Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights on NBC was one of my favorite shows last year.  It’s an adult soap opera set around a small-town Texas high school football team, and despite an overabundance of melodrama, it was the realistic portrayal of that life that made it so watchable.  Viewers saw families trying to stay together despite the demands of careers and friends, making questionable decisions and dealing with consequences of those actions.  Some succeeded, while others failed.  The acting was top notch and the football scenes were very well done, but at times it seemed like the writers were desperate to pack every possible storyline into one season: players using steroids, recruiting scandals by boosters, star quarterback paralyzed and discovers cheerleader girlfriend cheating on him with former best friend, racial conflicts between teammates, backup QB leads team to state title.  Perhaps they felt that these storylines were necessary as the show struggled to find a sizable audience and was on the verge of being cancelled.  Now that the show is back for a second year, I was disappointed to see in the very first episode a new arch in which Landry Clarke bludgeons a man to death while defending Tyra Collette from sexual assault and then the pair decide to drop the body into a river.  At least last year’s dramas revolved around the team and football.  In this instance, the writers have strayed too far from their core and if this is the future of the show, I would not be surprised if the core abandons them in return.

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