Tuned In

FNL Watch: You Do Not Deserve a Smoothie

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Quick spoilers for the season premiere of Friday Night Lights after the jump:

Seriously, that quote I referenced in the post’s title? It is my new slogan and philosophy of life. “I’d like to have a smoothie too! You know why I’m not going to have a smoothie? Because I don’t feel I deserve a smoothie! Does anyone here feel like they deserve a smoothie?”

In a bit of a rush, so I’ll give you my thoughts in bullet points:

* The smoothie line is great for what it says, but in context, of course, it’s also about the meta-drama going on as J.D.’s dad tries to buy his (and his son’s) way into Coach Taylor’s affections. Is it a bit reminiscent of some of the corruptions and tensions in the first season? A little, but what I liked about this episode was how it functioned as a reset button, stepping back from the teen-soap drama of last year and returning to the show’s themes: community, honor and character, as set against a pastime that is at the same time a game and the most important thing many of its players (and their small town fans) have in their lives.

* Connected with the smoothie, the drama that J.D.’s arrival sets up for Matt is immediately interesting. But I hope it plays out differently than season one, where again Matt was the underdog fighting for a spot against a prodigy from out of town. Matt has been QB for two seasons now, after all: it doesn’t make as much sense to play it as if he’s a shaky newbie whose qualifications are in doubt.

* I like having Tami as principal, not only because it further sets her up for conflict with her husband (and the rest of the town) on academics vs. athletics but actually gives her some power in the dynamic. Loved how ballsy she was in reappropriating Buddy’s Jumbotron money. (“Have you ever seen two people get engaged on a Jumbotron at a football game?”) Also loved their “Clear eyes, full hearts…” moment: “OK. Let’s not go there.”

* It’s funny how, even though Riggins and Tyra are not in a relationship, they feel like they are. In the stripper-proposal storyline, each is looking at a possible future for themselves, and confronting their ability to believe that they can change the patterns of their families.

* I wasn’t sure how much Smash there would be since (spoiler alert, though this has been widely reported) he’s moving on soon, but the show seems to be setting up a great coda to his story. His racquetball encounter with Coach was both funny (“Y’all realize this is the whitest sport in history, right?”) and deply moving. I don’t know if I loved Coach Taylor more for his refusal to give up on Smash, or for his admission that, at heart, he was doing it because he needed “something good to happen.” I just know that every time you think you can’t possibly love Eric Taylor more…

Did any Tuned Inlanders watch?