Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: A Series Review

I don’t expect anyone to be interested in reading this post. But the fact is, Josh and I watched a TV series from start to finish, which hasn’t happened since Josh bought me the complete collection of Full House when Ava was a baby. Ergo, I feel like since I spent so much time with Coach Taylor and Tim Riggins…or maybe I should say, they spent so much time with me as I was editing photos…well, as I was saying, I feel like since I spent so much time on this, a review needs to be written.

Let’s take a knee, shall we?

Josh and I decided to check out Friday Night Lights on Netflix after Big Mama raved about the series finale for what felt like two weeks straight. We are not Texans, but we are southerners from a small town where high school football was a big deal, so we thought it might be something worthwhile. We watched the first episode, and I wasn’t super impressed, because I thought there was too much football. (Yes, in a football show.) But we decided to give it another chance, and another…and three or four episodes into the first season, we were hooked and there was no turning back.

What did I love about FNL?

~ It was actually pretty realistic. Southern culture was very well represented. Even the parts of it that make me cringe a little. (Mainly, people going to church on Sunday and then living with little to no moral code the rest of the week.) In a small town with no college sports, high school football is about the biggest thing there is, and grown men make a fool of themselves over the results of Friday night’s game. Every time I would think, “This wouldn’t really happen,” or “No one would really be like this,” I would think of an incident or person from my own high school that was very similar.

~ The characters. Coach and Tami Taylor had a real, working marriage, with both good and bad moments.

~ The way the characters actually grew and developed like real teenagers/young adults actually would, instead of them being the same season after season.

~ The fact that it wasn’t filmed in a perfect suburbia. Some people had nice houses, some people had terrible houses and apartments. Poorer people drove old cars. When Coach was at East Dillon, there were no cheerleading uniforms, the field was in bad shape, and he had to pay dearly to get the players new uniforms. I guess that sounds weird, but I really appreciate the lower middle class being depicted realistically.

~ The fact that the show touched on issues that are typically glossed over.

What did I not love about FNL?

~ Julie Taylor. Hate to say it, because the series started out making her look like a really great kid. I guess the writers decided that she was too good to be true, so then they jaded her a little bit…and then a little bit more…and so on and so forth. Because I had read the spoilers, I knew when I started watching that Julie and Matt would get engaged in the last episode. That was exciting to me as I watched their romance bloom in the first season. But honestly, their engagement coming right on the heels of the affair that she had with her teacher, that kind of killed the excitement for me. I mean, if she can’t even live an appropriate life for one month at college, how can she commit to marriage? And, although her parents expressed concerns about her being too young to get married, they didn’t express any concern that she might just be rebounding from the teacher that ruined her life. Blah. I think Matt can do better than that. (You know, if he was a real person.)

~ The fact that Lyla was a committed Christian in Season 2 and nothing of the sort in Season 3. I know it was because Season 2 was not finished; that’s when the writer’s strike occurred. But it would have been nice to have some sort of explanation at the beginning of Season 3 as to why she no longer felt led to live as a Christian. As it was, Season 2 might as well have just not happened as far as she was concerned.

~ The handling of the abortion issue. I actually don’t totally not love this part…I like that the show covered it, as it’s something that happens a lot more often than we think. And I think, overall, Tami handled the situation as best she could. I just wish that, the second time Becky visited Tami for advice, Tami had gone into more of the emotional repercussions for girls who have abortions. As a trained counselor, she should have been well aware of them, and Becky was already obviously having emotional struggles. I also wish, that, after she had the abortion, it had shown her grieving process a little more realistically.

~ Tim and Tyra being together in the end? Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that they brought Tyra back for the last few episodes…but it was supposed to be Tim and Lyla, and Tyra and Landry. Thanks.

My Favorite FNL Moments?

~ When Tami told Coach that she was pregnant. His response to her was so real and beautiful.

~ Jason Street whenever he was with his baby. So sweet.

~ When they did the play at the State game Matt’s senior year when he got to QB and receive the ball. (Yeah, that shows you how much I understand football. Let’s just say Josh had to say, “Look, he’s going to throw AND catch the ball in the same play!”)

~ Tami Taylor confronting McCoy in front of the boosters in regards to him threatening to do research that might revoke some past state titles: well. played.

~ Pretty much any time Smash’s mama had a heart-to-heart with him. Can I please have her raise my kids?

~ Buddy Garrity’s reaction to Santiago when he realized he had gotten beat up to get his watch back. (What happened to Santiago, anyway?)

~ Tim Riggins and Jason Street when they parted ways. ..

because Texas forever.



3 thoughts on “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: A Series Review

  1. Pingback: Parenthood: A Series Review | karathecucumber

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