'Friday Night Lights' Stirs the Pot
'Friday Night Lights' Stirs the Pot
The brains behind Friday Night Lights (FNL) may have to rethink their second season strategy before the flailing and ratings-needy series goes on to lose whatever fan base it has a hold on.  According to the Los Angeles Times, its sophomore offering opening shocker has left Friday Night Lights loyalists wondering what the critically-acclaimed program has been reduced to.

Now, more than ever, Friday Night Lights must solidify its grip on its existing fan base, aside from the pressing need for it to gain increased viewership.  Its continued presence on the air greatly depends on sufficient patronage and following.

“I hated, hated, hated the murder scene,” Tom, a poster, wrote on New Jersey Star-Ledger critic, Alan Sepinwall's web site.  “FNL has always struck me as a production that shows the drama in a real town. ... The murder scene felt, well, desperate.”

“Absurdly melodramatic and unbelievable,” Nancy Franklin of the New Yorker penned.  “The plot thread could easily overwhelm the show and kill it.”

Not exactly the kind of reaction Friday Night Lights needs these days.  The negative feedback comes in response to this season's shocking opener, where, normally benign, comical and geeky Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons) ended up killing someone.  While it was arguably done in defense of the object of his affection, Clarke and the damsel in distress, Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki) decided against saner judgment by opting to dump the body.

There have been unkind speculations that the rather sensational storyline was a ploy to generate more viewers.  However, executive producer Jason Katims has stressed that it is not the case.

“It would be good to have new viewers; I won't deny that,” he said, while defending the murder twist as somewhat of a continuance from last season's events, when the same attacker had tried to rape Tyra.

“The way Jesse [Plemons] played those scenes, he was bringing so much to the table,” Katims said.  “We realized we had this actor who was capable of doing so much more.  It wasn't like we thought this would be the thing that would draw more audience.  On the other hand, we did want to come out in the first episode with a story line that would be surprising and have urgency to it.”

For his part, the actor in the middle of the controversial plot, which is slated to play out in a span of nine episodes, had this to say about it:  “If someone is harming someone you love, who knows how you would react in a situation like that?”


-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Los Angeles Times
(Image Courtesy of NBC)

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