Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday Night Lights - 1x21 "Best Laid Plans"

More things that won't make my PopMatters article!

  • Besides the fact that Jackie is twice the age of Riggins, one reason that their affair was bound to fail was because the quasi-family that they had going bordered on the incestuous. Jackie broke things off because she said that Bo saw Riggins as a father figure, but when Bo stops Riggins afterwards, the tyke asks if they can still hang because they're "bros." This is Texas, not Arkansas.

  • After Coach excitedly comes home to take Julie and Tami out to dinner, Julie storms away, and Coach says, "I know what's gonna happen next, the door's gonna slam." *Slam* "Why is that?" Well, he certainly knows why because after Tami suggests that she and Julie stay in Dillon, and Coach rejects that plan, he leaves the house, yes, slamming the door.

  • This episode gets a lot of thematic mileage out of the idea of cutting people down with words. First, Street and Coach cut Saracen down to size when QB1 says he feels good going into State: "You don't have any laurels, Saracen," says Street. "Not a damn laurel," says Coach.
    Meanwhile, his buddy Landry also gets cut down, this time by Tyra who calls him a "pathetic smelly geek." (I feel for you, bro.) His self-image is shaken enough that he has to reassert himself by elliptically proclaiming his love to Tyra (and after Saracen made fun of him about that before!)
  • Tami uses words as a tool of self-hood as well, but in a constructive way. As she's going up to the mic at the roast, Coach reminds her that "this a roast, not a skewering" -- i.e. not a destructive thing. At this point, Tami and Coach were still fighting over the TMU decision, so Coach's warning is understandable. However, Tami, being the coolest person ever, instead dedicates a jocular paean to him about how he'd enhanced her life beyond football, what with going for two, the I-Back formation, and so on and so forth, and closed by saying how wonderful Coach is, how great the town is, and how great the students and players are. So, in contrast to the merely good-natured ribbing of the roast, she figuratively embraces everybody in Dillon, and literally embraces Tyra. As guidance counselor, she holds people together.

Indie rating: Massive Attack - "Unfinished Sympathy"

No comments: