Typing Faster

October 28, 2009

Friday Night Lights Returns Tonight

Filed under: Friday Night Lights, Stuff I Like — petertypingfaster @ 5:30 am

Friday Night Lights starts its fourth season on DirecTV starting tonight, and boy have things changed.

Dillon, once idyllic, is now a battlefield. Not just between the Taylors and the McCoys or between Dillon and East Dillon but also between yesterday and today. At the end of last season, several key characters — Jason Street (Scott Porter), Smash Williams (Gaius Charles), Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) — managed to escape Dillon’s gravitational pull, making their way to college or employment. What’s left are stragglers and arrivistes and the stubborn.

Former quarterback Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) gave up the chance to leave for the Art Institute of Chicago to remain in Dillon, looking after his grandmother, delivering pizzas and struggling with the art teachers at Dillon Tech. Or more succinctly, he went from being one of the most important people in Dillon to a footnote. At a party in the premiere episode, J.D. makes a play for Matt’s girlfriend (and the Taylors’ daughter) Julie (Aimee Teagarden) and drunkenly tells Matt, “This is my Dillon now!”

Beefcake running back Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) appeared to be forging a new life for himself, attending college in San Antonio. But one class on Homer’s “Odyssey” and he was back in his pickup truck, headed for the familiar — squabbling with his brother, seducing any woman in sight. And yet it’s not the same as when he left. Jess (Jurnee Smollett), the teenage daughter of one of his conquests, asks him, “What’s it like being the guy who used to be Tim Riggins?”

Nowhere has the earth shifted more than at Dillon High, where Tami Taylor remains principal, overseeing the mutineers who overthrew her husband from his job. New Coach Wade Aikman (Drew Waters) and J.D. McCoy patronize her and use her as a symbolic weapon, knowing the loyalty her job demands will trump her personal distaste for them. (They even ask her to call heads on the season-opener coin toss — she calls tails.) Tami also has to enforce the new school segregation, escorting off the property those students who won’t switch schools as required by the school board.

In every way, this is an upending of all that was right about Dillon and about this show. Accordingly, the premiere can be difficult to watch, just like the last few episodes of last season, because watching feels like assenting to a fundamental change in the order of right and wrong.

Personally I can’t wait.

For the rest of the season preview check outthis article in the LA Times.


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