I’ve been wanting to put this post together since the first episode aired but I’ve been kinda busy and haven’t really been able to gather my thoughts.
**SPOILER ALERT** If you haven’t started season 2 of Friday Night Lights don’t read any further. You’ve been warned.
So, the first 40 minutes were perfect. The opening scene with Matt and Landry at the pool was exactly what it should of been and man, was I excited to have it all back. It was what this show does best – the everyday, the relationships, the characters. I love Matt Saracen, and I love Eric and Tami Taylor. But I won’t really talk about that part of the show right now (except for the fact that I really don’t like the Swede – not as a storyline but as an individual – and I think Lila’s born-again attitude is extremely annoying).
What I will talk about, because it scares me and disappoints me, is the last sequence. Yep, you know the one. The part of the episode that went too far. The part that resembled that fateful moment in Buffy Season 6 (the”rape” scene) – the one that you just can’t fix. The Tyra and Landry story was on such a good path – and then Landry had to go a KILL the damn stalker rapist. But that wasn’t enough, right? They had to DUMP HIS BODY OVER THE BRIDGE?! Cause that’s what the average teenager is dealing with everyday, after all.
After seeing the trailer for the premiere I really didn’t think they were going where they did. I thought Landry was going to defend Tyra and beat up the bad guy and call the cops. Then, when it started to go farther I thought they would just rush him to the hospital and explain their case. Then he stopped breathing. Then they just happened to be driving across a bridge and I winced and said, “Oh no they are NOT going to do this!” You can’t come back from this, you can’t fix something like this. And, dammit, this isn’t why I love this show! This is pretty much the furthest thing from the root of why I love this show. Aargghh…damn ratings wars.
So that left me on the couch confused and conflicted and upset. “Friday Night Lights just jumped the shark, didn’t they?” was what I asked myself. But this couldn’t be, it was so early and things were so good. They didn’t have to do this! That moment was everything that Friday Night Lights isn’t. Sure, the story-lines seem to hit on every possible thing an individual in high school in a small town could possibly be going through. Yes, I understand that there probably aren’t too many places where ALL of these things are happening at once. But am I naive to think that a Saturday night body-dumping down by the river, because of an injury that occurred in self-defense mind you, isn’t really the sort of thing that teens nowadays are dealing with on a regular basis? If that IS naive then I worry for my son because that would mean the world is in even worse shape than I thought.
Even Entertainment Weekly called them out on it. (Albeit in the issue that came out THE DAY OF the season premiere – in the article that wasn’t labeled as spoilerific and almost ruined the whole thing for me anyway. Shame on you, EW. You should know better.)
What I want to know is how we come back from this. Is this something that can be neatly tied in a bow and laid to rest over the next couple of episodes? Because really that’s about all the patience I have for it. That’s exactly how I felt after I watched the infamous Buffy episode way back when and to this day that scene is still brought up and is still a thorn in the side of many a BTVS fan.
Admittedly, the second episode was better but it doesn’t change much yet. I lost Mark on the show which disappoints me even more. (He’s claiming irreconcilable differences and claims he needs to come back to it on his own terms) How many people may have thrown in the towel at the same time? I sincerely hope this doesn’t backfire on the crew because they had a good thing going.
Fingers crossed that this is not the start of a trend. We’ll see after tomorrow.