Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday Night Lights

This show is not about football. This show is about people.

Tami Taylor, the wife of high school football coach Eric Taylor is one of the strongest wives I've seen in a long time. She never hesitates to let Eric know when she's unhappy with him, or when she thinks he's making a bad decision. And she does it without it turning passive-aggressive or weepy.

Tami takes her job as a guidance counselor seriously, and can see the impact she has on the kids. At the end of Season One, she makes the decision to stay in town even though Eric is moving on to a university job several hours away. She stands strong against Eric's objections, even when she discovers she's pregnant. She feels her work is as important as his, and while she knows that he must take the job, she feels its time for her and daughter Julie to stop following him from job to job.

This season, she faces the cost of that decision, raising the baby on her own while dealing with a restless teenage daughter. And in episode one of the new season, we see her break down from the pressure of this. My guess is she'll bounce back, but will soon have to juggle the demands of motherhood on her own, adding back in her job, as I'm guessing her mat leave policy is only a few weeks. And the tension between a married couple divided geographically is sure to build.

Meanwhile daughter Julie is pushing her own boundaries, wanting not to be the Good Girl all the time. She's tired of her Good Boy boyfriend, and wants to know "Isn't there more than this?"

Other women to watch for:

Just realized there are a lot of single moms on this show! Corrina Williams, the widowed mother of one of the star players, Smash, didn't look the other way when she found him using steroids. She is tough on him, but has kept her family together against tough odds and little money.

Tyra Collette and her mother Mindy are the women from the wrong side of the tracks. Last season, when Mindy was dumped by her married boss (Buddy Garrity) with whom she's been having an affair, she walks up to him after church and slaps him. His wife Pam leaves him too, adding another single mom to the show. These Dillon women don't mess around.

That's why I'm disappointed that in the season opener, Tyra is unable to protect herself from a man who attacked her last season and stalks her in this episode. Last season, when her mom's boyfriend hit her mom, Tyra went after him with a poker. In this episode, even after noticing that this guy is following her, and feeling spooked by sounds outside her house, she has not given herself any means of protection in case he confronts her again. This is Texas, and we've seen girls with guns in a previous episode. Or mace at least. But it's her male friend Jesse who fights on her behalf, with disastrous results.

Lyla Garrity, daughter of Buddy and Pam, has been born again over the summer before season two starts. This is a very realistic character in southern America, who I don't think we've seen as anything but a caricature before, so I'll be interested to see where they take her.

Ratings have always been an issue for this show, but for me, it's one of the absolute best shows on the air. So I urge you to watch and help keep it alive!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes, i'm a devoted fan of this show too. in fact i'll be watching it in about an hour. but i was SO disappointed with where they took Tyra and Landry, and so SOON. and on so many levels. on the other hand, i too am interested to see where they take Lila's religion, although last season i didn't care much for most of her storyline.

love mrs. taylor, hope they don't push her into an abyss.