Gaius Charles

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February 28, 2007: I'm Incredibly Hungover Right Now

In the space of three episodes I’ve gone from hating to loving Tim Riggins. I’m sure I’ll hate him at some point again this season, but for the moment, I’m pretty enamored. When he taught little Bo how to throw a spiral, I thought I was going to crack my face open with my smile. Yes, there’s probably a little more going on there than just trying to be a good neighbor, but it was nice to see him doing something constructive to help someone else out (as opposed to instigating a riot on the football field). Also, how cute was it that Bo always had to call Tim by his full name? It’s the little touches like that that get to me.Of course, as well as things are suddenly going for Riggins, they’re going as badly for Smash and Waverly. She was pretty disturbing this episode, but it was the first time I felt much sympathy for the character at all. I have to wonder what will happen now that we know about her mood disorder. It would seem that Smash has no cho... read more

February 21, 2007: You Ever Watch the Nature Channel?

Let me sum up this episode in one word: Mortified. That’s pretty much how Coach and Tami reacted to Julie and Matt’s decision. It also aptly describes Tim’s feelings toward his father and the entire town’s reaction to Tyra’s mom’s display of jealousy, but more on those two later. While I was pretty sure that Matt and Julie wouldn’t have sex, I am still beyond relieved that they didn’t. It seemed pretty obvious to me that she was doing this because it seemed like the natural next step in the relationship, even though she was 15 and they only just declared themselves a couple. Thank god Matt talked some sense into her. He might have had his own ulterior motives, though, especially after the talk in practice in which he divulged that the first time he drove, “I crashed my grandma’s car and now Landry drives me around.” Speaking of Landry, he needs to leave the advice business for good. As if having your girlfriend’s mom watch... read more

February 14, 2007: This Is Starting to Get Out of Hand Really Fast

I had always heard that high-school football in Texas was a religion, but I didn’t realize it was something worth morally bankrupting oneself over. I cannot believe that those cops were willing to arrest Smash without a warrant for assault when the other guy tackled him in the end zone, unprovoked. Plus, if we want to be technical here, Tim threw the first punch — but they weren’t going to go after a white player. Why did it take a far more insidious form of racism to vindicate Mac MacGill? Of course, that begs the question of whether Mac MacGill is vindicated. He acknowledged that, “stuff like this kind of works its way into you if you’re around it long enough,” and he certainly fixed the situation on the highway. But as Tami rightly pointed out, he’s a government employee, and his was an offense worthy of being fired for. This show makes me think way too hard.Smash is a character I like more and more every week. He is really rising to the occasio... read more

February 7, 2007: I Think You Got Your Story

In the aftermath of Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and Isaiah Washington, did we really need yet another perspective on celebrities saying stupid, insensitive and utterly indefensible things? I was fatigued by it all (though I am still disgusted). However, after watching this episode, my appreciation for this gem of a show was yet again renewed. I’m not sure whether this had anything to do with the recent spate of somewhat similar incidents in the entertainment industry — certainly it was written before Greysgate, part II occurred — but the story line was mercifully subtler than anything I would have expected it to be, which I definitely appreciated.I refer to Mac McGill as a celebrity because I am sure that in the town of Dillon, he is. He was caught in a somewhat relaxed and unguarded moment, so one has to ask, is he racist or is he a terrible speaker? I’m leaning heavily toward racist, even though he may not think of himself in that regard. However, dismissing ... read more

January 31, 2007: Always Let Them Know You Have Options

Jerks of the episode: Daddy Riggins and Matt Saracen. Yes, folks, that’s right, Matt Saracen. Sure, he protested a little, but then he fell into a hot tub and was reborn a jerk. We all knew it was coming, we saw the promos, and yet my love for him still died just a little. Like Julie asked, why did he lie? That just made it ten thousand times worse. He was always better than the rank-and-file Panthers, the ones who give football a bad name, and yet there he was, in a hot tub sandwiched between three girls, drinking and smiling for the camera. This can either go one of two ways: He never does anything like this again and works it all out with Julie, or (horror of horrors) continues down that path. Because he’s Matt Saracen, I’m going to guess that it’ll be some variation of the former, but one never knows.More depressing than bile-inducing, though, was the Riggins family. It's still unclear whether there was one specific incident that caused Billy and Tim’s ... read more

January 24, 2007: It’s Never a Dull Moment with You

Thank god the Panthers are going to the playoffs because now that the Eagles are out of the running, I need a team to cheer on. I’m not going to lie — I knew they were going to succeed A) because I get my TV Guide on Wednesdays, and the description for next week mentioned something about them having made the playoffs, and B) what were they going to do for the rest of the season if they didn’t? Nevertheless, it was certainly sweet to watch them win (and on a Matt Saracen-designed play no less!), and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when the expectations get ratcheted up even further.In addition to giving us the joy of winning, FNL does devastation better than any other show on TV right now. Mrs. Williams' vehement reaction to Smash’s misdeed was matched in intensity by that of Coach Taylor, and even of Smash himself. In watching him and the coach during their late-night encounter, all I could think was, “Where is the cocky kid who rapped in th... read more

January 10, 2007: We’re Going into a Helluva Game

I always thought that Tyra was kind of a second-rate character on this show. To some extent, I still think that. She always seemed out of place and a little too dramatic, too haughty, too much for a small town like Dillon, someone who would have been at home wherever it was that Dawson’s Creek took place. While the promos made it look like her fight with her mother’s boyfriend was going to be an overblown Lifetime-movie moment, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was done. There was no huge showdown, just pure rage coming from the humiliation on her mother’s part. And it all happened so quickly that it struck me that here was the real Tyra Collette. She loves her mother deeply — she just doesn’t want to be her. So good for her to not take Tim Riggins back, because after that “I’m sorry” speech, I fully expected her to — even though (as she rightfully acknowledged) that would make her a hypocrite.I think that the whole episode boil... read more

January 3, 2007: There’s No Weakness in Forgiveness

I tried to watch the FNL marathon I so shamelessly plugged here, and yet I realized that I couldn’t. Before you judge, give me the chance to explain myself in the context of this episode. Matt’s “I hate him, I hate my dad,” juxtaposed against his confused gratitude in coming across the man taking care of his grandmother was just wrenching. This is not just because I’m not sure whether Matt doesn’t, in fact, hate his father, but more because I still don’t know what this means for him. Is he going to Oklahoma? Does he get to stay? Will his father leave the army? I’ve said this before, but were this any other show, the answer would be patently obvious. In some ways, it is still because I think we can all agree that without Zach Gilford as Matt Saracen, this show would lose a huge part of its soul. On the other hand, there is plenty to go around, and tough shows like this tend not to spare anyone (Lost, The Sopranos, I’m looking at you). For... read more

December 12, 2006: I’m Gonna Have a Matt Chat

I never thought that cheerleading could get more dramatic than what I saw in Bring It On, but wow, that Britney girl was so incredibly petty. Based on the look on her face when the coach said that she wouldn’t be “flying” since Lyla had shown up, it certainly seemed to me like she made the website just to get Lyla to quit. It’s obvious that she didn’t get this mean streak from her parents, considering her father seemed disgusted by her when he went to apologize to Buddy. Either way, I was glad to see Lyla smile and enjoy herself again, after taking the power away from those who made her life hell. Her “yeah, the whore with the website” line made it pretty clear that even if she wasn’t getting over this, she was going to have fun for that one day. Her scenes with Jason hurt. It struck me that if this were any other show, we would have seen them reconciled by now, or at least after Tim went to go talk to him, but that hasn’t happened yet. I... read more

December 5, 2006: Is That a Members Only Jacket?

Buddy Garrity, I forgive you. Even towards the beginning, when he was talking with Tami about what was going on with his daughter, it seemed that he was really hurting. The fact that he left the game to talk to her after her public humiliation spoke volumes about his dedication to his family. Yes, he’s (how to put it delicately?) not a nice guy when dealing with his beloved Panthers, but his, “It’s only a game, you’re my daughter” line just got to me. Remember how I said that no one on this show was beyond redemption? This just proves it.Tim and Lyla are personae non gratae in their respective social circles, and Tim especially seems OK with suffering quietly. I don’t know what it is about this team and smashing up cars, but it definitely sends a statement. The fact that a guy so full of rage earlier on this season is now so docile shows how much he cares for Jason, and how much he knows he’s screwed up. (Speaking of Jason, I would like to apologiz... read more

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