Friday Night Lights

Any fans who were missing their football on Friday Night Lights got a taste of it this week, as the Panthers coped with the season-suspension of Smash. But just a taste — the team scenes were more a part of a Matt Saracin-dominating plot. Yes, our good boy has gone bad, for a week anyway. He’s depressed over the departure of his live-in love Carlotta, and has looked around and realized the rest of his life pretty much stinks, too. Thus: Drinking, calling his nice art teacher a bitch, skipping school, and (need I even write this, given all those naughty things?) hanging out with the best bad-boy on TV, Tim “I always skip Wednesdays” Riggins.

This week we learned that Tim, in addition to his many other talents, really knows his way around a strip club (or whatever you call a club where the girls don’t strip but will lap-dance and will drive you to the hospital if you’ve been drinking and your car’s no good and your grandma has been admitted for falling down and bumping her head — oh, that Matty was a terrible young role model this week!).

Meanwhile, back at the Taylor household, Julie had to feign civilized behavior so that she could get mom Tami to take her to the DMV for her driver’s license. But Tami’s found a nice surrogate daughter in Tyra, who in addition to having immediately become the star of the volleyball team now seems to be having dinner over at the Taylors’ house most nights. It took dad-Coach Taylor to point out to the usually sharp but now-distracted Tami that their daughter might be jealous of the attention being paid to Tyra, but y’know what? Julie deserves to feel a little badly for a while, given how crappily she’s treated her mother most of this season.

Speaking of jealousy, Landry the Love Machine is driving girls wild right and left. Well, two of them, anyway: That sweet-smart Jean, who knows the way into her man’s head is to find him YouTube clips of Mystery Science Theater, while Tyra knows the way to his heart is to simply say, “I like you.” I’m afraid that in the all-too-realistic world that is Friday Night Lights, when a babe like Tyra says she likes you, a boy swallows his pride and moves in for the kiss. Jean, we hardly knew ye.

I cannot believe we only have one more week before new episodes run out. I loved all the bad-boy-Matt scenes — this was a rebellion waiting to happen, and now that it has, all of his scenes captured the awkward ferocity of any essentially meek, decent person goes through when he or she goes on a tear for the first time. It’s character development like this that makes Friday Night Lights so indispensable, but I’ll save the rest of my mourning for next week’s recap. In the meantime, do you think that Texas college is going to reconsider revoking Smash’s scholarship? Is another school going to come to his rescue? What other characters need emotional rescues?

Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights
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