Hello everyone, and welcome to Tuesday TV. Today I’m going to be talking about the hit TV show Friday Night Lights.
Friday Night Lights was on the air from 2006-2011, and this show now holds a really dear place in my heart, and I hope yours too.
Now this show is more than just football, this is a show about relationships, and it’s a show about persevering when there are no more chances, it’s a show about teens, adults, and everyone can relate to it. I’m going to admit I was wary about watching this because it’s centered around football, but once you get past that first episode your eyes are opened and you realize, it’s way more that that. The show takes place in a tiny town of Dillon, Texas.
Let’s get to our characters:
The first season starts off roughly (not anything film wise) but it’s the home opener for the Dillon Panthers and their starter has become paralyzed due to a hit during the game. It’s Coach Taylor’s first game coaching this team, so things start off shaky. But he manages to take them to state, when others didn’t believe in the team, and even when his own team didn’t believe it. Underneath all the football you have the stories of the players, and the coaches.
Jason Street, their paralyzed starter has to learn to live his life completely different than the way he was used to. His dreams of making pro football are gone, so he’s got a lot on his plate. His girlfriend Lyla Garrity has troubles staying with him, and his best friend Tim Riggins can’t stand what has happened to his best friend. Over the course of the season the three of them try to make things work between the love triangle, and getting over crushed dreams.
This brings us to Matt Saracen, he is brought up to play starter since Jason can’t play. Matt is the shyest kid there is, and so it takes him all season to buck up and play the sport he loves so much. He also starts going out with the coach’s daughter, Julie Taylor, which does not make the coach happy, but they find their peace.
Tyra Collette also plays a bit of a major role in the first season starting off as Riggins’s girlfriend, and then breaking out to become her own person because she wants to be the first in her family to go to college. With the help of Tami Taylor (the coach’s wife, and the guidance counselor), Landry Clarke (a somewhat nerd, but a cute nerd that really grows on you as the season goes on), and her mom she starting to make that change she wants to see.
I can’t forget to talk about Brian ‘Smash’ Williams, (if we’re keeping count of how many cute/hot/adorable guys there are in this show, this brings us up to four, I’m adding Coach Taylor because he’s a hot dad, and I never mentioned but uhm yeah Tim Riggins you are mighty fineeee ha. But Tim is just a floating character the first season. He plays football, and makes out with a bunch of girls and drinks beer). Smash has to deal with being the best player he can be, and when a scout comes to see him he’s off his game, which leads him down a dark path. But with the help of the team, his good momma, he gets back on the good path.
Lastly I want to mention Buddy Garrity because he’s annoying, and disturbs a lot of plots and causes a lot of shit to go down because he’s a lying, cheating ass, but he loves himself some football.
Overall, this is longest season of the show, and I’m sad about that because it’s a really good show; it’s too good to give up on.
Season two kicks off, and our characters have all gone through some transformations. Let’s start with Landry and Tyra. Those two hook up under extremely crazy circumstances, a dead body. Now Landry wants to say he did it, which is insane, but things work out in the end. These two are on/off all season. Oh major news for Landry, he joins the Panthers this season, woo football!
Volleyball is incorporated this season, as Tami starts to coach the team, and Tyra joins (or well she is told to join the team because she’s tall), but she ends up loving it.
Brain “Smash” Williams has a big season. First off he’s dating a white girl (which isn’t the biggest deal, what is a big deal is that she’s trying to choose his life for him, she’s very controlling) and being in a small town in Texas, racism is bound to happen. White boys start to pick on his younger sister, and that gets him into a lot of trouble because he hits one of them. This hurts his college football standings, as TMU revoke their full scholarship offer. On top of that he’s suspended for three (high school) regular season games. Now he has to figure out his future.
Tim Riggins’s is still just this big football player who floats around with no real plots. He does get a brief one living with Dillon’s biggest drug dealer… that’s scary. He’s also trying his best to try and get Lyla, but she’s over him… or so we’re supposed to think.
Lyla has changed her ways, after her father left, she decided to become religious, and a Christian. Through her faith she finds her new boyfriend Chris Kennedy, although how long he’ll stay only time will tell.
Speaking of Lyla’s father, Buddy has come to terms with the divorce, and he’s really come around as a character. He was an ass before, but now he’s really grown. He’s helped get Coach Taylor get his coach job after taking another coaching job in Austin, and he’s taken a young man under his wing, Santiago.
Coach Taylor is a new dad, as Tami got pregnant at the end of last season, now they have a new baby, and a 15-year-old daughter to raise and that is not easy. The amount of drama just there is crazy. But he’s still there for his family, and his team.
Matt Saracen has his hands full with a new love, Carlotta, his grandmother’s nanny. Let’s just say, things don’t go well.
And Jacob Street, well he’s been hanging pretty low until the final episode where he finds out the girl he had a one night stand with is pregnant… when he was told he couldn’t have children, so there’s that whooper.
Season two definitely got better, and characters definitely developed. Our cuties are still cute, and the drama is still juicy and very entertaining.
Season two just kind of ends, because once season three starts it’s a whole new school year, and everything has just completely changed. Tami is now the principle of the school, it’s a new season of football, and some of our main characters become “guest stars”. Brian has gotten into college, but in an accident that we don’t see, he busts up his leg/foot and that’s left him slower than he was before. Coach Taylor takes it upon himself to help him out. After the first five episodes we don’t see Smash anymore, he never comes back 😥
This was such a heartwarming moment!
Speaking of football, Matt Saracen is in his final year so he wants to play, but he gets benched because a snooty, younger kid; J.D McCoy is a new character this season and he takes Saracen’s place. Well McCoy doesn’t have it easy, with an ass for a father. I hate when parents try to live vicariously through their children, and make them do the things they never got around to doing. It seems like the only reason McCoy was born was to play football, like his father raised him up to do this. The poor kid can’t do anything. He meets Tim Riggins and well that’s a bad influence and McCoy starts to drink, have a girl friend, and talk back to his father. His father gets so mad he beats him. That leads to the Taylor’s calling child services, and now the McCoy’s hate them.
Matt has a hard time taking care of his grandmother now that Carlotta is gone. He has to go to his deadbeat mother to get a form signed so he can get emancipated so he can become his grandmother’s guardian. He also get’s back with Julie, which I think is cute! He doesn’t want to let her go, even when he goes away to Art school in Chicago.
At first I thought they were dropping Jason’s story, but they pick it up mid-season. He’s trying to be the best father he can be. He tries buying and flipping a house, but that doesn’t work. So he goes to New York, and pretty much begs for a job (which he gets with a lot of hard work and perseverance) then he has to convince his baby momma to live with him (which doesn’t take a lot of convincing once he tells her about the job as a sports agent).
Tim Riggins is going to Saint Antonio State for college, even though he doesn’t want to. His brother Billy really convinces him he’s going. He tells him it’s for their future kids. Billy gets married to Tyra’s sister Mindy, and in the end we find out Mindy is pregnant, oh boy. Tim and Lyla are back together, I found that random. She really wants to go to college, but her father Buddy, is an ass again. He spends all her college fund on deal that goes sideways and he ends up in debt, but they are finding a way to send her to college.
Speaking of college, Trya got in to University of Texas! I know she’s fictional, but I was so happy and proud for her. She beat a lot of odds. She almost backed out of school, but then she became student body president, but then she ran away with her dumb boyfriend Cash to join his rodeo. He has a temper like nobodies business, and she has to call Mrs. Taylor to come and save her.
I should also mention her and Landry broke up at the beginning of the season, but as the season goes on they get back together yay! So she rally did make a big improvement. As much as she feels sorry for herself a lot, I really love her character; she’s probably my favourite.
Season three was a little more football intense, as they made it to state (but didn’t win) but it was still a great season!
SEASON FOUR, I don’t even know where to start, it feels so overwhelming to write about because so much happens. Season 4 is a whole different ball game. Now that there are two schools in Dhillon it’s become war. There just wasn’t enough funding for Dhillon high, so they split it up into east and west Dhillon (west being the old Dhillon, and the big Dhillon Panthers) Coach Taylor has lost his job as the coach to the Panthers, but is offered the head coach of the East Dhillon Lions. Well there isn’t really much of a team, let alone much of a field. Taylor has to try and build one up. And man over the course of the season does he make one hellva team!
Students have to move if they are in the district of East Dhillon. It’s a really big feud because east is kinda crap. Now Joe McCoy is the head coach of the Panthers and man is he a piece of work. It’s all about football for him. When he looses players due to the districts lol he looses his shit. Now he’s out to get principle Taylor sacked because she’s married to coach Taylor, this plotline is very small compared to what poor Tami has to go through later. Even Buddy leaves.
New characters arrive this season!
Let’s talk about our good ol’ characters. Matt Saracen is now is an art college in Dhillon, and he hates it. He gets this opportunity to intern with a great artist, but the artist is kinda out of his mind. After the death of his father (which sidebar omg that was so sad, Zach Gliford looking sad and angry just pulls on your heartstrings) he decides to leave Dhillon for Chicago to go to the school of his dreams. Well poor Julie because he just leaves her, and man is her break-up with him hard! I didn’t think he was even going to come back because they sent off his character well (I thought), but he comes back, which makes both Julie and Landry mad because Matt never bothered to call.
Speaking of sends offs; I think the show does a great job with them. The way they have sent off characters has been pretty nice. Brian “smash” Williams got his college scholarship, Jason Street got the girl, the baby and the dream job. Tyra got into college (although I think she has yet to make a come back). Now Matt Saracen has left 😦 (To be honest I didn’t think he was leaving, they moved him to guest star but he was in every episode pretty much of season four, and then they drop the whole plot with his dad and it’s like he can’t leave now) but they did it very well. He’s getting out of Dhillon, to start his life. He realized that he’s alive and his dad is dead so he should probably start living.
Tim just gave up on collage that very first episode. After meeting a woman at a bar, she lets him rent her trailer, and that’s where he lives most of the season. He helps coach the new East Dhillon Lions football team, and he’s helping out his brother Billy. Since Billy is going to be a father, to a beautiful baby boy, he gets himself into some illegal deals to get more cash. Obviously that was going to backfire. Tim can’t let Billy have anything to do with it because of his family, so he takes all the blame.
He also becomes really good friends with a new character Becky. I love their friendship, it’s so real, and pure.
Then there is Landry who, since Tyra has gone off to college, we are left to assume they aren’t together anymore. It seems like as soon as a character is off the show, they don’t exist anymore so for example Landry isn’t dating Tyra anymore and he’s flirting and dating with another girl. And Tim hasn’t even mentioned Lylia. Though she does come back for an episode and a half and we learn that Tim didn’t bother to keep in contact, so they pretty much broke up.
Back to Landry for a second, he becomes kicker on the Lions football team, which really helps when they finally play the Panthers. The Panthers verses the Lions game was a game that was anticipated throughout the whole season. Lord, it was such a good, nail-bitter of a scene. They really did a good job on it!
Julie is finally becoming her own person. She was always attached to Matt, but this season she broke out, went looking for colleges to go to, started attending clubs, and she got really into Habitats for Humanity. It was really good, that when Matt came back that she broke up with him, for good, so proud of her.
But with the majority of our main characters now gone, we obviously get new ones. Luke, he used to be on the Dhillon Panthers but because of the district move is sent to East Dhillon. He also used to be friends with J.D McCoy but I’m so glad he’s not anymore.
Sidenote: J.D McCoy was a new character in season three and at first I thought he was this sad boy who’s father picked on because his father lived vicariously through his son; turns out I was completely wrong, J.D McCoy is just as bad as his father and is a spoiled asshole. I thought maybe after his father beat him that he would become a nice guy and hate his father, well they can’t all be Nathan Scott’s can they?
Luke befriends Vince, now at first the two were at each other’s throats but now they are all good, and as buddy buddy as I think they’ll ever get. Vince Howard is also new, always went to East Dhillon, but now that there is a football team, he’s on it for the coach and for the love of the game. He has to deal with his mother’s drug addiction, as well, and that’s just heartbreaking
He doesn’t have the money to get her into a good rehab program so he has to go to his gang friends to earn some extra cash. This also doesn’t end well. Jess Merrieweather also always went to East Dhillon, and she has a past with Vince and clearly she hates him, but does she really, because by the end of the season she cares a lot for him. Jess’s father was a big football player when he got hurt, now the whole family is like banned from football, even though Jess and her siblings all live it. She becomes friends with Landry, until they start dating. They are a cute couple!
Becky is also new this season. In the beginning she comes off annoying, but as I stated she becomes really good friends with Tim.
Becky and Luke end up together, but not for long. She finds out she’s pregnant, and she has no idea what to do. Luke is willing to do whatever Becky wants to do. Becky turns to Tim, who then takes her to principle Taylor. This brings up the worst plotline that makes me so angry. Becky knows she can’t take care of a baby, and she knows her mother won’t let her have the baby because her mother had her at age 17. So she goes with her mom to get the abortion. Mrs. Taylor just tells her what her best options are; Becky had already made up her mind to terminate the baby.
Luke’s parents are super religious so his mother went to Becky to ask why she terminated pretty much. I don’t know what Becky said, but this caused Luke’s mother to go crazy, and she’s after principle Taylor, trying to get her fired for telling Becky to get an abortion, when she clearly didn’t. In the end Tami quits and wants to become a guidance counselor for East Dhillon. To be clear I wasn’t angry that Becky got an abortion, because I believe that every woman has the right to her own body, I’m angry because they are blaming principle Taylor for something she didn’t do, and I think that’s wrong.
After last season’s drama, we start this one with complete new ones. It’s a fresh new year, and with that comes new faces. Hastings Ruckle, played by Grey Damon, is a basketball player, but is slowly recruited to play the East Dhillon Lions. Buddy Jr. also joins the cast as he moves back in with his father, Buddy, because his mother can’t handle his behaviour. Buddy gets him straightened out, and playing football to boot.
Tim is in prison, and we see him for all of five minutes. Both Laundry and Julie are off to college. We see Laundry for all of one episode, and then he’s gone.
But we follow Julie’s character to college where she meets a boy. Not just any boy, but her TA… who is married. His wife, I don’t even know how she finds out, but she comes to campus and just slut shames Julie all over, while slapping her. Can’t say that you didn’t see it coming, it was inevitable.
But this ruins Julie for a little while, she goes home, wrecks her car, won’t leave the house, she tells her parents, who are obviously disappointed, but they try to get her on the right track, well try is the key word there.
It isn’t until Derek (the TA) shows up at her house to speak to her that she springs to action. This guy is one stupid douche. Then since he can’t speak to her at her house, he goes to her mother’s office at school to ask permission to speak to Julie, like no.
So Julie does finally meets him, and he really wants her to go back to school because she is a bright student. Once she does decide to go back, she calls him to ask if he came back to make her back to school, or to get back together with her, he says the second. At first we’re to believe she turning around to go see him, but then she goes back to MATT! 😀 The world is at peace again!
Half way through season 5 Jason Street comes back!!! He’s not only doing well, he’s looking good too! He comes back to offer coach a job in Florida, which he obviously thinks about, but in the end doesn’t take.
Vince’s father is one annoying guy. Like I understand that he wants the best for his son, but he should really let coach Taylor deal with all the college offers because he knows what’s best. He’s just talking and talking and talking, and I feel like he’s just talking out of his butt. What does he know about all of the college process? It also gets Vince in trouble because the offers that these colleges are making when he goes to these meetings that aren’t official meetings, aren’t really offers. Now it’s got all of the rest of the team in arms because they are now hating on Vince, and Vince is letting all of this get to his head. He now thinks that he’s better than the rest of the team. I’m really starting to dislike Vince, sorry Michael B. Jordan!
It isn’t until his dad starts drinking and getting into bad things again that Vince snaps out of this fantasy he has of his father, and starts to realize that his dad wants him to succeed more so for his own sake than for Vince’s. He becomes a likeable character again after this. But Vince is alone because he’s pushed everyone away, even Jess leaves him.
But the two work it out, and become friends again. I really love Jess, she overcomes obstacles, and stands up for women in a mans world, especially the world of football. She starts as an equipment manager, soon making her way to shadowing the coach because all she wants to do is be a coach herself.
Becky and Luke try to hook up again, but Becky has a hard time with it because she’s only done it once with Luke, and it resulted in a baby. It’s too bad because they are cute together. Becky then decides to try her hand at beauty pageants. But that doesn’t really work, and she ends up with Luke.
Tami gets an offer to be a dean of admissions in a college in Philadelphia, which is super exciting, and great for her career, but it doesn’t sit well with her marriage.
Tyra finally comes back for the last two episodes. I didn’t think she’d ever come back!
Let’s talk about the series finale. So for the most part it was just a music score, no dialogue. Especially for the state champion game, I didn’t care for that, I like hearing the sounds of the game.
But they win state, even though it isn’t ever said, it’s expressed through clips of everyone showing off their rings.
Matt asks Julie to marry him! Of course coach Taylor flips ha, but he needs to think about his own marriage before he can evaluate anyone else’s. I’m so happy for the two of them, and it’s so good to Grandma Saracen so happy for them.
Tami and Eric are having a hard time in their marriage. Tami obviously wants the job, but Eric doesn’t want to leave his team. He isn’t willing to sacrifice his job for hers, like she’s done for him the majourity of the years they’ve been married. I knew he would give in, but it was just really cute to actually see it.
Tyra is back and she’s with Tim because Tim got out of prison. Tim is a different person once he gets out. He’s really angry, but it takes him awhile to forgive his brother and not hate him. He contemplates moving to Alaska, but I think everyone he loves changes his mind about it.
Billy has finally got his life together as assistant coach, he and Mindy even have twins on the way! Becky moves out in the finale to be with her mom (her mom finally returns after being gone all season).
Becky and Luke stay together, and Luke joins the military because he knew he wasn’t going to school for football.
Who really knows what happened with Laundry, he came back for one scene in the finale and that was that for his character. It was still really nice to see him.
This was absolutely a great show, that I would recommend to anyone, and that I will hold dear to my heart!