Friday Night Lights: The Second Season

The first thing I noticed from watching the second series of this underrated NBC drama without having watched the first is that just about every major female character has great big knockers.

Normally, that’s not something you (or I, for that matter) would expect to hear in a review about a serious high school, small Texas town drama, but it’s the first thing I noticed just after I hit play. I mention this not because I’m a macho male who only watches movies or TV shows based on cup sizes or I’m hoping this review will get published in Maxim. The reason it stood out (no pun intended) so prominently in the first few minutes of the opening episode is because it made me worry the show would become yet another attempt at fake California trying to recreate the homespun football life of small town Texas.

It’s happened to many times for me to count. Directors think if you hire hot actresses, put them in tight jeans and flannel shirts tied in a knot in the stomach and drown in their accents in a chicken fried dialect filled with more y’alls and yeehaws than a tour stop on the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” that they’ve successfully recreated the South in all of its glory.

By the time the first episode got underway, “Friday Night Lights” had me hooked and wishing I had watched the first season because it’s honest, humorous and humble in just about everything that every other show or movie gets wrong about my part of the country.

The second season picks up with Coach Taylor, played by Kyle Chandler, moving to work as a coordinator for a big college football team after his Dillion Lions take home the state championship. He leaves his wife, played by Connie Britton, and his daughter, played by Aimee Teegarden, back in Dillion and rushes home just in time to witness the birth of his second daughter, Gracie Bell.

The show immediately gets underway with all sorts of great plot twists and sub-stories that take their time to build into something meaningful and emotional. The most gripping of the bunch involves Dillion high schooler Landry Clark, played by Jesse Plemons, who accidentally kills a man attacking his crush Tyra, played by Adrianne Palicki, and dumps his body in the river without telling anyone.

The most surprising points of the plots are its humor. It doesn’t beat you over the head with jokes or smart-alec comments when the drama has died down. It has a very warm and dry sense of humor that finds very funny moments in the honest ways some of these characters would react in a real life situation.

It also doesn’t just put characters in situations without explaining their motives or showing some kind of metamorphosis as they go through these situations. Just about everyone has a reason for acting the way they do and they change because of it, whether that was their initial intention or not.

Chandler also does a superb job of holding together his family and player characters as the high school football player coach who realizes that being a team is more important than winning the game. Just about everyone plays their characters with a realness and genuine feeling that you’ll sometimes forget the fact most of these actors have probably never been in a town like Dillion for more than five minutes.

Grade: A


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