By Ken Tucker
Updated October 09, 2008 at 03:00 PM EDT

For those of you who are enjoying ‘Friday night Lights’ on Direct TV (and for those who just can’t wait until ‘FNL’ airs on NBC in January), we’ve decided to help satisfy your craving. If you’re perfectly happy waiting, don’t follow the jump.

Week two of Friday Night Lights on Direct TV 101, and (once again, I warn you: Spoiler Alert!)…

My big question is: What was Tyra — or the show’s writing staff — thinking? One remark from her blowsy mom and a nod of encouragement from herloose sister, and our thoughtful, college-minded girl was suddenlygetting female pals to shake their barely covered groove things onschool property in an attempt to drum up school-election votes? Andthen she acted surprised when Principal Tami was angry with her? Is thischaracter losing the level-headed intelligence that has made her sointriguing in past seasons? I know, I know — even smart teens act alittle crazy sometimes. So I’ll shrug and ascribe it to silliness…fornow. Besides, Tyra redeemed herself in the brief but extremely funny scenenear the end of the hour, when she was so brilliantly sarcastic while lollingaround the Riggins household, waiting for her sister to finish (as sheso tartly put it) “humping” Tim’s brother in a nearby bedroom.

As for the episode’s other subplots:
• It was great to see Deadwood’sKim Dickens as Matt’s long-gone mom; his quest to attain “emancipatedteen” legal status is setting up an emotional storyline about the careof his grandmother, and Friday Night Lights knows how to deal with subjects like this with minimal sentimentality and maximum effectiveness.
• “Suck it up — that’s what being a man is.” Thus spake Coach Eric to agrimacing Smash, struggling to overcome the fear that his knee mightblow out again. I like the acting in all these Coach-Smash scenes, butknowing that they’re just setups leading to Gaius Charles’ exit fromthe show lessen their intensity. I keep thinking, “This guy’s off to domovies and other TV shows; best of luck to him.”
• Tami Vs. The Jumbotron: Well, this storyline is barreling alongnicely, don’t you think? Connie Britton excels at playing stressed-outyet tuned-in — her Tami is never more focused than when under attack. Thefact that this Jumbotron boondoggle is being forced upon her by a veryaggressive, devious Buddy Garrity (let’s hear it for Buddy getting hiswily business-mojo back again this season!) only makes this showdownmore impressive. And if I was a betting man, I’d say Tami is going tolose this fight, and maybe even get busted back down to guidancecounselor. What do you think?

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