Spoiler Alert: Friday Night Lights kicked off its fourth season on DIRECTV last night.
If you prefer to watch it and read about it when the show airs on NBC in the spring, this review isn't for you.
That said, if there's a sight on TV stranger than Coach Eric Taylor in the red of the East Dillon Lions, we're yet to see it.
The fourth season premiere - which you can read a full recap of NOW - drew some major battle lines this week. Dillon High School has been renamed West Dillion and is now the enemy. J.D. McCoy is your sterotypical, pompous ass; Mr. McCoy is worse than Buddy ever was; and Tami is caught in the middle.
Then there's Eric.
With jaw clenched tighter than ever and screams echoing through the dilapidated locker room of West Dillon, he constantly laid into the Lions. This team certainly won't win State, but there's an unlimited number of storylines available here.
Foremost, following this week's episode, is Vince. A troubled, quiet youth, he clearly seeks discipline and a father figure. Will Eric provide that for him? So far, so good.
The same can't be said on the field of play, however, as the Lions' play was the antithesis of good. It was atrocious. It actually led to a halftime forfeit. Among other aspects of the episode we loved:
- Landry as the wily, respected veteran on the Lions.
- Riggins. Pretty much anything to do with this character, who we have to imagine will end up as a West Dillon coach.
- The dark side of Matt Saracen. Did anyone else stand up and cheer when he jumped J.D.?
- Tami and Eric. Always the heart of this show. Even a brief kitchen scene, where she laments missing his first game, is more natural and more loving than anything else on television.