Thursday, April 12, 2007

Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

After hyping Friday Night Lights for most of the season, I went back to check out my First Impressions of the show and was surprised to see I ripped the pilot to shreds saying the show was clichéd and outright ripped off Remember the Titans and Varsity Blues and ended the review by saying:

“NBC has two new football programs this year, but I have a feeling Friday Night Lights will be off the air before Sunday Night Football plays its last game of the season.”

Mmm, harsh. I’m not sure where my mind changed about the so (if I were a betting man I would put my money on when Landry got more screen time), but I’m glad I didn’t jump ship.

Now I’m not entirely sure where the turning point was when I went from finding the show clichéd to being one of the upper tier of great television but I have a feeling it had to do with the greatness of Landry Clarke, Matt Saracen’s socially challenged, math loving best friend. Explaining why Landry was great would be a post upon itself so instead here are the top ten greatest Landry moments from the first reason of Friday Night Lights (click the links to be taken to YouTube where available, if you know where to find those I don't have, or are technology inclined enough to make one and upload them, please drop me a comment):

10. Telling off Trya at the Roast
9. Flip flopping over whether a mix tape would be a good make-up gift
8. Coach Taylor calling him by the wrong names
7. “Tutoring” Tim Riggins
6. Refereeing the Powderpuff football game
5. The Crucifictorious vs. Stigmatalingus debate
4. Road trip with the Collette girls up to state
3. Getting caught at the Strip Club
2. Shopping for a Member’s Only Jacket
1. Picking up Trya in the library

Landry isn’t the only great character on the show, if fact every character on the show is well crafted, from the cast members right down to the guest stars (well Tyra’s mother aside). You end up getting deeply involved with each and every one of them and the camera work and the locations makes you feel like you are actual resident of the town of Dillon, Texas. You are heartbroken when Tyra gets assaulted. You feel the pain when Jason finds out his girlfriend cheated with his girlfriend. Emotions wash over you when Mrs. Taylor confronts her daughter when she finds out she is planning to have sex. And even as clichéd as most of the games were (how many games did they come from behind from to win on the final play?), you still get the tingles when the games start and are on the edge of your seat when the games inevitably goes down to the wire.

Now I am not one to talk about acting because there are actually very few great actors in Hollywood. And most acting awards are given not to the best actor but to the best written characters as great writing can make moderate actors seem like great actors (see Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Case in point, I am an award winning actor. Am I a great actor? No. I just had the best role. With that said, if any award show doesn’t recognize Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, they will instantly lose all credibility, well except the Golden Globes because the lost all credibility years ago when the voting members started taking bribes. But whenever Chandler and Britton were on screen together I started to smile because I knew something great was coming up. And nobody does the passive aggressive annoyance better than Chandler.

For those that are still not on the Friday Night Lights bandwagon, all episodes are still available for streaming on or you can click the picture at the top of this post to download the show on iTunes. With nothing much on during the summer, checking out this show will be time well spent.

Friday Night Lights 1.x gets a Terror Alert Level: Severe [RED] on my Terror Alert Scale. The show also won four Scooter Television Awards.

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