Serial Watcher – Friday Night Lights – 2-02

I would like to open this week’s review of Friday Night Lights with an apology to the creators. I’m sorry I doubted you last week with the dead rapist storyline. The follow up this week didn’t take up too much space, didn’t go into horror film territory and the way Landry and Tyra acted really made me feel for them. So I’m sorry FNL team, you were right, I was wrong.

And Landry and Tyra are finally moving away from the “friends zone” to the dating zone. I can’t believe it took him so long to tell her he’s in love with her, but I also can’t believe she didn’t realize it herself. There was the possibility that she was trying to ignore the obvious signals that he kept sending, in an attempt to turn him down gently, but as they kissed, this theory was shot to hell.

But as Landry and Tyra are getting closer, things are heading the other way for Julie and Matt. It was obvious last week that Julie has had enough of their relationship. She didn’t just have eyes for the Swede; she couldn’t stand Matt any more. But this is where the writers of this show shine. On any other show, a breakup like this would have easily turned the girl into a bitch. Not only is she dumping a perfectly nice guy, who’s clearly in love with her, but she’s going after a taken, older man. But not FNL. Julie is still the sweet, nice girl we’ve fallen in love with last year. She’s just confused and feeling trapped. And while Matt will need a lot of time to forgive her, we know she’s a good girl.

And as Julie’s relationship is over, things don’t look so bright for Tami. She seems to have a tough time handling the baby by herself, without Eric around to take some of the pressure off and let her get some rest. And in comes a new guy, the history teacher/interim guidance counselor. Yes, I know that nothing happened just yet, but in shows like that a new guy is like a gun on the wall. We may have to wait for the third act, but it will shoot. I just hope the writers will know how to handle it in a delicate way and not turn that into the standard “lonely woman seeks solace in the arms of another man while the husband is away” story. There was one thing, though, that didn’t really make sense Did Tami really have no other friends to call from the hospital? The Taylors have been living in Dillon for quite some time now, yet Tami has no one to call when she’s in the hospital? This was clearly a setup for the future storyline between the two, but it could have been done in a more subtle way.

The key theme for the second season of Friday Night Lights thus far has been relationship problems. Julie and Matt, the distance between Tami and Eric, The Garrities are separated and in the background but still it’s not a melodramatic tear jerker. It remains the small time drama with real characters and good stories. Now let’s just get Eric back in Dillon and all will be right with the world.

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