Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Oh, honey, you are not using Jesus Christ our lord as an excuse not to help out your counselor, are you?": Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights spent most of this episode marking time while it waits to finish up most of its storylines in the next two episodes to come (if the press photos that were released are any indication). Fortunately, this gave Smash and his mother something to do, but it also meant that just about everything else was sort of boring. Now, I think I'll take boring Friday Night Lights over frightfully misguided Friday Night Lights, but it still wasn't optimal.

Like I said, Smash's recruitment possibilities made up the best storyline, especially as they put him into conflict with his mother. The portrayal of Smash as completely self-centered and ready to do whatever it takes to get to the NFL to help out his family. His ends are pretty great, but he's tearing up his family to get through the means. His treatment of the recruiter from Whitmore was pretty underhanded, and it angered his mother, forcing her to go to Coach Taylor. Kyle Chandler is at his best when he's talking to the boys on his team and standing in as a father figure for most of them, and he didn't disappoint here. It was just nice to get to see Smash do something, since Gaius Charles was so good last season and the conception of a self-aggrandizing jackass is one you don't usually see in sports series, where the kids who play the games are often near saintly.

Sadly, the rest of the episode didn't live up to the promise of the Smash storyline. Why, exactly, is it supposed to be kind of hot when Saracen kisses his maid or Riggins gets with the next-door neighbor, but we're supposed to view it as creepy when Julie and the newspaper advisor spend a lot of time together? It wouldn't be so bad if this were the first time this double standard had ever appeared, but it appears on literally every series ever. If we're going to be against adults and teens having relationships (and that's fine by me), why not apply it across all genders?

Anyway, lots has been written about this episode elsewhere, and I just can't bring myself to write more, especially as I'm still fighting off the last of this infection. So talk about what you did and didn't like in the comments and enjoy yourselves!

1 comment:

Filipe Furtado said...

One thing about the whole Julie/teacher thing no one mentioned is that Teegarden actually looks like she might be in high school something that's not true about anyone else in the cast except for Jesse Plemons (I actually didn't start to think that Carlotta is supposed to be at least half a dozen years older than Matt till people began to mention that). Representation plays a big role in how one receives this sort of material (from what I remember the show didn't make that big fuzz with that Tyra storyline from early S1). The other big creepy factor out of the John from Cincinnatti storyline (which I shall add, I'm not a big fan of) is that he is the teacher, and I think that's where it ended connecting with Matt/Carlotta plot, despite the age difference when all is said and done Matt being the boss is the one that holds the power in their relationship and I do think the episode did a good job in subltle underline that.