Conniebritton_fridaynighlights_240_2There aren’t a whole lot more ways to express just how good Friday Night Lights is — "best drama on TV right now," maybe? And even after an episode that felt a little uneven in spots, I still sit here a little bit blown away at the quality of the writing and acting on this series.

In particular, Connie Britton has been doing Emmy-quality work these past couple of weeks. (Not that a show like this is likely to get much attention from the Emmys, but still.) Whatever Britton, whose resume before this series was tilted a little more toward comedy work, is tapping into to play Tami Taylor is something to behold.

Not that there’s not a healthy dose of humor underlying things with both her and Kyle Chandler. Pretty much the entire scene where she explained to Julie that she’d be home alone with the couch-crashing Buddy was gold, including her tossed-off "Well, I think that’s a terrible idea" when Julie suggested she’d rather stick pins in her eyes than hang with Buddy. Chandler capped it with his emergence from the bathroom and this line: "I heard everything your mother said. You listen to her — she’s always right."

Thanks in part to the way the show is shot, all close-ups and stolen moments, Britton and Chandler can do so much with just a tilt of the head, a little pause or a slight inflection in their voices. Case in point: the post-hospital scene with Tyra, who somewhat understandably called Tami out for prohibiting Julie from hanging out with her.

In a lot of other circumstances (i.e., not this show), Tami’s lines about trying to stop the freight train that is her daughter growing up could have been incredibly cheesy. Even here, they were a little bit more saccharine than FNL usually is. But somehow, they worked. I really would like to know a little more about what Tami sees of herself in Tyra that makes her so attached to this girl.

Love troubles were pretty much everywhere on Friday Night Lights this week, from Buddy and Pam Garrity to Lyla and Jason to Smash and Waverly, who we learn is bipolar and off her meds. That last one in particular feels a little like one issue too many — not quite sure where the show is going with that, other than having it be yet one more distraction for Smash as Dillon marches on to state.

And you can pretty well mark it down that the Panthers will make it to the finals, if only because there are four episodes left in the season. It’d be pretty hard to stretch one game week over four shows.

Besides, it also seems fairly certain that Coach’s offer from TMU (what? SMU didn’t want its name associated with the show?) will leak out and cause more tension in the locker room. Magnum, P.I. fan Buddy didn’t seem too thrilled to hear Eric’s marital advice, so I’m guessing he’ll be pissed off enough to spread the word around town.

Not sure how I feel about Riggins’ new little fan next door. The kid was OK, just this side of overly annoying, but I don’t think I can buy into his mom (Brooke Langton) falling for a high-school kid, as the lingering looks after dinner seem to imply.

I do, however, think a little more of Drunk Lyla might be fun. And keep the Eric-and-Tami goodness coming.

Are you as knocked out by this show as I am? And if so, do you promise to tell all your friends with Nielsen boxes?

Posted by:Rick Porter