The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for the ‘Friday Night Lights’ Category

Will take me to Philadelphia with you, please?

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Dear K,

I lost count of how many times I cried in this finale! This whole series, from start to finish, has offered us image after image of redemptions great and small. If there’s a core ethos to FNL, I think it’s that of redemption. Life can suck; people can be mean; things are going to be tough – but there’s always redemption in the end, even as that redemption is tainted by all the muck it’s redeeming. It’s that deep and true picture of what it is to be redeemed that makes this show so great. And as the most painful aspect of the show for me to watch is probably the ongoing patriarchal – yet true, and complex and still somehow beautiful – structure that governs the world in which these characters live, this last episode brought a new glimmer of redemption to the whole thing. It was Tammy’s turn. And in the end, Eric got that. And finally we had a little hope for Tammy, Tyra, Becky, even Julie, and all the ladies we’ve seen caught up in the craziness of the football machine.  Read the rest of this entry »

Landing

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Dear Natalie,

One more episode to go and once again we are headed to state! I love that we have come around to this moment. I also kind of like that this episode took us through the full play off slate in one go. It is true that the actual football is taking a back seat to make more room for the personal stories, but those stories are holding me so close. The heart of this episode was the two women you paired together last week: Tammy and Becky. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Again

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Dear Natalie,

I think I can finally feel the beginning of the end in this episode and I think that is because it is all about home. What does it mean? Where is it? Can you leave? Can you come back? Really, this entire series is about these questions but seeing them take such a central place in the episode felt like the herald to whatever conclusion is coming in the next three weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Second chances

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Dear Natalie,

Finally, I think we have both watched an episode on time in the same week! I can’t wait to hear what you thought of last night because I loved it. I’m not really sure FNL is capable of disappointing me right now. I am already feeling nostalgia and fondness for these characters and I am refusing to count down the episodes. I don’t think I could bear it. It can be hard to pin point exactly how FNL is different in terms of its ability to draw the watcher into the emotional depths of its characters but I felt it strongly being back with Matt this week. At some point as he is saying something wise and understanding to Julie and she appears younger and more immature than usual, I turned to my husband and said “I feel like I need to get to know Matt all over again.” Read the rest of this entry »

Did you know you don’t have to lie to me?

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Hey Kathryn,

Oof, this one was all about girls and manipulation – a somewhat unfortunate combination! Let’s start with the manipulation: Epic, Vince’s dad, and Vince…

Man, Epic had me with that hunger routine and the sad story about social services. Perhaps I was particularly involved in this narrative because I too once worked with inner city kids and had to balance the goods and bads of a call to social services. And I too learned that things are never easy to discern in such situations…manipulation or not. Tammy Taylor really is the heart and soul of this show for me. If ever I feel like I might be a good and gracious person, Tammy Taylor reminds me that no ma’am, I most certainly am not. That woman exudes grace – even when the adulterous TA is at her door Read the rest of this entry »

The game

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Dear Natalie,

I guess Eric isn’t going to be able to control the violent, restless energy of his team after all. If the last couple episodes showed the Lions slowly shifting to a more aggressive game, this week took us all the way to rip-your-head-off football land. Even sweet Luke Cafferty is in on the action, fender pressing his way to macho anger and Riggins-level defensive sacking (more about Luke later). Of course, these boys have good reason to be riled up. In our second hint that Dillon is indeed in the 21st century with access to websites, even poorly made ones, someone has illegally and immorally posted the juvenile records of several Lion players. Read the rest of this entry »

Things fall apart

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Dear Natalie,

Well, the happy road trip vibes can’t last forever, can they? Things came crashing down around the Taylors this week, fueled by Julie’s humiliation and inability to face the consequences of her actions. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Derek the TA subplot, but this episode proved why it was all worth it. Julie’s indiscretions, which, let’s be honest do not seem to bother her in and of themselves as much as the embarrassment of being publicly caught in them do, have not just put a strain on her own confused sense of self-purpose, but have ripped the Taylor family wide open. We have watched Tami make a few rough decisions, requiring Eric’s patience and resolve. But this week we watched Eric’s own self-righteousness hit a wall with his daughter’s refusal to be tough-loved into the moral high ground. It was a perfect contrast to his “king maker” moment in the sun. A molder of men, perhaps. An understanding father, not as much as we all would like to believe. Read the rest of this entry »