There's some very OK news on the "Friday Night Lights" front. The ratings for the show's second season return were "pretty positive," according to this Variety article. I hope the uptick is the start of a trend, despite the fact that the premiere was definitely not among the series' best hours.
I certainly understand why the "FNL" writers decided to have Landry and Tyra toss the attempted rapist's body in the river. It throws the unlikely couple closer together. If they're going to fall into a romantic relationship, the secret murder will help provide dramatic motivation for their intimacy.
But a huge event such as murder is out of sync with the real-life tone of the show. One of the great things about "FNL" has been the way it makes ordinary smalltown life into something so rich in pain and heroism and struggle. There are murders everywhere else on TV, and "FNL" stands out in part for providing serious drama without dead bodies. And then it didn't help the murder plot twist by giving it only two or three scenes, (Check out a little movie called "Mean Creek" to see a richer, more complex version of a vagely similar predicament.)
OK, so I've vented. And fortunately, the plot doesn't ruin the next two episodes, which I have seen. Perhaps someone felt that the show needed to be more aggressive about grabbing viewers, to help it survive another season.... ? In any case, "Friday Night Lights" remains must-watch network TV. We've all had our off days. I forgive.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsKatie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Sarah Rodman is a TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Meghan Colloton is a Things to Do and Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.