Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Nothing quite like athletes doing comedy.": Friday Night Lights

Brian Krakow lives!

There were a lot of great things about tonight's Friday Night Lights, but chief among them for me was Jason Katims (the show's head writer) resurrecting the cliffhanger from My So-Called Life -- maybe we'll get to see how it ends this time! Nerd-ish Landry all but professed his love for Tyra (who understood what he was going for), while Jordan Catalano redux (and this is the first time I've gotten that) Tim Riggins moseyed back into the picture after being rejected by the single mother next door (and thank God that's the end of that storyline, which was always a little too TV-y for this show). Tyra and Tim started the series together, and the two of them have both grown so substantially separately that it might be interesting to see how they do back together, but the impulse of this onetime (okay, STILL) nerd is to see Tyra fall for Landry. But I also hope that doesn't happen -- as it would only happen on TV (unless you're a super sexy nerd like me).

But, of course, as always with this show, there was a lot of great stuff going on, particularly at the roast and in the build-up to it. Many shows would have had the coach's wife or Saracen reveal that Coach Taylor had taken the college job in Austin at the mic, but, instead, we got to see a truly heartfelt speech from Tami right after she and her husband had had a fight -- a speech that obviously inspired second thoughts in him, even as she was steadfast in her desire to stay in Dillon to let Julie finish out her high school career there. The scenes between Coach and Tami were pretty stunning in this episode, especially his giddy joy at just how great the TMU job would be for him and Tami's sadness at hearing that he had taken it (expressed entirely through Connie Britton's eyes). I also quite liked the scene where she proposed that they split long enough for Julie to finish high school, all nerves and energy, and his flat rejection felt both like a jerk-ish thing to do and the most logical thing to do.

Meanwhile, Tyra tried to deal with the aftermath of the attempted rape, going to the police only after Landry told Tami who came to Tyra and forced her to go. Her sadness and rage at what happened were completely believable and highlighted how good of an actress Adrienne Palicki (someone I wrote off in the pilot) has become. Her scenes with both Tim and Landry were heartbreaking in very different ways, and when she called Landry a smelly geek, it burned deep down (not that I'm smelly or anything).

Oh what else. . .

Lyla is sometimes the show's weak link, but Minka Kelly pouts well, and the fact that her parents' marriage failed and her engagement ended in the same episode could have felt forced, but she somehow sold it. I wasn't quite as sure why Suzy would be in Dillon that early in the morning (or why an assistant football coach would need to drop off paperwork at city hall), but Suzy and Street have such a natural chemistry (and a surprisingly sexual one, considering they haven't had sex) that I forgave the contrivance.

Every episode of Friday Night Lights balances so many storylines that it's impossible to hit on all of them, so I won't even try. While a second season is no sure thing, it seems likely. But even if it doesn't happen, we've had one great, perfect season to enjoy.

Here's to a great season finale!

1 comment:

Libby said...

I love this show harder than any show for a long, long time. I hope NBC hasn't given me 30 Rock merely to take away FNL.