Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Night Lights, "New York, New York": I'm rollin' here!

Spoilers for "Friday Night Lights" season three, episode eight, coming up just as soon as I peel down to my unadorned id...

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.

"New York, New York" represented the best and worst of "Friday Night Lights," in that it was all heart and no brains. It had moments that were very sweet (Coach & Mrs. Coach coming to a meeting of minds, Coach and Saracen playing pitch-and-catch out in the street to audition Matt for wide receiver) or touching (Street reuniting his family while a teary-eyed Riggins watched his bromantic partner from a distance) or just plain funny (pretty much every other scene involving Riggins), and yet looking back on it, most of what happens doesn't make a lick of sense.

How is Riggins again getting away with skipping out on days and days of not only school, but football practice? How can an agent be signing a college football star before the college football season (which runs parallel to the high school season) is over? Has Jason Street never heard of cell phones? How are Street and Riggins getting back and forth between Manhattan and "Penn A&M" (really the campus of Drew University in beautiful Madison, NJ)? How is it possible that Tyra has now come up with a dumber idea than, "Hey, Landry, let's dump this dead guy whom you may have justifiably killed into the river"?

Now, when the episode was good, it was really good. Street reuniting with his family was just as genuinely tear-jerking a send-off as Smash's, and Coach tossing the ol' pigskin to Saracen was one of those pure fun moments the show does so well. And good lord was every word out of Tim Riggins' mouth a comic gem, from him talking up the two-suits-for-$125 deal to him quoting Ben Brantley's "Gypsy" review to him declaring "I'm pregnant" during the role-play in the cab.

But an awful lot of "New York, New York" triggered my BS detector -- or, in the case of the Tyra/Cash subplot, my Bad Story detector.

Still better than virtually everything from season two, but not up to some of this year's stronger outings.

Some briefer thoughts:

* The subject line is a riff on the most famous (and improvised) moment from "Midnight Cowboy," the only X-rated movie ever to win the Best Picture Oscar, because Street and Riggins' travels through the streets of Manhattan very much had the vibe of Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo. (Other subject lines I contemplated included "Ratso Riggins," "Mid-day Cowboys" and "Everybody's talkin' at me.")

* Even if the rest of the episode had been filled with dead rapists and Christian radio and Swedes, I still would have liked it on some level because they played The Hold Steady's "Stay Positive" during the practice montage near the end. The Hold Steady rule.

* Two lovely little touches in the episode's two best scenes: 1)Coach the old man rubs his arm and needs some aspirin after throwing so hard for so long; 2)Erin's parents' house isn't wheelchair accessible, and so Erin had to hand Noah to his daddy. Sometimes with this show, it's the small touches that make a huge difference.

* Also, I appreciate that, even in the midst of this implausible tale of Street somehow getting his wheel in the door at a sports agency, the writers acknowledge that his salary really wouldn't be enough to support a family on his own in the NY/NJ area.

* It makes sense that QB2 would instantly become the best wide receiver on the Panthers, because if there was a talented receiver on this roster, surely we would have met him over the past three seasons.

* Though I will never complain about watching Coach and Mrs. Coach interact, the real estate story seemed to amount to a whole lotta nothing.

* That story also gave Kyle Chandler the opportunity to do some of his usual silent brilliance, in this case the way his neck tensed up as Tami went on about the house and he realized that, once again, the McCoys were insinuating themselves into his life.

* And annoying as the Tyra subplot is, it did give Connie Britton a lovely subtextual moment where Tami had to let Tyra know that she blew the college interview without ever saying anything remotely like that.

* Speaking of that storyline, with only five episodes left in the season, and with the way Jason Katims insists on starting each new season at the start of a new school year, how are we going to get closure on all of our many graduating seniors? This season will likely end whenever the Panthers season does, so are we going to get much of a sense of how Tyra's going to turn out, whether Saracen or Riggins get scholarships, etc. Or would the fear of losing all of his teen characters in one fell swoop lead Katims to change the structure for a hypothetical fourth season? Spring football, baby! Texas forever!

What did everybody else think?


Chris Littmann said...

You know, I was enjoying the NY stuff enough, and the WR switch, I didn't even really think about Riggins once again disappearing from Dillon forever. (Not unlike his great Mexico sojourn.)

Also, I'm with you on the house. I even wrote in my review of this episode that I thought it had to be some sort of weird metaphor that I wasn't grasping.

I feel like I'm willing to give them a pass on the agent stuff because, like I said, while it was a little unsavory, everything they did was legal -- assuming Wendell didn't sign.

The two scenes for me that really did it were the one in Jersey with Riggins, Erin and Street and also the scene in the street running routes with Saracen, who is obviously the next Eric Crouch.

And yeah, the Tyra story ... sigh. Easily the most frustrating story of the season.

Anonymous said...

Alan -

How did you not comment on Julie stopping Matt from talking at the dinner table so she could finish making her point about him becoming a WR? Coach had a look of pure fear in his eyes because he knew that's exactly the way Mrs. Coach deals with him.

I had to pause the show because I was laughing so hard at Coach's reaction. Then, when I skipped back to resume it, I had to pause it a second time, because it caught me again.

To top it off, Matt noticed it too and appeared to have no idea how to react - but because she's Tami's daughter, Julie just kept rolling on - because you can't stop a Taylor woman when she's on a roll.

Coach knows Matt and Julie are close, but this looks like the first time it seriously crossed his mind that someday Matt could be his son-in-law.

NumberSix said...

The agent plotline lost me when Street got a job paying 40K in under 24 hours. With that, this show left reality. Even entry-levels at that agency wouldn't see that.

Chris, I went back and looked at that moment after reading your comment and it is hilarious. One word and Matt just lets Julie go - there's no putting that train back in the station.

R.A. Porter said...

I cut this show a lot of slack in the logic department when they hit their emotional beats well enough and tonight they did. Which is interesting, because for a show allegedly centered around a high school football team, that is one very poorly run football team.

Tim would have been kicked off the team a long, long time ago. Saracen wouldn't/shouldn't be better than the receiver corps, and there would be defense! But...

Tim was fun in NYC, and Jason's story had a good, if slightly unrealistic end to it. I was laughing pretty much non-stop at the Midnight Cowboy strolls through the city, just waiting for that music to start up, and I almost lost it thinking of Tim going to see Gypsy, and complaining when the strippers didn't strip.

More of my thoughts in my review, where I bitch about Tyra and the inconsistent way she's been written.

Chris Littmann said...

R.A., I couldn't agree more about Tyra. Very frustrating, and to be honest, I don't even care about the Landry stuff -- the relationship -- anymore, but my goodness, stick with a cliche and run with it. Let's not waffle episode-to-episode.

clarked2 said...

Do you know how many episodes are left till the end of the season? I'm just curious how they're gonna set up enough characters to start next season, with so many leaving, while simultaneously giving them the same amazing send off Street and Smash received. I doubt it'll last much longer, since it returns in winter as reruns, and they're already at playoffs. It'd be nice if it lasted till the end of the actual football season.

Chris Littmann said...

@clarked2: There are five episodes remaining. This season has 13 episodes and this was the eighth.

belinda said...

Love the reference to Midnight Cowboy. :D

Chris, I absolutely agree with you on that whole dinner table scene. That look on the Coach was absolute perfection. I think it was my favourite scene of the episode. Tee hee hee!

Oh, and Riggins. Yes, it was definitely somewhat irritating to see him off again NOT at school or at practice. I'm now more interested to see him back in Dillon and see the whole Riggins storyline pan out.

Though, his interest in Gypsy and "Jason, I'm pregnant" had me howling.

So, I know it's kind of an obvious question, but is this the last episode of Jason Street? If so, then his exit wasn't as bad as I initially thought it would - at least I did feel emotionally attached and satisfied despite those giant plotholes. Texas forever!

And finally, I'm going to pretend that whole Tyra story is not happening.

erin said...

I agree with the comment above that when the emotional stuff is working, the "brains" part doesn't really bother me. And I thought the NYC stuff and the Saracen-as-wide-receiver story was great. My love for these characters knows no bounds.

I disagree about the Tyra storyline--yes, it's frustrating, but I think that's the point of Tyra. You're rooting for her and are ticked off when she screws it up. She's raised to be a certain way--low expectations, use your body and looks for everything, always depend on a man, even if he runs around on you (you probably didn't do enough to keep him faithful anyway). And she knows she wants something different, and Tami wants to show her something different, but her DNA says to be co-dependent and trashy. She WANTS a guy like Landry, she WANTS to go to school and make something of her life, but her old life is like a drug--it's bad, but it's familiar and comfortable, and she knows how it'll turn out. So I actually like the back and forth of her making good and bad decisions, even as I'm yelling at Tyra to GET IT TOGETHER.

I'll really miss these guys when they're gone.

stevie said...

And remember, in season 1, when Mrs. Coach took Tyra up as her project, Tyra's mom put up a big fight because that's not how life is for the Collette women. She may want the things that Tami has encouraged her to pursue, but when her entire family is telling her not to let this guy go (and if he can't really be faithful for six months, he's probably not worth keeping but the Collette women don't see it that way) ... nature can be a stronger influence than nurture.

I am from a small town in the middle of nowhere and I find the Tyra storyline completely plausible, as I know a lot of smart, talented girls who gave up their futures to stay close to their sweethearts, and very rarely did those sweethearts work out for them.

As improbable as I found Jason Street's change of fortune, it was great acting, and I hope we see Scott Porter a lot in the future.

My favorite line last night is most def. "Do we have aspirin?" Kyle Chandler is the man.

erin said...

Oh, and watching Taylor Kitsch try not to cry (and Scott Porter/Jason Street openly crying) at the end of the episode...whew. Strong stuff. Great sendoff for Street, however implausible.

Kristin said...

I don't care about the story inconsistencies when this show gets me to cry. I just don't. I always go with the idea that if Riggins is allowed to stay on the team even when he shows up drunk or doesn't show up at all, I think that's just Riggins. And I'm fine with it.

I was a little irked by the ease with which he got his job...however, I'm okay with it because of the nice sappy ending that made me very happy. I could believe that even if he couldn't get that particular job, he could find work in NY and make a go of it.

I, too, think Tyra was believable. Has anyone else noticed that Tyra tends to do the opposite of what her mother is telling her? Last time they talked, her mother thought the cowboy was great and b/c he had money and was paying for things that Tyra shouldn't screw it up by trying to get in to college. So what did she do? Pursue college dreams. This week was the opposite...the mother told her that she couldn't rely on a cowboy and how great that she had the college interview...and what does she do? Give up on the college thing after one bad interview.

Tyra is exactly what she should be. I knew girls like this in high school, and that is real world. Personally, she is one character for whom I would like to see a sort of downer ending, because LOTS of girls end up like her. There's only so much Mrs. Taylor can do for her before Tyra has to start picking the right path all on her own.

Looking forward to the next ep. and I won't say why, but it looks like a good one!

Oh, and I saw the whole house thing with Tammy as an example of how she wishes she were like her new, rich friend, but is realizing that is not the life she chose and it is not who they are as a family. I thought it was a nice encapsulation of why they live where they live and do what they do for a living. To them, it's more about people and family than big houses and expensive stuff.

Vlada said...

how are we going to get closure on all of our many graduating seniors? This season will likely end whenever the Panthers season does, so are we going to get much of a sense of how Tyra's going to turn out, whether Saracen or Riggins get scholarships, etc.

The answer to this question is in the most recent TV Guide. But it's filled with spoilers, so I will say no more.

Andy said...

I'm really glad I discovered this blog and finally found other people who watch FNL.

Yes, while the show has its faults, I tend to forgive them because it's head and shoulders above so many other shows out there.

One thing I wanted to ask (and forgive me if this has been covered before) - a few episodes back, when Street had his emotional moment about keeping the listing price of the house, he blurted out that the baby was in a New England daycare. New England? When they already mentioned a number of times she was going to New Jersey? Did anyone else catch that?

Also, wasn't DirecTV supposed to show additional FNL programming? I remember reading about a live show following the episode where the cast would discuss the show. One week they did show a deleted scene, but that was it as far as I know.

Jen G said...

Silly me. Alan fed my "Wire" obsession--of COURSE he would fill my need for quality blogging about FNL.

I probably won't add much here to what's already been said, but I just wanted to say that I agree with whoever said the Street storyline was so well-acted it transcended plausibility. The writers obviously love these characters/actors and seem to strive to give them showcase episodes on their way out. (See: Smash.)

And I was really glad to see people weighed in on Tyra's background. That's exactly why it seems so inconsistent. These girls from small towns and poor families and poor role models really do feel like they have to get out any way they can. I wish they had kept Tyra and Julie closer. That would have kept Tyra eating dinner more often at the Taylor house.

**Re: the real estate storyline. I was puzzled by this too and then realized that they probably shot it well before the economy became such a joke. Obviously the Taylors couldn't afford that house but you do see what Tammy dreams of...

Devin said...

Can we give Landry a girlfriend all ready? I mean come on! Lesbians, dead rapists, Tyra jerking him around, Matt always ditching him for Julie and being benched on the sidelines during the big games. At least let his band get a record deal!?!

Don’t even get me started on Matt QB2!

Anonymous said...

Is NBC still planning on airing these new episodes of FNL. I read something on Wikipedia that made me think they wouldn't. Alan, pls advise.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved the small details of this show, none more so than the state of the front lawn Coach was seen watering in this episode. Comparing its current state to the lush, green lawn it was back in "I Knew You When" when school hadn't restarted was a realistic reminder of how busy their lives had become.

I didn't mind the real estate story since back in the pilot, they had Coach viewing a house with the same real estate agent(?) and Tami wanting his and hers closets. Tami's increased salary allowing her to dream a little, although not the ideal time to raise the matter again with Eric considering Mac's just had a heart attack and the play-offs are coming up. I also liked that they came to the decision together eventually, Tami learning from the mistakes of Austin.

Coach was hilarious this episode, not only in dinner scene, but also half asleep when he grumpily asked if he could turn off the light now.

Chris Littmann said...

FYI, here's the airing schedule for the rest of the season on DirecTV.

greebs said...

If Scott Porter doesn't get an Emmy nomination for this episode - and frankly, he probably won't because they'll need to give it to one of the geeks on Big Bang Theory or some such nonsense - I'll go crazy. Or, crazier.

How a show like this is in trouble, with episodes like this - and yes, it didn't make total sense but man, it floored me with Jason Street at the end in Jersey - there's very little better on TV.

J said...

How can Rigs go on such fab vacations? They've never explained where he gets his money.

R.A. Porter said...

@J, he gets his money from arbitrage. See, the writers handle his finances: one week he's dirt poor and stealing copper wire, the next he's flush. The writers use complex Credit Default Swaps to turn that income variability into large sums of liquid cash. What's amazing, is that they always manage to get him a big chunk of money right when they need to send him on the road. Weird.

An analogous process was used on Buffy the Vampire Slayer to increase or decrease Buffy's strength from week to week, depending on the difficulty of her opponents.

Karl Ruben said...

Tim got his money from a real estate sale that had been in the offing for three or four episodes. Also, he didn't steal the copper wire because he was dirt poor, he did it because he didn't want his brother to get into trouble without someone having his back - and Billy stole the wire because he wanted his fiance to have something extra for the wedding, not because of impending financial doom.

In other news, this comments section is pretty fantastic - love the thoughts on Tyra's irrationality. Even if her crashing and burning in the end would be heartbreakingly true, I still hope we get to see her head towards a future that's at least marginally better than the one she seems fated for.

Pat said...

Spot on review. I agree with pretty much everything you said.

I wish this show was on a different night!

Omagus said...

My thoughts:

* Riggins asking Street, "Why would you want to leave Texas?" Ha, that is such a typical mindset of so many of my fellow Texans.

* By the way, have we ever been told how Erin actually ended up in Dillon from New Jersey? Dallas or Houston? Sure. Austin? Makes sense. But how does a girl from the east coast wind up as a waitress in a small west Texas town?

* I know the past couple of weeks have been pretty Landry-heavy but I still missed not getting even one wisecrack from him this episode.

* If I had a best friend who would drop all things for me like Riggins, I'd trust him with my life. But goodness gracious, that guy shirks responsibility like no one else.

* The real estate plot line really didn't add anything to the episode. But I still think that it's cool just because I'm pretty sure those scenes were filmed just a few minutes from where I live.

* LOVED that scene toward the end on the practice field. More specifically, I loved the last shot of Eric Taylor surveying his domain like Mufasa looking over his pride.

Alan Sepinwall said...

But I still think that it's cool just because I'm pretty sure those scenes were filmed just a few minutes from where I live.

That reminds me of something that recently happened to me. I'd obviously seen this episode back in the fall, and when I was in Manhattan a few weeks ago with my family, we stumbled across the two-suits-for-$125 store, and I was as excited as if I had found some great historical landmark.

My only regret was that I didn't actually go in to suit up. Hell of a deal in these recessionary times.

hotdog said...

I agree with most of what everyone said, complete logic does make way for dramatic license in this and all other shows. However the real estate storyline is about the most real thing I've seen on TV in some time. How many people have had the exact same converstion as Eric and Tami did? It would have been so easy to put them in a great house like that. But most every family worries about money. Thats how it is in real life. It was refreshing to see that portrayed in a completely realistic way. Not a huge over the top production about them being poor or anything, just real honest conversations that all of us have/will had. Thats Reality TV in my book.

Omagus said...

How did you not comment on Julie stopping Matt from talking at the dinner table so she could finish making her point about him becoming a WR? Coach had a look of pure fear in his eyes because he knew that's exactly the way Mrs. Coach deals with him.

I have rewatched this about 10 times and I crack up each time. The chemistry between these actors is off the charts.

Jim said...

The idea that Eric Taylor would just shrug off Riggins's absences is a pretty big internal contradiction. Kind of like the boys flipping the Garrity house so quickly, it's not so much the external reality of the crappy economy/housing market, as it is that a slacker, a halfwit and two guys in wheelchairs could refurbish a house in three weeks enough to clear 56K in profits (anybody think that upstairs work would pass inspection?).
But those are minor quibbles really, among so many other great moments, like Matt's street audition for receiver or Riggins asking some random yuppie on the street where he got his suit. Or thinking Gypsy was The Landing Strip on Broadway

Jon Delfin said...

Also bothering me: Street and Riggins taking a taxi to Erin's house. Ka-ching. (And wasn't it mentioned at some point that she was from Connecticut? Or was that someone's slip of the tongue after New Jersey had been established?)

Elena said...

I thought they tied in the real estate thing to current events by having the agent saying it was a foreclosure. I loved Eric just about pulling his hair out, saying --I'd never sleep at night if we bought this, such a real statement, along with worries about one of them losing their job.
And it seemed to me, that Matt wanted Eric to throw the ball to him again, give him another chance, which Eric didn't do because his arm was killing him, and Matt saw it as rejection-- showed how what you think may not conform to the real reason.
And yeah, the Tyra thing may be realistic, but as a viewer its tiresome. I would rather have had her stick it out for a while, then run after him, but with limited number of episodes, I guess they compress things.

Mary Ann said...

I'll put this down as a minor quibble because I like Jason getting a happy ending, but Erin's reaction to Jason at the end seemed to come out of the blue. Noah was the result of a one-night stand, and in the brief scenes we had this season, it seemed like she cares about him and appreciates that he loves his son, but wasn't feeling like he was the guy that she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

Anonymous said...

I saw Street and Riggins the day they were filming this. Taylor Kitsch and I made eye contact on Park Avenue and I think we had a moment.

I really hope Street goes to school and gets a degree at night or something. Guy should be in college.

Until I read the blog comments, I missed that moment where Coach reacts to Julie silencing Matt and I have rarely laughed so hard at this show.

Alf said...

To Andy from November:

I grew up in Texas and honestly would have said New York and New Jersey were part of New England when I was young and hadn't gotten out of the state much. So I'd just chalk that "error" up to that.

Evie Garland said...

Though like an earlier commenter, I found the taxi thing really improbable. (Even renting a car would be cheaper than taking a taxi TO and FROM suburban NJ.) But I actually thought they did a great job with other NY aspects--the suit thing cracked me up, and having the owner come out and offer them the $200 deal was spot-on.

Beatuofa said...

I watched this episode with my fiancee, who has only started watching with me from the start of this season. She generally doesn't bat an eye at the logic of most TV shows, and even she was saying, "What? Are you KIDDING me???" during most of the Tim and Jason go to New York plotline, so you know it had to be egregiously ridiculous. That said -- as implausible as it was, I am still glad they got a happy ending for Jason, and I loved that flash back to the first episode with the "Texas forever" line.

Most of the rest though, I found pretty realistic. You generally see more athletic backup QBs moving to receiver, but it's been done before -- current Pro Bowl WR Anquan Boldin was a receiver through most of his days in college at Florida State, much like the Steelers' Hines Ward at Georgia or Jacksonville's Matt Jones at Arkansas. Matt Saracen will be the perfect scrappy white receiver who is "deceptively fast."

With Tyra -- again, totally plausible. We've seen her family background for 3 seasons now, there's very little there to suggest that she's NOT that girl who will take a phone call from her boyfriend during a college interview, who won't run after that same boyfriend when he basically tells her the odds of him staying faithful while he's on the road are slim and none. This is her, and we all probably know some girl just like her where you want to bang your head against a wall because they keep making idiot choices.

Finally, on the whole house storyline, I saw it as establishing Coach Taylor as someone who really does get to be a leader. He'd been pushed into hiring JD's QB coach as an assistant, he'd been pushed into moving Matt to WR, but they were ultimately good decisions even though they weren't really his. This time, he takes the lead on something that may be ultimately good (not putting his family into financial jeopardy) when it would have been oh-so-easy to just go along. It fits along with his character as being a pragmatist and someone who ultimately has good judgement for what battles are worth fighting and which ones are okay to step aside from.

DonBoy said...

If anything, that bit about what if "one of" the Taylors loses their jobs understates the problem. If Eric gets fired, how long do you think Tami stays principal? And if Eric does get fired, he'll be looking for a job somewhere out of town, anyway.

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in suburban New Jersey, there is no way that a NYC cab driver will drive to NJ unless a pre-negotiated price is agreed upon. My guess about $300+

KVV said...

I've just decided to buy into a theory I made up where Coach Taylor feels so guilty and bad about what happened to Jason that he is willing to let Tim go on these adventures with him (like to Mexico) as a way to deal with it. That, or Tim just calls in sick all week, which I did I high school more than once. I'm still not sure how they got to NYC and back to Dillon by what appeared to be train in time for Tim to play in the next game, but when Tim gave the whole speech about Texas forever and Street always being his best friend, well, I bawled like a girl so it hardly mattered.

As for the other leaps, like why would Jason get a $40,000 a year job for helping the agent land one client, let's say Wendell is a top five pick in the NFL draft. Last year, Matt Ryan, the top pick, signed a $72 million dollar deal. Three percent of that, which is standard agent fee, is $2.1 million dollars. Plus Jason has just given this guy's agency all kinds of credibility. I actually don't think it would be unreasonable for Jason to get a $40,000 a year job if he landed a client who brought the agency a couple million bucks, much less two.

Lastly, can I just say that while I didn't love the new house plot line, I do love that the Taylors have continued to remain an interesting and realistic portrait of a happy marriage without some contrived drama getting in the way. On The O.C., we were supposed to believe that Kirsten and Sandy were the moral center of the show, at that their relationship could triumph anything, and yet they had to struggle through near-affairs, alcoholism, Sandy's evil turn as the man running The Newport Group and having to do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY! to save the company. Chandler and Britton have the most realistic happy marriage in the history of television. They bicker a little, then tease one another, they get on each other's nerves and they ultimately resolve their problems. It's the one thing about this show that has never taken the easy sensationalistic path.

Texas Forever.

JamesG said...

As someone who lives in suburban New Jersey, there is no way that a NYC cab driver will drive to NJ unless a pre-negotiated price is agreed upon. My guess about $300+

I routinely commute between the two and it is no where near this expensive. You can get a black car for ~$125 to go as far as central NJ. Regular cabs go to Newark for $75 or less (fare is fixed). I assume the guys arrived in NYC by taking the air train from JFK to Penn Station (only $12 + subway transfer). And since both guys just received a lot of money from the house sale (relative to what they're used to, at least), I don't have an issue with all this wasted cab fare.

One thing I did notice was the lack of Lyla from this episode, and must say that less is more with her. Aside from Tyra's soap opera-ish relationship with Cash, Lyla seems to be the least entertaining part of the show this season.

I also had the same thoughts about Riggins's absense. However, is it possible that he routinely misses practice and the staff just accepts this, like they do his drinking? There have definitely been episodes this season where he was engaged in some adventure or activity that would have conflicted with practice. I know he's on thin ice after the Mexico trip, but that was for over a week (didn't he also miss a game in that span?). Maybe the coaching staff just accepts the occasional disappearance so long as he is there most of the time and brings his A game on Friday nights.

Finally, I am definitely sad to see Scott Porter leaving the show. What an amazing job in this episode. He plays Jason with such a likability and genuineness that I buy all the fortunate events -- Wendell being convinced, the agent giving him a job, Erin accepting him. In the hands of a weaker actor, any of those scenes would come across as contrived. But just as Wendell says, he really is a special guy. I'm going to miss his character.

Ken said...

For everyone quibbling with the plausibility of Street getting hired as a sports agent, I'll chime in as a real-life Harvard grad who has applied for some sports-related jobs (Street's supposed competition). Yes, it may have been a pipe dream (as was acknowledged) for Street to expect to be handed a job. But, as he showed in this episode, he will actually be 10x more valuable to the agency than the smartest, slickest, best-pedigreed law-school grad. You don't have to be that smart to write and vet a decent contract and come up with a marketing strategy, and you can always find eager sports geeks who did go to law school to do it. The much rarer skills are persuasion, negotiation, and most important, authenticity to the athletes, all of which Street has in spades. So is it realistic that he'd get a job? Maybe not. Would it actually be a great decision for the agency? Yes.

Anonymous said...

Scott Porter wrote a wonderful piece on this episode on Entertainment Weekly's blog. Here's a link.

erin said...

Thank you Anonymous--Scott Porter's blog actually brought tears to my eyes. He just captured what it is the fans love about the show. He did beautiful work with some difficult story lines. Just beautiful.

Laurie said...

Mary Ann said...
"Noah was the result of a one-night stand, and in the brief scenes we had this season, it seemed like she cares about him and appreciates that he loves his son, but wasn't feeling like he was the guy that she wants to spend the rest of her life with."

If you read Scott's EW blog, there were deleted scenes that showed how their relationship had grown over the months they had been together. Hopefully they are on the DVD.

Also Ausiello says if Direct TV does a deal with NBC for season 4 they want a season 5 too!!!!!! Hopefullly a full 22 episode season!!

Anonymous said...

Was I the only person who watched Buddy, Pa McCoy and the rest of the Panther boosters looking as starry-eyed as 10 year old girls at a Jonas Brothers concert at the sight of Wade coaching the Panthers? Maybe I'm crazy, but I had a very uneasy feeling about Coach Taylor offering him Mac's job "temporarily" - I'm not sure who I think could be in bigger trouble - Mac or Coach Taylor.