As great as the first season of Friday Night Lights was (it ranked in at number two of the Best Shows of 2006-7), I had some seriously reservations of where the show looked to be heading at the end of last year. First off I am always worried about babies being introduced into the show. Then Coach Taylor taking the TMU job seemed like a lose-lose situation. If he stays at TMU, he will spend most of the season away from the rest of the cast. And if he quits, it seems like a cheap out not too mention there already is a new coach in Dillon so unless he goes all Charlie Weis and lose the first six games, that job isn’t open so what is he going to do, work for Buddy Garrity? (Okay, that may be entertaining.)
But at least for one episode the show is still as good as it has ever been. I spent the first five minutes wondering if what I was watching was some sort of dream sequence as the show seemed to be mocking other token high school dramas with their gratuitous slow motions shots of all the females in their swimwear complete with Julie giving a come hither look while Trya biting into a phallic symbol. But intertwined were Saracen and Landry in classic form taking about nonsense. I have to disqualify Friday Night Lights from this week’s quote of the week competition just so I wouldn’t be tempted to retype the whole pool scene (seriously, WWTRD). Then our last slo-mo of the scene being a very pregnant Tami much to the distain of her daughter.
This of course gets Coach Taylor back in Dillon so we don’t yet get to see how the show functions without him being around. Certainly he is great with anyone, but I still much rather see him still interact with the people of Dillon. And this is highlighted in this episode with his confrontations with Julie (I especially liked him asking about the Swede) and hanging out with Buddy (who hilariously got kick out of practice). And the scene before he left to visit Buddy is just another reason why the Emmys have no credibility.
Unfortunately it didn’t get much play, but Lyla’s new found faith could be a season highlight for me at least because really, there is nothing more attractive than a religious zealot. Not too mention how entertaining it would be if she makes it her mission to help Riggins find God. (Apparently what Tim Riggins would do over summer break are twins.) And luckily her born again status hasn’t kept her from wearing low cut tops.
But I had to save the best and worst for last: Tandry (or should I say Lyra). Landry was on top of a very long list of what is so great about the show to the point I created the top ten best Landry moments last spring (see Clear Eyes, Full Hearts Can’t Lose). And if added the pool and bathroom scenes would rank high on that list. And Coach Taylor not being around to see Lance try out for the team is just another reason having Coach leaving is looking like a bad decision.
It looks like Tandry have stayed fairly close over the summer even if Matt still doesn’t think Landry has much of a chance. And it was telling that when Tyra heard noises that she didn’t call Riggins, whom she knows would have showed up, but instead called the much less imitating Landry (although where mom and sis were, who knows). But the whole death plotline just comes out of left field which is pretty untypical of Friday Night Lights. I could have lived with Landry injuring the guy or possibly even have him die in the hospital, but dumping the body in the river (which looked suspiciously wear Lyla got baptized) was just a little overboard. And by a little I mean a lot.
I’m a little worried that Landry this season will not be the Landry we came to know and love last season because killing a man will really changes a person (um, or so I’m told, not that I know from experience or anything, okay, let’s move on please). Granted I had the same qualms about Dick Casablancas last season and he was back to token Dick by the third episode until his dad came back at the end of the season. And also Dick didn’t have potential jail time added onto the guilt.
Verdict: The two major complaints aside, Friday Night Lights came into the season the best show on television and hasn’t done anything to lose that title just yet. It should be an interesting race between the show and Pushing Daisies in terms of quality television this year. Friday Night Lights airs Fridays at 9:00 on NBC. You can stream the episodes after they air (including all of last season) over at NBC.com. You can also download the show on Amazon Unbox (see below).