Week 3: Julie and Tami Talk Religion

Friday Night Lights, Season 4

Week 3: Julie and Tami Talk Religion

Friday Night Lights, Season 4

Week 3: Julie and Tami Talk Religion
Talking television.
May 24 2010 3:03 PM

Friday Night Lights, Season 4

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Hanna, I, too, find Vince and Luke a promising duo. I predict they'll grow closer as the season presses forward. You might recall that in the first season of FNL the racial tension was more pronounced, and there was real strife between Riggins and Smash. That went by the wayside pretty quickly. But this sort of racial tension—including tension with the Latino community—is pretty prevalent in West Texas and if the show could do more with that, I, for one, would be grateful. In the little town I'm currently in, the clerks in the fast food shops are all the Latino kids, for example, not the white ones. (By the way, on a shop in the main square, there was a sign about the local team being "Statebound!" Football, I asked? No: apparently it's a mechanical engineering class. Who knew there were such competitions? Mr. Berg, perhaps there's your next series.)

I was intrigued to see that a lot of our commenters are talking about Julie and Tami's discussion of church—which makes sense; it was a big part of the episode. Yet I found something about this conversation a little false—no, let me rephrase. It was the way the episode structured the conversation—with a beginning, middle, and end—that felt false. (Especially Tami's dorky question about whether Jules would pray if there were an earthquake. On the other hand, moms do ask daughters silly questions like this.) The conversation itself—at once offhand and substantive—did seem like the type that mothers and daughters have at the weird juncture between adulthood and childhood that Julie is at. But wouldn't Tami be asking a lot about this new school? And what it's like? I'd have loved to see more of these concerns folded in, so that the church issue felt less like a satellite to everything else going on.

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As for male vs. female community—there certainly are strong female characters on the show, including Jess and Becky, but I'd love to see them interact more—talk more about what growing up in a football town is like, and so on. How does Julie feel about football as she gets ready to think about applying to college? 

Meghan O’Rourke is Slate’s culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at the New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother’s death, is now out in paperback.