Friday Night Lights, Season 5

Who Wouldn't Want To Ask Tami Out for Coffee?
Talking television.
Nov. 5 2010 11:05 AM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

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Friday Night Lights. Click image to expand.
Friday Night Lights

We should get the women of FNL to do a PSA on behalf of social misfits everywhere—see, anyone can find herself without a high school posse or a college study group or a circle of supportive colleagues. I'm not sure, though, that the female isolation we saw in this episode actually matches up with what we know about these characters. It works fine for Tyra and Becky, but for Tami, Julie, and Jess it's got to be an oversight. Jess may yearn to pore over football plays but she also has her moments of totally being a high schooler. She's a fabulous flirt and she was a cheerleader last season. (What happened to that activity?) Now she doesn't want to be a rally girl, and that's fine, but I don't buy the idea that she would be scratching out Maura's eyes in the bathroom because she doesn't understand girl dynamics any more than I believed Tami would have no girlfriends back in Season 3. The lack of a female friendship on FNL to parallel Matt and Landry's delightful male rapport—remember their wonderful goodbye scene last season, which prompted Hanna to anoint them her favorite FNL couple?—suggests that women exist to sustain men and get sustenance from them in return. That makes no sense to me. I mean, Becky, OK; she's sad and needy in a way that might overwhelm other girls. But Julie? She gets a giggly, sex-happy roommate and that's it for the college bonding? And Tami—who wouldn't want to be her best girlfriend? I suppose it's true that we've seen Tami strike out socially before. But her appeal is so clear to me that I didn't think of Laurel as a stalker for one second, David. I assumed she wants to bask in Tami's aura. Hanna, wouldn't you ask her to coffee in a heartbeat?

I think you're right David, about Becky's hint of a smile when Mindy roared at her. She said she wasn't used to anyone noticing when she comes and goes and she's ready for the attention. This moment gave me hope that Mindy could get past the short shorts (which she's right about) and fill the little sister spot Tyra left open. I'm ready for more Mindy: Her character used to be played broadly for laughs at the Landing Strip, but now she seems like a grown up, and Becky sure could use the combination of hugs and smacks she can dole out.

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Yes, Eric concentrated the mind and the narrative by writing "STATE" on the white board. (I'd like to see the handwriting analysis—what would all those slanty vertical lines tell us?) But sheesh, I hope you are wrong about Mr. Short Supplies, David. How awful would it be if Vince got caught up in another corruption ring for the sake of his doomed mother?

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Emily Bazelon is a Slate senior editor and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. She is the author of Sticks and Stones.