The wonderful thing about Friday Night Lights
is that every character on the show feels completely authentic. The citizens of Dillon, Texas may be fictional, but their struggles are so realistic that it's impossible not to relate to them. One character who fans have long felt a connection with is perpetual underdog Matt Saracen, played by Zach Gilford
. Recent episodes of the series have found Matt dealing with the addition of new quarterback J.D. McCoy, who arrived in Dillon and immediately amazed the town with his skills on the field. Much like in season 1, Matt has found himself trying to impress a town that's eager to write him off as a nobody.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times
, Gilford spoke about his future on Friday Night Lights
, as well as his problems with the controversial second season of the series.
In the interview, Gilford reveals that his least favorite FNL
storyline came in season 2, when his character hooked up with his grandmother's nurse, Carlotta. "That was totally lame," Gilford says. "It was interesting for a minute -- kind of, maybe, for a little. All the shows about high school kids are about who's having sex with who, and yadda yadda yadda. That's not very interesting."
Like many fans, the actor admits that he wasn't pleased with the melodramatic second season of the series, which weaved in more sex and a murder plot line in an effort to boost ratings. "I was a big fan of the show the first year," he says. "I, ultimately, was disappointed with the story lines last year. Season 1, we were critically acclaimed but we didn't have the ratings we would have liked, so it seemed like they were trying to make it sexier and flashier and draw in a bigger audience. That didn't work. Our numbers didn't change at all. I think they kind of realized that."
Despite the problems last year, Gilford thinks the show has bounced back in season 3, in part due to its renewed focus on real-life issues. "A lot of the characters are seniors this year," he points out, "so a huge thought on their mind is college. Then with Mrs. Taylor as principal, there's the issue of having no money for education, but having plenty of money to give the football team a $1-million stadium, and that is a problem in many of these Texas schools. So these are real-life things that actually go on, and I think it makes the show a little better. "
Though the actor says he's "never really gotten a straight answer" about whether he'll be out of a job after his character graduates high school, Gilford hopes to continue with the series as long as possible. However, NBC likely won't make a decision regarding a fourth season until May of 2009. There's no telling how long Saracen will be a part of Friday Night Lights
, but at least he won't be making out with any nurses in the near future.
- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Source: Los Angeles Times
(Image courtesy of NBC)