Powered by i.TV
September 22, 2014

Friday Night Lights: I Knew You When (NBC Season Premiere)

by Brett Love, posted Jan 17th 2009 2:16AM
Gaius Charles - Friday Night Lights
(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.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

11 Comments

Filter by:
don

I would be angered if FNL is not picked up again for a fourth season. This is television writing at it's best. Some of the actors may not return but it's hard not to root for the coach and his family. This is acting at it's best and FNL should be recognized for what it is, a damn fine show that shouldn't be kicked off the island.

March 08 2009 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ck

This is above and by far the best series that has ever been on television. Is the best written and the best actors ever. No one could ever be as good looking as Kyle Chandler and everyone in the cast makes it so so believable. I am mystified why it is not up for awards for everyone. What do the powers that be have against this show when they praise others that are pitiful? It really needs to be given a chance. There just aren't that many good tv shows on anymore but this one is definitely the best.

February 10 2009 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
knee.here

Quick question: I remember reading that the DirectTV versions would be longer than the NBC ones...can anyone confirm this?

January 22 2009 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chu

Best written and acted show on TV. Period. Please watch, people!

January 20 2009 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fowak

I'm totally with Duane. This is fictional TV show - let's comment on the GREATNESS that is this show, rather than harp on nit-picky things.

I am beyond ecstatic over the return of number one drama on TV today. Each of the actors play their characters extremely well and Friday's episode was no exception. I've never been a huge fan of Smash, but I can't help but root for him right now. He's down and needs Coach to help him back up. Taylor Kitsch is an amazing actor. The way he plays his part astounds me. You know he cares more about things than he shows, he's just afraid. AH, love Tim Riggins. Coach and Mrs. Coach are the ultimate TV married couple. I think I'll rewatch this series someday to use as marriage coaching. Thanks FNL ;)

January 19 2009 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daune Calovini

I thought I was ready for Panthers football, but it wasn't until the title tune began to roll that I realized how much I'd missed spending time in Dillon, Texas.

When you are starting a television series set in a high school, you hire young, good looking actors. If you're lucky, and it goes a few years, you're stuck. You can't keep the kids in school forever, but if you move them all out of the high school, you're losing the main crux of the show, and if you add an entirely new set of storylines in the high school, there's not enough time or money to tell the other stories with the characters the audience has already bonded with. Look at the 90210 cast issues, Welcome Back Kotter, for pete's sake. It's a fictional drama, not a documentary about high school.

Whether you're in a big city or a little town, like Dillon, people who have no business teaching are thrust into classrooms and leadership roles (like coaches) for budgetary and other reasons. The school board could be swayed to hire the coach's wife as a principal to keep the coach in town. That's a reality. A friend of mine was hired as a PE teacher in a school with no teaching degree and no experience to speak of, except that she had "other gifts," (quote from the pastor, it is a Catholic school). And, she's a great teacher and motivator and coach, but she learned on the job.

Anyway, I'm totally off topic, but I really enjoyed the episode and had all those old emotional ties with the characters come right back. I hope we get to see the whole season and get some closure if, in fact, NBC does pull the plug this time. We want to know what happened to Santiago.

January 18 2009 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

While we enjoyed season 3 on directv, I still can't help but be bothered by some idiotic choices. There is no way Lyla, Tyra and Tim were Sophomores in season 1. And Tammy is no more qualified to be principal than a coach is to teach biology.

January 17 2009 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to YouFaceTheTick's comment
dave

YouFace, I have to agree with you 1000%

January 17 2009 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BT01

You are right. I heard a podcast with Peter Berg and he pretty much admitted that he originally told the actors they would be around for shorter runs but then became a hypocrite when breakthrough performances came through, specifically Riggins, they just kept bringing those characters back with no explanation. He even joked that if they make it back for season 4 Riggins will still be playing high school football.

January 19 2009 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mdaby3

I had to manually record it on the DVR, because it wasn't recognized as a NEW episode. Even TV Guide didn't say anything about it. I hate to say it, but this show is doomed. And I like it a lot.

January 17 2009 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mdaby3's comment
Lynn

It should have been recognized as a new episode. It actually had 2009 as it's date, not 2008. Not sure what was up with TV Guide!

January 17 2009 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners