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October 8, 2015

Friday Night Lights: the season so far

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 20th 2008 12:15PM
Janine Turner-FNLAfter three episodes, I can say with confidence that Friday Night Lights -- currently showing on DirecTV before a mid-season run on NBC -- is out of the sophomore slump it seemed to suffer last season. The "Tim gets religion, Landry and Tyra murder mayhem and Jason goes to Mexico" antics are definitely in the rear view mirror and the quality drama is back on the front burner.

What makes Friday Night Lights work so well is that the conflicts are real and more often than not relevant and relatable. The questions are good vs. bad, right vs. wrong...the questions are posed as choices. Nothing is black and white. Buddy Garrity wants all the best for Dillon High. He's not a bad guy. His goal for the school this year is a big, beautiful Jumbotron scoreboard. That's a good thing, right?

Well, that depends. Tami, in her role as the new principal of DHS, sees the extravagance as something out of whack when she's struggling with a faulty air conditioner for the students, 15 year old history books, and teachers complaining about out-of-pocket expenses. The choice for her is clear; use the Jumbotron funds for books and pencils and teachers. This does not go over well with the boosters, not to mention the mayor. What will happen? Will Tami back down? Will her stance cost her the job?

Eric has choices to face, too. He says to Tami that he misses "the coach's wife," wanting her to be there as she always has been for team functions. When she shifts the responsibility for a big team barbecue to the McCoys, a rich family whose son is a freshman quarterback that Eric is being pressured to play right away, Eric is peeved. Tami responds by asking Eric where "the principal's husband" is?

Tim makes questionable decisions early on this season, gambling with his future as well as his relationship with Lyla. The involvement of Tyra's family with the Riggins boys has been explosive. FNL contrasts those family dynamics with Matt Saracen's choices and Brian "Smash" Williams, too. Matt has to become an emancipated minor because his grandmother can no longer care for him. And there's no stress relief on the football field because of that McCoy kid with the rocket arm.

Smash has a sure future with the Alamo fast food joint -- regional manager including a company car -- but what about his fighting to come back from a knee injury? His mama knows what she wants, and she's grateful to Coach Taylor for getting Smash a try out from Texas Tech.

My favorite additions to the new season are the McCoys -- D.W. Moffett and Janine Turner. They're in sharp contrast with the Taylors and their ambitions for their son are understandable, laudable and yet annoying.

It all bodes well for very entertaining episodes. All told, the season so far has me hooked far more than last year. Now if NBC can only find a great time slot and get people to appreciate this drama.

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jt emery

Hello FNL Fans!

Please join us in Austin, TX at the Holiday Benefit Concert w/ The African Children's Choir!! With special performances by Bob Schneider, Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland, Kacy Crowley & The Band of Heathens

Hosted by Connie Britton and Taylor Kitsch

November 23rd at Roux/The Parish. 214 6th street. All ages. Music starts @5pm!!

$25 pre-sale tickets are on a first come basis and available online

Thanks for your support. Connie and Taylor both visited Uganda this year with the African Children's Choir and saw the incredible work being done there to create a better future for Africa's children. This will be a special evening of music with Connie and Taylor sharing photos and video from their trip. We hope to see everyone there!


November 10 2008 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well first off i actually work on the set of FNL and it is so fun, well here are some spoilers so if you do not want to know what happens close your eyes and skip pass this.

Jason Streets ends up having the baby, he gets into Real estate, Sells the Garrity house and could possibly be moving out of Dillon to be with the mother of his child.

There will infact be a jumbotron coming up in a couple of episodes.

J.D. does play alot this season.

Tyra's new boyfriend Cash is a rodeo star and competes in a few rodeos on the show.

Landry starts to like another girl who he finds out is a lesbian.

There is a new Wide reciever who is becoming a star he is #1 and his name is Jamarcus.

One of the games Dillon is losing in the 4th quater and the drive down the field in a no huddle offense with J.D. as the QB and with only seconds left J.D. cant understand the play so he tells mat to hurry up and take his place and Matt ends up scoring on a QB draw to the right, and all of the fans rush the field.

On episode 9 Dillon finds out that their game will be televised on NBC so everyone goes crazy and a bunch of kids in the cafeteria start to take off their shirts to reveal the word P-A-N-T-H-E-R-S and by the way i am the "R".

Eventually The panthers go to state but we havent filmed that much yet we are still filming episode 10 today.

Oh yeah i forgot to mention that there is a naked mile this season and J.D. gets caught by the coach naked.
And J.D. and Tim Riggins becomw real good friends.

October 21 2008 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a HUGE cheerleader for Friday Night Lights and i must say Season 3 sucks. It's not even moderately good so far.

First of all - why are Riggins, Lyla and Tyra still in high school? Lyla was done with school last year, yet suddenly she's a senior again? Tyra and Riggins were at the least juniors in season 1 (no way Streets would be best friends with a "star" fullback that's two years younger than he is and no way is Tyra an untouchable goddess to Landry, driving and working yet only a sophomore during Season 1).

Secondly, ALL conflict is gone from Season 3. There's nothing going on in Season 3. we have a storyline focusing on a weak character - Smash - and Riggins is regulated to playing dumbass puppy? Lyla's arc ended last year - let her go.

What's with Tami suddenly being principal? She went from 2nd year guidance counselor to principal? That's beyond ridiculous and impossible to believe.

Eric's been a bore. there's no focus on his coaching and suddenly his relationship with his kid or wife. He's been a side character to the idiotic principal storyline.

Where's Santiago? He was interesting in some ways - if not a cliche - and his thing with Buddy Garity was quite a weird pairing.

Why did Tyra and Landry get pushed to the background? There was humor and tension there. Landry coming into his own was a good idea (murder and all) - he was growing from just sarcastic into a guy into someone compelling - smart, good athlete, dating the slutty girl, etc.

Season 3's been all kinds of suck.

October 20 2008 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone know where Santiago went?

October 20 2008 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if only they hired someone with some football knowledge. so many mistakes e.g. smash as a walk on would have no shot at scholarship money. also how are lyla/riggins still in school? is fnl trying to say they are the same age as matt

October 20 2008 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fvineis's comment

didn't they address this? isn't that why his mom is working the 2nd job? he wouldn't have money the first year but if he were great he could become added to the football scholarship roles the next year right? im not 100% on that but I thought it was possible in the next year or later years.

but i agree, the strained football info mixed in with clearly informed football info is confusing as a fan of fnl and football.

October 20 2008 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm pretty sure Smash's tryout is for A&M...doesn't matter 'cause FNL is smokin right now!!!

October 20 2008 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pierre-Luc Allie

I recently read the book, and the financing of the school versus the football team was one element they had yet taken from the book. Good to finally see it.

How come Tim is now the voice of reason in the Riggins family?

Zack Gilford is so great. I really feel Saracen pain when he realized that even if was pushing himself to the limit he was not talented enough to lead that team.

The third episode of the season was one of the best of the series.

October 20 2008 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

I like this season a lot too, but the glaring transitions at the beginning were a little hard to swallow. Mainly, the new principal and Tim and Lyla being together. Also, were the hell is Jason?!

October 20 2008 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who is the woman on the right in the picture?

October 20 2008 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DanGarion's comment

the other woman is the Katie McCoy.

theres no way the its coincidence that the kid is named McCoy, ala Colt for Texas.

I know the show isn't actually about football but its so hard to cleave that stuff sometime.

Loving this season, glad to have the 101 so i can actually watch it the first time around.

October 20 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This season has started off really well and I like to think that season 2 never actually happened...it feels like the FNL team is basically doing the same thing.

I do have to ask though, was this "article" proofed at all? There are a bunch of errors and it does not read well at all. I get the points you are trying to make but they would be better served if your sentences and paragraphs flowed and had transitions. Also, the character is Lyla.

October 20 2008 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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