Friday Night Lights anxiety

It occurred to me that I’m not worried about Friday Night Lights dropping in quality as it heads into a second season I’m expecting to be brief. I’m anxious that it might be too good, like it was last season.

Last year, the show seeped into my brain. I replayed scenes in my head and composed fan fiction while I did yard work.

To give you an idea how haunting and beautiful the show could be, just listen to one of several Explosions in the Sky songs providing the backdrop — Your Hand in Mine. This video cuts out and goes black after about 1:30, but that’ll just let you focus on the song. I don’t mind confessing that I get tears in my eyes when they get to the descending figures around the 2:35 mark. It’s that … freaking … beautiful.

I’ve seen the first five minutes of the new season. The whole episode was available online at Yahoo, though I can’t find it now. It’s funny. It starts with Saracen (the bookish, confidence-challenged QB who’s dating the coach’s daughter) talking with Landry (sometimes the jester of the show, but often its conscience) by the pool. If they cancel this show, I’d love to see them spin off a comedy with the two of them just chatting.

I’m looking forward to Friday night’s premiere to see that scene again, but also to catch up. It’s almost like attending my recent reunion. After one season, I’m so intimately connected to these characters that I just want to know what they’re doing.

I’ll watch Season 2 as long as it runs. In the online era, I know they’ll at least make the first 13 episodes or so available somehow. But I’m going to need some distractions or at least some help focusing. Otherwise, some confused book publishers will be getting a manuscript on MLS history that’ll include some strange rants about Riggins and Lyla teaming up to help Tyra get into college.

It’s not a perfect show. They went to the “improbable comeback” storyline so often last season you would’ve thought you were watching Scotty save the Enterprise for the 300th time. (Yes, I know the original Star Trek had less than 80 episodes. Am I wrong?) They might consider introducing a female character who doesn’t immediately and implausibly sleep with Riggins.

But of all the things that have been stuck in my head over the years, this is among the best. Easily.


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