“Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can’t Lose” Friday Night Lights changes things up and succeeds

Originally published on The Daily Iowan Arts Blog 11/1/2009

The fall brings two of my favorite past times to the fore front: Football and the fall TV season. While many viewers are going to work at a northeast paper company, grabbing a pint at their favorite Philly bar or singing infectious pop songs with their hip Spanish teacher, a select few are putting on their shoulder pads to enjoy the drama under the Friday Night Lights and every night in between.

The reason I use the words “select few” is because the fourth season of the once hit show is back on DirectTV channel 101. Unfortunately for myself and all the others in Panther (or should I say Lion) nation, we don’t have the satellite service and are left in the dark until spring, when the season airs on NBC.

However, fans have no reason to complain; in fact they should rejoice and praise DirecTV for taking a chance on one of the best shows on TV. After a lackluster second season, there was no reason for either the satellite provider or NBC to pick up a third season. And while last season was strong and harkened back to season one – one of the best seasons of any show ever – DirecTV picked up not one but two more seasons!

Like many Friday Night fanatics I had to find an alternative means to see last Wednesday’s premiere and while I know this means I will be one less viewer come spring, my excitement consumed me as this last season lived up to my expectations ten-fold.

To state the obvious, Coach Eric Taylor is a stallion. Any self-respecting guy is lucky to grow up to be half the man he is. He takes anything that comes his way and meets it head on and is the perfect lead character to have in case a show needs to shake up its formula. The same can be said of Tami Taylor (Connie Britton). Her quick tongue and Coach’s stubborn will make for TV’s best couple. Period.

It’s a true testament the actors and the writing that a show is able to stay fresh for so long. Sure season two’s infamous rape plotline went on longer than it should have but other than that, the show remains strong even with character’s graduating from Dillon High and this season is the best example of that.

While I don’t want to give anything away for those waiting for the NBC season, the lines in Dillion, Texas have been clearly drawn and I can’t wait to see where they lead.

– Tyler Lyon

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