I can't keep up with everything that's going on these days, so my informal reviews of Friday Night Lights will be even more haphazard than before, and in fact may disappear altogether if I can't make time to write about it.
That most recent episode, "Nevermind," gives an exceptionally strong episode after a couple of relatively weak ones -- relative being the operative word there, since a "bad" episode of FNL towers above the typical televised dreck out there these days. (Although, to be sure, the quality-to-dreck ratio is increasing every year, miraculously.)
There was a lot of pain and frustration in this episode, and not typical teen angst crap, either: no whining about not getting to use the car or stay out late, but real pain -- a father who can't see how his indifference is destroying his son, and real frustration -- a young man who can't do anything he used to, and has to learn to deal with that.
But balancing all the pain were the brilliant scenes with Landry and Riggins, slogging through Of Mice and Men and forging some kind of bizarre friendship on route to a B- for Riggins' oral report.
The writers are once again trying to snow us with Lyla's purity and overall goodness, in spite of her previous ruthlessness in pursuing Riggins. Has she paid enough for her transgressions? It seems that Jason will forgive her. For what it's worth, I agree with Tami's statement, "There's no shame in forgiveness," up to a point, and that point is where the person you're forgiving continues to play you for a fool. I am starting to believe that Lyla is a headcase and needs serious psychological counseling, above the level that Tami could provide. I wonder when Jason will figure it out.
Matt Saracen just breaks my heart, and I wanted to smack his father upside the head and tell him to stop undercutting his son. Matt had a done a fine job leading the team through the season to date and yet his dad still has to come up with the confidence killing "Don't go folding under the pressure now, son," spew -- which, of course, pretty much crushed Matt.
I don't believe for a minute that Matt's going to Oklahoma, so we'll just have to see how that works out. I mean, what would Landry do without Saracen? Riggins will only tolerate so much of him, after all.
There was no Smash this week, and no Tyra; didn't miss 'em, but I'll be happy to see them when they return. The Taylors continue to be the most realistic married couple on television, and the tussle over bringing out that last trash can was hysterical -- but who ever just throws their trash in loose like that? That'll get you critters for sure. That's the kind of gaffe that's beneath this show, but since it happens very rarely I'm more than willing to give it a pass.
Will Coach Taylor make it to UT as QB coach? I think that depends on whether or not NBC greenlights another season. I was beyond psyched that NBC picked up the full season this year, but whether or not they'll fund another year for an under-performer in the ratings is questionable. I'm not sure how expensive this show is to produce -- no special effects, but a huge cast and lots of locations, so I'm guessing it's pricey, and of course that factors into the decision. If they can maintain this standard and finish out this season, telling one set of complete stories, I think they will have produced some of the best television, ever.
Obviously I hope they do get picked up for another season, or seasons. But I don't want that to happen if it means morphing the show into something it so far hasn't been: a teen high school drama. For now, I'm enjoying what we have.