Friday Night Lights, Season 5

You're Letting Julie Off Too Easy
Talking television.
Nov. 12 2010 3:22 PM

Friday Night Lights, Season 5

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Julie from Friday Night Lights. Click image to expand.
Aimee Teegarden as Julie Taylor 

David, I blush for you. Tami and this sexed-up, there-for-the-taking Maura as doppelgangers? I don't quite buy it, but I commend you for bringing it up as an antidote to Emily's tidy distinction between girls from good homes and the psycho singles. We all have our moments. And I find Julie's plausible, not because it's the way any actual college girl in her league would behave but because it makes sense in the FNL universe. With her intelligence and looks, Julie should be having an easier time fitting in at school.

But FNL doesn't do happy, bouncy freshman braiding each other's hair. It does isolation, and nostalgic attachment to place. So Julie, although she doesn't deserve it, suffers from that inheritance.  Even those moments David mentions unfold through the prism of Dillon—we saw New York through Tim Riggins' eyes and Austin through Tami's. Dillon has a strong pull.

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As for the creepy T.A. and his sports jacket: Might I remind you both that he's pretty cute, and that Julie not only set up her own honey trap but, just as he was about to pull away, made the first move. And it was her who dropped the cheesy dialogue about taking chances. You guys are letting her off too easy. The world is not divided nearly into good girls and the messed-up ones, as Emily suggested. It's a continuum, and in this case Julie and Maura are not all that far off from each other. 

As for Vince, I think I will be the lone holdout on this one. He's a fantastic actor and totally compelling. But the lines always fall flat for me. "My father never taught me to be better"? That's what he's supposed to say there but no one ever talks like that. That's a line from a sociology textbook. 

Photograph of Aimee Teegarden as Julie Taylor by Bill Records/NBC.

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.

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