Monday, January 28, 2008

Friday Night Lights: January Episodes
If you're not watching Friday Night Lights yet, I urge you to start. The writer's strike is turning the television schedule into mush, season 1 of FNL is out on DVD... it's the perfect time to pick up the show. And despite what some people said at the outset of the season, season 2 is brilliant. I LOVE this show. It's one of those shows where, whenever it ends, I drop my head and yell, "NOOOO!" I wish each episode were 3 hours long.

Poor Tim Riggins. The show's hottie has been through hell and back this season. A couple of weeks ago he was living at Coach's house (much to the delight of Tami's sister) and when he accompanied Julie to a party and got her away from a leering teenager and carried her home, putting her drunken body to bed so her parents might not find out, he was caught by Coach, who immediately assumed the worst, and forced him out of the house, to a barrage of insults. When Eric realized what had really happened, it took every ounce of strength he had to go to the Riggins house and apologize, and he had to swallow a hell of a lot of pride to do it (if anyone could, it's the coach). Then Riggins realized that he loved Lyla and showed up at the Christian radio station, only to see her snogging her co-host. My heart went out to him. And then, this week, he finally invites her over and declares his love for her. Rather than let him down gently, she storms out, tells him she doesn't love him and that he needs to move on. As Bart said on an episode of The Simpsons, if you slow the scene right down, you can actually see the moment where his heart breaks. Uh, Lyla? Do you reallly consider THAT to be Christian behaviour? The sad thing about Tim is, he's hot as hell, but he's a disaster. Anyone who would be with him also has to be with all of his problems. And they are many. Poor Tim. I just want him to be happy. Hmm.... Julie maybe? ;)

In last week's episode, Tami had to put Gracie into daycare. The baby must be three months old, if that. It was one of the hardest things I've watched on television. I seriously felt like something heavy was sitting on my chest. I don't know how you American women do it, with 6 weeks' maternity leave, but my heart goes out to all of you. In Canada, we get a year, and they're currently reviewing the option, considering an extension to 18 months (of course, women can choose not to take the full year). Part of me really wanted Tami to decide not to keep her job, but that wouldn't be like her. This week, she began coaching the women's volleyball team (the scene where Tyra learns to spike the ball by picturing it as Tim Riggins' head was pretty funny) and it would appear Julie's getting a little jealous. This will probably blow up by next week.

In the past few weeks I've gained a new respect for Buddy. Sure, he was a sleazebag to his wife, and for that he'll always remain kinda scuzzy, but I think he has a big heart. He's been amazing to Santiago. I loved last week when he thought of removing his prized possessions, then thought better of it, and when he saw a bruised a bloody Santiago and knew the watch was missing, all he cared about was Santiago, not that gold watch. This week he hires Jason, and Jason finds out what it's like when the rest of the staff looks at you like some charity case. He was great selling that car to the looky-loo, and Buddy's face when Jason announces he has a buyer was priceless.

Landry's met a new gal this week, and I LOVE her. She's cute, hip, and when she had the nerve to just walk up to him surrounded by his fellow footballers (by the way, does anyone REALLY buy that he would have made it onto the football team? I liked him better as a mathlete) and hand him a mixed CD and then cheerfully walk away. Tyra's giving him some 'tude, but she's the one who dumped HIM, so she's not really in a position to do so.

Smash is in trouble because he sneaked out of Momma's house last week and met Noelle at a movie theatre while pretending to take his little sister to the film. By sticking his sister in a row where she could be heckled by a group of redneck jocks, he ended up punching one of them before ushering the women out and racing back home, and now he lives with the guilt of what he put his sister through. Now that Momma knows (as I've said before, I LOVE Momma), she ain't happy, and she's going to do what she can to ensure that Smash doesn't screw up his future as a football player. Unfortunately, the school feels differently, and after Smash shoots his mouth off because he can no longer stand to be painted as the bad guy in this scenario, he's forced to sit out the rest of the season. I'm thinking the Dillon Panthers won't be going to State this year.

Someone emailed me a couple of weeks asking me if I could comment on Christianity and the church being portrayed on television, but she needed my comment immediately, and I didn't check my email until it was too late. But if I'd checked it in time, I would have talked about Friday Night Lights. I love that this show inserts the church in there, without any judgement or comment. It's just there. We saw Gracie getting baptized. But even bigger, we see Lyla in an evangelist born again setting, and it doesn't matter if you think the emergence of this particular sect is a positive direction for society, especially young people, or if you ultimately think it's a negative thing that creates judgmentalism and intolerance.... you can simply watch the scenes, and know that it's important to Lyla, and that's all that matters. The other characters don't say much of anything about it, and it's just there. It's the little things like this that make the show worth watching.


Daisy said...

Just out of curiosity, is your yearlong maternity leave PAID? Here in the US, 6 weeks is paid at a ridiculously low rate (40% of your normal rate) and yes, it sucks putting your yungin' in daycare. Fortunately for me, I work from home and hired an onsite Nanny to come in each day from 8-1pm. There other 4 hours I worked while baby & toddler took afternoon naps.

I would seriously think about emigration if the 12 months (or 18 months) were paid leave! Woo Hoo!

Nikki Stafford said...

Daisy: It depends on where you work. The government pays EI to you, up to a maximum of $400 a week ($350 after they remove taxes). Then, many employers will "top you up." Some top you up to 100% of your salary (many of my friends were topped up to that) but the typical amount is about 85%, which is still damn good. Unfortunately, my employer didn't top me up at all, so I really had to save my pennies before going on leave. :) But it's been worth it. My husband and I are considering a nanny for when I go back in the fall.

Crissy Calhoun said...

I forgot about the "looky-loo" -- there is something charming about Buddy every once in a while, isn't there?

Friday Night Lights rules. You really should take Nikki's advice and watch it.

Unknown said...

I just ordered Friday Night Lights season 1 from Amazon! Can't wait. TV on DVD really is the way to go during this TV drought.

Crissy Calhoun said...

Friday Night Lights the movie was on TV last night and it's really good too! A number of the TV cast were in the movie. Plus Lindsey (Christian Kane) from Angel as a former star footballer!

Nikki Stafford said...

Danielle: Let me know what you think of it!

Crissy: I thought the movie was pretty good, too. My husband had read the book that it's all based on, and he wasn't as impressed with the film as he was the TV show, simply because he thought the movie didn't capture any of the subtleties of the book. I'm going to be reading the book as soon as a friend of his is finished with it.