Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Friday Night Lights: Smashed up

Spoilers for "Friday Night Lights" just as soon as I sober up...

Not my favorite episode, not by a long shot. We have Riggins' miraculous recovery from alcoholism, where a couple of days of sobriety make him vastly more articulate and the second coming of another fella by the name of Riggins. (Also, never ask a Canadian guy playing a Texan to use the word "about" in a sentence, okay?) We have Smash going from glorified bit player to Afterschool Special steroid user in the span of an hour, and minimal follow-up to the Voodoo situation. (Though, according to the TV.com episode guide, they skipped over an episode; unless production deliberately shot episodes out of order, this is going to be awkward down the road.)

But then there was the Jason Street subplot to make the rest of it more than palatable. Even when the rest of the show is taking narrative shortcuts or reverting to cliche, they continue to do right by this character and his story, and Scott Porter tends to get me choked up at least once a week.

And, hey, they managed to come up with a Tyra subplot that seemed at least tangentially connected to the rest of the show. Good on them.

What did everybody else think?

6 comments:

kristinj said...

I'm hoping the full season pickup will give the showrunners a chance to slow down and tell the stories they want to tell. I have a feeling many of these ideas would have worked quite well if there was some buildup - I'm glad Smash is getting a serious storyline, I'm happy Riggins is attempting to snap out of his fear and self pity, etc. - but it was too much to pack into one episode.

That's not to say the hour didn't fly by, or that the Street stuff wasn't incredibly effective (as you said). I'm mostly hoping the luxury of time will allow these stories to play out organically, now that they've been introduced.

Sandi said...

Maybe they can slow things down a bit since they have the luxury of time - a guarantee of more episodes, so need to cram it all in before disappearing just yet.

TC said...

I was wondering if they had skipped an ep, or if I had missed one. First, there was Lyla and Riggins at the rally with her giving him the "you must hate me" thing. The last we saw of them before that was their moment outside the hospital, hardly them hating each other. Then there was Saracen and Landry, apparently post make-up sex. Weren't they in a fight at the end of the last ep? Those definitely had me shaking my head.

Denni said...

"Miraculous recovery from alcoholism?" Was it established that Riggins is a full-blown alcoholic? That wasn't my take at all -- I saw him simply as one of those guys you knew in high school who drank a lot, not as someone who couldn't stop.

Anonymous said...

Also out of order was the play calling-- 1st play in for Riggins was "swing pass"... cut to a run. Later in the gane-- in fact, the last score-- was Riggins scoring on a swing pass.

Slow down is right... it's attention to detail that kills a series, esp. a sports one.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Denni, in every scene of the season before this episode, Riggins was either drunk or hungover. I think we get into a semantics debate at this point.