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Not long ago I was sitting around, eating some cheese balls I believe, and thinking about what might be missing from my life. A healthy diet? A monkey butler? A lifetime supply of sporks? The entire series of Perfect Strangers on DVD? While each would make a welcome (and necessary) addition to my existence, I was surprised to discover that the real answer was in fact…a handful of gorgeous Texan teenagers whose lives revolve around high school football. Who knew?
As fate would have it, a television show matching that exact description came along and I was subsequently hooked. Friday Night Lights is good. Really good, in fact. With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Heroes and Ugly Betty I think this one has gotten overlooked, which is unfortunate because what we have here is quality programming, people. And this coming from a person who dislikes anything having to do with football, with the major exception of cheese-shaped hats. So here I present to you a brief summary of the story so far, and full recaps will begin with Tuesday’s episode (8pm, NBC, be there).Dillon, Texas is a small town that has football fever. Nay, football tuberculosis. They’re that obsessed. The Dillon Panthers are coached by one Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler, previously seen in Grey’s Anatomy as “pink dust”), who’s just an all around nice guy. We like him. This is the story of…you know what, the plot is pretty basic. Football, wins, losses, glory, crushed dreams, wasted potential, rejection, redemption, youth, and…oh, and ice cream.
This show is really about the people, so I’ll just save all the plot details for the recaps and cut straight to the characters.
Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) – Coach’s wife and high school guidance counselor. A lovely woman as well. The whole fam-damily is lovely.
Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) – Their lovely daughter. Except she kind of has a Kim-Bauer-vibe, which as we all know is not so lovely. Hopefully she will continue to evade any and all possible cougar attacks.
Jason Street (Scott Porter) – The Panthers’ former golden boy star quarterback. Former because in the pilot he broke his neck during the big game and is now paralyzed from the chestal region down. I think this is one of the best characters on television at the moment, and his whole plotline is just heartbreakingly fantastic.
Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly) – Jason’s cheerleader girlfriend. She has so far completely failed to grasp the permanence of his injury, and therefore has been nothing but annoying and chipper and…what else.. ah yes. She’s also CHEATING on him with his best friend. Hope you’re looking forward to your time in HELL, bitch.
Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) – Jason’s best friend and Panthers’ fullback. He has greasy hair and a major drinking problem. The two may or may not be causally related. He’s also the second half of the couple of SIN, plus occasionally finds the time to join Tyra for a triple-x throwdown.
Billy Riggins (Derek Phillips) – Tim’s older brother and guardian, since their parents are out of the picture. He used to play football as well, but has now become not much of anything. He’s usually just pissed that Tim is pissing away any potential he might have. Piss.
Brian “Smash” Williams (Gaius Charles) – The Panthers’ running back. He is currently taking steroids in an attempt to win back the affection of a scout. I mean a recruiter-type scount, not a boy scout or anything. That’s a different show.
Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) – The current starting quarterback of the Panthers, thrust into such a position after Jason’s career-ending game. He lives with and takes care of his grandmother. Aw. He also just asked out Julie Taylor. Double aw.
Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons) – Matt’s best friend and all around goofy guy. Not on the football team. Shocking.
Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) – The town slut. Looser than an old boot.
Look how pretty they all are! So watch dammit!