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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (1/3/11) 10:36pm - ... wherein Peter posts a Weekly Media Update.

Movies:  <none>
TV:  Friday Night Lights [3x11-3x13] [spoilers]
Books:  <none>

Friday Night Lights [3x11-3x13] [spoilers]
The third season finishes out with the episodes "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", "Underdogs", and "Tomorrow Blues".

The ending was better than the things that led to the ending.  The season ended very simply.  The team lost the big game.  Most of the seniors left town for college.  Matt institutionalized his grandmother (yes, that was hard for me to watch), then changed his mind.  Couples split up as graduation sent them separate ways.  These events felt straitforward, clear, and universal.  We knew these were the next things that would happen in the story.

In retrospect, it made parts of the rest of the season feel like contortions.  Billy Riggins turns to small-time larceny to cover an investment in real estate?  Really?  I mean, maybe that could happen, but it didn't feel like the next logical step in the story.  It felt like invention, not progression.

It made Coach Taylor calling CPS on the McCoys feel shrill -- maybe barely plausible, but still overblown and soap-opera-y.  Compare that to, say, Landry helping Tyra with her godawful college essay.  It's a simple, clear scene of everyday life, and yet I'm rolling with horrified laughter because I have totally been that person.  ("Landry, or Tyra?"  "*Yes.*")  And the scene matters just as much as any soap-operatic craziness (yes, including the awful murder plot in season two), because I really do care whether Tyra gets into UT.  (Side note:  hooray for more scenes set in Austin!)

It felt like, in those last episodes and resolutions of the season, the show finally calmed itself down.  The last play of the last game happened in silence.  The coach gave his post-game speech without any scoring to underline the words.  And then the last beats of the season felt more-or-less inevitable.  Of course this is how things turned out.  How could it have been different?

And I was so happy that the season didn't end with The Big Game.  Instead, there was one more episode, set five months later.  Generally, I like this trend in serialized television, which I first noticed in season four of Buffy, where you resolve the big, obvious question of the season in the penultimate episode, and then leave one episode for denouement.  You explore how the big resolution has impacted these people you care about.  You let the show breathe a bit.

In any case, I'll have to give season four a try, if only because the "east Dillon" concept is such a strong idea, and because Shellie has recommended it so highly.  But for now, I have some other shows to explore.

For next time, I've started watching The Last Airbender (the animé, not the Shyamalan) and I'm finally starting in on Breaking Bad.  I *tried* to read Positive Energy, but just couldn't bring myself to do so (way, way too woo-woo for me); instead, I'm reading The World Without Us, which is a detailed exploration of "What would happen if all the humans just up & disappeared one day?"  And, as always, I'll continue listening to my audiobook of A Game of Thrones.

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Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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