Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Lights, "How the Other Half Lives": Copper blue

Spoilers for "Friday Night Lights" season three, episode three coming up just as soon as I quote "Finding Nemo"...

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.

So here's my question of the week: Is JD McCoy bad or is he just drawn that way?

Certainly, Joe McCoy is bad, at least within the moral framework of "Friday Night Lights." Throughout the season, but especially throughout "How the Other Half Lives," McCoy the elder is doing everything he can to force Eric into benching Matt and starting JD. By now, he has the boosters and the whole town so caught up in a fever for JD and the spread offense that no one can even recognize that poor Matt left everything out there on the field against Arnett Mead. All they want is the kid with the rocket arm, and given the weaker position Eric's been in ever since he returned from TMU, I suspect he's going to have to give the people what they want, sooner or later.

But again, are we supposed to hate JD for the fact that his dad is overbearing and obsessed with his son's success, that he has an expensive private QB coach who's also a massive douchebag (check out Wade's smirk after Saracen fumbled the ball), that events around him are pushing him into a position to take our beloved Matt's job? What, exactly, does JD want? He's said all of two or three sentences all season, and his one big moment in this episode, where he finds Matt and Julie cracking jokes about his trophy room, could be read one of two ways: either he's just as arrogant as his support system, or he's embarrassed by just how much his father dotes on his success.

The reason I'm so curious about this is in part because JD hasn't had much to do or say for such a central figure to the season, in part because how the writers perceive him (and want us to perceive him) is going to say a lot about where this story is going. Is he just Voodoo 2.0, the hotshot imported QB who will send Matt to the bench for a week or two before his cockiness proves his undoing? Or is the first building block for a hypothetical "Friday Night Lights" season four, in which all of the current high school characters will have graduated?

(And, no, they won't be able to reboot Saracen's age as easily -- relatively speaking -- as they did with Riggins and Lyla and Tyra. While it was always implied that they were seniors like Street, it was never explicitly said, whereas last season Smash pointed out that Matt would be a senior the following year.)

Now, I don't know if Jason Katims has even allowed himself to think about a fourth season -- and before anyone asks about the ratings, it's going to depend less on that than it will on how valuable DirecTV thinks the show is for getting new subscribers, and therefore how much of the budget they'd be willing to pick up next time -- but I'm almost hoping that this is what JD is here for. We saw the Voodoo story already. I think it would be a lot more interesting if JD proved to be not only a good quarterback, but a good kid -- the sort Eric would be proud to coach, in the same way he was with Street and Saracen -- because then we get back into some interesting morally grey territory that the show was afraid to enter last season. Right now, it's easy to root for Eric and for Matt to triumph against the rich meanies, but what if the meanies are right? And what if Meanie Jr. isn't so mean?

Overall, this episode did a great job of building the obvious tension on Eric and Matt, and then they capped it with one of the show's best, most intense game sequences ever. Great editing, sound design, the works. I don't know if Zach Gilford lost his voice halfway through the shoot or if he was just playing it that way, but hearing Matt sound so raw really worked. And then, just when we've been convinced that we're going to get another fairytale sports movie ending for the Panthers on Matt's brilliant scramble, he loses control of the ball and the next thing you know there are For Sale signs scattered all over Eric's lawn. (That's a detail going back at least to the Buzz Bissinger book.)

It helped that Tami is trapped in her own vice grip right now, and I suspect that the Jumbotron and JD stories are going to merge very soon, with the McCoys offering to help Tami out of her jam in exchange for a little rhythm from her husband. And what's great about this story compared to last year's Taylor marital tensions is that we're seeing glimpses of the husband and wife who really love each other at the same time we're seeing them fight, where last year it was just a lot of fighting. Connie Britton did this perfect little squint as Eric began to compliment Tami about how sexy she was, as she could tell how the conversation was going to go and yet couldn't completely hate on the man saying that. And I loved this little exchange between Eric and Tami:

"You know who I miss? I miss the coach's wife."
"You know who I can't wait to meet? The principal's husband."

Last year, I think we get the first two lines but not the "Touche."

Some other thoughts on "How the Other Half Lives":

* I didn't like tonight's Smash story at all. It's like they signed Gaius Charles for four episodes and then tried to figure out how to use him, as opposed to coming up with four episodes worth of material about the Smash. No viewer in their right mind would think Smash would actually take the Alamo Freeze job, not after Coach had spent the last two episodes building his confidence back up, so this just felt like they needed to stall for an episode before he presumably aces the Texas A&M tryout and leaves the series for good.

* After the murder and the Riggins boys stealing from Ferret Guy, I could do without the show ever getting one of its characters involved in felonies or misdemeanors for a while, but Billy begging Tim to help him steal some copper wire felt a lot more natural than the previous crime stories. And I laughed when the guard dogs just kept on running right past the truck and to freedom.

* Also funny: Lyla completely putting her foot in her mouth by laughing at Mindy's use of "Finding Nemo" dialogue for her wedding vows. It's nice to be reminded that Lyla can't always control the mean girl reflex, and that it's probaby not a good idea to let it loose in front of the woman who broke up her parents' marriage.

* Anyone who's ever read "The Tipping Point," admit it: just like Katie McCoy, you too spent the first few months after reading it going around and bragging to everyone about how you're "a connector."

* Saracen's monologue to Julie in the cafeteria may be the most we've ever heard him say in one burst, and that's not necessarily a good thing. It's the first time on the show that Zach Gilford sounded like he was from Illinois (which he is) instead of Texas; the accent just went for a grocery run in the middle of that speech.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

My expanded thoughts here: on FirstCuts.

But I wanted to sort of bounce off of a few things you said Alan (and it's funny, we said a lot of the same things, if you read mine. Clearly, I read you too much.)

To your point about how J.D. is being brought up, I had the same question: was he arrogant, or embarrassed? The coach's comment about puberty made me think he might just be awkward. I still think we're headed for an overly aggressive dad trying to live out his dreams through his son story with McCoy. Otherwise, like you said, it's Voodoo 2.0.

Couldn't agree with you any more about the Riggins boys and the trouble they get into. This felt natural though.

How great was that final two-plus minute sequence of absolutely no dialogue, but a well-shot montage with some Death Cab For Cutie (I think that was it -- any clue what song it was?)

Anyway, I'm just glad it was another episode that felt right. Speaking of, did you read the L.A. Times article where Gilford really ripped Season Two?

Anonymous said...

After the Riggins brothers storyline I was almost too afraid to read the review here. That story seemed forced to me but clearly Alan and Chris above disagree. Does Billy love Mindy *so* much that he's willing to risk his life to get enough money to make her happy? But there were so many things in this episode to love. I howled at Coach's refusal to let the free valet attendant park the car. Coach is so stubborn and so fiercely loyal that he loses rationality, though always in a believable way. I also really liked the editing of the contrast between the McCoys and just about everyone else, especially the Riggins brothers sitting on the edge of an empty pool, sipping their beers. And I was taken aback by how powerfully Gaius Charles played the reactions to Smash Mamma's advice. Nailed.

Anonymous said...

Good call, MJ. I thought the valet thing -- along with Coach's “What the hell is co-hosting? This is my BBQ.” line -- were funny moments delivered well by Chandler.

I can't speak for Alan, but the reason I felt like the theft story was authentic was he's desperate and not unlike a lot of people in small-town America (PARTICULARLY right now) and this was a crime I could see someone committing. It wasn't like they tried to rob Dillon First National. Hell, if stealing scrap metal was good enough for The Wire, it's good enough for FNL, right?

Pitrone said...

OK Alan, nowhere NEAR as insightful as yours, and a throwback. I thought you'd get a kick out of it.

Anonymous said...

who has direct tv??

Anonymous said...

@chris: even you admitted to "rolling your eyes" at the Riggins boys antics. I did exactly that and at the time I wasn't sure if it was because I was uneasy about the storyline's authenticity or if it was because I feared the show would cop the same, in my view, unfair flack that it did last season for the murder & drug-dealing plots. I'm ok with it now.

On directv they were showing a Simple Minds concert right after the FNL episode - did they cancel the "Live from Dillon" show?

Also, not to brag but I got 5/5 on the FNL trivia at directv. The questions are hard. Who even remembers how Coach reacted to what Reyes did? For those of you out there with directv, please play the trivia - I venture to guess that the number of trivia players provides a metric that the Directv execs will care about when making a decision about whether to renew for Season 4.

Anonymous said...

@mj: I was watching on a screener DVD, but I had set the DirecTV DVR in my office to record Live From Dillon last night, and I don't see it this morning, however, I do see a recording set up for Friday. I know it was supposed to air immediately after the show, but keep in mind the show ends earlier now without commercials, and the DirecTV guide had Live From Dillon down for 10 p.m.

Unknown said...

Live from Dillon was postponed because of technical difficulties. It should be on next week.

Anonymous said...

I just spoke at length with Ann, who is a supervisor at directv. "Live from Dillon" was due to air at 10pmEST and 1amEST last night but was cancelled "due to technical difficulties". She was unsure if this is a permanent issue or a once-off problem. I suggested it was false advertising, particularly for those who shelled out big bucks to switch to directv for extras like Live from Dillon that NBC won't be offering in the Spring but, frankly, Ann didn't seem like she cared whether I would report directv to the consumer protection authorities.
also forgot to respond to Alan's question of the week: I think JD McCoy is being drawn up as a bad guy so far. I love the ambiguity though and the way the JD McCoy character is being trickled into the lives of the known characters.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of the same questions about JD--honestly, I thought he seemed a bit embarrassed, and what was he doing off in a room in his big house anyway? Hiding, I presume.

I think they're missing a big opportunity in not bringing in some of Lyla's history with Street. Every time Buddy gets on her case and one of them doesn't compare Tim to Jason it feels forced to me. Jason was supposed to be the big love of her life and was clearly a regular player in the Garrity family dynamics and Buddy doesn't even throw that back at her? Or she doesn't at him? It's just weird.

Anonymous said...

That was Death Cab, and I loved that montage as well. Song title is Bixby Canyon Bridge off of Narrow Stairs. For anyone out there with an iphone, I highly recommend downloading the Shazam app. Great for stuff like this.


Anonymous said...

@Rachel -- On Street being the love of Lyla's life: In my head, I don't think it's that unusual to see her sort of let go of that notion for two reasons. For one, she's in HS. How many HS girls think they're in love, only to realize they were horribly misguided? And two, it seemed liked there was a sort of special, crystalizing "we're done" moment when she caught him with the mother-to-be of his love child in the car making out.

Anonymous said...

@Janlew -- Thanks for the song title! Adding it to my MP3 player on Rhapsody.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you're welcome.
Forgot to post my other thoughts. I got more of an embarrassed vibe off of JD than arrogant in that scene with Matt and Julie. Also, I've got to echo Rachel here, I was waiting for Buddy to compare Tim to Street when they were driving to the barbecue in the truck.

Am loving this season, it really feels so much like the first. I'm also going to really miss Momma Smash.

Dottie Day said...

So glad I found this blog. FNL is my favorite show - I feel an ownership in it. But I feel like I missed a few episodes, so maybe you guys can help me out. What happened to Reyes? Jason? and Lyla's "born again" Chris(tian)? Or, do we just start fresh with Season 3 and figure those characters are gone just like people leave real towns? Is Jason ever going to re-appear? And, IMHO, JD McCoy was trying to tell Julie and Matt that he's a victim of his father's ambitions. Clear eyes, full hearts.

Unknown said...

Re: the JD Question.

Perhaps its my eternal optimism, but the fact that tonight was the first time we actually heard him honestly speak would tend to make me think that he's being groomed for something a bit bigger.

Turning him into another Voodoo doesn't make any sense, because the show is finally returning to a sense of the politics of high school football and their impact on families, on teenagers, and on this community. The Boosters are challenging Tami's authority, the McCoys are challenging Eric's authority, but the real victims are the players themselves: for Matt to be portrayed as an innocent victim and JD as a ruthless contributor doesn't feel at all in line with the show's renewed sense of self.

Instead, it makes more sense to place JD as someone who, like Matt, has been damaged through this process. Coach is right, as you note, that he's just reaching puberty, and clearly doesn't have a sense of the social dynamic that drives the Panthers. I really want the show to, eventually, dig into the player dynamics a bit more: we're missing the locker room scenes, still, even if we're returning to the football. The scene in this week's episode was visceral, but it lacked the depth that will shed more light on JD's future, in particular.

Overall, though, a very strong episode: I bought the Riggins side of the equation, even if it felt like a sendoff for the brothers' dynamic before they send Billy and Mindy off on a honeymoon for the rest of the season to save money, and while Smash's storyline was a bit of a non-starter I will take any Liz Mikel that I can get.

And, this episode also proves that our memories of Season Two would be infinitely better if Matt and Julie had stayed friends - Gilford and Teegarden have this very quiet but infectious chemistry that just feels right.

Sister T said...

I guess the Smash story line was a little rushed but I felt MamaSmash's speech at the end applied to Matt Saracen and Coach Taylor as well and it added a resonant theme to the episode for me. Sometimes you do everything right and you don't end up where you want to be but you keep going and you lean on those you've got meanwhile. Smash fights for a scholarship. Saracen leaves it all on the field for a loss. Coach puts his faith in his player (and system) and it doesn't succeed to the degree he needed. End of the night Mama's there for Smash, Julie's there for Matt, Mrs. Coach is there for Coach.

So it was the Tim and Billy story line that felt discordant to me at the end since it didn't fit neatly into the MamaSmash speech. Though, now that I think about it, a perversion of the MamaSmash theme---having the Riggins Boys always doing something wrong to achieve something right and being there to support each other in the end speaks to a relevant---speaks to the untidy quirks of human nature this show sometimes reveals.

So yeah, I pretty much liked all of it.

Anonymous said...

Sugar reference in the title, Alan? Love that album.

R.A. Porter said...

Coming late to the party. The debate and other stuff delayed my FNL fix.

My answer to the JD question is...

His snide reaction to Matt and Julie had about 17 levels to it. He mocked his parents, mocked himself, told Matt to go f*** himself, and said how very much he hated living in Dillon with one joke about a bronzed diaper. Have I mentioned how much I like Jeremy Sumpter yet? Because this is what I’ve been waiting for: the writers to let him loose.

I can't believe Katims hired another talented, charismatic actor just to do Voodoo 2.0. And I have to believe that because he's a freshman that they're planning for the future.

The rest of my slightly disjoint thoughts - including my feelings on Billy Riggins, are right here.

Anonymous said...

Who has comcast Cable? Where and where is the show airing now that it is not on the National Stations?

Alanna said...

One thing really bothering me is Matt Saracen's apparent lack of any college plans whatsoever. Of all the characters, he's the one most likely to genuinely want to go to college, even if it's for academics instead of football. He's a solid QB who led his team to the state championship as a sophomore, but no attention from the scouts? I know the show can't do this arc for all the characters - and Tim's has that classic redemption arc appeal - but if college isn't in the cards for Matt, I'd like for the show to at least acknowledge that.

I think it would be a lot more interesting if JD proved to be not only a good quarterback, but a good kid -- the sort Eric would be proud to coach, in the same way he was with Street and Saracen -- because then we get back into some interesting morally grey territory that the show was afraid to enter last season.

I'd really like that type of arc, and I suspect JD is a genuinely good kid. The tricky part for Coach is that it would require him to eat crow, and he's already too set against Joe McCoy to really give the kid an honest chance. If he does as I suspect he will, then I look forward to watching it play out.

I still don't buy that even the football-obsessed McCoys would pull up stakes and buy a house in Dillon just to work with a coach that they apparently haven't even met yet. That said, I've always loved the class warfare aspect of FNL, so I'm glad to see it coming to the fore this season.

And god, I hope things work out well for Smash next week. Yeah, it's 99% likely, but then I remember how FNL likes to screw with expectations.

Joan said...

I think you're selling Taylor short by saying he can't give JD an honest look. The kid's a freshman! Who gives a freshman QB1, no matter how good he is? Saracen has been QB1 for two years, and they're going to chuck him during his senior year? QB1 is about leadership and they haven't shown enough of Saracen filling that role, but the implication is that it's his team. JD is still a stranger to them all, barely integrated. Yeah, he can come off the bench for a few plays, but the only way he gets to be QB1 is if Saracen gets hurt. (That would suck, btw.)

I think they're doing a good job this year. Lila's creeping me out, though, because it seems to me she has transferred all her Jason-centric dreams to Riggins, and Tim just doesn't fit that mold. Also, it does seem odd that Buddy hasn't told Riggins that he's no Jason Street -- it just seems like the most obvious thing he'd say. We all know he's thinking it, hell, Riggins knows he's thinking it. The question is, of course, is Lila thinking it? She must be, because why else would she be trying to turn Riggins in to Street 2.0?

Last: How could anyone not laugh at hearing Mindy's wedding vows, recognizing where they came from? She unironically cast herself in the role of Ellen Degeneres' Dory, the brain-damaged fish with no short-term memory. Oy.

Anonymous said...

The credits gave JD's quarterback coach a famous last name:


His full name was Wade listed as Aikman. And due to the flourishes like this, I vote that JD is a good kid whose Dad tries to live vicariously thru him.

Anonymous said...

The credits gave JD's quarterback coach a famous last name:


His full name was listed as Wade Aikman. And due to the flourishes like this, I vote that JD is a good kid whose Dad tries to live vicariously thru him.

Anonymous said...

we just got around to watching the ep so, here goes:

So here's my question of the week: Is JD McCoy bad or is he just drawn that way?

LMAO Alan, I love that Jessica Rabbit quote! To answer your question, I think it's a setup. I hope it is, and not a retread of the Voodoo storyline. A kid like that, only child with some promise would either be a spoiled brat -- in which case I think Katims et al would've already shown him as a player with the girls, wearing fancy clothes/bling like his mom, etc -- or a kid who's trying to not disappoint and just on the edge of rebelling. So I'm hoping we're gonna see this kid's character evolve into a flawed kid who needs the coach's fathering as much as Smash, Riggins & Matt do. And the tension that'd ensue between the McCoy dad and the dad in the locker room.

Hubby protested and said there's no way a father would up and move his family so his kid would have a specific coach, only to then question that coach's methods. I never did sports, so I dunno about that but I've seen overbearing/overachieving parents do it to teachers & professors, so why not a coach?

I've always loved the Taylors' married relationship, so I'm enjoying the challenges they're facing this year. And while last year was tiresome in the amount of fighting they seemed to be engaged in, I didn't find it unrealistic, given all the stresses they were dealing with, most especially an angry teen and a baby. Having gone through that recently, I can honestly say that it's easy for the spouses to get into survivalist mode and just scramble trying to keep their marriage from imploding.

Since I have a son in sports, my heart ached for Matt during his outburst when he said that it was easy for JD to throw his [remarkably long] pass because it was during practice, he didn't have anyone running at him or the pressure of winning a game on his shoulders. I wanted to hug him. I also agree that it's great to see him w/ Julie again because the chemistry between those two is perfect for a high school couple.

I agree w/ dottie: WRITERS, we need some blanks filled, please! Like, is Lyla living with her dad now?

So it was the Tim and Billy story line that felt discordant to me at the end since it didn't fit neatly into the MamaSmash speech. Though, now that I think about it, a perversion of the MamaSmash theme---having the Riggins Boys always doing something wrong to achieve something right and being there to support each other in the end speaks to a relevant---speaks to the untidy quirks of human nature this show sometimes reveals.
agreed! Tim is such a likable anti-hero, and Lyla's expectations & demands are more likely to crush him than to lift him up.

Coach is so stubborn and so fiercely loyal that he loses rationality, though always in a believable way. I also really liked the editing of the contrast between the McCoys and just about everyone else, especially the Riggins brothers sitting on the edge of an empty pool, sipping their beers. And I was taken aback by how powerfully Gaius Charles played the reactions to Smash Mamma's advice.
yep, yep, and yep... totally agree.

One last note, for the female fans: is it just me or is Kyle Chandler looking better this season that last? I apparently commented on it one too many times during each of his scenes in the last ep until hubby exclaimed "what, is he getting better looking by the second?"

Anonymous said...

On the Riggins brothers theft:

I think the Riggin's and Billy's theft really felt authentic because of Billy's desperation. Billy's "plan" to have a second chance reminded me of Bubbles' weak plan to get clean in season one of the wire (It wouldn't be an Alan blog if someone wasn't thinking of the Wire). Even if he succeeds with this copper wire heist, Billy is probably only going to have that money for a short term, and he'll probably still be trapped without a lot of options. The lack of planning for the future just felt really authentic to me.

Anonymous said...

Another solid episode that soared at time. I agree, Alan, the game itself was really well done. That final play got my heart racing just like a real game! Poor Matt. He really left it all on the field.

I didn't like tonight's Smash story at all.

For me, it was saved by Mama Smash's speech. I loved that she put Smash back in his place -- *I* am the parent and will take care of you and do not expect you to provide for me. I expect you to get an education.

I like the slow burn we're getting on JD. It seems like everyone is talking about him so we think we know what he's about, but we don't really.

Really loved the line you pointed out, Alan. I was going to quote it if you didn't!

Anonymous said...

I just find it hard to believe that the fans c=would turn on coach and leave For Sale signs in his front yard. He is two years removed from a state championship and a playoff appearance last year.

Rob said...

What I don't understand is how anyone could blame the loss on Matt, where was the D?
While they didn't show the score, every Dillon drive was a war getting into the end zone and while the Dillon d-backs were barely in the frame every time they gave up a TD.

Beatuofa said...

I also like how ambiguious JD himself is -- clearly we're supposed to be rooting against dad, but we really don't know what the son is about yet. It even extended to some of the quick cuts we saw before and during the game, where JD looked anxious and nervous about playing a big rival for Dillon, but also a little bit excited every time Matt took an extra second to peel himself off the turf. It'll be interesting to see how things play out.

For the Riggins boys, I thought that storyline was totally believable. We've already seen them turn to crime in dealing with the creepy meth lab guy, and their moral compass is so clearly out of whack that it makes sense for them to go back to it in order to go straight rather than just put their considerable energies into *actually going straight.*

Anonymous said...

People who only talk about FNL episodes in terms of whether the mechanics of the football games are realistic or not are this show's equivalent of the people who only watched the Sopranos to see who was going to whacked.

Anonymous said...

The Riggins boys would have had a much easier time with the copper wire if they'd have brought Johnny and Bubbles along help...

Zac F. said...

While it's obvious that Joe McCoy is an obsessed parents, I haven't seen enough of J.D. to gauge whether he's the same or not. The scene with Matt and Julie in the trophy room could go either way.

Excellent job by the crew filming and editing the final run by Matt. Due to the angles and editing, I couldn't tell whether he got across the goal line or not.

I too laughed when the guard dogs just kept on running.

Have we seen the Riggins' pool before. I don't recall seeing it on the show before.

I knew that when the Alamo Freeze owner offered Smash the regional job, he would seriously consider it since he's still unsure of himself as far as making it in college football. Mama Smash setting him right was awesome.

Unknown said...

The for sale signs don't surprise me, this (devil) town is VICIOUS when they don't get their way when they want it right this second. Hell, they act like that every time there's a loss, and you know they don't remember state championship 2 years ago when they lost last year. And between JD and the Jumbotron Coach's name was mostly mud anyway at this second in time.

I will vote that JD was just trying to make fun of himself in that scene. I suspect he isn't a bad kid, just caught up in Svengali's (that's what I call his dad) plans. It'd make for a better show for JD not to be a villain sort. Especially since his parents were gloating so conspicuously in the crowd. There's villains for ya.

They did explain that Lyla is living with her dad now (ep 1) because her mom got married and moved.

I am happy to see a Julie/Matt reunion in the works, at least. Poor guy needs one break/person on his side.

Finding Nemo was great. The Riggins Boys' Life of Crime was not my favorite, but not nearly as bad as last season. I felt sorry for Tim when Billy turned up the guiltworks.

I thought it was reasonable to bring up the possibility of a "normal" non-football life for Smash. If he couldn't play at all, that'd be an awesome deal. (I'm thinking of "Lie To Me" and that basketball player who took the bribe because arthritis was going to kill his career before pro and this was *all* the money he was ever gonna get. Sorry, Alan, I think I liked it better than most people.) If I were Smash I'd at least put that "on hold" until after my tryout to see if that would still go.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this show is about a lot more than football, but....

This team is Dillon's nemesis, that even Jason Street couldn't handle, and everybody's dumping on Matt for keeping it within three, with lousy officiating? I think that last call was supposed to be a bad one, as well as the late hit(s). I can see the For Sale signs, since people are still pissed at Eric for leaving for TMU, and Tammy about the Jumbotron.

The empty pool is a great metaphor for the Riggins family. Papa Riggins had a good job long enough to put it in twenty years ago (have they ever said what happened to Mama Riggins?). Billy and Mindy are fantastic comic relief. I love the way Mindy calls Lyla "Geraghty" like she's still in (junior) high school. Did Tyra's mom break up Buddy's marriage? Weren't they already separated? And who was it who walked in on Buddy and the Mom? Lyla or Tyra?

Also waiting for Lyla to turn to her father and remind him that he is also a boozing womanizer who shouldn't be trusted.

Jennifer Boudinot said...

I just heard that NBC is running an hour-long Office ep after the Super Bowl, which makes me realize just how much NBC doesn't care about making this show a hit.

So I think you're definitely right on its renewal being contingent upon Direct TV. Any news on that front?

Joe said...

That scene between Mama Smash and Smash at the end of the ep is why this show is so good. Period. End of sentence. Good night.

Anonymous said...

There are lot of ways to get into it.