Friday Night Lights, Season 5

When You Get Past the Football and Porn, Boys Are Harmless
Talking television.
Dec. 3 2010 7:50 AM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

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Huh. I see that the boys played a little dirty, but I feel like I missed out on the blood and the lust and even the violence. Their tricks came in response to South King's, didn't they? If this wasn't Eric's game plan, he seemed down with it once he thought the refs were putting a thumb on the scale, didn't he? Or has all that rank manhood addled my brain? Commenters, help me out.

The mood that stuck with me from this episode is much softer, like the strains of masculinity that wafted over the balcony. The boys were talking about pigs and porn, sure, but as Andy Greenwald says over at Vulture, it all felt quiet and ordinary. I think I loved this episode for almost the opposite reason you did, David: It made me remember how harmless boys mostly are, even when they're doing their football, skin-flick-watching thing.

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I want to go back a week to the scene between Jess and Vince in the locker room, which I disparaged. Our commenter Alanna made me think about it in a different way. She writes:


I'm firmly on Jess's side in the locker room controversy. She loves football, though she can't play on the team because she's a woman (and we don't know if she has any real talent). She enjoyed helping Vince with his training over the summer. She said outright a few weeks ago that she really wanted to be involved beyond just cheering or as a rally girl. It makes perfect sense for her to sign on as an equipment manager and backdoor junior assistant coach via Billy Riggins. Yeah, I can understand why Vince is so uncomfortable having her there, but she was totally at home talking trash with the boys.

Hanna, I hope you are right that Tami will now have the perfect words for Julie. If this wretched Derek subplot wins us one of the show's keeper mother-daughter scenes, maybe that will salvage it for me. Meanwhile, I have only one more thing to say about Julie, borrowed from goddesspharo on Twitter. "Matt is 'just this guy in Chicago,' Julie Taylor? What are you doing?"

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and the author of Sticks and Stones

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