Friday Night Lights: I Knew You When (NBC Season Premiere)
by Brett Love, posted Jan 17th 2009 2:16AM
(S03E01) And so begins phase two of NBC's grand Friday Night Lights experiment. The show kicked off it's third season on NBC Friday night, but all of these episodes have already been shown on DirecTV. Allison reviewed the premiere back in October, but we thought we'd run it up the flagpole again and see who salutes.
Despite the delay for those of us without DirecTV, the season premiere made it so easy to slip right back into the series. Most of our favorite Dillonites are back, and we were quickly brought up to speed with what each of them has been up to. We also got a good look at where a lot of these stories will be heading.
While the premiere touched on everyone, it really focused in on a few things. First, academics vs. football. Tammy's move to principal didn't come without its headaches. Lost teachers, books, supplies, maintenance ... those things are to be expected. But the interesting bit is the divide between money for the school and money for the football team. I nearly cheered when she got to burst Buddy's bubble at the post-game party. However, even though it is her decision, I can't imagine we've heard the last of that one.
Eric has his own challenges, and not just from the still troublesome Julie. No, the bigger thorn looks to be Joe McCoy. He's got a very Buddy quality to him. Saying the things he thinks people want to hear, but his real motivations and intentions are so transparent. Complimenting Eric, while simultaneously taking a shot at Saracen, is a good example. The relationship between Eric and Joe is going to be interesting to watch.
Meanwhile, in the things-that-haven't-changed department, there is Lyla and Riggins. I'm undecided about this one at this point. As I watched the two of them in the premiere, I couldn't help thinking that we have seen this all before. With that in mind, I'm not betting on the latest example of Riggins finally getting what it is that Lyla wants has much chance at lasting. The highlight of their part of the story for me was Billy's line, "She went to bed with Jesus and woke up with you ... Jesus ... You."
Finally, saving the best for last, Smash. The news came down months and months ago that Smash and Street would both be getting shortened runs to wrap up their stories. That's kind of unfortunate, because we saw here once again that Smash is a great character. I fully agree with Allison's review, that the racquetball scene was the highlight of the night. It's a great example of what this show does so right. You get why Eric is so invested in doing everything he can for Smash, and you can't help but root for the kid. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this one goes.
Overall, it was an excellent premiere. The stage is now set for all of the characters in season three, and it reminded me again just how good this show can be. All that, and it looks like we've all agreed to just put the murder shenanigans in the closet and pretend none of it ever happened. I can get on board with that.