Amanda Gates

TV: Catching up on Friday Night Lights, Season 1 & 2

Warning: There may be spoilers.

After I got all caught up with Mad Men, I turned to Friday Night Lights. So many of my friends (in real life and Twitter life) have watched this show and claimed full-out love. I’ve even seen the phrase “best show on TV ever” thrown around quite a few times. I’m now in to season three. Is FNL the best show I’ve ever watched? No. But do I love it? Yes. Here are a few thoughts so far:

The Bits of Ridiculousness

Teenage Drama: My main concern with getting into this show was the teenage drama. I hate teenage drama. If that’s all FNL was going to be, no thanks. (It’s not, see below.) However, there’s still plenty of it and some of it drives me insane. The “I love him, I hate him” stuff with Lyla & Riggins and Lyla & Street and Tyra & Riggins and Tyra & Landry – it gets old. Julie Taylor’s whiny-ness also gets old. All the testosterone in that locker room when those football boys get together – enough already. The drinking, the sex, the more-mature behavior than seems natural… I didn’t grow up in that world, so maybe I just have a hard time understanding it, but it all seems over the top. (If high school is really that way, then I’m home schooling my kid.)

The Mexico storyline: Completely ridiculous, because juniors in high school just take taxis down to Mexico for a week without their parents worrying about them. It meant nothing to the story arc overall and definitely didn't need to last over four episdoes.

Tyra & Landry’s secret: If your dad’s a cop, you call him. You don’t dump a body. And then a couple episodes later, it’s all OK? Please.

Buddy Garrity: Why does Coach put up with him? I understand his place and his importance (he’s the money), but he’s so annoying!

What I love

The Taylors: Hands down, the marriage of Eric and Tami Taylor is my most favorite parts of the show. They’re so cute I could squeeze them to death. I love the sarcasm, I love the respect, I love Coach’s grumpiness, I love how Tami is (almost) always right. In a life where I can only imagine the stress – that town, that job – it would be hard to maintain such a great relationship, yet they do. Plus, I love the way they love those kids. They take them in, they teach them lessons, they offer tough love. They’re great. Love them.

The football: I’ve been a football fan for a long time, so I enjoy the football scenes. I also like the behind-the-scenes peek at the coaching meetings, the locker room and the coach-player relationships. And while it frustrates me to no end the pressure that’s placed on these teenagers – and then what they go on to become in college with the bling and the cars – it’s still so intriguing to get a peek into that life. These kids are put up on pedestals by an entire town and it gets even worse when they’re in college. No wonder they have a hard time when anyone tries to say no to them.

The different types of families: You have single moms (Smash’s mom is kick ass), rich families, down-and-out families, blue-collar families, Matt and his grandma, white, black and Hispanic families. It’s a nice mix they put together and while it may not be representative of every community out there, it would be hard not to find a family you could relate to in some way while watching.

The characters: Besides the Taylors, I like Riggins (it took me 30 episodes but I finally discovered why he’s a favorite character), Matt (he can be a bit of a sad sack, but he’s sweet), Landry (he’s an actor who says his lines just like they do on Parenthood; I really see the overlap between the two shows when I watch Jesse Plemons speak, plus he's funny) and Tyra (minus her wishy-washy love life, I like her spunk, her toughness and her hair).

FNL falls right up there with my other favorite dramas like The West Wing, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, Mad Men, Six Feet Under and The Wire. So, another “bit of ridiculousness” is the fact that this show didn’t gain a following big enough to stay on NBC. Why is it that reality TV, procedurals and Two and a Half Men always beat out the truly great shows? That’s another post entirely.

Comments

Thanks Erin

YES on all of it! I actually refrained from mentioning the age ridiculousness because that didn't hit me until the opening of season 3. Totally agree though. It's like Glee... "Wait, we want these guys to stay on the show longer, so yeah, they were sophomores in season 1, yes they were!"

Also, when Riggins stayed with the Taylors, that's when the allure became apparent to me, too.

Unsurprisingly, I love this

Unsurprisingly, I love this post :)

I agree on pretty much all levels - I was surprised at how much I did enjoy the football parts of this show, despite not being a football fan. I LOVE little Matt Seracen so much - yet he also drives me nuts. Tyra, same story. Really hate Lyla, and Julie Taylor annoys me but has her redeeming moments. I also could not understand in Season 1 why people liked Riggins - I think it was when he stayed with the Taylors that was the turning point for me.

The biggest bit of ridiculousness to me is that Riggins was supposedly a sophomore in Season 1. Yeah.... sure. Whatever you need to do to keep the show going, I guess. I'll be very interested to hear your thoughts on Seasons 3-5, since they are quite different than 1-2.

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