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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm Ready For Some Football

As I noted last week, I bought the Season 1 DVDs of Friday Night Lights. I will agree with Red Fraggle and The Sports Guy (and when the two of them agree on something, it can't be wrong) that the first season was excellent. Sure, there were some hiccups, but the show contained outstanding acting, interesting story lines, and some good football scenes (even if virtually every game was decided on the final play). Of course, the ratings were lousy, but NBC, to its credit, kept the show alive.

Season 2 debuted on Friday night (!), and I managed to watch the final two episodes of season 1 and the season 2 premiere that evening. (It did help me get over the gnat-infested nightmare that likely cost Joe Torre his job.) As other critics have pointed out, the premiere contains a plot twist that could ruin the series.

SPOILERS. All of a sudden, not only does the guy who tried to rape Tyra reappear, but Landry kills him. Even worse, they decide to throw the body off a bridge. Now, I know Tyra and Landry were freaked out, but was there really no choice? I mean, this guy tried to rape Tyra and was now stalking her. Sure, Landry overreacted but this is Texas. A jury would have acquitted him if he shot the guy 132 times, reloaded his automatic weapon, and shot him 48 more times. Puh-lease. If they really wanted to have a plot device to match a romantic relationship between the town slut and a geek more realistic, they could have called the cops and let the chips falls where they would. Instead, I fear the show turning into I Know What You Did Last Summer. If the rapist is still alive and comes back to haunt them, I give up.

In other news, the exchange between Lyla (who found Jesus this summer) and Riggins was priceless. And the conflicts the Coach faces now that he is in Austin while his wife has to care for the new baby (daughter, of course) without him makes for a more interesting development for this season than the Landry/Tyra nonsense. And, not surprisingly, much tension is added to the Matt/Julie relationship. I'm sure there will be many twists and turns, but you know these two will ultimately end up together (assuming the show reaches an ending).

I know the show needs to increase its viewership, and perhaps the emphasis on football as the advertising hook during year 1 was a mistake. But year 1 made clear this was not a football show. For the writers (and network) to conclude that the answer is to have less football (and more melodrama) is a mistake. I hope a bridge has not been crossed (or a body thrown over that bridge that can't be recovered).



Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

I totally agree with you (and Alan Sepinwall). I'm worried about how this will play out.

10/10/2007 3:43 PM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

I'm concerned too. And I read Sepinwall's post on this, including the interview with the show's writer, and I agree that some of the reasoning (it allows them to show us Landry's family, it gives Landry an opportunity to be more than just a sidekick, it moves Landry and Tyra's relationship along) seems really, really thin.

But I'm going to trust the writers on this one for now. They did not steer us wrong in season one, so I'm hoping they don't steer us wrong here.

As for the other parts of the episode, it was totally great. My favorite character was Lyla (which was often the case in season one). Her motivations always seem so realistic. You can totally understand why this girl who lost everything last season--her friends, her boyfriend, her family--would turn to Jesus and a youth group. I can't wait to see her and Jason begin to interact again.

10/10/2007 11:04 PM  

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