Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
Don't Forget About Friday Night Lights
2007-10-12 14:29
by Jon Weisman

It's now been a week since the big event kicking off the second season of Friday Night Lights ...

As I wrote at Season Pass last week, I was disappointed by the choice to have Landry kill the man who attempted a second time to rape Tyra. The bond between Landry and Tyra was one of the true pleasures of the first season of the show. It developed so innocently, so uniquely and so wonderfully, then got a single jolt - the first rape attempt - to bring them closer. The second, larger jolt of last week's season premiere, in my mind, was overkill.

Not that Lights has ever shied away from major plot events, but I think it's a shame we'll never know how Landry-Tyra would have evolved under conventional circumstances. And I'm dubious that this turn in the plot will attract more viewers.

That being said, I have seen the second and third episodes of the season, and given the choice the Lights producers made, they could hardly be doing any better in how they've written Landry and Tyra - or the other core characters. The show hasn't lost any of its artful stride. In particular, there's great stuff going on with the entire Taylor family, as well as Matt Saracen.

Keep tuning in, and don't be afraid to start watching if you haven't been. It's not a huge, Lost-like mystery - it won't take you too long to catch up.

(By the way, unless my mind is playing tricks on me, the weapon Landry used to kill the assailant changed over time. On the screener NBC sent out before the show's season premiere, I believe Landry used a bottle. But on the actual first episode, they showed him hitting the man twice with a pipe.)

2007-10-12 15:02:45
1.   Bob Timmermann
But who is the mysterious man who walks around with a headset on along the sideline?
2007-10-12 21:05:31
2.   Bob Timmermann
We are also awaiting the "all clear" sign on "Mad Men."
2007-10-13 07:25:47
3.   Jon Weisman
All clear.
2007-10-13 08:17:48
4.   Bob Timmermann
Is TMU ever going to play a game? I didn't know the NCAA had regional investigating boards. And didn't send the enforcement official to handle such things.
2007-10-13 08:36:50
5.   Bob Timmermann
That was one mighty fine episode of "Mad Men."

And now I will just judge every man by the room he is in.

2007-10-13 09:14:13
6.   Jon Weisman
4 - I think episodes 1 and 2 took place in August.
2007-10-13 15:05:14
Great episode last night, I cant think of another show, other than The Wire, with a larger number of intriguing characters. Of the new characters, Im curious about the hotshot running back and the new hillbilly coach, and less so about the Swede. I also thought that the way they made Ms. Taylor more vulnerable was well done. Lyla Garrity doesn't even annoy me that much anymore, maybe it's because she found Christ, or maybe because the actress who plays her took some acting lessons. Either way, its workings.

One last thing, I love how Riggins character is the moral center.
"Ive seen a lot of drunks in my day, and hes just sad." Great line, even though I probably butchered it

2007-10-13 15:07:19
8.   dzzrtRatt
To fully appreciate this episode of Mad Men, I recommend reading Roger Morris' biography of Richard Nixon. You have to wind yourself back to the mindset in which Nixon, up from poverty, is seen by some as a more admirable person than Kennedy. Don has said he sees himself in Nixon. Although it's never said explicitly, Pete is like Kennedy in Don's eyes: Impatient, entitled, flawed, unscrupulous. But to Pete, Don is even worse -- an amoral thug pretending to be an erudite person, which is how Nixon was viewed.

Don is such a great character to embody that era. He's like someone out of a Camus novel. He's attached to nothing. Even his own family he sees in two dimensions. Where will this lead him? He comes close to suggesting he's capable of murdering Pete with the line, "If your information is powerful enough to make them do what you want, what else can it make them do?"

Neither Pete nor Don "play by the rules," but between them, Don is far more dangerous. Pete lives in a world where the code is set by others. Don defines himself by his own unexpressed code. And yet he is the character we root for. Good writers can do amazing things.

2007-10-13 16:55:03
9.   Jon Weisman
8 - Great comment.
2007-10-13 19:02:21
10.   Bob Timmermann
Well, I kind of thought the creme de menthe in the water cooler was a nice touch.

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