Friday Night Lights Review: "I Can't"

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Do you think I'll go to Hell if I get an abortion? - Becky to Tami

Wow. I never thought I'd see the day when a TV show actually went through with an abortion for a character. This is not a political forum and I don't wish to focus too much on such a hot button topic, but I never understood why it's the third rail of storylines.

Granted, it's a delicate, controversial subject. But it's also legal and common and supported by approximately half the population. Therefore, I can't help but give credit to this week's episode of Friday Night Lights for actually going there. It takes a brave, confident, well-written series to do so.

Becky's decision may cause an uproar to some, but you don't need to agree with it. You just need to acknowledge that it was portrayed well by all involved and was a realistic depiction of what this situation is often like.

Tim and Becky

Moving on to more light-hearted fare: Kyle Chandler was (finally!) nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Drama this week - but perhaps he should be up for a comedic award instead.

Coach Taylor's sense of humor, even when it's often unintened, never fails to crack me up. This week, he expressed shock over the possibility that Riggins knocked up Becky ("Tim Riggins is gonna be a father?"); stumbled around hungover; and tried to make sense out of Ryan's awkward presence at dinner (rain during a football game? That is very weird!). Great stuff all around.

My single favorite moment of the episode took place at the bar between Virgil and Eric. There's still a lot we need to learn about the former, as he's jumped aboard the Lions' bandwagon pretty quickly and it's still unclear why he got off it to begin with.

But I loved watching him interact with Eric, as these two tried to get to know each other and seemed to be arguing... only for Eric to order another round of drinks in the middle of their heated exchange. Friday Night Lights pulls off mature relationships and conversations better than any show on TV.

You legitimately feel as if you're simply a bar fly on the wall of this establishment as these two interact.

As for the two legal-based subplots, I may forever be tainted by the ridiculous season two storyline involving Landry, Tyra and a murder.

It doesn't give me a lot of faith that the show can, or should, tread on such subject matter. But while I hope the Riggins' chop shop angle is finished, I'll reserve judgment on Vince. At least we know he comes from this shady neighborhood and it makes perfect sense that he might fall prey to that lifestyle, especially when in dire need of money.

Let's also pause and give props to Michael B. Jordan. He played the scene between Vince and his mom in the hospital perfectly, building up his emotion, trying to maintain his composure and then just losing it as he says he can't do his life alone.

When was the last time East Dillon played a football game by the way?!?

What did everyone else think of the episode? I urge you, when discussing the abortion aspect: leave personal beliefs and politics off the table and just tackle it from the point of view of how the show handled a character's struggle with something personal.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    I completely agree with u User. I find it annoying when in every other show at the end the character decides againts. I'm not saying that I'm pro-abortion, what i think doesn't matter here. The point is, this is a big deal, for girls all over the world who have at some point been there or who have known somebody in that position. Having role models is important, but from both points of view.As you said, in tv they touch it but thats it. I'm glad FNL had the courage it takes to treat this issue the way they did.

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    Despite my personal belief, I'm glad a show finaly takeled this aspect and followed though. I mean everyone talks about being pro-choice on TV yet know one ever goes through with it. And I think it shows alot of guts and actuly I think would garner respect rather than angst from those with an aposing view. I mean take Christina on Grey's back in season two she was so for an abortion but in the end cconviniantly had a miscarrige and Addison's happened befor the show started other and on Private Practice it never happened with Mya. Many other shows like One Tree Hill, and the secret life, even Glee I think among many others have briefly touched the subject and yet charecters who seem all for it end up keeping it or turn out not to be pregnant after all. So good for FNL for having the guts to stick to something. Way to go aswell on the Emmy noms.