Friday Night Lights
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Drunken Bee: B | 14 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
I'm Too Busy Crying to Come Up With A Clever Title

The sounds of photographs being snapped take us to the next interview. A black kid named Smash talks big about Heismans and Pasadena. Cut between the interview and slow motion shots of him running the ball on the field. The interviewer tries to ask him about his father, who passed away a few years ago. The open-faced Smash closes down, narrows his eyes, and says he won't talk about it. The interviewer switches to the topic of racism on the team. Smash says he keeps his blinders on and keeps moving because he's got things to do.

Cut immediately to a close-up of Tim Riggins. He raises his head and tiredly claims that "That's not racism, man, I just don't like 'im." His voice is gravelly as he presents himself like he's clearly done a thousand times before, a rehearsal for a commercial that, odds are, won't ever be produced: "My name is Tim Riggins and I play fullback." When asked about his legendary aggression on the field, Riggins, still sort of hunched over in his chair, claims "I just like to hurt people." Cut to a shot of him taking someone down on the field.

Cut to Street, who looks like a peach pie in comparison to Riggins, saying all the right things about how well the team knows one another. Cut to an assistant coach telling Saracen to go paw around a trash can for a play sheet he accidentally threw in there. Okay, we get that Saracen is useless as long as Street is on the field...I don't think we need to see him being instructed to paw around in trash cans.

Back at the Riggins interview, his hair blows in the wind like sheaves of wheat. I break into that hymn about bringing in the sheaves. The interviewer asks if he smells alcohol on the kid's breath. Riggins denies it, totally unconvincingly, and then we cut to the field where Riggins, #33 fumbles a catch. His older brother, looking on, turns around in disgust. The assistant coach drags Riggins up by his shirt and screams at him. Riggins kneels in exhuastion, his hair soaked and stringy, and the camera switches focus between his kneeling figure and Coach Taylor, standing behind Riggins, looking on with a set mouth and serious sunglasses, totally masculine and in charge for the first time in the episode. A hard blues guitar and drum beat start up (the song is "Black Betty," an old Leadbelly song that's been covered a million times...this version is by...Ram Jam? I think?) and we get launched into a little mini-music video I like to call "The Hydra," and which I feel is pretty much impossible to recap because of its absolutely untranslatable energy and sheer fucking devil's horn awesomeness. It's like we started out cupping this beautiful and delicate flowerbud in our hands -- all crying over grandmothers and gorgeous indie rock -- and then that beautiful and delicate flowerbud suddenly ripened right before our eyes, and it ripened into a mothereffing flaming dragon roaring and being AWESOME all over our living room. Or something like that.

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Friday Night Lights

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