Serial Watcher – Friday Night Lights – Episode 1-17

One of the strongest things going for Friday Night Lights is the strong characters that were developed in a relatively short time. The characters on the show aren’t just three dimensional; they’re also very believable and realistic. This was very much evident in this week’s episode, “I Think We should Have Sex”.

The episode title was delivered by Julie to Matt, and while she thought she was ready, she really wasn’t, and neither was Matt. However, more than the whole “will they/won’t they” saga, this helped define the adult Taylors’ characters more than it did for Matt and Julie.
Eric and Tammy are nice and likeable characters. I’m sure the writers were tempted to take the easy path and make them “cool” parents, like in Dawson’s Creek. Instead they chose to make them more realistic by having them be concerned and upset (to the point of mad) at the prospect of their little girl having sex with her boyfriend. While Tammy is a good guidance counselor, she seemed to forget all the professional advice when she first saw Matt at the drugstore and she acted just like any other worried mom would, not like the level headed professional she is. The same goes for Eric, but he has always been extremely protective of Julie so it was expected. As for Julie and Matt it was kinda obvious they won’t go through with it, as the whole scenario was very awkward and they aren’t the type of people who would just do it no matter what (They’re not Riggins and Tyra, after all).

And speaking of Riggins, his dad problems continue. Walt is back full time (at least when the episode starts) and their hustling pool (and drinking) together. Apparently Tim forgave him for everything and trusts him again. As someone who’s been in this situation, I can definitely understand Tim. No matter how many times my dad screwed me over or did terrible things, I always forgave him and I guess I’ll always will. Tim needs his dad around, as his brother is just not enough. When Tim found the camera and gave his dad a good kick in the ass, I applauded him, but I know that Walt will return, Tim will forgive him and get screwed, throw him out and then it will also start again. That’s the natural circle, and no matter how hard Tim tries, he won’t be able to get rid of Walt.

Someone who does seem like he’s capable of leaving the past behind him is Jason, who started the road to the national team. We have no idea how the tryouts are going, but that’s not really important right now, as the goal of this road trip is to get away from Dillon. Jason keeps his cool head and doesn’t turn into a party boy like the rest of the guys, but he still manages to unwind and make some new connections. I wonder How Lyla’s gonna react when she sees the tattoo (And more importantly, the tattoo artist), but I guess she’ll be supportive and encouraging of him no matter what he does, as she made it her life mission to just go along with everything he says or does.

While Friday Night Lights doesn’t always offer the most original storylines, it still offers one of the best written and acted drama on TV today. The focus given to the character development is an integral part of that and one of the show’s strongest suits. This week’s episode was a great example of that and a lesson in writing character-driven drama.

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