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Friday, 23 of April of 2021

Tag » Friday Night Lights

Podcast 008: Hope Dies Last with TV Fans

Podcast 006: Noel: UNLEASHED!

“Are you uncomfortable with emotions, Noel?”

Much like the Force and those pesky dogs at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market coddled by their people-aggressive owners, Noel got a little unleashed here at about the 1:04:07 mark. Sure, we talk about other stuff like the Golden Globe/SAG award nominations, some TV for this week, and the mid-season series hitting the networks next month but we like it when Noel has a chance to go off on the mockumentary style (which has been committed to the public record earlier) because it’s so rare to see (or hear even) Noel get all up in arms.

So listen to the other stuff, too, because it’s good (despite Matt not being able to hang with us) but prepare to crack a smile just past the hour mark.

Running Time: 69 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • Golden Globes/SAG Award Nominations: 0:00:43
    • Neil Patrick Harris: 0:19:01
  • The Good Wife: 0:21:31
  • Psych: 0:33:56
  • Mid-Season Shows
    • FX: 0:40:14
    • NBC: 0:43:43
    • FOX: 0:55:48
    • ABC: 0:58:29
    • Showtime: 1:01:11

Friday Night Lights – “In the Bag”

Oh, dear, are we witnessing the return of "Annoying Julie"?

“This has been a strange week.”

When Tami makes this comment to Coach Taylor as they sit at a table staring at a gun, you understand that this year at East Dillon is challenging the Taylors in new ways. In general, though, this was a week of baby steps on Friday Night Lights. Landry and Vince make strong choices about their future, but other characters, like Julie and Becky, simply struggle to get by. Considering the number of subplots at play this season, it is impressive that each storyline continues to hold my attention—even the second time through. These characters—most of them—are just darn likeable. Or at least darn identifiable, which may be worth more.

I’ve read some criticism of this season of Friday Night Lights for its rather naïve depiction of race relations in Dillon. In particular, the program’s handling of Vince and his struggle against the negative influences of his neighborhood buddies has drawn the fire of some critics who feel that the show simply misses the mark when it tries to go “ghetto.” Can’t help wondering what the critics who write these critiques know about the ghetto (aside from The Wire), but that’s a discussion for another day. On Friday’s episode, I thought the growing relationship between Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and Vince (Michael B. Jordan) was the best thing about the episode.

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Friday Night Lights – “Stay”

Hottie and Even Hotter

Friday Night Lights juggled a lot of balls in the air this week. Though the common theme was learning to accept the departure of a loved one, the episode also managed to include some male bonding between Luke and Vince, Landry being awkward (and therefore awesome), and, of course, an inspirational football game. Though it took me a half hour to pull together all the various pieces of the episode into a coherent whole, its common thread demonstrates the care of the writers in developing this season.

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Friday Night Lights – “The Son”

The recent episode of Friday Night Lights, entitled “The Son,” begins with Matt Saracen watching an old video of his father sending a holiday message to his American family from his base in Iraq. His father wears a Santa hat but speaks with such stoicism that the gesture conveys awkwardness instead of humor. His speech is a bit halted, but more from discomfort with addressing his family than from emotion. Based on previous episodes, fans are familiar with Henry Saracen’s inability to connect with his son. But because of the perfect execution of this short holiday message, new viewers, too, would understand with equal clarity the enigma that Matt studies as he repeatedly plays this video.

This episode of Friday Night Lights has been critically acclaimed. Featuring a grieving Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) struggling to come to terms with the death of his many-years-absent soldier father, the program spotlights the depth of Gilford’s performance, the classically underwritten style of the program’s best scripts, and the right amount of poignancy mixed with patriotism.  Gilford has long been a key player in FNL for his believable performance of a teenager—easily capturing a mix of youthful naïveté and awkward sincerity. In this particular episode, he demonstrates a facility with the more adult emotions of anger and horror. Read more »

Friday Night Lights – “A Sort of Homecoming”

Buddy’s here!”

The best marriage on TV? Probably.

Those two words convey the delight of Friday Night Lights‘ most recent episode, “A Sort of Homecoming.” Despite the fact that it ventures into challenging territory by contemplating race, religion, and sex, it is often the smallest of moments that offer satisfaction. In the scene referenced above, Coach Taylor unintentionally crosses the economic and racial barriers that exist in Dillon, Texas, and finds himself at an impasse in his goal to build team spirit for East Dillon High School. Then, Buddy Garrity enters the room and suddenly those barriers disappear in a spontaneous eruption of nostalgia for the great football moments of a Dillon long past.

I’ve already watched the entirety of this season—and to be honest, I was initially hesitant to jump back in–would I be bored?  Would the season hold up?  It only took ten minutes, and I was hooked all over again.  Read more »