It was not a great night for sports in New York City, so it’s a good thing Friday Night Lights came back. At least if you have DirecTV, or access to the DirecTV press website. My unscientific poll of Tuned Inland yesterday showed more people in favor of my waiting to write about FNL until it comes back on NBC next year, and more people can watch it.
So of course I’m going to disregard them and write about it here. Just a few specific thoughts I couldn’t fit in my review; after this, I’ll probably write about FNL only as the mood takes me, unless the readers demand it. (In the meantime, Alan Sepinwall will be recapping the show weekly.) After the jump, some (spoilery, but not too spoilery) bullet points on FNL, and a quick comment on last night’s Modern Family:
* TV loves an underdog story, but one occasional problem with FNL’s stories is that Coach Taylor was dealing with an overdog team—one with problems, injuries and other setbacks, yes, but a traditional powerhouse. Having him start from zero with East Dillon—and you can’t get much more zero than the bloody mess the team was at halftime—is one of several ways hitting the rest button seems to be helping the show.
* The different racial balance of East Dillon (at least from what we’ve seen on camera) promises some interesting stories about the social strata of Dillon, but I like that the episode didn’t make anything unnaturally overt. The fight between Landry and his teammate, for instance, didn’t necessarily have a racial subtext—but it could have. Likewise, when Taylor lays down the law about (among other things) respect and no jewelry on the field, it seems like a disproportionate number of black players joined the walkout.
* “What’s it like being the guy who used to be Tim Riggins?” I think FNL will generally be better off not prolonging the stay of its graduate characters too long, but it would be interesting seeing Riggins deal with this for a while.
* Sometimes I forget how funny FNL is, but the confused exchange with new player Vince (Taylor asks if he’s ever played football and Vince says “Madden”; the coach doesn’t realize he means the videogame) was priceless.
Meanwhile, my TiVo is still out of commission from construction work, but Mrs. Tuned In and I squeezed in around the tiny TV in my office to watch Modern Family live, and it was another fine one, though oddly timed. (I’ve heard that some episodes were aired out of order, and I would guess that the back-to-school episode comingin late October was one of them.) Especially fine outing for Sofia Vergara (“And then you stepped on it!”). It’s a good sign that the show has such a good sense of itself so early.
Any comments? Any Phillies fans just want to rub it in?