leahfriedman


"Humble Pie"

First, I need to say that I loved this episode overall. Second, I need to give a big fat TV GUIDE Jeer to FNL, Chevrolet and NBC for pouring that commercial disguised as drama down our throats and then making us watch it again 3 minutes later in an effort to promote a truck. We often say that whatever this show needs to do to stay alive should be done, but I have to wonder about that when I see things like this.With that unpleasantness out of the way, let's get right to the good stuff, namely, Tami becoming a great coach in her own right, to the delight of all but Julie. OK, so a team now being 1-7 instead of 0-7 isn't exactly a turnaround, it's wonderful to watch the Panthers win something outright for the first time in what seems like forever. Plus, we got some great Taylor banter with, "I'd love to butter you some toast." It's dialogue so ordinary that it always just works. Another beneficiary of the volleyball situation is Tyra, who obviously desperately needed a way to vent. Lu... read more

Who Do You Think You Are?

Hello FNL fans, Leah is on vacation, so I’m filling in. If you don’t know me yet, I’m Casey. So much happened tonight! This episode felt like a stepping stone to greater, not always better, things to come.I’ve been sick all week, so please bear with me. Some people may think this episode was dated, but in the real and present world, race and gender still matter to many. I liked how this episode touched on those issues. I’ll start with the Taylor’s. I hated seeing Shelley go last week, but it gave FNL another opportunity to tackle family values and issues. Some people, like Mac McGill, believe a woman’s place is at home. But as Coach Taylor pointed out, “That just sounds stupid and ignorant when you say it aloud.” Thank you Coach! I am one of four children and both of my parents have worked full-time jobs for their entire 28 years of marriage. My mother’s a flight attendant. I’m still dumbfounded by people‘s rea... read more

"Jumping the Gun"

Folks, I'm really sorry, but I had a problem with my TV around minute 47 of this episode. For some reason, the screen abruptly jumped to an episode of some ridiculous soap opera. I mean, I just know that someone on my beloved Friday Night Lights didn't actually say, "My wife has three months to live," followed by a plot about two brothers who looked an awful lot like the Riggins stealing mortgage money from a Meth dealer. Tell me it was just a cable problem, and everything will be ok.Well, if indeed FNL really did stoop to this (though I'm still in denial), let me be the first to pardon Coach Dickie of Laribee for his completely unprofessional on-field behavior. If my husband were given three months to live, I'd probably knock out Tim Riggins too. Then again, if one is getting paid a boatload of money to coach, one has probably learned to compartmentalize (just do a Google search about Andy Reid and his kids and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about). The bright side is that th... read more

"There Goes the Neighborhood"

If there were ever an episode to make my substitute blogger (and Tim Riggins enthusiast), Casey Marsella, swoon it would have to be this one. This was probably the most Tim-centric episode since last season, and certainly showed how far he's come since then. What's that saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions? I know things are rough between Tim and his brother, but it would seem to me that now's as good a time as any to try and patch things up, considering his other options have basically dried up. Scary ferret-meth-man shouldn't even enter his mind as a possibility, and unfortunately the perfect existence chez Taylor ended abruptly when Eric caught him in that seemingly compromising position with a drunk Julie. Poor kid. Who'd have thought the best part of his week would be finding a urine-soaked shirt in his locker, courtesy of a Laribee d-bag (Tyra's lovely terminology — not mine)? Let's not forget that he also sort-of saved Julie from that tornado, and kept ... read more

"The Confession"

Well, it only took eight episodes, but the Friday Night Lights we know and love is back. What a fantastic show we had this week; between Landry's crisis of conscience, Tami and Julie getting back on good terms, Santiago and Buddy bonding, Matt and Carlotta "cooking", Jason's crazy date, and Tim's continued repentance, nearly everyone we love (with the notable exception of Smash) got a chance to shine tonight. All that, and the Panthers finally won a game. Where to even start?Perhaps with Landry and the titular confession. After his first abortive attempt at turning himself in, he decided to ask Tyra what she thought happened. It seemed to be the push he needed to call his crime some sort of self-defense. However, that final shot of his conflicted face after telling her that he wouldn't be facing charges leaves us to wonder if this much-maligned storyline is definitively over. Jesse Plemons is still acting the hell out of what they're giving him and I think we'd all be lucky to see h... read more

"Seeing Other People"

The image of Smash "Cabo in my pants" Williams running in his boxers from a big hulk of a man just happened to make my week. He may be the ladies' man of Dillon, but he apparently has a few things to learn about the social scenes at Division 1 football schools. It's disconcerting to know that Matt Saracen, despite knowing this whole story, still relied on Smash for idiotic girl advice. Lesson for all you guys out there: If you want to break up with a girl, don't take the George Costanza route (Matt's suggestion of an open relationship was just an update of George's prenup). Hopefully his relationship with Carlotta will be more successful than those he had with Julie and Lauren, but forgive me if I remain a skeptic.It was not a good week for the women of FNL, between Matt breaking hearts, Tyra's sudden crisis of conscience, Tami getting told off by just about everyone in her family for various perceived slights, and Julie being humiliated in front of the entire school (how did that h... read more

"Pantherama"

Is Smash ready for prime time? Gaius Charles by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

"He's got a great heart and I want him to have a chance."Move over man-slut Matt Saracen. You've been replaced in my heart by Santiago. How sad, how ridiculously heartbreakingly sad was that look on his face in the very last shot? It just hurt to watch. I'm still shocked at the never-ending evolution of Buddy Garrity this season, and taking in Santiago for reasons beyond helping out the Panthers — in fact, because as trite as it sounds, he needs a son as much as Santiago needs a father — was so sweet and unselfish, that it would have shocked me a year ago. But this season's a whole 'nother thing, and Buddy's redemption has made even this most cynical of Northeasterners want to just start blubbering like I’m watching Lifetime or something. Sure, he has a ways to go, as evidenced by Tami's "You've got a lot of steak and you've got a lot of sausage; get some vegetables in here," but it's a wonderful start, and for Santiago's sake more than Buddy's, I really hope it works... read more

Let's Talk FNL! Maybe It's Time for Another Matt Chat

Matt's Got Game. Zach Gilford by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Who could have guessed that when Julie dumped Matt, she'd be the one getting her heart broken? Oh, just about anyone who's ever been 16. It all seems to be working out for our illustrious QB, who's got a new cheerleader girlfriend, plus another romantic option in the form of his grandmother's nurse.In addition to Matt's super-difficult choice, there's a new addition to the Panthers, Smash is going through recruitment, and former enemies Lyla and Tyra are going to work together. It's never a dull day in Dillon.Discuss it all here, live, and check back after 10pm/ET for my full recap. read more

"Something's Up There"

The good folks at WURG sure know their slapstick. It's been quite some time since I've seen good physical comedy on television, so what a thrill to see it make a comeback. Good slapstick, good slapstick. Now let's get to the better banter.I'm not sure we've had an episode yet that puts the whole crew in one situation, so this week was a change of pace. Little Gracie's 11th-birthday party was basically over before it started, because the only one of the six adults there who had steeled herself to find and catch the raccoon in the attic was Kelly, and Chuck wasn't about to let her do it. I understood his reasoning (Kelly's done everything for Gracie and Chuck wants to contribute, even if she doesn’t know he's her father), but that part felt a little far-fetched. Chuck strikes me as the kind who'll let anyone take a fall for him — in poor Ryan's case, quite literally — even Kelly, so why take a stand on this thing that he was obviously scared of?Either way, the guys on t... read more

"The Bat Mitzvah"

Mazel tov! I've been to my share of crappy b'nei mitzvot (there was a time, just over a decade ago, when I could have filled my entire closet with shirts that said, "I Had a Blast at [X]'s Bar Mitzvah!"), but even I am not sure where on the awkward scale that party fell. Between Larry's vigorous defense — which started out with "There's a guest here spreading a vicious, nasty, scurrilous rumor about me and a gerbil," and unfortunately ended with "I do have a tickle in my anus…" — his admission to wearing "No Fly Zone" underwear, and apparently ending up with Loretta (if it wasn't just a St. Elsewhere dream), well, it might just belong on a scale all its own.Oh, Larry. Where do we even start? It seems pretty clear that he wasn't crushed by the loss of Cheryl, per se, it was more just that he was worried he'd never find someone else willing to put up with him. His flirting technique indicated that he was right to worry ("Let me ask you a question: Did you ever go out wi... read more

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