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Danny Franks

Friday Night Lights

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Best show ever? It's arguable, but I'd make a case for it.

The first season, in particular, was TV nirvana for me. Everything about it worked so, so well. Small town pins its hopes on teenage boys, tragic injury and the repercussions of it for everyone, relationships start, flourish, fall apart. Our souls really were tested.

And to top it all off, the gorgeous cinematography and music.

I think my favourite scene of any television show ever might just be the boys on the field, goofing around, in Ch-Ch-Changes. I absolutely loved the carefree, drunken buddies vibe of them swapping sob stories, and then the wonderful, uplifting triumph of Jason teaching Matt how to throw an 18 yard deep out. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.

I just wish they'd let Timmy Riggins go off to college and stay there, because watching him in seasons 4 and 5 was depressing.

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I love FNL (Thanks TWoP for convincing me to give it a try!) but I actually liked the show more once it was given limited seasons.  I felt that the stories were much tighter, without all the noise in the first and second seasons (Buddy Gehrity's marriage, Landry/Tyra kill a guy, etc.)

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Yeah, for me there's no question that the pseudo-cable format benefitted the show. Season 2 is pretty much universally panned, and it's been too long since I watched season 1 so I don't really remember, but I definitely believe that there was some stuff in there that could have been trimmed down.

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I didn't think there was too much in the first season that felt extraneous, to be honest. I thought it was tightly plotted, and the storylines fed into each other nicely. It did have the seeds of Tyra/Landry, with the attempted rape, and that was definitely the low point, but other than that I think it was mostly great. One flaw that I would acknowledge was that they seemed to run out of stuff for Tim to do, once they'd done the Tim/Lyla/Jason storyline, and brought Tim's dad back for a couple of episodes. So him hooking up with the lady next door felt a bit tacked on and needless.

But that was happening while they were dealing with Jason rediscovering himself, Lyla struggling to adjust to the changes in her life, Tyra and Julie becoming friends, Matt and Julie's relationship continuing to grow, Coach getting the job offer from TMU, so I guess there wasn't room for everything to be fully developed.

As for seasons 4 and 5, they will always been frowned upon by me. They were good, but they were about the Lions, not the Panthers. And, to quote Smash Williams, "I'm a Panther". And I never liked the new characters as much as the old ones.

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I thought that the show did a really good job of making me at least care about the new characters / new team, with just enough of the old characters (and letting them pop up once in a while). What it didn't do a great job of was keeping any depth to the old characters. In season 3, for example, I kind of liked J.D., in that obviously he was kind of terrible but you had sympathy for why he ended up that way / some hope that he could recover from it. In season 4 he became just a caricature.

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Even though the move to East Dillon was an adjustment, I liked that in season 4 they kept just enough old characters to make it feel ok for me. Landry, Julie and Devon moving to the reopened school balanced out all of the new students.  I accepted that there had to be some kind of change since they had already played fast and loose with the ages/grades of the older students.  As much as I missed the O.G. Panthers, I would have been dissatisfied if they had kept them around forever.  After all, everyone has to move on in life.

As my two favorite episodes are "Mud Bowl" and "Kingdom", I guess that is a testament to how much I like the story lines from both schools.

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With the exception of the murder (and I'll forgive them for that because everyone makes mistakes and it only mildly irritated me), I thought this was an incredibly tight, fully imagined story, perfectly cast and written by a group of storytellers who didn't rely on ridiculous melodrama to keep me interested. It was just regular people struggling, working together, and trying to make it. It also probably best represents my own personal value system, and I thought that the fact that it was shot like a documentary and often improvised just made it feel even more real. So to say I loved it is an understatement. :)

Favorite episodes...I don't know. I loved both "Mud Bowl" and "Kingdom" also. I really liked "The Lights in Carroll Park," "I Think We Should Have Sex," and any time any of them went on a road trip. I thought the whole arc at the start of season 2 where Tami simply could not cope with the baby by herself was fantastic and heartbreaking. (Jesus, Bratty Julie Taylor! Help your mother!) But my favorite might be "Laboring." Is that the one where Tami refuses to read her preapproved abortion apology? Or was that the finale of season 4? I forget. Either way, I think that's my favorite one.

The move to East Dillon worked for me, and I liked all the new kids a lot. The only thing that sort of disappointed me came at the very end. I really wanted Tami to have to make a decision about that job. Eric giving in was believable, but it let her off the hook. I know she said she was going to turn it down, but she never actually did and held on to the paperwork. Maybe that was just a necessary bit of story so that he would have time to come around, but still. I don't feel certain that I actually know what she was planning to do, though maybe she didn't either and that's the point.

DannyFranks: Do you think Riggins was college material, though? It just seems like that would have been too confining for him. It was awful to watch him crash in seasons 4 and 5, but I liked how it ended, with so much promise that he was ultimately going to get what he really wanted: the ranch and Texas and a place that he felt at home. I didn't see him and Tyra coming, but I kind of liked it in the end. And in the interest of full disclosure, Tim, Tami, and Tyra were probably my favorite characters, though really I Iiked everyone except Julie.

Edited by madam magpie
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DannyFranks: Do you think Riggins was college material, though? It just seems like that would have been too confining for him. It was awful to watch him crash in season 4 and 5, but I liked how it ended, with so much promise that he was ultimately going to get what he really wanted: the ranch and Texas and a place that he felt at home. I didn't see him and Tyra coming, but I kind of liked it in the end. And in the interest of full disclosure, Tim, Tami, and Tyra were probably my favorite characters, though really I Iiked everyone except Julie.

I think he could have been if he actually applied himself. It would have been tough, but I'd have liked to see him actually accomplish something meaningful, and elevate him out of the small town mentality he had always embraced. And, given some college athletes who have made it to the NFL, I think Tim Riggins would have been more than capable of passing the sort of classes they would have been asked to take. It's not like he had to take English Literature or Philosophy classes. He could have done Sports Science or something more practical, as many student athletes do.

I didn't think his story did end with much promise, but maybe that's just my worldview talking. He ended with the building of a house on land he'd acquired using money from illegal activities, without any real career prospects or apparent goal other than not going back to prison. He reunited with Tyra for reasons that made little sense to me other than an element of comfort, and she had no interest in staying in Dillon with him. She told him he'd be a failure and drink himself to death, way back in episode 3 of the show, and I'm honestly not convinced she was wrong, going off the way the series ended.

Also, I was a big fan of Tim/Lyla, right from the start, and really enjoyed seeing Tim turning into a real live boy, in season 3. Was he only doing it for her benefit? Maybe. That was an open question in season 3, but the answer given in season 4, where he completely regressed without her, was not the one I wanted to hear.

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I think he could have been if he actually applied himself. It would have been tough, but I'd have liked to see him actually accomplish something meaningful, and elevate him out of the small town mentality he had always embraced.

I hear you and he definitely was capable of college, but I actually liked that he didn't leave. It's kind of the cliche (not cliche, that's the wrong word, but the typical story) that the small-town kids want to break free and leave the crap place they grew up, and plenty of the kids on this show did that. But Tim loved Dillon and Texas, I always thought. He didn't want to leave. He was a mess, for sure, and needed some direction and to grow up, but I do think he got his dream in the end. They all did really, which I loved because they all had different dreams and different places they wanted to go. I felt like all types of people were represented in this story...even ones who just want to drink beer and sit on their land bought with illegal money. That's not my dream, but I do think it kind of was Tim's.

Edited by madam magpie
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Hey y'all (said in Tami Taylor voice): I renamed this to General Discussion, since we're trying to have the Small Talk threads be for off-topic introducing yourself and whatnot, and every single post in this thread is actually about the show. I made another Small Talk thread with nothing in it if you want to do that kind of thing. If you want to keep talking about how this show is the best ever, keep on it. If you want to start a new conversation about something else, go ahead and start a new thread. :)

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I hear you and he definitely was capable of college, but I actually liked that he didn't leave. It's kind of the cliche (not cliche, that's the wrong word, but the typical story) that the small-town kids want to break free and leave the crap place they grew up, and plenty of the kids on this show did that. But Tim loved Dillon and Texas, I always thought. He didn't want to leave. He was a mess, for sure, and needed some direction and to grow up, but I do think he got his dream in the end. They all did really, which I loved because they all had different dreams and different places they wanted to go. I felt like all types of people were represented in this story...even ones who just want to drink beer and sit on their land bought with illegal money. That's not my dream, but I do think it kind of was Tim's.

Yeah, I agree that it was Tim's dream. But I always wanted more for him, because it seemed like such a sad little dream, when he first talked about it in the pilot episode. There was so much more he could do with his life, that wouldn't revolve around drinking beer and reminiscing about how he used to play football. As far as I could tell, his dream was to not achieve anything or go anywhere.

He was happy, I guess, and that's something. But I'm not sure his happiness would last.

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Sweet sainted Jesus, Madam Magpie ... I try to block how much of an evil snotface Julie was in season 2. Rarely have I wanted to slap a tv character so much. SHE SASSED TAMI TAYLOR. Can you believe that nonsense? It is unfortunate that S2 Julie was involved (with Eric) in one of the funniest exchanges of the whole series: Coach: Where are your shoes?? Julie, on her way out with Lois: I'm not wearing any. That scene makes me chortle everytime. Teenagers are crappy :)

Also, I agree with you about Tim. I grew up in a small town, and a majority of my classmates were happy to just stay there and have a life just like their parents and their grandparents. They don't need or want more. Tim seems like those folks to a T. I liked seeing Tyra at the end of the show, but I doubt they ended up together. Her dreams were bigger than Dillon (FYI, i still tear up when she reads her college essay.)

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Julie Taylor was not worthy of her mother. Or her boyfriend either. I always say it's a good thing the Taylors had a back-up daughter in Gracie Belle because Julie was a lost cause of rudeness and thoughtlessness.

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I will drink to that sentiment. Two words: The. Swede. I will say no more.

Let's not even discuss her behavior after dropping out of college. After a few weeks. Because she slept with her T.A. Who was married.

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I liked Julie, most of the time. Well, for most of seasons 1 and 3, anyway. For most of season 1, she seemed to be portrayed as a precocious but good natured girl, and her rebellions extended little further than dating a boy when her dad didn't approve (and he didn't approve of anyone dating her), and befriending a girl her parents didn't like (and Tami ended up seeing that Julie was right, and Tyra was a good person).

But I think the writers took some big missteps with her, in season 2. All that crap about not wanting to be like her mother and feeling neglected and acting out by trying to date the greasy Swede? It was terrible. She treated Matt like garbage, and then tried to go back to him without ever uttering a word of apology. And I loved Matt telling her off, and cutting ties with her. That boy had endless patience, and was polite to a fault, but when he reached the end of his tether, he could stand up for himself.

I liked her pseudo-sibling relationship with Tim, that lasted for only one episode. I wish the writers had done more with that, because they were sweet together. Not as a romance, at all, but just as friends. I remember Drunken Bee saying in her recap that Taylor Kitsch could really turn the sexy vibes on and off at will, because he came across as pure big brother to Julie.

The stuff with her in season 5 was awful, and I actually skipped most of it, because I really wasn't interested in seeing her fall for a douchebag's charms. Again.

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Aside from Matt (who was a dream first boyfriend) Julie had abyssmal taste in men.

Awwww .. I loved it when Tim briefly lived with the Taylors and he was so protective of Julie. And of course she had to ruin that by letting coach think that Tim was taking advantage of her. S2 Julie was the worst.

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Yeah, she was all right in season 1, and if Julie hadn't been so awful to her parents, mainly her mother, I would have liked her fine. Kids do stupid stuff all the time and make lots of mistakes, and Julie was that mix of incredibly smart and incredibly naive. But I just always had trouble with the fact that Coach and Tami had raised such a jerk. I always was wishing for Coach to say something to Julie about how hard things were for Tami with the new baby and to help her, but he never did. Maybe they just spoiled her and she was supposed to be completely entitled. I don't know. But I never liked her after the first episode of season 2.

I did like her friendships with Tyra and Tim, and Landry and Devin. I think for the most part, Julie was a good friend. But she was mostly a shitty daughter and girlfriend, and even by the show's end, she still hadn't outgrown that. She still treated Matt like she was some kind of prize for him and she didn't care at all that her mother was struggling about the job. If she had matured at all, I think she could have been OK too.

Edited by madam magpie
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Julie in S3 wasn't so bad. She didn't do anything particularly horrid. She was even sweet at times to Matt and behaved herself when she had to have the sex talk with Tami. S4 .... I don't remember anything terribly bad, just normal teenage stuff. S5 ... sigh. That T.A. creep and her complete meltdown.

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I kind of liked the T.A. storyline. That sort of thing is so typical of kids who go off to college and fall into something they aren't ready for. It all worked: how she crashed her car on purpose and how her parents' reactions went from normal support and worry to fury as they sorted out what was happening; how they kept insisting that she get herself together and go back to school; and even how they were a bit divided on how to handle it, with Mom being more softhearted because she'd been an 18-year-old girl and sort of got it and Dad just being fed up. It all reminded me of a friend of mine who always told his teenage sons, "Do not call us if you get arrested for being stupid. Don't even call your mother. I will not let her bail you out, even if you cry."

All the sex talks with Tami were great, but I think that's mostly because compassionate TV parenting is one of Connie Britton's special gifts. She should be elected as some kind of national ambassador to discuss sex (and drugs and school and whatever) with teenagers.

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I have often hoped that whoever wrote Tami's mom talks actually has a kid. It would be a shame to have all those brilliant speeches go to waste.

Edited by ChlcGirl
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Hey, come on now, don't undersell Coach Taylor and his wonderfully articulate approach to parenting advice:

"You know what it is? When there's one person who's involved with another person, and that first person is a person who gets in trouble, who gets suspended, who doesn't wear enough clothes....that first person starts hanging around with the second person, who happens to be a pretty darn good kid -- very smart, smarter than what I'm seeing right now -- and the second person who's with that first person starts going down the wrong path? That's a bit of a problem."

Thanks to Drunken Bee for recapping that, word for word. An absolutely masterful piece of writing and acting, that just perfectly summed up Eric Taylor's constant befuddlement when dealing with the conflicts between his wife and his daughter.

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Hi, Y'all.  I am driving myself crazy trying to find one particular scene from FNL.  It involves Tami going to what I remember as a booster breakfast (lunch?) uninvited and doing the sweetest bit of smiling while skewering you ever did see.  I cannot remember if it was during the Jumbotron era or if it was in the Luke Cafferty-had-a-fake-address era, but I KNOW this scene exists and I feel like I am getting nowhere looking at old TWoP recaps and episode descriptions. Does this ring a bell for anyone?  

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Hi, Y'all.  I am driving myself crazy trying to find one particular scene from FNL.  It involves Tami going to what I remember as a booster breakfast (lunch?) uninvited and doing the sweetest bit of smiling while skewering you ever did see.  I cannot remember if it was during the Jumbotron era or if it was in the Luke Cafferty-had-a-fake-address era, but I KNOW this scene exists and I feel like I am getting nowhere looking at old TWoP recaps and episode descriptions. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

Season 4, episode 2 "After The Fall". It's after Luke has to go to the Lions and the Boosters are threatening to have Eric lose his State Championship from the Panthers by disclosing the information about the mailbox. Buddy is still  a Panther booster at the time because he looks so proud of Tami during the scene. The look on all the other boosters faces when Tami says that ALL Panther State Titles would be lost is so satisfying.

Edited by maculae
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Season 4, episode 2 "After The Fall". It's after Luke has to go to the Lions and the Boosters are threatening to have Eric lose his State Championship from the Panthers by disclosing the information about the mailbox. Buddy is still  a Panther booster at the time because he looks so proud of Tami during the scene. The look on all the other boosters faces when Tami says that ALL Panther State Titles would be lost is so satisfying.

Thank you oh-so-very much. It has been driving me crazy, but I also needed to send it to a friend for some Taminspiration.

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I would so love some Taminspiration some days. Actually, my dream would be a View type show where Tami Taylor, Joan Holloway Harris (Mad Men), Trina Decker (Swingtown) and either Julia Sugarbaker or Dorothy Zbornak discuss life issues. Or you know ... they just all become my life coaches.

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I think he could have been if he actually applied himself. It would have been tough, but I'd have liked to see him actually accomplish something meaningful, and elevate him out of the small town mentality he had always embraced. And, given some college athletes who have made it to the NFL, I think Tim Riggins would have been more than capable of passing the sort of classes they would have been asked to take. It's not like he had to take English Literature or Philosophy classes. He could have done Sports Science or something more practical, as many student athletes do.

I didn't think his story did end with much promise, but maybe that's just my worldview talking. He ended with the building of a house on land he'd acquired using money from illegal activities, without any real career prospects or apparent goal other than not going back to prison. He reunited with Tyra for reasons that made little sense to me other than an element of comfort, and she had no interest in staying in Dillon with him. She told him he'd be a failure and drink himself to death, way back in episode 3 of the show, and I'm honestly not convinced she was wrong, going off the way the series ended.

Also, I was a big fan of Tim/Lyla, right from the start, and really enjoyed seeing Tim turning into a real live boy, in season 3. Was he only doing it for her benefit? Maybe. That was an open question in season 3, but the answer given in season 4, where he completely regressed without her, was not the one I wanted to hear.

So you are of the mind that Tim was a failure and loser, like much of the talk out there on the net. To my mind Tim won. He never wanted to go or was interested in college. He made that pretty clear to Lyla, but she kept on shoving it in his face and pushing him towards it and then Billy started in. and Tim DID NOT WANT.So what if he bought the land using money that was made illegally? You think Buddy Garrity wasn't breaking the law by hiring Tim as a bartender?

He was 19 or 20 years old and i know very few 20 year olds who know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Shit, most of them that are in college at that age don't even know what the hell they want to major in, they're more interested in getting drunk and date raping coeds.

"Texas forever." That's what Tim wanted and that's what he got. he reminded me of a guy I went through high school with. Had a few classes with him he was kind of fat, but funny, didn't get the best grades, but his GPA was higher than mine. Saw him six months after graduation and he was working at the local Shell gas station. Within 5 years he was assistant manager and was happy and content. Would you consider him a loser like Tim?

You say you didn't want to see Tim regress, but instead wanted him to go off to wild success at college. Fine. But honestly would that have been true to his character? As for his having no career prospects, it was pretty clear how his house was shaping up that he could get jobs as a carpenter.

 

Yeah, I agree that it was Tim's dream. But I always wanted more for him, because it seemed like such a sad little dream, when he first talked about it in the pilot episode. There was so much more he could do with his life, that wouldn't revolve around drinking beer and reminiscing about how he used to play football. As far as I could tell, his dream was to not achieve anything or go anywhere.

He was happy, I guess, and that's something. But I'm not sure his happiness would last.

 

So what if he dream was to go nowhere and do nothing? Why is that sad and pathetic? To me that shows that Tim not only knows who he is, more importantly he knows who he truly is not. I certainly don;t find him as pathetic as Buddy whose entire existence revolved around his glory days on the Panthers and how he had used that to become a powerful booster. yes, Tim would as he got older would surely reminisce about State, but football wasn't the be all and end all of his existence. And you forget that he was 19 or 20 years old. NO ONE knows what they want to do with their life ta that age except Type A people like Jason. Tim was an alpha dog, but not a Type A and he was fine with that.

Julie Taylor was not worthy of her mother. Or her boyfriend either. I always say it's a good thing the Taylors had a back-up daughter in Gracie Belle because Julie was a lost cause of rudeness and thoughtlessness.

 

And here I was hoping the JULIE TAYLOR IS AN UNGRATEFUL BITCH!!! types wouldn't show up her, but then they're in every other FNL forum so of course they're gonna show up here.

To me Julie was the best portrayal of a teenager a normal teenager with two parents on the show. Was she snarky and sassy and did she sass her parents? Sure, but THAT'S WHAT TEENAGERS DO.

EVERY ONE OF THEM.

It's also important to note that Aimee Teegarden was the one of the only ones on the show playing close to her age, at least among the teenagers, and she has said that she was going through many of the same things in her real life the same time they were happening on the show, getting her car, having a job etc.

My theory is that the reason so many people hate on Julie is because they see her and their unconscious/subconscious mind thinks back to high school and how they acted and ZOMG THEY ACTED JUST LIKE JULIE DOES!!! BUT WAIT THAT CAN"T BE TRUE BECAUSE JULIE ACTS LIKE A BRAT AND I WAS THE MOST PERFECTEST BESTEST BEHAVED TEENAGER IN HISTORY!!!!!!

No you weren't. You sassed and acted bratty just like Julie did, but it kills you inside to think or admit it so you hate on Julie.

Aside from Matt (who was a dream first boyfriend) Julie had abyssmal taste in men.

Awwww .. I loved it when Tim briefly lived with the Taylors and he was so protective of Julie. And of course she had to ruin that by letting coach think that Tim was taking advantage of her. S2 Julie was the worst.

I thought the Habitat for Humanity guy was pretty nice if a bit naive.

As for the whole Eric catches Tim and Julie fiasco, that was on Eric. Julie tried to explain what had happened the next morning but he steamrolled right over  and told her to get dressed and later when she tried to explain again he steamrolled again, then lied about how she had said nothing until it was time for the game.

 

Julie in S3 wasn't so bad. She didn't do anything particularly horrid. She was even sweet at times to Matt and behaved herself when she had to have the sex talk with Tami. S4 .... I don't remember anything terribly bad, just normal teenage stuff. S5 ... sigh. That T.A. creep and her complete meltdown.

She never did anything horrid, well the TA was pretty bad, but not that unusual. It was more the fact that he was married and Julie knew this that upset her parents.

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I don't know how many folks came here from TWoP, but I was just on there and saw that they ARE going to be leaving the recap archives up (YAY!).  I guess I can stop my FNL-Recaps-to-Word conversion project :D

Anyhoo!  I don't know why Julie bothered me so much on FNL. It wasn't just her being a teenager, because they ALL acted like idiot teenagers at one point or another.  Perhaps it was because her parents were so attuned to teenagers and she never seemed to allow them to do their thing with her.  Maybe because she just acted sooooo put out about everything, when really, she didn't KNOW from difficult lives.  I know I liked her quite a bit in S1.  But again, in S2 she was just HORRIBLE, and not only the way she interacted with her parents.  She treated Matt like shit and then decided to play "poor me" when she wanted him back and he didn't want her back.  I DID feel sorry for her when Tami made her misstep with that new teacher.  Embarrassing for Julie, even though I did get a kind of creepy vibe off the character.  I was back to thinking Julie was OK in S3 and S4.  S5 .... no, no, no.

Edited by ChlcGirl

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To me Julie was the best portrayal of a teenager a normal teenager with two parents on the show. Was she snarky and sassy and did she sass her parents? Sure, but THAT'S WHAT TEENAGERS DO.

EVERY ONE OF THEM.

It's also important to note that Aimee Teegarden was the one of the only ones on the show playing close to her age, at least among the teenagers, and she has said that she was going through many of the same things in her real life the same time they were happening on the show, getting her car, having a job etc.

My theory is that the reason so many people hate on Julie is because they see her and their unconscious/subconscious mind thinks back to high school and how they acted and ZOMG THEY ACTED JUST LIKE JULIE DOES!!! BUT WAIT THAT CAN"T BE TRUE BECAUSE JULIE ACTS LIKE A BRAT AND I WAS THE MOST PERFECTEST BESTEST BEHAVED TEENAGER IN HISTORY!!!!!!

No you weren't. You sassed and acted bratty just like Julie did, but it kills you inside to think or admit it so you hate on Julie.

I thought Julie was a result of her parenting. Her parents spoiled & coddled her and gave her more leeway than most parents would have; so she ended up kind of selfish and entitled. I didn't hate her for it and I do think she was pretty much a teenager who was all in all kind of reasonable. I didn't like Aimee Teegarden's acting. After watching her new show, I appreciate what little the FNL team was able to get out of her.

If you look at it from a larger point, Julie was the only teenager on the show who had a set of loving parents, and outside of season 5 had no out of the ordinary issues (paralysis, slut shaming, stripper, single parent house, drug addict parent, absentee parents, dementia grandmother, murder, etc...) so it would make sense that compared to all the other kids dealing with much greater problems, Julie would look like a brat. If you're comparing "normal teen" to golden teens like Jason or  Matt, you're going to fall short. I think that's where all the Julie hate comes from.

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I thought Julie was a result of her parenting. Her parents spoiled & coddled her and gave her more leeway than most parents would have; so she ended up kind of selfish and entitled. I didn't hate her for it and I do think she was pretty much a teenager who was all in all kind of reasonable...If you look at it from a larger point, Julie was the only teenager on the show who had a set of loving parents, and outside of season 5 had no out of the ordinary issues..

All things considered, Julie was a pretty typical teen. Yes, she was bratty, but she actually talked to her parents and she listened to them. She made mistakes with her boyfriends and that awful TA, but she recovered from that relatively quickly. I think sometimes the writers let the character down, but she was not ungrateful by the end of it. In the finale, she is back in college and engaged to her first love citing her parents as a model relationship for her and Matt.

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In the finale, she is back in college and engaged to her first love citing her parents as a model relationship for her and Matt.

I think citing her parents' relationship as what she was basing her relationship with Matt with was a very important point for her character. In season 2, her reason for treating Matt so terribly was because she said she wasn't ready to have what her dad and mom had. It's a pretty reasonable though to be had by a teenager to not be so committed so young. By the series finale, she was ready to grow up and be an adult.

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I thought Julie was a result of her parenting. Her parents spoiled & coddled her and gave her more leeway than most parents would have; so she ended up kind of selfish and entitled. I didn't hate her for it and I do think she was pretty much a teenager who was all in all kind of reasonable. I didn't like Aimee Teegarden's acting. After watching her new show, I appreciate what little the FNL team was able to get out of her.

If you look at it from a larger point, Julie was the only teenager on the show who had a set of loving parents, and outside of season 5 had no out of the ordinary issues (paralysis, slut shaming, stripper, single parent house, drug addict parent, absentee parents, dementia grandmother, murder, etc...) so it would make sense that compared to all the other kids dealing with much greater problems, Julie would look like a brat. If you're comparing "normal teen" to golden teens like Jason or  Matt, you're going to fall short. I think that's where all the Julie hate comes from.

I know I shouldn't laugh because the storyline you are referring to was so jarring and terrible, but "..absentee parents, dementia grandmother, murder, etc..." is making me chortle.  How did writers of such high quality come up with something to completely out there???

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So you are of the mind that Tim was a failure and loser, like much of the talk out there on the net. To my mind Tim won. He never wanted to go or was interested in college. He made that pretty clear to Lyla, but she kept on shoving it in his face and pushing him towards it and then Billy started in. and Tim DID NOT WANT.So what if he bought the land using money that was made illegally? You think Buddy Garrity wasn't breaking the law by hiring Tim as a bartender?

Yes, I think Tim was a failure, because he could have done more but didn't. That's kind of what the whole 'wasted potential' trope is. I don't really care whether he ended the show with an ambiguous smile, because to me, extend that scene by several years, and Tim Riggins becomes his father. Great. That's something for him to be really happy about.
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So what if he dream was to go nowhere and do nothing? Why is that sad and pathetic? To me that shows that Tim not only knows who he is, more importantly he knows who he truly is not.

I think your love for Tim Riggins is blinding you of what Tim Riggins is. A 16 year old dreams of going nowhere and doing nothing and we're applauding that for him knowing who he truly is? He may have had many redeeming qualities as a character full of charm and charisma, but he was an underachiever who chose to throw away every opportunity he was given. He ended up being a failure in football because he thought the college coaches were too hard on him and he didn't want to work hard. He was a failure in school because he didn't feel like applying himself and pissed away his scholarship. He's a failure in life because he chose to watch everything he could have had slip away from him. The sad reality is, the life he built for himself wouldn't sustain him for very long. The attitude he has towards working hard, bad temper, mood swings, and poor judgement won't do him much good either.

I certainly don;t find him as pathetic as Buddy whose entire existence revolved around his glory days on the Panthers and how he had used that to become a powerful booster. 

Buddy certainly is pathetic, even more so by cheating on his wife. However in a town like Dillon, the head of the boosters is king. He opened a business, had it fail, and then opened another business. When push came to shove, he was able to create boosters and a football radio show for a high school that every had already written off. He may have been pathetic, but aside from his marriage, he wasn't a failure. By Dillon standards, he was pretty successful.

Edited by maculae

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I think that there are people who don't want to go to college or move out of their hometowns or make huge achievements in life beyond, "here's my land, I want to drink beer on it." That's OK with me. I don't think Tim is a failure because of it. I think he just represents one kind of personality, and one of the things I loved most about FNL was that it didn't take sides or tell its viewers what kind of person is right (except Tami Taylor; she is always right). There was room for everyone, and everyone was respectfully represented, whether it's Buddy Garritty who's selfish and a little gross, but down deep, well meaning; or Tim, who just wants a family and a ranch and to drink beer; or Mindy, who wants a good slot at the strip joint; or Julie, who is unworthy of her mother and self-absorbed, but really smart; or Lyla, who loves Jesus; or Smash, who just wants to play football; or Matt, who has an artist's soul; or whoever. Everyone had value and everyone was welcome in the small-town family of Dillon. I love that life lesson, and I can't think of another story that pulls it off so well.

My beef with Julie is that her self-absorption was glaring in the face of her mother's selflessness. I'm not saying it wasn't realistic, but it was hard to watch. I also know lots of teenagers with wonderful parents who aren't self-absorbed assholes, so "all kids do it" just doesn't work as an excuse for Julie's behavior as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by madam magpie
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One of the only high schoolers from the series who went through normal trials and tribulations of the American teen.

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The man with the most perfect hair and the best half time speeches. Also happens to understand womenfolk quite well.

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I think your love for Tim Riggins is blinding you of what Tim Riggins is. A 16 year old dreams of going nowhere and doing nothing and we're applauding that for him knowing who he truly is? He may have had many redeeming qualities as a character full of charm and charisma, but he was an underachiever who chose to throw away every opportunity he was given. He ended up being a failure in football because he thought the college coaches were too hard on him and he didn't want to work hard. He was a failure in school because he didn't feel like applying himself and pissed away his scholarship. He's a failure in life because he chose to watch everything he could have had slip away from him. The sad reality is, the life he built for himself wouldn't sustain him for very long. The attitude he has towards working hard, bad temper, mood swings, and poor judgement won't do him much good either.

 

How can Tim be a failure at things he never wanted in the first place? That's like saying Lebron James is a failure at being an NFL player and therefore a failure at his entire life because he never cared to play football. Or that Bill Clinton is a failure as a rock star because he chose how to learn to play the saxaphone instead of the guitar and thus is a failure at his life.

Tim never wanted college. 

NEVER.

Lyla kept harping at him and pushing him on it and he finally threw his hands up and let her do what she wanted because he loved her, and in the end for all her talk of loving him she went somewhere else for college. So now he's stuck somewhere that he never wanted to be because despite knowing himself better than his girlfriend did she wouldn't shut the hell up about it. But I guess everyone who drops out of college is a colossal failure at their entire life, right? What about someone like me, who got suspended from college for a year due to academic issues, does that make me a failure as well.

As for the life he built for himself slipping away, how exactly does that happen? He is building his house on the land that he bought and paid for. Yes, he and Billy are always going to argue and bicker and fight, that's what their relationship is. I'm curious as to why you think Tim's being in Jail didn't scare the shit out of him in terms of being on the right side of the law the rest of his life. He wasn't gonna dick around on the job with Buddy and he could get work as a carpenter.

He has his land, he has his house, he has a job. He isn't behind bars. Just because you don't have a college degree doesn't make your life a complete and utter failure. According to you he would be just so much better off being utterly miserable struggling through something he has ZERO interest in doing, namely attending college, rather than living the life he wants.

I'm curious why you handwave away the fact that Eric had ZERO problems aside with the whole going to jail thing, about how Tim's life was turning out. He wanted Tim to be happy. You want Tim to be miserable. That says so many things about you.

 

Yes, I think Tim was a failure, because he could have done more but didn't. That's kind of what the whole 'wasted potential' trope is. I don't really care whether he ended the show with an ambiguous smile, because to me, extend that scene by several years, and Tim Riggins becomes his father. Great. That's something for him to be really happy about. 

Going by that line of reasoning EVERYBODY on the show and on the goddamn planet is a failure. EVERYONE could have done more but they didn't/don't. Eric could have worked harder to get more schools to look at Luke ,but he didn't so of course going by your view of things Eric Taylor is a colossal failure at EVERYTHING. Oh and so is Tami because she obviously did NOTHING to help Luke vis-a-vie colleges. And Eric and Tami are complete FAILURES at being parents because not only did they allow Julie to hang around and become friends with the town slut (Tyra) they also let her have premarital sex and let her get into a screwed up relationship with her TA at college.

Matt of course is a TOTAL FAILURE because he didn't prevent his grandmother from getting dementia or prevent his parents from splitting up and thus he is also responsible for his dad's death.

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"They had a blanket."

"You're an idiot."

Alltime never to be topped best scene for me. Eric's holding the blanket like it's OJ's bloody gloves always makes me giggle.

The scene at the Taylors dinner table in The Son.

It's everything. It's horrible. It's beautiful. It's awful. You want it to stop. The tension in the air from the moment Matt comes through the front door. Eric showing his concern and how he cares with "Didya drive?" Julie's heart exploding as she flails around trying to grab on Matt and FIX THIS but having ZERO idea how to go about that. Matt who has been keeping this in pretty much his whole life, finally letting it all out but still trying to maintain his control. Even though Matt is losing it he is SO polite and so well mannered, when he could be excused if he'd thrown his plate against the wall. Eric and Tami's silent looks of concern.

Tyra's voiceover reading of her college essay and her talking to Landry as they drive to Austin for State about how and why she changed.

Julie and Tami's two talks about sex.

Julie and Tyra talking about sex and Tyra recognizing that as much as Julie may say that ZOMG she SO wants Matt to bone her, she really isn't ready.

Smash running into the end zone before he leaves for Texas A& M flashing that bright smile and yelling "Where you at dog? Where you at?"

Matt and Tim talking Julie and Lyla when they're out hunting.

Tinker and Hastings and Vince and Luke hanging out on the balcony talking about life not knowing Eric is listening in.

Tami marching into the Dillon boosters meeting and telling them it's fine if Joe wants to launch an investigation about the mailbox...except that will likely mean that some people at that table will have to turn in their state championship rings.

Landry telling Tyra off using The Giving Tree.

Landry going off on Tim after having read Mice and Men aloud to him and Tim having no opinion of the book, then Tim showing up to the Crucifictorious gig.

Julie and Eric bumping into Matt and his grandmother at the grocery store and Grandma giving Eric a piece of her mind as to why Matt isn't QB1, especially Eric's face as it goes from "Hey so nice to see--wait, what's going on she loves me this woman LOVES me??!!"

Lyla meeting Jebus boy's family for dinner was nice, they aren't stuck up and pious, they tease just like any other family.

Tyra and Jason talking and drinking in the hospital.

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I'm curious why you handwave away the fact that Eric had ZERO problems aside with the whole going to jail thing, about how Tim's life was turning out. He wanted Tim to be happy. You want Tim to be miserable. That says so many things about you.

I mentioned nothing about Tim going to JAIL in my post. I don't want Tim to be miserable, he just chooses to be miserable. Short term happiness and long term misery. I think it's tragic and I won't defend it. Thank you for for the personal attack on me though, I highly appreciate it.

I'm curious as to why you think Tim's being in Jail didn't scare the shit out of him in terms of being on the right side of the law the rest of his life.

Drinking under the age of 21 and working at a bar underage tells me otherwise. Unless Texas suddenly HAS different underage drinking laws, he's on the wrong side of the law. It's not an arguement about drinking ages in the US btw, it's a fact that it's the law and he's breaking it.

 

Going by that line of reasoning EVERYBODY on the show and on the goddamn planet is a failure. EVERYONE could have done more but they didn't/don't. Eric could have worked harder to get more schools to look at Luke ,but he didn't so of course going by your view of things Eric Taylor is a colossal failure at EVERYTHING. Oh and so is Tami because she obviously did NOTHING to help Luke vis-a-vie colleges.

Matt of course is a TOTAL FAILURE because he didn't prevent his grandmother from getting dementia or prevent his parents from splitting up and thus he is also responsible for his dad's death.

You can fail someone and you can fail yourself. Unless you're directly involved or controlling a persons thoughts or actions - you cannot be blamed for someone else's failings.

Yeah, I do think Eric failed as a coach to Luke. I do think he was too caught up in his own life to worry about Luke and handled that situation all wrong. Then again, I think there's a real lack of realism in how this show handled recruiting and the recruiting process. Tami has no control over coaches from colleges which seemed to be Luke's only way into school due to tuition issues.That being said, I don't think there's anything wrong with Luke joining the Army. I have nothing but respect for people who enlist in our armed forces and I wouldn't call them failures. I'd think people would be very supportive over his decision of enlisting including the Taylors.

Did Matt HAVE an ability to control dementia? Is he an X-man? Heck, Lorraine can't even control dementia. Actually SCIENTISTS can't even control dementia. We could blame God for that if you'd like. Was Matt in Iraq and that was a storyline I missed? Did he know in advance that his dad was going to get blown to bits and not do anything about it? That's a weird and illogical argument to make and leads me to think that we have a DIFFERENT idea of what failure means.

I didn't blame Tim for what happened to HIS parents either. Nor do I blame Tim for his dad being a failure. Once again, unless you're directly involved or controlling a persons thoughts or actions - you cannot be blamed for someone else's failings.

 

And Eric and Tami are complete FAILURES at being parents because not only did they allow Julie to hang around and become friends with the town slut (Tyra) they also let her have premarital sex and let her get into a screwed up relationship with her TA at college.

Did you miss the STORYLINE of Tami and Eric not allowing Julie to be friends with Tyra? Or Julie repeatedly undermining her parents? Or the storyline of Tami taking Tyra under her wing to help make her achieve her potential? I find it interesting that you call Tyra the town slut and that's what made her the bad girl. How is Tim not also a town slut? Because he's a male?

Also, Tami already HAD the premarital sex talk with Julie with the premise of it being - lose your virginity to someone who will love you and cherish you, it's not something to be taken lightly. Is Julie a failure because of her premarital sex? Because once again, Tim. I don't see how premarital sex is even a way to label someone a failure. If you do then I guess yes, the entire show & world is full of failures.

Her relationship with the TA happened after she left home. That's a failure that's put on Julie, not her parents because as I said earlier - unless you're directly involved or controlling a persons thoughts or actions - you cannot be blamed for someone else's failings. Her parents didn't follow her to school. They weren't involved in her day to day life. When they found out, they were angry and upset at her and made her take hold of the situation because they were directly involved at that point. Had they not, then yes, they would have been parental failures.

Anyways, it's pretty clear that we're never going to agree on this. So I'm done with this topic at this point.

Have a good evening.

Edited by maculae
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I'll get in early ahead of the Julie haters, who seem to focus much of their ire on season 2 and 5.

Let's see, at the end of season one, her dad has resigned/quit his job as head coach of the newly crowned State champions and taken a job as a qb coach at Texas State which is in Austin which is like, a kabillion miles away. (Measurement may not be accurate.)

She has also found out that her mom is pregnant, which means her mom and dad have been having sex which G-R-O-S-S!!!!!, conveniently ignoring the fact that she has been desperate to be banged by her wun twuw wuv, who also happens to be QB1, Matty Saracen. 

Her mom said that they should move to Austin which like I just told you is like a kajillion miles away. (Measurement may not be accurate) tearing her from the arms of her wun twuw wuv, Matty Saracen, who is pissed at her dad for betraying the team and the town. 

After season one ends one can imagine at least a hundred arguments between Eric and Tami about whether or not to move, at least 40% involve raised voices and 25% end in tears. In the end the family is split up with Eric moving to Austin and Tami and Julie staying in Dillon, where Tami increasingly gets on Tami''s nerves because preggo+hormones =rapid mood and emotional changes/swings + teenage hormones + thinking you know everything and adults know nothing = FUN TIMES FOR EVERYONE!!!

When season 2 starts it;s clear Julie can't stand to spend more than 3 minutes in the same room as Tami and she Julie has met and is madly flirting with just the DREAMIEST DREAM GUY EVARSSSS!!!!! His name is "The Swede," well okay, that's not really his name, his real name is....well, EVERYONE calls him the Swede and did I mention how SUPER DREAMY he is? With his dark brown hair an--hey wait, aren't Swedish people supposed to all have blonde hair? SHUT UP YOU HATER!!!!! *Ahem* So, he has this DREAMY dark brown hair and it's always wet and kinda oily and greasy and he's always kinda sweaty and you might think it's gross but IT IS NOT in fact it is SOOOOPER H-A-W-T. And the best part is that he's in a band. An actual band. He plays guitar and sings and he gets PAID actual money. SO WORLDLY. Not at all like Matt who is just  a football player in some podunk town in Texas. The Swede has SEEN THE WORLD.

Then her mom keeps on showing up at the pool and since she's all gross and fat and preggo she is EMBARRASSING Julie in front of her classmates. How can her mom not know this? Stupid mom and dad having sex. G-R-O-S-S.

Then the baby is born and it's like Julie doesn't exist anymore and the Swede is so dreamy, he SMOKES POT SO COOL!!!! even though Julie never takes a puff. And her mom is like even more gross and crazy than when she was preggo and she even slaps Julie in the face and all Julie was doing was kissing The Swede in his van. Yes, the Swede drives a van and it is SO KEWL!!!

Then later on that year Julie has this SUPER dreamy advisor to the newspaper and who TOTALLY gets her and then her mom embarrasses her AGAIN this time in front of like the ENTIRE SCHOOL. (May have only been two or three students, but you know how gossip is in high school.

Then Tami starts ignoring Julie AGAIN this time for Tyra and leaves Julie standing there all by herself outside the school waiting for her mom to pick her up and take her to get her license LIKE HER MOM HAD PROMISED TO DO.

So yeah, I think Julie had some good reasons for bratting out in season 2.

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Eric and his hair of bafflement to Julie: Where are your shoes???

Julie in the most dismissive teenage tone ever as she heads out the door: I'm not wearing shoes.

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I can't pick an all-time favorite scene, but at the moment, I'm coming up with a tie between Tami's meltdown to Coach after she slaps Julie and Landry, Tyra, Mindy, Angela, Grandma Saracen, and Lyla road tripping to State.

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I'm watching The Confession right now. For the mess that was season 2 (though not as terrible as it's often considered), there are some really good moments and some really good scenes there. I almost teared up watching what Landry was going through. But for moments, when his dad says to him "You need to tell me the truth now" was amazing. 

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I love Connie Britton. I have no problem with Rayna James or even whoever she was in "Women in Trouble."

But Tami Taylor defines all that is good. 

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Every so often I go on Etsy and do a "Tami Taylor" search. My dream is a picture of Tami on canvas, a halo shooting light over her head, and Hey Y'all! at the bottom. As yet I have had no joy. Sigh.

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