Thursday, January 04, 2007

Friday Night Lights - Of Vice and Men


Is it me or does my favorite new show of this TV season Friday Night Lights bear a striking resemblence to our favorite Canadian export Degrassi: The Next Generation?

Deals with teenagers in an unusually realistic fashion dealing with hard issues head on:
Friday Night Lights - Check! Degrassi: TNG - Check!

School team is The Panthers with Blue and Yellow colours:
Friday Night Lights - Check! Degrassi: TNG - Check!

Takes place in a foreign land Americans don't really understand yet is still relatable:
Friday Night Lights in Texas - Check! Degrassi: TNG in Canada - Check!

Main character in a wheelchair:
Jason Street in Friday Night Lights - Check! Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi: TNG - Check!

Relatively Racially Diverse casts yet still no Asians:
Friday Night Lights - Check! Degrassi: TNG - Check!

So back to the town of Dillon, where Tami Taylor drills down on Riggins to actually complete his own homework and volunteers Landry to the task (and who ends up reading the entire book of Of Mice and Men to Riggins). Jason Street and Lyla try to make out but the there is no action/reaction below the waist for Jason who then seeks help from Herc. Senior Saracen shows up at the doorsteps just in time to help Matt out with all the problems with supporting Grandma Saracen but Matt's father is a pathetic excuse and is of little help.

All the stress carries onto the shoulders of Matt who dismisses Julie and plays poorly at the game his father is finally able to see. It all unravels when Matt yells at his father after the game for knowingingly sending Matt's grandma to a home, and Matt to another state to live with other relatives, as Matt's father returns to Iraq, even though he had the option of staying to help with Matt and his mother. Everyone else looks on, and this is the point in this episode where my eyes begin to water (like shivers in Lost and snort laughs in The Office, it must happen at least once an episode apparently). The Taylors look on and take Matt home. Ah, the Taylors, the best parents on TV since Sandy and Kiki Cohen. Kudos for Connie Britton for playing Tami so fiercely yet entirely motherly and this episode she got more to showcase as she harks on Riggins (and Coach for protecting Riggins).

Next week, seems like we will see more of Tyra defending herself from an abusive man (father?). Don't forget, Friday Night Lights now on Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC.

Meanwhile, it seems we in Canada have caught up and surpassed The N's broadcast of Degrassi: The Next Generation with the "big" episode next week on CTV just ahead of The N's broadcast of the episode "Rock This Town" which you should not miss. I can't give you the spoilers but you may want to have some tissues on hand (or you may cheer, depends how you feel). Next Tuesday January 9th at 8pm on CTV and on Friday January 19th at 8pm on The N.

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