Thursday, September 20, 2007

FNL: So about that Good-Looking Corpse Theory...

So remember that part of the FAQ where I say we're only going to talk about TV shows after they've aired on TV, even if they're available via On Demand, streaming video, etc.? Well, I made an exception when HBO was airing "The Wire" a week early On Demand, and I'm going to make an exception now to talk about the "Friday Night Lights" premiere, which as Mo Ryan points out on her blog, is being streamed from now until Sunday at Yahoo! TV (follow the link and then click the Video tab).

Again, I ordinarily wouldn't do this, but while most of the episode is great -- particularly the Coach/Mrs. Coach material -- there's something that happens near the end of the premiere that has me incredibly disheartened. It calls back to the fears I expressed after the first season finale that NBC would renew the show and then force Jason Katims and company to "improve" it. I joked about a bikini car wash storyline, and while the premiere doesn't give us that, there are a bunch of scenes where the kids hang around the town pool, leading to photo ops like the one above.

But I'm not too upset over Adrianne Palicki and Zach Gilford in bathing suits. No, what happens near the end of the premiere is worse than I think I had feared, the sort of thing that has real show-ruining potential.

Beyond that, I'm going to save my thoughts until the comments (and there are going to be real spoilers there, so don't click through if you haven't seen it), but you'll know the Bad Thing when you see it. Anybody think they can talk me off the ledge about it?

43 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

Specifically, I'm really upset with the Tyra/Landry/rapist development, which -- no matter what decision they made on the bridge -- takes away everything that was unique and interesting and fun about Landry, while also putting a big gaping hole in the aura of realism the show wore so well all last season.

It's like a "One Tree Hill" plot.

memphish said...

I agree with your dislike of the end of the episode. I just wish at the store they'd called the cops. They had done nothing wrong until they stuck him in the car. I hate what this will do to Landry's character as well.

As for the rest of the episode, I loved it. I laughed, I cried, in other words FNL at its best. There are a lot of interesting ways this can go next, especially with Eric on the plane. I was afraid at one point he was on his way to get his old job back. I'm glad they at least drug that out for a bit.

Doug said...

Alan,

The end is definitely what bothered me. I was totally loving the episode and was completely engrossed when it just took me totally out of the episode.

What I don't get is if NBC forced them to be dramatic, why dump the body? They could have had a ton of material if there was a police investigation, town divided over guilt, Landry channeling his anger on the football field, etc. Dumping the body is just stupid and something even in panic I don't believe the 2 teens would do. The clerk in the convenience store had to of heard something! Ugh.

In happier terms I thought Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton continued to knock it out of the park. Loved their storyline, although I don't know how long they can keep them separated.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Not calling the cops makes the development infinitely worse, but even if they had, I would have hated it. I'm just not interested in a Landry who's carrying the guilt of that around with him.

And yet, as you both note, the rest of the episode is great, particularly the Coach/Mrs. Coach stuff. The scene where Mrs. Coach can't speak is amazing.

jen said...

I totally with you in the dismay category. I kept thinking with dread in my heart: "Please, FNL people, please don't do what I think you're going to do." And while I shamefully admit to liking One Tree Hill (because everyone must love a show the rest of society mocks), I don't want this OTH-ish plot line marring my fave show. FNL is just too good for this kind of melodrama.

Alanna said...

When the rapist first appeared, I was glad that the writers had paid attention to continuity. The last scene upset me both for the reasons you stated, and because the whole scenario is predicated upon two characters having no common sense whatsoever. I can buy that Tyra and Landry are young and terrified, but this is pushing it too far. One of the great things about FNL is that even when characters do stupid things (like Smash and steroids), they still act like real people instead of characters in a drama. Yet that scene completely contradicted that part of the show. Given the choice Tyra and Landry made, I can't imagine a way for this to turn out in which they'll remain essentially good people at heart, like every other character on the series. As things stand, there's no way in hell the characters can get past the storyline.

I do agree that many of the show's original elements were still there in the premiere. FNL really excels at the quiet, character-centric moments, such as the conversation between Coach and Julie. I'm so glad it didn't turn into the usual teen-soap pablum; Julie was just self-aware enough to acknowledge her problems while still sounding every bit like a 16-year-old girl. (Which is another reason why the bridge scene failed.)

Overall, though, I remain optimistic. Perhaps this is all part of NBC meddling and creating drama for the sake of (melo)drama, but I like to believe that Katims' heart is in the same place as his characters'. I just hope that even if he's setting up all these problems now, they'll continue to play out in realistic and fascinating ways.

notjon said...

Wow. Just wow.
The whole time I was thinking I knew what you were talking about. I was sure they were going to have Coach quit his job and return. I had accepted that, lame as it would have been, and was rolling with the punches. And then the bottle came crashing down...

Sure they left it abiguous as to what L and T did, but that may just be because there is absolutely no rational way for them to hide that body. If the show goes that route, the only believable thing would be to have them both in jail by halfway through the next episode.

On the other hand, I applaud the realistic handling of the high school relationship with Matt and Julie. There was no big dramatic event to case Julie to lose interest. She's just 16 and her big romance fizzled out just like 99% of high school love affairs do. She got bored.
All the same, I wanted to kill the Swede for the first half of the episode for ruining my favorite TV couple since Tim and Dawn.

Gish said...

I've hated that storyline everytime it has been done, and it is especially insulting coming from FNL. If I accidentally killed a rapist in the act of attempting to rape someone, it wouldn't occur to me to do anything but stand there and wait for someone to pin a medal on me.

Which brings up an interesting possibility. What if they play out Landry's guilt while the rest of the town sees him as a hero? This assumes they either didn't dump the body or that he quickly tells his father who helps correct the situation. Still a storyline I wish they hadn't started, but it would be better than Landry and Tyra's big secret.

jim treacher said...

"...you'll know the Bad Thing when you see it."

Nikki and Paulo move into town?

Anonymous said...

Can I just say how on Aimee Teegarden was this episode? Last season I thought she was fine, but this strikes me as her best work so far.

And yeah, the bridge...so I Know What You Did Last Summer. I don't see how this story can be resolved satisfactorily (to me), but if anyone can do it, it's the FNL team. Although to be honest, I felt that a few times throughout the episode (Lyla insulting her mother in her "prayer", Tim and Lyla's conversation), things went just a tad too far.

Lastly, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are consistently outstanding. They're almost good enough to be on Boston Legal.

Carrie said...

Alan, I just wrote on my blog "it feels like something out of One Tree Hill." Jinx!

I absolutely hate this storyline. Everything else was wonderful, but I just don't understand what they are thinking with this one. I don't think it will pull in new viewers at all, and if that was the intended goal they were wrong on every account. I'm hoping they will realize the errors of their ways and make the storyline completely disappear. I would be willing to forget it ever happened if they are.

Jeff Martin said...

Wouldn't it have been just as easy to believe that Landry knocked him out and they called the police and got the guy arrested? That would have done away with the storyline nicely.

I hate the way it went, but I'm betting FNL finds some creative and amazing ways to treat the fallout.

As soon as Mrs. Coach started crying, I said "give the woman an Emmy. Now."

Alan Sepinwall said...

Which brings up an interesting possibility. What if they play out Landry's guilt while the rest of the town sees him as a hero? This assumes they either didn't dump the body or that he quickly tells his father who helps correct the situation. Still a storyline I wish they hadn't started, but it would be better than Landry and Tyra's big secret.

Marginally, but a Landry with a death on his conscience -- even a death that was justified in defense of someone else -- is just a vastly less interesting (and funny) character, cover-up or no cover-up.

Landry trying out for the dreaded football team to impress both his dad and Tyra? Potential for so much brilliance that will now be subsumed by this silliness.

Tracy said...

My first knee-jerk reaction to the Tyra/Landry scene was that this was the ruination of my all-time favorite TV series and while this may yet be the case; I'm withholding judgment. One of the earlier commenters made the observation that this just isn't something that people, even high school kids, would do but I have to disagree with that. People are panicky, irrational creatures when put in stressful situations. I think that Tyra was channeling much of the humiliation of her last brush with the law in conjuction with her first attack. We didn't get to see much of the specifics from her interactions with the police, but it probably included the insinuation that she was the one that caused the attempted rape. So here she is eight months later and the guy is STALKING HER. What little logic she could manage in the moment after Landry hit the rapist with the bottle likely had to do with the questions that the police would ask. Plus, she probably just wanted everything to "go away" with the body, even though we all know that everything will be sujected to the light of day. I'm choosing to believe that the writers can bring us through this intact.

Or FNL could all become another very special episode of 90210.

Sigh.

notjon said...

Oh, another thing that bugged me. Have they ever mentioned Landry's dad before? Why would he be joining the team to gain his father's love. This is the EXACT thing he was making fun of Matt for doing in his first (or second, don't remember) scene of the show. Plus, he saw how it turned out with Matt.

Why would he be doing the same thing one year later? The Landry they've depicted so far would at least aknowledge his hypocrisy.

But I can't think like this. It will all turn out. I've told too many people to start watching for it not to.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oh, another thing that bugged me. Have they ever mentioned Landry's dad before?

I have a vague memory of Landry mentioning that his dad thinks he's a disappointment, though I may just have assumed that, given that the old man named him after Tom Landry and no doubt assumed his son would be a titan of the gridiron.

Landry's dad, by the way, is played by Glenn "Agent Aaron from 24" Morshower, and if there's any ray of sunshine in this storyline, it's that Morshower should get a lot to do.

Anonymous said...

Oophhfff. Don't want to just pile on, but I've got to agree, this does not seem to be a good twist for the characters or for the show. I'm not sure where they can take this, but at the moment I can't see it being worthwhile. And for me, worse than hurting the characters, it takes away from what the show does best, the small realistic moments that deal with genuine human interaction. I would have preferred the rapist to just be knocked out, and could have accepted the accidental death, but ditching the body was desperately over the top. Especially if Landry's dad is a cop, I don't buy that part.

Other than that, the ep was pretty good, particularly the Taylors, and the relatively small glimpses of everyone else. Always liking the family/town dynamics, where the show tends to shine.
-Lance

TuckPendleton said...

Well, I'll stick up for the show. I didn't mind it. Was it extreme, yes. But extreme things do happen in life, and not so often on this show that it felt completely out of place.

1. Plus -- this is TV, after all, reel life -- not real life.

2. The FNL team has earned the right to go off the reservation. If this ends up being their "difficult 2nd album" so be it. But I think that they will resolve this well.

3. I personally would much rather have a flawed but different Season 2 than a rehash of Season 1.

4. I don't see this being such a reach, honestly. It's a small town, that no doubt has creepy characters at its edges like most small towns.

While this may be pushing the envelope, isn't this exactly what the show did in year 1, showing how life can literally change in an instant -- the Street paralysis -- and the ripple effects on literally everyone around them?

So, maybe this attempted rape / possible murder is this season's flashpoint.

We also don't know yet exactly what happened. The shot of the water rushing by does lead us to think they dumped the body. But still. Teenagers do dumb, rash things in tense moments. (Girls having babies at the prom and leaving them in dumpsters for instance.)

So I acknowledge that the show might be out the edge, but I don't think they're without justification.

And if it gives a chance to see more of the talented Plemons and Palicki flexing more of their acting muscles, all the better.

rick said...

Just want to echo the last comments. Thought they were all dead on, especially in reference to this seasons "flash point"

And do we really know what happened?

Teenagers do dumb things. Hell, all people do dumb things. That's life.

I loved the episode and think this season is going to be strong.

Kat said...

OK. So I can't watch this, being in Canada, which annoys me to no end. I am DYING TO SEE IT. Of course I already know, as I am a complete spoiler-whore. Alan, I mostly share your concerns - but I think it could be really interesting to take this show to such a dark place. I mean, most of the episodes are already quite depressing if you really think about them - despite moments of joy. But this is a whole new level of dark. Plus, the writers have managed to tackle quite a few cliches of the teen soap genre and dismantled them already. I have a lot of faith in the writers, who gave us one of the most perfect seasons of TV in recent memory.

Anonymous said...

I won't be able to talk you off of the ledge because I can't see this storyline being good in any way. I fear it will overshadow the whole season as it is not a storyline they can drop easily. I will still enjoy other parts of the show but I fear they have ruined Tyra and Landry (two awesome characters.)

I loved what you wrote before the show was renewed and had the same fears; it is just sad to see they may be coming true.

Rick Pecoraro said...

I found this development very problematic. It struck me as something you'd see on Rescue Me where no good deed goes unpunished.

If there is a bright side, I thought that the use of "Muzzle of Bees" by Wilco to bookend the episode was just shy of beautiful -- especially while contrasting the way the episode starts (life) and the way it ends (death). This by no means solves the potentially disasterous problems we're now facing in future episodes, but for this moment I can kind of get behind it.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, this episode isn't the version that will aired the 5th October.

Some scenes might be from episode 2 and some others scenes might have been reshooted (including the Tyra/Landry scene). Maybe they shooted different endings, release one on Yahoo to see what people will think and actually aired the other.

There's still some hope that FNL does not become one OTH type of show.

Mo Ryan said...

>>Wouldn't it have been just as easy to believe that Landry knocked him out and they called the police and got the guy arrested?

Yes, that's where I fall. If this is a ploy to get Tyra and Landry together, and/or to give those excellent actors more to do, fine. The guy doesn't need to be dead for that, imho.

I agree with alan that now it's gonna be really hard to see the comedy and pathos they wring from Landry's Panther tryouts -- this guy is now a very different guy. He's killed someone.

I've got to think that they didn't dump the body. Not only is this whole development really melodramatic, it makes Tyra and Landry seem much dumber than they are. Yeah, I know they're teenagers and panicking and all that. I just don't buy that they wouldn't go to a trusted adult.

I mean, why was Tyra waiting outside the store? I know she had credit problems there -- so choose another store. No way would she wait outside, alone, having been menaced by the creep already.

Anyhow, I pray to the TV gods that the writers can salvage this. They're among the best in the business, so ... full (and heavy) heart, fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what everyone else has said. The dumping of the body (if that is indeed what they did) makes things much, much worse. However, a lot depends on where they go from here. If the body is never discovered, and this ends up having been mainly a device to get Tyra and Landry to bond in deeper way, it might not be so bad. And if this allows them to delve into new aspects of Landry's character (rather than just repeating all the same beats of Season 1, with him serving chiefly as the comical sidekick), then it I might be okay with it. But surely they could have found a better catalyst for achieving those same purposes than this hackneyed, fan-fiction-esque idea.

Anonymous said...

FNL is about a small people with big dreams and how we cope when those dreams get crushed. How we rally and gather and march on (or don't). The obstacles and hardships of the everyday and the desire to achieve more. It's honest and earnest and full of heart. Murder, guilt, melodrama, stupidity and this essential brand of ugliness are not this show. Smash doing steroids was a desperate attempt on his part -- we understood that act and knew what he was thinking when he did it, the pressure he felt. Tyra/Landry throwing a guy that they accidently killed while defending themselves into the river is just stupid. These kids are smarter than that -- Landry was smart enough to know he had to tell an adult after Tyra's attack last year. The teenagers as depicted on this show would know that you should call an ambulance when the guy failed to wake up. They would know to call the police to report it. And they would know know one is going to convict them of murder for defending themselves in a bad situation.

And the thing that bothers me the most is that you can't hit the reset button -- Landry and Saracen can't go back to buying used clothes or shopping for Jewelry (at least not anytime soon). That innocence is lost for them and the show. It's no longer about the simple things in life, the obstacles we all face that bind us together or tear us apart. For at least two of our characters and an indiscriminate amount of show time, it's now about Murder and guilt and lies. It's not about dreams anymore, it's about nightmares -- from Julie and Matt drifting apart to Coach not being with his family to Murder. It's not the same show and that pains me a little. There should be change, there was always going to be change (and drama and tension by association). I, by no means, wanted or expected this season to be the same as last but blood on someone's hands is far from what I think most of us were thinking for these people and this show. And if season 2 was always going to be dark in a way that season 1 wasn't, I'd be okay with that but this, really, honestly, Landry and Tyra and a dead rapist.

All that being said, there were some great moments in the premiere. Everything from the writing to the acting to the cinematography was as great as its always been. Coach and Mrs. Coach on the couch when he tells her has to leave early was just wonderful to watch. Someone, anyone, give Connie Britton an Emmy -- someone go and take Sally Field's statue out of her hands and drive it to Texas. Man, do I love this show.

I think it sucks that this decision/direction has the very real potential to be, as Alan said, "show-ruining."

I also feel like I'm taking this maybe a tad too seriously but this our show people....

-Erica

PS sorry if this posts twice

Chris Littmann said...

I've got to admit, after seeing the buildup to how this would allegedly ruin the show, upon first glance I was almost relieved. Not sure what I expected, perhaps Voodoo to pull a drive-by hit on the entire team?

But the more I think about it, the more concerned I become. I can only hope the body hasn't been dumped. We know this much: We haven't seen what transpired between Landry being in a uniform that night and the two of them driving home. So with that being said, there's still hope we're going to get a look back on what transpired. I'm guessing this is a vehicle to bring in Landry's dad, the cop. You know, Landry goes to his dad, freaking out, with a body in the car, and does the next best thing to calling an ambulance.

Honestly, I can make peace with it if we see that scenario played out. That it was self defense, and they do go to the cops that night. Short of that, I'm not sure how they move on without dealing with crippling guilt that ruins a character we all enjoy so much. Poor Landry touching her arm and so on, it was one of those great cover your face it's so awkward type of moments, but you've also got to laugh because it's real. But are those days over?

Alap said...

is it just me or did the dialogue seem a little bit different in this episode? i thought it was more head-on, expository, "these are what my emotions are right now" than i remember it being last season. i don't know if this is a bad thing...i mean every show's gonna change somewhat from season to season and maybe what i thought was a lack of subtlety was just the writers tightening up the screws. i could just be looking a bit too hard for nbc-mandated changes, though.

another thing: did they get rid of the w.g. snuffy walden theme they had last year? and also the explosions in the sky soundtrack?

Bill said...

tuckpendleton took the words out of my mouth -- it reminded me a lot of Street's injury in the pilot, while also being a continuation of last season, not something wholly new introduced out of left field. I'm not crazy about it, but to date the show has been good about exploring the ramifications of major events. (Mostly; I still think Jason got too good too fast at quad rugby, like Alan said in his blog posts, and I thought the racism plot was wrapped up too quickly.)

There's a lot of wishful thinking there, though, and a lot of benefit of the doubt that I wouldn't extend to ... well, probably to any other broadcast network show.

The build-up of wondering what the show-ruiner scene is going to be IS an interesting Rorschach test, though, isn't it? I wonder how many different ideas people had about what it could be. My biggest fear was that Coach would cheat on Mrs Coach, something I don't think I could accept.

Beckylooo said...

I'm in an interesting position. I read the shooting script of "State" (working on an FNL spec) and a version of "The Scene" was in it. It came out of nowhere. I was horrified. Their scripts are so off the charts incredible, I mean, lil' works of art all on their own in a way most TV scripts aren't (and I've read A LOT of scripts). It was like someone dragged me from a sauna and threw me into a frigid pool. I was so relieved that it hadn't been in the finale. Thought we'd really dodged a bullet. Then I mosey over here and read your interview with Katims and am thinking, "Oh sweet lord no! Anything but that." But, as displeased as I am with the choice over all, I was a bit relieved. It could have been so much worse. And I'm glad I had a sense of what was coming. Glad I could brace myself for it. I wonder how upset I'd be had I not had a heads up as I agree with everyone who says, despite being well executed, the plot turn is tonally in another universe from FNL.

The rest of the episode was so rich, so much of everything I love about this show that I'll suck up my disappointment.

(And as a side note, anyone find themselves humming Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" after watching? If you don't know the tune, give a listen.)

Joe said...

I was so frustrated with the quality of the stream, I stopped watching once the baby was brought home.
I love this show and can wait a few weeks for the broadcast. There's enough baseball to keep me busy.

As frustrating as the stream, what's with the tiny screen cap? Tyra at the pool is an image that will linger.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I read the shooting script of "State" (working on an FNL spec) and a version of "The Scene" was in it.

You know, when I interviewed Jesse Plemons for the Tyra/Landry column I wrote a few weeks back, he specifically said there was a big Tyra/Landry scene near the end of the finale that got cut (and that wasn't her kissing him on the cheek at the championship game). Katims, he said, had reassured him that they were going to save that development, whatever it was, for season two. I asked if he could give me a hint about what it was, but he didn't.

He was talking about this. God. Which means we can't blame it on Silverman -- though it could very well be some pre-existing NBC exec who asked them to do it last year.

Alan Sepinwall said...

As frustrating as the stream, what's with the tiny screen cap? Tyra at the pool is an image that will linger.

Sorry about that. Will try for a larger resolution image for my season premiere post.

Beckylooo said...

He was talking about this. God. Which means we can't blame it on Silverman -- though it could very well be some pre-existing NBC exec who asked them to do it last year.

I had the EXACT same thought but didn't want to speculate. I'm an assistant at the moment and sit silently on notes calls. I know how maddening it is to find a balance between what you want for your show and the things execs ask of you (all of which are born out of fear) so I empathize. But I can't help but wonder if this was in fact the story they wanted to tell.

Tim said...

Ode To Billie Joe popped into my head as soon as I saw the river.

I think it must have helped me swallow the scene because I didn't think it was that bad. The big fault to begin with was the rape scene from last year. This is what Pine Barrens (or a subsequent episode) would have looked like if Sopranos had been on Fox. Thank God it wasn't and let's all pray that Landry doesn't pull a Billie Joe.

difi said...

Couldn't agree more with your assessment of the Tyra/Landry/rapist story turn. It positively REEKS of a bad network exec note and it stinks up an otherwise beautiful season opener. You'd think the showrunners would fight against crappy moves like this but maybe they slipped this in while negotiating with Jason Katims to work on BIONIC WOMAN.

nadum said...

FNL killed the dolphin a long time before the reemergence of the rapist. The execs started imposing their will sometime last season and it's fallen from grace ever since.

What happened to Bissinger's story about an economically destitute and marginalized part of society developing a pathological obsession with high school football? About a town that immortalized its kids, only to discard them once they'd outlived their usefulness?

We've gone from storylines like an assistant coach expressing a racial bias very prevalent in America (please don't tell Donavon McNabb, he needs to concentrate on winning a game) to a budding romance between Landry and Tyra, bred from an attempted rape. And we're still championing this show?

Tyra and Riggins were symbols for everything wrong with Permian/Odessa. Then Riggins finds redemption in the form of an annoying twit of a neighbor (almost salvaged by the self destructive act of sleeping with the kids' mom) and Tyra starts falling for the geeky BFF of the starting QB.

Network execs started calling the plays a long time ago and they butchered it worse than an Andy Reid two minute drill.

Robert said...

I was writing up some thoughts for my blog, and I started to wonder, since this is 8 months later, has that guy been stalking her the whole time? If that's the case, shouldn't Landry or someone noticed and done something by now? I can't believe the Tyra we got to know by the end of last season would let this guy play mind games with her for 8 months. And if he wasn't around the whole time, it seems like kind of a story telling cheat to have him start being everywhere she is now.

Other than that, great episode, especially Mrs. Coach and Coach.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much agree with everything everyone has said. This is just a little legal perspective.

For everyone who says there is no way they would get convicted and that it was self defense: This was probably not self defense. The immediate crisis had passed, the guy had turned around and was walking away. Landry hit him in the back of the head with a pipe. Then he hit him again when he went down on the ground. A jury could convict him for that. If I'm taking the bar exam and this is the question, I will say he could argue self defense but will probably lose. I'm not a criminal lawyer but I think this is right.

I am feeling pretty bitter about the whole episode really. Other than Coach and Mrs. Coach, all the characters and their interactions seemed forced and awkward.

Carrie said...

So I just watched the episode again and they changed the ending! Instead of hitting the attacker accidentally with a bottle to get him off Tyra, Landry hits him with a pipe as the attacker is walking away.

This is so problematic. Now Landry has committed full-on murder and not just manslaughter. Sigh.

I wonder which version will actually air on October 5th?

Beckylooo said...

Wait WHAT!? Changed the ending? Seriously? Alan, can you confirm or deny this.

Beckylooo said...

This is a response to someone in the other thread. Moved over here as it was sort of spoilery:
What's skewed about it? I watched the episode. Julie did have a huge crush on an older guy (at least 21+ since he's playing a bar) who was into her (knowing fully well she's underage) and went there to cheat on Matt.

It was made quite clear at the end that he had a girlfriend and was in no way into Julie. I thought it was brilliantly constructed - the way we were in Julie's POV for the majority of it - seeing things as she did until the very end when the rug was ripped out from under her and she had to face the reality of the situation she was in. I've only watched once so I can't say for sure - but I don't remember it being made explicit that the swede knew she was in high school.

And to boil the plot down to "he was a pedophile and she wanted to cheat on her boyfriend" is to completely miss the point. She was acting out because of her family situation, afraid of becoming trapped. She has no idea who she is and is desperately trying to define herself as separate from her parents. But she's young and naive and just like every other high school girl on the planet, has a vivid imagination where boys are concerned. She was able to create and live in a fantasy world but then had to deal with the heart break when reality came knocking. This is everything we love about FNL.

And as a side note - I grew up in TX going to a club like that one from age 15 on. Same club my pops went to and played in growing up so jumping to the conclusion that the swede is 21 isn't entirely fair.

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