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Posts Tagged ‘Coach Taylor’

Tim leaves high school football behind.

Tim leaves high school football behind.

Way to harsh my buzz, Friday Night Lights!  There we were, the championship game, little Matt Seracen has lead the team back from a 27 point deficit and the crowd is going wild.  This is a time when being a real football fan pays off, because I looked at the time remaining in the game, 1:30, and I said, oh no, that’s way too much time.  And sure enough, the other team drove the field and kicked a field goal.  I was given enough to time to hope that someone would block the kick, then enough time to hope that it would bounce off the goal post and the Panthers would be victorious.  But no, no, they had the ball sail through the uprights and the other team won the state championship.  Major bummer.  Reminded me so much of watching my own team lose close games over and over again that I actually felt a little sick.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

Coach Taylor sees the championship go down the drain.

I know, the show peaked too early.  They let the Panthers win the championship in their first season, which was great.  Last year was a failure for the team (and the writing staff).  This year everything was back on track.  Seracen and Riggins were departing seniors, the freshman phenom was stepping up and taking charge, things were great.  And then, you let them lose!  WHY?  WHY??  I know why, so the town can turn on Coach Taylor as they tend to do in these situations.  Still, I didn’t like it.  I wanted my boys to go out as winners.  Coach tried to tell them they still were after the game but it didn’t look like they bought into that whole idea.  The show ended poignantly with Riggins leaving his shoes behind at his last high school game.

In other news, Matt is thinking about going to art school in Chicago, much to Julie’s chagrin and his grandmother’s horror.  I was glad Julie acted somewhat mature about it but Grandma had to act like a helpless 2 year old again and guilt Matt into likely staying.  She seemed to regret that during the game, telling Julie she didn’t want to hold him back, but we’ll see if her actions end up backing up her words.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Bonding time in the truck over an essay.

Things are looking up for Landry; he got promoted to a special teams starter and seems to have Tyra back (for now at least).  Of course he nearly ruined the special teams thing by getting drunk and missing the bus to the game but Tyra got him there in time.  I really do like those two together, he makes her a much better person.

I had to laugh out loud when Lyla announced to her father that she was going to go to San Diego State with Riggins and get a place together!  The look of horror on Buddy’s face was awesome.  That’ll teach you to steal your daughter’s college money, Buddy!  HA!

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Let the war again, McCoy vs. Taylor.

Looks like the Taylors are going to have some major issues with the McCoys from here on out.  They reported Joe McCoy to Child Services because they are required by law.  JD stormed in and demanded to know why Coach would do that and gave him a lot of attitude.  Mrs. McCoy and Tami no longer seem to be friends either thanks to them having to attend parenting classes and losing their kid if anything happens again.  JD responded to the family pressure by having a crappy game and screaming at his teammates so he got benched.  Next week Coach is yelling at Joe McCoy about destroying his family or something, so clearly retaliation is at hand.  Fun!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

The Taylors will weather this next storm together, as always!

This episode was definitely a bummer with the small exception of Tyra/Landry and Lyla pulling the rug out from under her father.  I do think things will turn out well for Matt and Julie will have to deal with whatever he decides; the crappy thing about dating an older guy in high school.  I was there once upon a time!  Ahhh the memories.  I am still thrilled that FNL has been picked up for 2 more years, I need the Taylors in my life (and hopefully guest appearances by Smash and Matt and Riggins from time to time? PLEASE???)  Clear eyes, warm hearts, we’ll win again!

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Smash plays one last game on his high school field; look at that face!

Smash plays one last game on his high school field; look at that face!

This week’s FNL brought a smile to my face and honest to goodness tears to my eyes.  Smash is on his way to college and I reacted like a proud family member rather than a silly TV watcher, but that’s just the effect this show can have on you.  I’ll get to that shortly, but briefly discuss the rest of the show first.

Tyra catches Cash's eye.

Tyra catches Cash's eye.

Tyra met her a cowboy!  An honest to goodness rodeo star.  And it came at the expense of her friendship with Landry.  Though they broke up they seem to spend as much time together as a regular couple and she promised to be there to entertain Landry after he had his wisdom teeth pulled.  But of course the cowboy came a calling and Tyra blew Landry off for him.  Landry ran into her with Cash and figured out that she’d lied.  Big confrontation during which he tells her that she’s practically his girlfriend and she disputes that, but I gotta say, she really kinda is.  Anyway, she chose stranger boy so Landry washed his hands of her.

Landry confronts Tyra and her cowboy.

Landry confronts Tyra and her cowboy.

Matt’s mom showed up out of the blue to help him out with his grandmother.  At first Matt wasn’t embracing this idea but he decided to let her take Grandma to the doctor.  She didn’t like that at all; apparently she has a lot of hatred for her son’s ex, but Matt convinced her to go.  Later, Mom tried to insert herself again by grocery shopping and Matt told her off in front of Julie.  Then Grandma told him that maybe she wasn’t so bad after all and Matt met her for lunch and agreed to let her spend some time with him and help him out and be a mother to him for the first time ever.

Coach talks to Tammy about his QB dilemma.

Coach talks to Tammy about his QB dilemma.

The best story, my favorite story other than Smash himself; was with the Coach and Tammy Taylor.  Coach had to determine the best way to win this week’s game and he was feeling the pressure of whether or not to start Matt.  He had a wonderful conversation with Tammy in which he told her that he knew he needed to get JD starting, he was their best chance to win, but that he knows just how much it would hurt Matt to be removed as the starter.  This touched me, because it’s very rare for a football coach to think about a kids personal life when making decisions that affect the whole team.  Coach finally decided to get JD McCoy some playing time; decided it was best to let the boys be co-starters, with Matt running the i-formation plays (which is the running back in the backfield behind the QB for the non initiated) and JD run the spread offense (no running back in the back field, he and the receivers are split wide and spread out).   Matt’s not thrilled but I think he’s a lot less upset about it than he would have been had he been booted completely.

Matt's not too thrilled to be sharing time with JD.

Matt's not too thrilled to be sharing time with JD.

Tammy, meanwhile, after way too many stubborn attempts to fight the scoreboard, finally gave in on the issue and let Buddy put up his damn Jumbotron.  But she actually got wise and more or less blackmailed him and the board into having some kind of charity event to raise money for the academic side of the school.  I don’t know why it took her so long, that’s what I would have done from the get go.  I’d say, you want a scoreboard then get me matching funds for academics and you can have your stinkin’ Jumbotron.

Smash listens as Coach Taylor demands he get his tryout.

Smash listens as Coach Taylor demands he get his tryout. Look at that face, he's in awe.

And now, to my Smash!  The day of the tryout was approaching and Smash tried to feel the coach out about which coach he was going to be auditioning for.  Turned out it was a front office exec and not a coach but Coach convinced him that it would be okay.  They arrive at the college and are ignored for over an hour, then told that there’s just no time to try out today.  Coach takes Smash over to the head coach and demands that he give him that tryout.  The college coach is none too pleased but admires the moxie Eric Taylor had in demanding that he look at his kid.  What was beautiful was watching Smash’s face as he listened to Coach Taylor push for him and talk about his heart out on the field.  He looked touched and in awe and completely blown away by his coaches faith in him.  He also looked like he was going to cry.  This is when I started crying by the way.  They let Smash line up with the starting offense and he has a couple of nice runs and catches, then whips off a long one for a TD.  Watching Smash light up that football field made my day.  The coach asks Coach Taylor which knee Smash hurt because he couldn’t tell watching him run; Eric smiles and tells him that’s exactly the point, isn’t it?  The coach makes no promises right then and there but you can tell that Smash is in.  He says he’ll call him.

Smash gets the call and first pulls a fake out on his Momma, making her think it was just some random call.  Then he tells her he’s going to college and you can just feel the joy from the whole family.  And then, this was truly beautiful, he went over to tell Coach that he got in.  I loved this moment so much that I’m just gonna document it word for word.  I want to have it here to remember and review anytime I want.  Cheesy I know, but it really did set me to bawling my eyes out.  I watched it 3 times and it never got less touching.

Smash:  Coach, I’ve been called.  I’m in.

Coach:  Is that right? (priceless look on his face)

Smash (talking fast):  He wants me at practice in the morning.  I’m leaving tonight, the guys are driving me.  I just figured I’d stop by before I left.

Coach:  Got your playbook?

Smash:  It’s in the car.

Coach:  Remember what I told you about those dorm rooms down there right?  Athletic dorm is nothing but trouble.

Smash:  Yes sir.

Coach:  You better not be skipping any classes and keeping your grades up.  I’m gonna keep an eye on them.  (both guys are talking at the same time, coach trying to give him fatherly advice and Smash trying to stop him).

Smash:  Coach, just hold up.  (Teary voice).  I wanted to stop by and say thank you.  You know.  For everything.  I couldn’t have done any of this without you and that’s for real.

Coach shakes his hand and gives him a hug as Tammy watches with a smile.  He tells him he wants some OU tickets and parking passes.  Coach watches as he drives away with Landry, Matt and Riggins.  Those 4 head to the football field and play a quick game, with Smash getting a TD and grinning a mile wide and saying, “Where you at baby, where you at?”

And thus ends Smash’s run on the show, though I have high hopes that he’ll reappear from time to time on college breaks.  I’d love to see him stop by and tell Coach about college.  I’d love to see Coach get his OU tickets and go watch the player that he went out on such a limb for play his college ball.  All of this took place within the last 20 minutes and it was the best part of this show for me.  The best of the 3 years it’s been on.  The way Coach Taylor cares for those boys just reaches out and grabs you by the throat and you have to feel for them too.  Having the boys recognize that and appreciate it is wonderful.  Kudos, FNL.  I will always remember this episode and I will always love it.

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Can Tammy Taylor really take on the boosters?

Can Tammy Taylor really take on the boosters?

This weeks Friday Night Lights really focused on relationships.  I suppose all the episodes do but this one seemed particularly to work on testing old relationships and sampling a new/old one.

We started out with rising tensions between Tammy Taylor and the school board regarding the whole Jumbotron issue.  She got interviewed by a reporter who asked her if her stance against the Jumbotron was causing any tension in her marriage.  Tammy truthfully told her that in the end they work through these kinds of things and of course the reporter ran a story claiming that Tammy was a rebel and that it was causing stress in her relationship.  Of course the real thing causing stress is that Coach really won’t talk to her about the issue and I think she’s pretty irritated that he won’t stand up for her with the boosters and the mayor.  Of course, Coach knows that’s a losing battle; he’s got his own pressure from the boosters to start playing JD McCoy and you pick your battles.  Plus he knows it won’t exactly harm his team to have that Jumbotron.  Luckily the Taylor marriage is quite strong and you know they’ll work through it in the end.  Looks like Tammy’s going to be hauled before the school board next week thanks to Buddy and the mayor ganging up on her, so she’ll need Coach’s support.

Matt & Julie begin to bond again!

Matt & Julie begin to bond again!

Poor Matt Seracen has no end to the angst in his life.  His grandmother is getting worse and being stubborn about taking her medication and there’s not a lot Matt can do about it.  He consults with a lawyer who suggests getting himself emancipated so he can have say over what his grandmother does.  Matt doesn’t like this idea overly much but a talk with his grandma convinces him that he needs to do it so he heads off to find his mother.  She’s been gone from his life for a long time, not sure how long but he feels the need to introduce himself when he sees her so you know it’s been awhile.  She has no clue about his life; that his father is out of the country and his grandmother is suffering from dementia and that he’s a QB, etc.  The nice thing that happened for Matt in this episode is that he and Julie took some baby steps to getting back together.  She saw him taking out his frustrations over Grandma on some empty boxes and listened to him tell her about his issues.  After he got the paper signed he picked her up from work and told her he was emancipated and she teased him about how hot that was, til she found out that he couldn’t drink or vote or anything else.  It was nice to see them banter and tease one another again and see Julie NOT being the royal bitch she was last season.  I have high hopes for these two in the end.

Last week it was no shirt, this week it's no pants.  Go Riggins!

Last week it was no shirt, this week it's no pants. Go Riggins!

Riggins & Lyla took some steps forward with their relationship as well.  Lyla heard about Tim’s letter of interest from Oklahoma and took it upon herself to try to secure his future.  She dragged him along to a fancy dinner with her father and Mr. McCoy (the phenoms father) before which Buddy more or less threatened him to get away from his daughter.  That put Tim’s back up and he was stammering and barely talking all through dinner.  Hilariously he ordered squab trying to impress everyone and not realizing what it was.  He ordered it rare too.  hehe After he and Lyla got into a fight about her pushing him to be someone that he’s not and it appeared that they broke up.  She showed up at his house, where he was sitting around pantsless with Tyra and instead of having a fit like I expected, she took that with good grace and gave him the cheeseburger she’d picked up for him to make up for the gross squab.  I’m glad they didn’t go the trite route and break them up this early in the game.  I like Tim & Lyla, yeah they’re different but they have a good vibe together.

Ladies & gentleman, your class president!

Ladies & gentleman, your class president!

Riggins wasn’t the only one thinking about college and the future.  Tyra’s campaign for the class presidency wasn’t going well; she got in late in the game and her posters were being vandalized.  Nobody was taking her seriously and since that wasn’t working for her, she went old school Tyra and got her sister’s stripper friends to dance for her campaign.  This displeased the jerky guidance counselor who was set to suspend her until Tammy Taylor stood up for her and let her go to the pep rally to give her speech.  Of course Tammy regretted that when Tyra’s speech consisted of pointing out that the other girl would throw them a boring prom in the gym and if they wanted to get laid they should vote for her.  Not surprisingly, Tyra won.  Tammy laid into her about the way she ran her campaign and how she’d made her look bad.

Smash back where he belongs!

Smash back where he belongs!

The storyline that most interests me and tugs at my heartstrings remains that of Smashes rehab attempts.  This week Coach Taylor had him working with Riggins and when Riggins hit Smash, he freaked out about it.  He realized that he was running scared and afraid to take a hit now.  Coach confronted him on that and Smash admitted that part of the problem is he doesn’t know who he is anymore, he was a Dillon Panther but now he’s not.  Coach comes up with the idea of having Smash meet him on the field and then has the entire team come out to play a game.  Smash broke a long run and was hit just as he crossed the goal line.  There was that typical brief moment of silence where you wondered if he had been reinjured and then Smash jumps up and announces “That’s 6! I’m back baby!”  It should have been cheesy but it really was great.  I want Smash to achieve his dream just as much as Coach Taylor does.  Then Coach got a call and took off late in the evening and showed up at the Williams house to tell Smash that he had a tryout with Texas A&M in 2 weeks.  The shouts of joy inside the house as Coach walked away was intoxicating.  I teared up, I’m not afraid to admit it. I love that Coach went to deliver the info in person, that’s so like him.  I love Smash’s mother, she works hard for her family and really fights for what’s best for them.  Looks like next week financial issues with them attempting to send Smash to college will rear their head, but I have faith that Momma will make it work out.

So that pretty much hit the highlights of this episode for me.  I really loved it from start to finish.  I’m gonna get tired of Tammy vs. Buddy before the season ends but hopefully she’ll lose her temper and haul off and punch him and that’ll make me happy.  I know Smash will be off the show as soon as he does achieve the dream and get to college but I still have my hopes that it will happen soon.  I don’t know if Tyra and Landry will get back together but I like that he’s still a huge part of her life.  Matt & Julie look on the path to reuniting and that thrills me, he’s gonna need someone on his side when the freshman usurps him as QB1.  I really like how things are setting up and I already can’t wait for next week!

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Life is better with Coach Taylor in your life.

Life is better with Coach Taylor in there.

How nice was it to escape my football drama, a fired head coach and GM three weeks after the season ends, and enter the fictional football drama of the Dillon Panthers last night?  Friday Night Lights is back and it’s as engaging as it was from the first episode two seasons ago.  I’m thrilled to have Coach & Tammy Taylor back in my life!  Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins and Smash Williams are lighting up my screen again.  You just can’t lose with that combination of people.

I’ll admit there was some confusion for me, it’s been too long since season 2 ended and I forgot a few things.  For instance, what’s with the tension between Saracen and Riggins?  The only thing I can think of is that time that Riggins brought Julie home drunk and coach mistakenly thought they were hooking up.  Did Matt hear about that and get jealous?  Not that he really had any right while he was banging granny’s nurse, but I guess that’s possible.  Anybody who reads this and knows, let me know what brought that one on.

The battle of Coach vs. Wife is sure to kick off this season with Tammy as the principal now.  She’s already mad about them getting new computers while she’s had to fire 4 teachers so it will bubble up rather quickly I think.  I did enjoy, though I fully expected, her telling Buddy Garrity that she was going to use his scoreboard money for actual school needs like supplies and teachers.

Coach helps Smash see that his knee is fixed.

Coach helps Smash see that his knee is fixed.

I absolutely loved Coach still working out with Smash trying to get his knee rehabbed so he can pick up another scholarship down the road.  How many coaches actually dedicate their free time to helping former players rehab when they’ve got to get their new team ready for the season?  It’s scenes like those that make you want Coach Taylor to be your father or your coach or just your friend.  Kyle Chandler is fabulous.  Smash’s decision to quit followed by Coach getting him to play racquet ball at the end and showing him just how strong his knee truly is was great.  I was watching him fly around the court saying, look at you, Smash, you’re moving side to side without a problem, making cuts, just like you would on a football field!  I can’t wait to see Smash end up on some college team.  I know that’ll be the end of him on this show more or less, but still, it’s what I want for him.  Him and his mother, who is by far and away the coolest sports parent on this show.  I love Momma Williams!

When will Matt go from QB1 to QB2?

When will Matt go from QB1 to QB2?

Of course this year we have the freshman phenom, JD McCoy I believe, just waiting to take over Matty’s position as QB 1 on the team.  From the looks of his arm, it won’t be long before he has usurped Matt, no doubt causing friction in Matt’s relationship with his coach and possibly with Matt’s ex, Julie Taylor, Coach’s daughter.  I absolutely loathed the stage father trying to bribe Coach Taylor and kiss ass all over the field, with his smoothies and his scotch and cigars.  This is a natural portrayal of a sports parent though, so I guess I welcome it.  The only real sports parent we have right now is Buddy Garrity and he doesn’t have a son on the team (thank god).  It’ll be fun to watch it play out and experience the angst though.  Nobody brings the angst like Matty.  The Panthers are 1-0 under his watch for now but JD got to come into the game late and threw a very pretty TD that wowed coach and made Matt quite nervous.  Bring on the QB competition!

Tammy & Tyra confront each other over her future.

Tammy & Tyra confront each other over her future.

It was good to see Tyra revving up to kick some ass this season as well.  That guidance counselor basically telling her not to bother to apply to college and just to get prepared for tech school deserved to be fired.  I was glad when she went in and told him off.  I had expected Tammy Taylor to do it after Tyra let her have it for making her care about school, but it was better that Tyra did.  Even though they’re the odd couple, I love Tyra/Landry and am hoping they reunite sometime this season.

Shirtless Riggins is always a wonderful thing.

Shirtless Riggins is always a wonderful thing.

Speaking of odd couples, Riggins and Lyla are together yet again.  She was all about Jesus and being pure last season, so embracing the naughtiest boy on the team yet again is quite the turnaround.  Not that I can blame her.  Any time they want to show Riggins shirtless is fine by me.  They managed it several times in the first 10 minutes of the show.  Way to know your audience FNL!  I enjoyed watching Lyla stew in her jealous juices over all the girls salivating over Tim and then her finally deciding to brand him as hers at the party after the game.  That’s right, chick, stand up for your man.  We’ll see if she actually gets Tim to straighten up a bit. I absolutely loved Tim’s brother telling him that he was a rebound from Jesus for Lyla though.  That was hilarious!

That pretty much hit the highlights of the show for me.  It’s good to have the Panthers back on my TV screen.  I’ve managed to stay relatively unspoiled on the show so though I can guess where things are going, I don’t officially know.  It’ll be fun to watch it play out with you here.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!  Go Panthers!

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