Friday Night Lights, Season 5

Bring Back Crucifictorius!
Talking television.
Jan. 5 2011 10:33 PM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Madison Burge as Becky Sproles, Matt Lauria as Luke Cafferty.
Madison Burge as Becky Sproles and Matt Lauria as Luke Cafferty in Friday Night Lights.

Let us please linger for a moment on one of the funniest moments in FNL history: Billy's riff on his courtship of Mindy and Luke's awkward, salivary response.

David Plotz David Plotz

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

Billy: "I got a lap dance from every girl in the place except her … she was begging me to go into the Champagne Room with her."

Luke: "Mrs. Riggins works at the Landing Strip?"

I, too, was dazzled by Cress Williams' performance as Ornette this week, though it did give me pause about the way FNL has treated black men over the years. We've been given a series of vivid and largely admirable black women (Jess, Jess' aunt, Smash's mom, Vince's mom) and black boys (Vince, Smash, Tinker). But there's been a surprising shortage of admirable black men. Virgil Merriweather had a good run last season, but now he has deserted his family to expand his business. (This is pure conjecture, but I'm guessing that Virgil's departure was some kind of unexpected contract issue. The excuse that he's in Dallas franchising his barbecue shack is really feeble.) Levi is an ornery, undermining colleague. Ornette is menacing. Vince's old running buddies—especially Emily's old pal "The Devil Wears Cornrows"—were entirely evil. Tinker's dad is nowhere to be seen, the various East Dillon boosters basically function as sidekicks for Buddy, and Eric's lone black assistant coach is so irrelevant that I will bet 20 bucks neither of you knows his name.

Advertisement

What do you think Hastings did to get a juvie rap sheet? And will we ever find out? The exposure clearly rattled him, but FNL didn't delve deeply. This seems to be the pattern. In general, Season Five's new characters are a little thin, except for Ornette. Hastings, Buddy Jr., and Epppyckkkk were all introduced with a lot of fanfare but haven't earned our interest.

It's a little bit surprising that Eric and Tami haven't dropped a dime on Derek. But it is more surprising that they should have to. After all, Derek's wife screeched to an entire dormful of teenagers that her husband was screwing one of his students: Surely that news would wildfire through campus, and surely it would get Derek keelhauled by a dean or two. These days, no university lets untenured faculty members prey on tuition-paying coeds. It's bad for your U.S. News and World Report ranking.

Thanks for the gloating offer, Emily. I gloat; therefore, I am! Still, I don't share your (or the show's) indignation with the Lions' performance this week. Except for Vince's showboating, rub-it-in last-second touchdown pass, every play appeared to be fine aggressive football. Luke's hits on the quarterback and receiver were devastating but clean. If you think those hits were ugly, then you have a problem with football, not with the East Dillon Lions. (And even though celebrating the violence was tacky, that is what football players do. They hit hard, and they love it.)

I, too, enjoyed the old-home-week visit with Jason Street. I hope it's prelude to a series of nostalgic Season 5 farewell cameos—a parade for Smash! An art show for Matt Saracen! A cheerleading session for Lyla! A sold-out club gig for Landry and Crucifictorius! And five minutes—even one minute—of Tyra doing anything she wants!

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.