necessary for the story, in order to get the move to Oklahoma angle in play. But it seemed a little forced, like there could have been a better reason for him to have to go back. Or better yet, just don't float the idea that he could opt out of his service. Either way he's forcing Matt away from everything he knows. It did make for a nice little cliffhanger though.

The Street and Lyla story continues to impress me. The opening scene in the record store was very cute. "What Clay and I have is special. America loves him and so do I." I'm not nearly as cynical as Herc, who upon hearing that Lyla was back in the picture responded, "No. Booooo. Uh uh." I think they need to be together, and I like how their story is playing out.

Street has been given a lot to deal with considering his injuries and all that goes with it. To add the drama with Lyla to it is a lot. It is hard not to like Lyla though. She tries so very hard. Like bringing along the "Dirty, dirty, dirty quad porn." I felt bad for her when Street told her, "You want to get laid that bad, call Riggins." Ouch. That was just mean. But Lyla is in it for the long haul now. Was I the only one that thought of Joey from Dawson's Creek when she was climbing in through the window? I also really liked the scene between Street and Tami.

Tami had a nice go of it with Riggins this week as well. Connie Britton is just amazing. Her detective work to determine that he hadn't been doing his homework was fun. "It's about a gal named Scarlet obviously." But kidding aside, you know she really is concerned about him. And you also had to know that it was going to lead to the inevitable confrontation with Eric. Her plan to have Landry tutor Riggins was great and led to a really nice scene with the two of them at the end. Even though I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone that really enjoyed Crucifictorious, there was Riggins applauding. I'd like to see more of those two together.

It was a big week for Eric. Aside from taking in Matt when things went south with his father, and giving him some of that great Coach Taylor advice, he got the big call, nicely foreshadowed with his appearance on the top ten high school coaches list. Would he be interested in a position as quarterback coach at UT? Of course he would. I'm curious to see how that plays out. Should the series continue to struggle, I could see that being part of the wrap up. The Taylor's leave Dillon as Eric begins his college coaching career. And hey, if Friday Night Lights can't get a second season, I'd watch the heck out of a show about the Taylor's at UT.

As far as football, it was short but well done. Matt's failures set up the showdown with his father well. But we also got a little reminder that the Smash story is still progressing. I would think that scoring a touchdown on a broken play, blocking a punt, and then scoring the winning touchdown all points to the fact that Smash is still on the juice, and it's working. More to come on that front soon I'm sure. Overall, another really good episode. I look forward to next week, and to the ratings.

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Tom

Does anyone know who makes the sunglasses Coach was wearing in the last episode??

January 14 2007 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat

Does anybody know where I can get some more info about the show??

January 10 2007 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary

I don't think the UT job offer is an out. I think what's going to happen is that offer is going to be pulled when UT hears about the lawsuit.

January 05 2007 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bigo

Well I love the show. Hope they can keep it interesting. I love Adriane Palicki. Since thats My last name also, We must be related. She did go to High School at the Same school My wife went to and the same school my son is going to. I think its time for the dude in the wheel chair to get some of that sweet sugar from his Babe. the show is real good and needs to keep us all interested. I'm not ready for football to end although after OSU kicks the Gators Ass on monday, FNL is all we'll have untill Idol starts.
so please writers get buisy with some good stuff. you might have to get gutsy. know what I mean?

January 05 2007 at 9:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
radwimp

This episode was amazing. I didn't really think Saracen's fathers reason was that unbelievable or forced, a lot of soldiers think like that. Matt & his confrontation after the game was one of the best scenes of the series so far.

I really hope this show lasts longer than one year, it would be a real shame to see it go. I already care about the characters and what happens to them more than any other show I'm watching. Kind of sad to see they already inserted an "out" for the series.

January 04 2007 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SamMalone

"The part of the story that I had some problems with was Henry's insistence that they aren't done over there, and so he has to return to Iraq."

I figure the Dad's draw to return is typical of soldiers who've fought together in combat. It's almost as if that's his family now and they need him more as their lives are on the line.

January 04 2007 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Love

David, I think the term fixed is probably wrong, because I don't think the people making the show think the camerawork is broken, but I get what you mean. And no, if that was an issue for you before, it still will be.

For anyone playing along at home, the ratings are out. FNL did gain some viewers with the move to Wednesday, but not a lot. Still #4 in its time slot.

January 04 2007 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Great post, Brett! Terrific episode, and I couldn't agree more RE: Connie Britton. She is really quite fantastic.

One complaint: plural surnames aren't possessive -- for next time, please leave out the apostrophe in "Taylors"... Sorry. It's the newspaper editor in me.

January 04 2007 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sara

My husband and I think that the UT phone call gives the show an out if it is not brought back. I love this show--the story lines are well written, and I find myself caring about these characters. Unfortunately it probably won't come back--NBC will want to put some lame game show on instead.

January 04 2007 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David P

Have they fixed the camera work on this show yet? My girlfriend and I tried to watch the pilot, since we live in Austin about 3 blocks away from where most of it is filmed, but the constant unending shaky-cam made us both ill. She had to leave the room, and I turned it off about halfway through to avoid losing my dinner.

From what I saw of it, it looked like a great show, but if they're going to continue to film it like an early 90s MTV show, I'm gonna have to pass.

January 04 2007 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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