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EYES WIDE OPEN - Watch Friday Night Lights EP2 S1 and insights
Episode directed by Jeffrey Reiner
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch, Jesse Plemons, Aimee Teegarden, Michael B. Jordan, and Jurnee Smollett
Coach Taylor receives news that his starting quarterback will regain the use of his hands and arms, but he's paralyzed from the waist down. His wife, who needs something to do other than sit on committees or sit in book clubs, searches for a job. The town, itself, deals with the heartache, some already trying to throw in the towel on the young season.
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The follow up episode to the excellent pilot continues to reassure us that this series is one worth watching. After the horrific accident that left Jason Street seriously injured, Dillon has pulled together in churches and across the town hoping for the fallen quarterback to get better. Meanwhile, Matt Saracen struggles to adapt to his new role as the quarterback for the Panthers, a role which even Coach Taylor is skeptical about if whether or not the Matt is capable of doing.
Before I get to the strengths of the episode, I target some of the weakness that was evident here and only glimpsed at in the pilot. The show has a lot to establish in a short time. Meaning, the first few episode of any new series need to be the best, they need to establish the characters so the audience can understand them.
Some of the characters however remain a bit of mystery. I understand that all cannot be revealed in the first episode or two, but characters like Tim Riggins and even Matt Saracen seem hard to connect with. Jason Street who will most likely receive the most attention this season will only be seen from the perspective of his handicap, not necessarily the person who he was before the accident. Clearly he has to struggle from this point on, but how can we feel any emotion towards him if we donít really know who he is; why would we care?
But thatís not the say the show hasnít done an excellent job of providing some real touching and realistic moments. Lyla and Tim both the most important people in Jasonís life, aside from his parents, are finding it difficult to come to terms with Jasonís accident. Tim is unable to visit his friend as it slowly dawns on him that Jason may never walk.
Lyla tries to remain optimistic but the reality is too overwhelming, and far too real. Tim continues to watch the replay of the game, rewinding the hit Jason received. He breaks down crying.
On the field, Coach Taylor does his best to train Matt, despite the new quarterbackís lack of confidence. His practices are less than satisfying and he remains a question mark in the eyes of the coaches and the town in general. The episode ends just as the game started, with the conclusion being addressed in the next episode.
FNL is off to a nice start. But they have a lot of work ahead of them. The series is aiming for a natural and realistic outlook with a documentary style filmmaking which does create an authentic feel to the story. Yet whether or not audiences will take to this style remains to be seen, but you can guarantee that every moment on the show will still resonate with people watching because there is nothing that feels contrived or forced on FNL. The moments feel as real as the characters, and itís for that reason, that I hope the series continues and finds its audience.
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