Friday Night Lights

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B | 38 USERS: A
I'm Too Busy Crying to Come Up With A Clever Title

Commercials. That scene was exhausting.

Wednesday. Explosions in the Sky. Melancholy. Pensive. This scene is clearly filmed in winter time -- grey light, leafless trees -- but we will forgive. Slow motion shots of cheerleaders cheering and little kids suited up on the football field. I haven't really had any firsthand experience with little kids in shoulder pads and helmets, but something about it just automatically makes me want to cry. Proud parents look on as the little boys play with the older boys, little girls play with older girls. It takes twenty seven-year-olds to tackle one eighteen-year-old. The melody propels in the background, and everyone lines up for a "team" photo, one irrepressible kid getting up and doing muscle man arms with a grin that could crack worlds on his face. Beautiful.

In the locker room, Street stands in front of a play-diagrammed chalkboard and tells the boys that if they learn these plays now they'll be ready to play for the Panthers when they get old enough. The kids are on the floor, looking up with those little craned necks. One boy tells Street that he should play professional football. Street, himself a man-in-training, responds correctly (as always) that he'll go through school first, "son." That "son" gets me; it's too old a word for Street. It makes you feel for the high school kids; they aren't kids anymore but they aren't adults either. Street, his face literally glowing with all-Americanness, says "Let's pray," and then kneels to do so. The boys clasp hands, but not before yet one more Tiny Tim moment, as one of them asks, "Mr. Street? Do you think God loves football?" Street says he thinks everybody does, and they all launch into the Lord's Prayer. Off-putting or not, the prayer-in-school-sports seems like verity here, and certainly not an aspect of contemporary life that gets all that much representation on TV. In any case, the scene is all about continuity, about how traditions get passed on -- often unthinkingly -- from one generation to the next. Football is next to godliness. The desperate hope for conversion happens just as readily on Friday nights as it does on Sunday mornings.

Thursday. Coach Taylor stands outside a two-story brick house, a definite upgrade from the ranch they're currently in, with the nasty Blitz Lady from Tuesday night. He says Tami will love it. She asks if he's going to make an offer. He says he has to wait to see what happens on Friday night. Jesus, talk about having a lot on the line.

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Friday Night Lights




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