Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Night Lights: South of the border...

Spoilers for the latest "Friday Night Lights" coming up just as soon as I get into a brawl...

I'm going to be a little briefer than usual, both because it's my birthday and I want to get this done, and because it's been so long since I watched the episode that, even with detailed notes, some of the impact (positive and negative) has faded.

While I continue to have major problems with the Tyra/Landry/corpse story, I want to start elsewhere, because for the moment, that's where the have bigger problems lie.

As I explained last week, I wish Katims and company had taken advantage of last season's ambiguous ending and come back with Coach having turned down the TMU job. It takes him out of the central action and turns the early episodes into one big contrivance to get him back to the Panthers sideline. And while these episodes have served as an illustration of Coach's importance to the team and his family -- who are both falling apart, violently, in his absence -- all the conflict feels artificial.

Connie Britton played the hell out of Tami's reaction to slapping her own daughter, but I admired the series much more when it could portray subtler forms of strife within the Taylor family, moments when husband and wife or parent and child argued in a way that still fundamentally showed how much they loved each other. And Saracen going so crazy with jealousy over Smash that he would actually tackle a teammate in the middle of a game feels worlds removed from the guy we knew last year, even after he started to grow a backbone late in the year.

MacGregor was written with some complexity in the first episode -- he had a point in his dressing down of Street -- but now he's just a straw man villain, there as both excuse for Eric to want to return and obstacle to that return.

All of this bickering and slapping and rasslin' -- and Magical Latina love interests and wacky Mexican road trips -- may be flashier and make for a more promotable show, but even without the murder plot, this doesn't feel like the show I loved so much last season. My only hope is that Buddy's scheme is so brilliant that the status quo is reset by the end of next week; it wouldn't solve every problem, but it would solve a number of them.

Some other thoughts:
  • Interesting how Riggins is involved in three separate stories at once: dealing with Jackie the MILF now dating his brother, having a genuine spiritual moment at Lyla's church (and then immediately perverting it into an excuse to hit on her) and taking Street on the trip to Mexico, which I hope leads to some drunken hijinks but not an actual attempt to cure the poor guy. Of course, the Jackie and Lyla stories are the reason Tim is available and interested in leaving the country with Street.
  • Smash speaks! Infrequently, but still! It's odd how the nine-month gap allowed the writers to essentially reboot both Smash and Riggins back to their personalities from the start of the series. Riggins even seems to have forgotten the period in the middle of season one when he sobered up and started playing so well, as evidenced by his "That's kind of what I'm afraid of" line about playing without booze.
  • I'm only going to say a few things about Tyra/Landry/corpse: 1)I still believe that all the stuff with Landry and his dad, and Tyra and Landry's dad (a lovely scene) could have been accomplished without the death, and nothing's happened yet to change my mind; 2)Tyra cracking a joke about killing Landry to keep him silent was possibly the most uncomfortable moment of the series; 3)Mr. Clarke's comments about the watch and the impending grandparent visit mean we're not done with this thing yet.
  • Glad to see that Kevin Rankin has time for both of Katims' shows, here as Herc, "Bionic Woman" as the resident techie.
  • I really did like the church service scene. Whether or not we're meant to take Lyla's conversion at face value or just her retreating from last year's problems, the show takes religion itself very seriously.
  • How many more episodes before Saracen and Carlotta are sleeping together? Two? Three? One?
What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Tyra cracking a joke about killing Landry to keep him silent was possibly the most uncomfortable moment of the series

Okay, I'm glad it's not just me, then. That made me so uncomfortable that it took me out of the show as I tried to figure out how they thought this subplot was playing out for the audience, how we're supposed to be feeling about it, and I still can't get a handle on it. I mean, Tami slapping Julie played more dramatically than Landry's concern -- which Tyra's practically pooh-poohing! at least in that scene -- that he'll be charged with murder.

I'm not tearing my hair out, but I'm not crazy about the season, despite some excellent moments. I keep thinking about Sports Guy Bill Simmons' rule about not being able to criticize your team for five years after it wins a championship, no matter what they do. How much slack did the first season buy FNL? I'd definitely rate it a World Series win, but you have to scale things differently for television -- you can't give them five years of slack.

I was really hoping that my only real problem would be the Tyra-Landry plot, but every week at ten o'clock I'm just so conflicted.

Kerry said...

I don't think it was jealousy that prompted Matt to tackle Smash--more like sheer fedupness from being treated like crap by everyone from Julie to MacGregor to Carlotta to Smash.

It was out of character though--all the characterizations are suffering. I mean, the Billy of last season was not the best substitute parent, but he wasn't outright callous like the Billy of tonight.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Alan!

I agree that the Ty-Landry-o-corpse storyline was not nearly as annoying during this episode, in part because the other story decisions were so grating.

As you point out, MacGregor has not turned out to be anything more than a paper thin villain. For a show that treated all of its characters, even unsympathetic ones, with at least a hint of complexity, this is particularly unsatisfying. How much more interesting would it have been if we were ambivalent about coach Taylor's triumphant return? What if they had made a more risky plot choice with the new coach, such as making the new coach a minority, as per last season's race storyline? To turn him into a screaming tyrant seems lazy and uninteresting.

I agree that Britton was amazing in her various scenes. What bothered me about the blow up in the yard was not so much Tami's slap, which felt like a genuine reaction to a situation all parents can relate to, but Julie's reaction. Rather than screaming or pouting or just stomping away in stunned silence, the writers chose to have Julie deliver a couple of groan inducing lines of dialogue in which she basically stated the premise of the whole "Dad away from home" plotline. For a show that prides itself in authenticity, this moment felt very forced and staged.

I also appreciated the cinematography and editing of the church service scene, but given how the writers have treated the characters this season, it makes me nervous. My hope is that the writers will treat religion, especially the mega-church born-again variety, with a realism and respect it deserves. If the whole religious storyline is simply a contrivance to bring Lyla and Riggins together or if the writers are seeking to paint Lyla as some sort of moral hypocrite for desiring Riggins while striving to be virtuous, then I'll be disappointed.

As for the Magical Latina, I found it ironic that a few moments after her "I am not a stereotype" speech, the writers had her humming mysterious Mexican folk songs and speaking in cliched parables. And this may be a small quip, but given that there are an abundance of Latinos in Texas who speak perfect Texan English, why did the writers decide to give the Magical Latina such a thick accent? Was it to make her more mysterious and more magical?

Unknown said...

Yes, happy birthday, Alan! :)

I read the Julie-Tami slap scene as Julie's frustration over the baby finally overflowing. The writers hinted that it was something more complex than "I'm afraid of turning into my parents" and though it's tempting to point to Coach leaving, I really think it's the baby. This is a perfectly normal reaction - I have a brother who's much younger and I was not the nicest kid after he was born.

Not crazy about Matt and the Magical Mexican Nurse, but him snapping at Smash made sense. Last season talk centered around how much Matt could take before he snapped; I think we found out. While watching, my friend and I compared the home lives of all the characters and while Tim won in the "my family sucks" department, Matt was a close second. A little more set-up would have been appreciated, but it was not out of the blue, especially given his conversation with Smash earlier in the ep.

I actually like what they're doing with Landry and Tyra. I know I'm in the minority and I don't want to try to defend my opinion. I still feel as though the writers are tackling and dismantling teen soap cliches, and I think three episodes in is still too soon to write off the show as "worse" than last season.

But I loved last season of The Office, warts and all, so what do I know.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm done. This was my wife and my favorite show. Not anymore. It is just a shell of it's former self. As a television writer, it stinks of the classic studio note: More confict!

The show simmered last year and never blew up. This year every seen is over flowing with needless conflict. It has made nearly every character quite unlikeable.

I don't think I groaned at one line all of last year, but this year I am lucky to get through one segment without a groan or two. The dialogue is horrible.

The watch? Seriously? Could "Your Grandfather is going to want to see that watch" be a hackier line?

And Landry is so upset about killing a man that he babbles a crazy line about evil to his rally girl, but two scenes before he is joking with his buddy about Grandma's new crown.

It sad. What I considered to be one of the best written shows on TV and I am out. And I'm taking as many with me as I can. I write a blog that is read by 100,000 a day. I'm about to throw this show under the bus and drive over it several times because I am so upset.

Chris Littmann said...

Happy Birthday, Alan, but I've got to totally disagree. Thought it was the strongest of the three episodes this season because it was the least tainted by the whole Tyra-Landry plot.

I'll be honest, there was such a feeling of hope as EVERYTHING was crumbling while Coach Taylor watched it all unfold.

Julie's breakup and smackdown.
The team unraveling.

He could see it, and I don't care if it was predictable, it was akin to waiting for Superman to go into the phone booth and change into costume.

Coach T returns, and I'm quite happy. All is right in my life now.

Anonymous said...

"And I'm taking as many with me as I can."

Why on Earth would you want to do this?

If the show is as self-evidently awful as you say it is, you won't have to encourage anyone to stop watching.

I totally agree that FNL has gotten off to a halting start, but I'm also detecting a lot of overreaction - as well as a lot of revisionist history. There were plenty of storyline (Voodoo and the Angry Latino Defensemen) and dialogue ("Here's to Texas...") clunkers last year, but on the whole, the show's champions were able to overlook them and point to overall excellence.

But now I see a number of those same champions who are not merely willing but apparently eager to call it a failure.*

(* Alan, I do not include you in this group.)

Anonymous said...

Another thing that would make Coach Taylor's decision to return to town more interesting would be if he were actually enjoying his new job, rather than feeling like a powerless rookie. Then he'd have to decide whether he was willing to sacrifice his own interests for the good of his family and the team.

In this episode, I actually enjoyed the fact that the only characters who seemed happy were the killers. While Tyra and Landry might have fallen for each other anyway, I do think it's possible that fear can heighten those emotions. I doubt their enjoyment will last, even till next week, but it was a nice interlude before getting back to dealing with the crime plotline itself.

Anonymous said...

Count me in the all the characters this season have somehow become a lot dumber and a lot less likable and the show as a whole a lot less complex and a whole lot less of what I used to love.

That said, I think the Landry and Tyra scenes were the best this week, and as I said last week, the way to rewrite this season to have the two of them get together without the murder is so obvious, we're actually watching it.

Instead of the murder, Tyra just shows up to practice, sees Landry get his ass handed to him by her ex, she tells him to man up, he gives the speech, and voila. We follow every other scene without the murder hanging over it.

My main problem with the show isn't that storyline though. It's how unlikeable the Julie storyline is. Last season, we knew she was just starting her rebellious faze, but she and Matt had a very sweet, easygoing chemistry between them. This season, she's a larger than life bitch hooking up with a pedophile in the school parking lot.

Jason Street is laying on the cliches super thick and acting like an emo bitch.

It's all really disheartening. Hopefully the status quo will be returned sooner than later. The season premiere of FNL had the highest ratings for the show yet, and I can guarantee that that's because of the word of mouth of the show, and the people who picked it up after seeing it on DVD (like myself). Any new fans who might be showing up because of bad promos, or ones who just joined after seeing the DVD, will be gone sooner than later because of how bad the show is now as evidenced by the big second week drop. With the way things are going, those fans that were there to begin with are starting to dwindle and cancellation might be inevitable unless this show can rebound to its former glory.

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoyed your birthday.

I can't believe how quickly this show has plummeted. I think last night's episode was the worst yet. The show has issues when my favorite storyline has to do with Buddy Garrity.

Sadly, I think the ratings will drop even further and this show will be canceled without a chance to redeem itself. It may be for the best as I don't know if I could stick it out.

dark tyler said...

Actually, I'd really prefer it getting canceled without turning good again. It's easier to pretend that the show was a one-season masterpiece a la Freaks & Geeks if it's downright sucky afterwards, but things get complicated if it's good again for the latter half of season 2 where you have to "count" all those One Tree Hill-esque plots.

I actually had the same problem with The West Wing, but at least then I could pretend that the good parts were two different shows, where in FNL that'd be impossible.

Anonymous said...

My biggest problem is how overly dramatic the changes in Julie are. I keep expecting to find out that something traumatic happened over the Summer that we haven't heard about yet, because never has a character done such a 180. And I like this character as well as the Matt/Julie relationship, so it feels very artificial. Like you said, it feels like a plot device to get Coach back. But there was no need to ruin one of the best things about the show in the process. That being said, Aimee Teegarden is doing a bang-up job with the role.

I can't stand Carlotta. So far, she's one disjointed cliche after another. And as far as how long it takes for them to hook up? I say four episodes max. And if the hook-up happens, if Swede is a pedophile, then she is a pedophile too and a hypocrite to boot. At least he knows that he's a sleazebag and isn't pretending to be some wondrous healing woman.

Otherwise, I thought this episode was better than the last two.

Anonymous said...

Pandyora, I'm guessing you missed the part where she said she was Guatamela, hence the accent. Odd, since it was in the whole "I'm not a stereotype" speech. Before you jump on the "Magical Latina" train, rewatch that segment.

Anonymous said...

"she was FROM Guatemela" is, of course, what I meant to write.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how eager everyone seems to tear the show apart. It's definitely changed from the first season, but there was no way it could have really stayed the same. They told one story, now they're telling another. It's a transition period.

For people to say that they're "done" with what used to be their "favorite show" after three episodes they disagree with is really just annoying. If ya'll are as appalled by melodramatics as you say you are... you think you'd also avoid statements about throwing the show under the proverbial bus.

genevieveyorke said...

again, i was terrified by the landry-killing-some-dude storyline when it first happened. but three shows in and i'm warming back up to the show pretty quickly, and this episode certainly helped. we've had a 9 month break from most of these characters. it shouldn't be surprising that they've changed a little bit...

i keep trying to think of more positive things to say about the show, but right now all i can think about is landry's fundamental theorem of calculus t-shirt. SO AWESOME! :D

at this point, i'd just recommend that everyone else relax and let themselves like the show. it's changing just like people change.

Anonymous said...

Alan - your support for FNL has always been breathtaking. So, expectations are always high when I read your reviews. I was disappointed to read this one, though. it read very much like someone who had seen the episode weeks ago and had trouble remembering what happened. More importantly, in my mind last night's episode played as well as just about any in the first season and yet you really only had very few and very understated compliments - the "lovely scene" between Tyra and Landry's dad. Come on, the scene was brillianty written and acted. It wasn't just "lovely". Even when Connie Britton "played the hell out of Tammi's reaction", you accompany it with a "but I liked the series more when...". Did you count the number of "buts" in your review? I'm not AT ALL suggesting you ONLY compliment the show. But what has happened to the balance in your reviews? And more importantly, what has happened to your insights? Come on, I agree the church service scene was good, but why did YOU think it played so long - what was the significance? Why instead are you focused on speculating on the weak storylines like Saracen/Carlotta and the murder?
You are brilliant at what you do and like FNL, that just sets such high expectations. I'm looking forward to those expectations being surpassed next time, as they always have been until now.
Hope you had a Happy Birthday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out the detail I missed, j1, that the Magical Latina is from Guatemala. I'm not sure how this detail makes her character anything more than a cheap stereotype or her presence in the Saracen household anything more than a romantic plot contrivance, but point taken.

In any event, my comment wasn't that the accent was unexplained by the writers, but more befuddlement at why the writers would choose to rely on her foreignness to advance the plot. If we are to believe that the Saracen household would qualify for state sponsored in home care (itself unlikely), why make it a mystical person from overseas who spouts banal one line pearls of wisdom? Is this at all realistic?

As for the show as a whole, I am not yet at the stage of Mr. Anonymous superblogger (100,000 hits!) who who has abandoned the show. I still have hope that the writers can turn things around. But compared with the first couple episodes of season one (which I recently watched on a long plane flight), this season feels uneven. Its as if the show has forgotten what was its main theme. This is not a show about unsolved murders or teen soap romances. It is about how high school football touches the lives of people in a small, rural, relatively impoverished Texas town.

If I had one succinct piece of advice to give the writers it would be to bring back the football. To be sure, this was always a show that was about more than just football games, but without football as a theme, it seems lost.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Did you count the number of "buts" in your review? I'm not AT ALL suggesting you ONLY compliment the show. But what has happened to the balance in your reviews?

The "but"s were my attempt at balance, as in, I was unhappy with the episode but was trying to point out the things in it that were good. Just reverse the order if you like.

Beyond that, though, it feels like when people ask for "balance" in reviews, they're usually asking for what you claim to not be asking for: for me to either shut up or only say nice things about the shows they like.

I really wish I was enjoying this season more, but I'm not. Sorry.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I totally agree that FNL has gotten off to a halting start, but I'm also detecting a lot of overreaction - as well as a lot of revisionist history. There were plenty of storyline (Voodoo and the Angry Latino Defensemen) and dialogue ("Here's to Texas...") clunkers last year, but on the whole, the show's champions were able to overlook them and point to overall excellence.

There were absolutely flaws in the first season. The differences betwen then and now: 1)In the first season, the weaker storylines tended to take place in isolation from each other, where here we have a bunch of problematic things (the murder, Coach in Austin, Magical Latina, etc.) happening all at once, and 2)The problems in season one tended to be matters of execution (i.e., the angry guy who got kicked off the team might have been interesting if we had been introduced to him a few episodes earlier), where here the bad storylines are flawed in their basic design. The corpse-disposal plot tonally has no place on this show. Coach in Austin is a waste of time and an artificial generator of conflict (and could have been avoided altogether without anyone complaining). Etc.

I'm not saying things can't be turned around, but the problems this year run far deeper than any issues I had with season one.

Unknown said...

I've never understood why any character on the show trusts Buddy. The man's all hat. Now you, Alan, are hoping his scheme will be brilliant? His pattern is screw-up, apologize, repeat.

afoglia said...

The murder/manslaughter storyline is not appropriate, but I think the Austin job one is. It just could have been handled better. I understand Tami being overwhelmed, and that's interesting,[*] but the new coach stuff is just an obvious waste of time until Coach Taylor returns. pandyora had some good ideas about not changing the usual character expectations[**], but just more scenes with the new coach would make him more of a person than a plot device. Instead all he needed was a long mustache to twirl when he called Street the team mascot.

I'm glad someone pointed out to Street that the stem-cell treatment in Mexico is a scam. I didn't know how seriously we were supposed to believe it last week, but real-world wise it's completely illogical. Both because the science isn't there, but also because Mexico is one of the last places research like that would be done.

Who else is expecting Landry's watch to turn up in his room?

[*] Was I the only one underwhelmed by the slap? After seeing it in last week's previews cut as much more violent.

[**] Obviously new coach couldn't actually be good nor popular or else it would be hard for Taylor to return, but if Taylor liked the Austin job, that'd be an interesting story.

Anonymous said...

I think we're all missing the real problem with Friday Night Lights this season. It's not the over-the-top storylines or the fact that the show's slice of life familiarity has been replaced with big drama, high stakes, and general television-cliche-nonsense... no, the problem is those absolutely assinine NBC recappers that air each week at the 30 minute mark reminding us of what has happened in the show we had already been watching. This drives me effing crazy.

Sometimes I'm convinced NBC is trying to drive away the few viewers it has left.

Anonymous said...

Julie breaking up with Matt felt true. Julie becoming a raging bitch to her mom seems wrong.

I know there has been some trauma in Julie's family but I think it is a little unrealistic for a girl as smart and mature as her to go off the rails like this because her mom has a baby and her dad moves temporarily away.

I had a similar situation when I was a junior in high school. It was hard on my parents but I was old enough to understand what was going on and be cool about it.

AyPNancy said...

I swear I'm watching a different show from Alan and the rest of you. I really am liking this season. Everything most people are complaining about I'm actually liking.

I didn't like Julie last year. She was too much like the perfect Stepford teen last season. I mean sure she tried to act rebellious when she was hanging out with "bad seed" Tyra but she really didn't stray far from the norm for her. She doesn't drink or do drugs or even sleep with her boyfriend. Everytime she tried to do any of those things, all she needed to do was have a heart-to-heart talk to her mom and/or dad, and presto ... she made all the right choices. What fantasy world is that? Teenages make mistakes. That is how they learn. This season she finally starts acting out and everyoneg is calling her a raging "B". I hate everyone throwing around that B word. Seriously, what's up with that? She's a teenage girl! Her dad is gone probably for the first time in her life and her mom's busy with a new baby. How the hell is she supposed to act? Maybe going out with that sleezy Swede is her way of getting attention. Maybe she's just a normal immature girl who prefers the "bad boy" to the nice guy. Maybe she's trying to find her own way in life. I guess you guys don't remember what it was like being a teenager?

And was there a single person watching the last few episodes who didn't want to smack Smash upside his head? Matt has been on the brink of exploding with everyone dumping on him and everything going on at home. I was so glad when he finally snapped! Really? You are faulting Matt for being aggressive? On this show where the whole town pretty much lives for Friday nights watching an aggressive sport? Really?

So now Carlota is going to be called the Magical Latina because she was "humming mysterious Mexican folk songs and speaking in cliched parables". Why exactly are you accusing her of being magical? And what exactly is so mysterious about her? Is it just because she's not "from around here" (a.k.a. white) like every other character on the show this season (except for Smash and his mama)? I am Latina but I'm not magical except I can say that my mom did in fact sing that very same song to me when I as a little girl and hurt myself. It goes just like she sang "Sana Sana colita de rana, si no sanas hoy sanaras manaƱa". And I don't have an accent, but I do live in Texas and know plenty of Latinos here who work in the medical profession and speak with an accent. Except I call them people ... not cliches. What exactly has Carlota done wrong except try to help out Grandma Saracen and give Matt a pep talk? Give her a chance, won't ya?

I'm even fine with Jason and his quest to get experimental surgery in Mexico. He's desperate to be back to the way he was so it's not hard to believe he would try anything. Even Herc said something like "you're right on schedule" for the "miracle" cure. It doesn't seem far-fetched to me at all.

I guess I'm not one of that anon guy's 100,000 readers, because a blog entry is not going to make me stop watching the show. It's definitely going in different directions than it did last year but I never expected it to remain exactly the same.

I would never ask Alan (or anyone else) to "either shut up or only say nice things about" FNL. But I definitely disagree with some of the comments he's making about the show this season. And I'm sorry, too, that you aren't enjoying the show this season. Because I still am, and I can sympathize with how sad I would feel if I wasn't.

Jeremy said...

I'm doubly bummed about this episode.

First, because it was one of the weakest episodes of FNL. Pretty much nothing besides the Church subplot hit the right note, and even that was just kind of OK.

Second (and more importantly), it was the first (and likely last) episode my girlfriend has ever watched with me. She could only make it through half before she declared it melodrama and left the room. The sad thing is that, for last night at least, I have to agree with her.

dark tyler said...

Nancy, I believe what you're describing is a very well made teen soap. The reason that most people are tearing the show apart is because the FNL we started watching last season wasn't a soap opera. There's been a mission statement shift somewhere between seasons, and that's more important than any specific storyline.

K J Gillenwater said...


You and I are on the same page here. I still love this show and don't see how it's gone 'downhill' since last season. Does no one remember the complaints about blasting through storylines? Street going from para/quadraplegic to playing murderball in a few short episodes? Smash's try with the steroids?

I thought Matt's fight with Smash on the field had very little to do with football, and more to do with Julie. He felt sidelined in the game, just like he did in his relationship. And the frustration and anger came out. Plus, I loved that sorrowful little look on his face when he saw Julie climb into the car with the Swede.

The mom/Julie thing rang true for me. God, are there so few women on here? This is total teenage girl territory! This is exactly what they do. You date the 'safe' guy, the nice guy, the one your parents love...and then you totally do not want that. You want the wrong guy, the guy who's too old for you, the guy who is a little dangerous and is perceived as 'cool.' And you do stay out too late, and you do dumb things, and you do get snappy with the parents.

I am loving it all. It also appears like coach will not just walk right back into his job, which means we might get more of a chance to get to know MacGregor when these two confront each other.

Did no one else see the mixed signals Tim was getting? The coach thinks he's a screw up and tries to get him to take the game seriously. When he gets pounded on the field and sent to the hospital because he is dehydrated and hungover, Buddy tells him it's not his fault! This is the adult talking here...of *course* it is his fault. Yeah, the coach might have worked him way too hard, but if he had stayed hydrated, he wouldn't have ended up in the hospital. And Buddy just gave him a pass on his stupid ass behavior.

Anonymous said...

Alan - You are absolutely right. The buts provide balance. I was just more struck by how the negatives created by the buts stunningly overwhelmed the paucity of positives. To me, at least, this seemed at odds with the quality of the episode. That said, in thinking about your portfolio of writings on FNL, there's no doubt that your last piece helped create portfolio balance. And, more importantly, please don't ever stop writing about the show - good, bad, or indifferent. What would be much worse than a one-sided review would be no review at all. There's too much history of too many terrific episodes to lead me to think that at some future juncture the show won't swoon and charm your heart again. I am curious though to know that if your benchmark changed (i.e., if you used, say, the average quality of the current stock of network dramas as the benchmark for evaluation rather than the quality of FNL's first season), would your view be that the quality of Season 2 FNL is below the average?

Colin Fast said...

@mj - Not sure what Alan's answer will be, but in my opinion FNL 2.0 is a below average network drama.

It kills me to say it, because I absolutely loved season 1. But at this point, I'm just waiting for Dan Scott to be elected Mayor of Dillon.

Anonymous said...

You know why I still believe in this show?

Coach Taylor pulls his QB aside and points out he sucks at the five-step drop.

Head coach then tells Coach Taylor to cut the lad, and Coach Tyler sees him practicing the five-step drop.

He knew, in that quick scene, he needed to go back to Dylan.

This, like most other hot shows, was bound to fall out of favor a bit. I think we all get our hopes up to much, and we're all bound to be disappointed.

I just can't stand this is on Friday nights at 9 p.m.

Unknown said...

FWIW, Matt tackling Smash happened after the game was over, not during it.

fact275 said...

Well whatever the plausibility of Julie's bitchy makeover, seeing Tami smack her was way way way overdue. Sure, she might be acting like a normal teenager, but Tami was acting as a parent should do. I could have done without the liberal handwringing over hitting a child--if anything, Tami needed to hit her again.

Anonymous said...

Well, since we both share a birthday, I figured I would chime in as well. Happy belated Birthday. I didn't get to watch on Friday - as I was enjoying my birthday - but I finally caught up today on my lunch break.

I think the Tyra/Landry plot can be pushed aside, but only if they get the rest of the show back on track. The Smash/Saracen fight was the worst scene in this shows 25? episode history. Yes, Saracen is dealing with a lot and let his emotions get the best of him, but that is just something his character would NEVER do.

Unfortunately for the show, the scenes from next week do not suggest better times ahead: Riggins getting arrested in Mexico, Coach Taylor not having a job, and the cops finding the corpse. I just hope Coach Taylor's return to Dillon will return this show to its once prominent status...