Friday Night Light’s Review: On the Outside looking In

My love affair with Friday Night Lights began in my Dorm Room a month before I left to go study abroad in China back in winter of 2007. At my school we had this semester called “Winter Term” where you take one class for about 3 ½ weeks and the rest of the time is basically meant to goof off. Usually people go abroad during this month, but since I had chosen to study abroad for an entire semester, I decided to stay on campus that month. It was a pretty relaxed month and it gave me time to catch up on some shows that I had wanted to watch in the fall but couldn’t because I was busy with classes. I had heard about Friday Night Lights and decided to give it a shot and I was instantly hooked. I fell in love with Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins. I have been loyal to this show since the very beginning and knowing that it is going to end soon breaks my heart. However, right now, that’s OK because this season, the first two episodes at least, have proven to me that this show is not going to give up, it is going to stay strong till the very end.

I love it when Coach Taylor gives me the chills (especially when it is already like 35 degrees outside and I’m already cold!) Coach doesn’t even have to say much, in fact in this episode he wrote it and when the camera showed the white board with a single word written across and then I saw the players’ reactions, I got chills. That word is “State.” Yup, that’s right; Coach Taylor believes that his boys have the power to win the Texas High School State Championships this year even though everyone else in Texas is against them.

Friday Night Lights has always been an underdog story from the very beginning. In the first season, Taylor led the Dillon Panthers to win State without their lead quarterback Jason Street; in the second season they had to prove the were winners but sadly it slipped through their hands; the third season saw them rebuild, Matt was sent back to second string replaced by a younger (douchier) boy who had star power; the fourth season saw opening of East Dillon and Coach going over there to build Lions football and it ended with the Lions beating the mighty Panthers.

This season started off with the Lions winning again, beating last years state champions but now they have to face the consequences. The second episode talked about how outsiders (the East Dillon Lions) were not supposed to win and because of that they don’t get ranked or taken seriously. It rang true for almost every storyline with our beloved characters. There was first the team, who was upset over not getting ranked and poor Luke got the brunt of it. Poor Tami couldn’t catch a break for most of the episode because she’s new and her co-workers didn’t really believe in her strategies; Julie couldn’t seem to fit in at college; and maybe its just me but I have a feeling that Vince is going to have some trouble getting into college even though he’s getting letters of intent. I feel it could go south very quickly.

However, the episode didn’t want to keep us totally depressed (as it did last season.) Instead they resolved some issues like Tami finally making a breakthrough with that trouble girl who is a foster child named Epic. Julie also starts to push boundaries by becoming friends with her History TA (seriously?? What is up with all these student-teacher storylines this year?? are they trying to make it look cool? I miss the days when the student-teacher relationship solely belonged to Pacey Witter.)

And now were back to that one powerful word “State.” Man does Coach Taylor know how to inspire his players and his audience. That is what I am going to miss most about this show. I feel like his predication might come true because it could be a fitting way to end the series. Coach gets his underdog team to state and then is offered a College coaching job again somewhere bigger and better than at TMU and all is right in the world again. I would not in the least bit be surprised if that’s how it ends and frankly I would love that ending.

Other notes:

I love Luke and hate seeing him suffer. I think he is my new Matt (though no one could EVER replace Matt…Ever!) I also like how they are rebuilding him and Becky. I bet they will have a sweet relationship. Its obvious that they need each other.

And speaking of Becky, how awesome was Mindy in this episode? I used to think that she was a selfish brat but after seeing how she yelled at Becky for coming in late and then telling her to get used to having people care about her; that was AMAZING! I was sooo proud of her and I know for a fact that Tara would be proud of her too.

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