Spoilers for "Friday Night Lights" season three, episode seven, coming up just as soon as I use some vaseline...
NOTE: This and all subsequent "FNL" season three reviews were written after viewing the DirecTV cut, which can be several minutes longer than the NBC version. So both my review and the early comments may refer to scenes that were not shown on NBC.
Okay, that's two duds in seven episodes overall, and two out of the last three. Still a much better batting average than season two, but other than Street and Herc's fight in the backyard, and Scott Porter's performance in general, I found almost no redeeming qualities in this one, where at least I found about half of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" to be good.
I don't want to devote too much time to this one because it's a busy week and I'd rather focus on things I enjoyed, but among my complaints:
* The random introduction of a new Panthers player, with a problem that was easily solved in an episode with virtually no tension and no inspiration felt pointless. Even Tami giving a nice speech about how wonderful Eric is -- followed by Eric opening the car door for a very self-satisfied Tami -- wasn't enough to make it all feel worthwhile.
* Really, the problems in all the storylines were resolved far too easily: Street gets an offer on the house within days of putting it on the market at the higher price, Buddy's forgettable younger children come around through the magic of watching Panther football, Landry very quickly makes peace with having made a fool of himself with Devin the bass player, and a 30-second conversation with a sports agent gives Street an entirely new career path.
* And speaking of which, even if Lyla is convinced he'll make a "great sports agent," it's gonna take Street a long time to achieve his dream of becoming the next Jerry Maguire. Most agents have law degrees, and Street doesn't have more than a GED (if that). If his goal is to be able to immediately provide for his baby and baby mama, this seems like the wrong way to achieve it.
* The actress playing Devin is one of the weaker performers they've had on the show in a while.
* Lyla's been involved in so many other stories over the years that it's hard to keep track of her feelings towards Buddy. I mean, I think they're currently getting along well enough to justify her taking his side against the young'uns, but it's been a while since they've had any significant interaction.
* Joe McCoy has become a cartoon villain awfully fast, hasn't he? The musical score towards the end of his dinner date with Coach sounded like something out of a silent film where the heroine's getting tied to the train tracks.
Okay, now that I think of it, there were a couple of things I liked other than the Street/Herc fight and Scott Porter. I thought Billy getting misty-eyed at Tim's highlight video (particularly at Coach's words of praise) was a nice moment. I thought Kevin Rankin was his usual good self. I liked Tyra's reaction to Landry's premature girlfriend announcement. Oh, and I have a soft spot for that Flaming Lips song, which was big back in my college years.
But overall, it was completely forgettable. Let's hope next week is better.
What did everybody else think?