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Danny Franks

Friday Night Lights

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When Buddy comes to the Taylor house and Tami sends him over to Eric, saying "here's Buddy, he's got a box".

 

I always loved Tami's inflection when Buddy would randomly show up at the Taylor house - the wonderful fake happy "Oh Buddy is here!!" tone that is laced with "why in the hell is Buddy Garety here again?" Just perfect every time. 

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I also loved the episode of Tim living with the Taylors. So much fun, and him being a concerned big brother to Julie was great. I wish they hadn't dropped that afterwards, and I wish the show had done more to mix the characters up. For instance, I don't think Lyla ever had a scene with Matt or Landry, Tim had very few with Julie, Tyra never really acknowledged Smash again after the second episode of the show. 

Lyla/Landry had one scene together in 2x08.

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Some stuff that hasn't been mentioned:

 

"It's time to let Tim Riggins come home."

 

The scene where Lyla comes on to Jebus boy and he says no, and she's embarrassingly putting back on her sweater. Minka really nailed that. 

 

Dana Delany in everything, but especially when she's confronting Tami about telling child services and explaining everything they have to go through now.

 

Whoever the girl with her sites on JD McCoy, watching him drink milk at the party, plans in her eyes. 

 

Eric and Peter Berg drunk fighting in the restaurant, and then the next morning Tami loudly getting ready for church. 

 

Tim explain cheerleaders to Billy's kid, and introducing him to "Coach Eric Taylo, how you doin'r"

 

Jason walking Matt through the 15-yard out -- "If you can make that they will FEAR you."

 

"I've got a family, too."

 

"The quarterback is a captain, Saracen."

 

and somebody mentioned it, but "it's time to tell me the truth now" was really an amazing moment. 

 

"Hi there Santa Clause."

 

Mindy explaining Tim Riggins to Becky. Anything with Becky and Mindy -- especially the strippers at the beauty pageant. The strippers and Becky talking about first times. 

 

I'm forgetting too many, but my, what a show.

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I have a conceptual criticism, and that's that Eric shouldn't have been just starting when the series began -- he should have already been catching for a while. The same thing with Street -- it should have been established that he'd been a three-year starter more than it was, and that he and Eric had a longer relationship than they did. 

 

Aside from that, my UO is i didn't hate the murder. I didn't love it and would have preferred it not happen, but it gave some really great moments -- they didn't back away from the memory making Landry crazy, or the efforts Tyra went to to cover it up. 

 

I wish they had known they were getting a fourth season because, while I liked East Dillon, I would have preferred to see Eric work with JD McCoy, and everything that followed. That would have been a neat storyline -- the totally entitled star QB with Eric keeping him grounded. I understand the ending he wrote because he thought they were done -- and I thought a lot of great stuff came out of East Dillon -- but I there were a lot of great storylines left with the Panthers. 

 

I guess that would be my other problem -- they kept thinking things were ending, so Berg kept writing finales that put him in a  corner for the next season. Had they known they had season two, Tami doesn't get pregnant and Eric doesn't leave. If they knew they had a season four, Eric doesn't leave Dillon for East Dillon, Tim doesn't go to jail, stuff like that. It would have been nicer if they had had a five-year arc scripted out and been able to stick with it. 

 

Not complaining, but that would have been better. 

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"He wants to marry Julie?!"

"No Gracie.....of course Julie!"

Riggins playing with Gracie.

Any coach speech to street.

The music throughout.

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We got to see Julie come out for her first date with Matt in heals and a halter dress and Eric simply say, "no."

My problems with Julie were writing based and frustration as an adult watching someone act like a real teenager. Teenagers are pretty terrible sometimes.

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I've just been rewatching on Netflix, halfway thru S2, some of my favorite little moments:

S1 - during the racial tensions when an opposing player calls Smash a racist name and so Riggins pounces on the guy/Mac sends the cops away from the bus

-Coach and Tami are pissed at Julie for her attitude but then she mentions Matt has her playing QB for powderpuff so Coach changes his tune and gets excited

-Grandma Saracen's "You, I adore" from the pilot -- I say that all the time now

-Lyla "yeah I'm the whore with the website"

-winning state

 

S2 - Riggins is at Smash's for dinner and Smash says "Quit flirtin' with my mama"

-Shelly and Julie oogling Tim working out in the backyard

-"GLENN"

 

ETA: later seasons, when Tinker shows up to help Luke fix the fence!!!

Edited by Samx

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I started this series on a whim on Wednesday. I'm through 02x03. 

 

One thing that has pissed me off about Julie is how she didn't give a crap if her baby sister was sick in the previous episode. Tami wanted her feel Grace to see if she thought Grace had a fever because she wanted a second opinion and the way she snotted, "Well, I don't know anything about babies. Lois is waiting for me, so I gotta go." really didn't sit right with me. Fever/infection in newborns/young babies can be dangerous and serious. It's common sense, really. 

 

She is officially on my sh*t list.

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I'm watching FNL for the first time and I'm on 02x05. I want to fast-forward through some of these plots. I don't care about Jason in Mexico, I don't care about Julie or the Swede, and I don't care about Lyla. Everything else, I'm cool with.

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I'm now on 04x05 - "The Son". ALL the awards for Tami for being there for Matt and making the arrangements and making sure that the funeral home people don't rip him and his family off by charging $9,000 with certain parts that won't be necessary; Veterans Affairs won't cover all of the bill (visitation, use of facilities and staff, the day prior are out because of the closed casket, no funeral service escort needed). You go, Tami. Love her.

 

EDIT: I'm glad Luke ditched JD and the others while paintballing. JD's become a prissy a-hole like his dad. I would have left them stranded, too.

Edited by ShortyMac

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UO: I don't like Lyla at all and I don't buy Tim/Lyla for a second. I do not believe that she saw anything good in him in that he was worth dating. Lyla is a snobby, rich, scholar. Why would she ever fall for someone like Tim who is an alcoholic who doesn't want to leave Dillon while she has dreams and aspirations? So, I'm not a fan of them together.

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UO: I don't like Lyla at all and I don't buy Tim/Lyla for a second. I do not believe that she saw anything good in him in that he was worth dating. Lyla is a snobby, rich, scholar. Why would she ever fall for someone like Tim who is an alcoholic who doesn't want to leave Dillon while she has dreams and aspirations? So, I'm not a fan of them together.

 

If I remember right, she fell for Tim because he happened to be there. That's about as much foresight Lyla had about anything. Her "dreams and aspirations" had been to get into whatever college Jason was going to play football for. His accident screwed up her plans for the rest of her life. 

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All of the above!

 

Tyra: Hey cheating cheerleader bitch want a ride?

Julie: They were christian miles!!!
Tami: I don't care what kind of miles they are you're not taking the car!

 

Coach walking in on Julie and Matt having sex then walking out of the house and waiting in his car.

 

Coach apologizing to Tim after he saw him putting Julie to bed "you've done nothing wrong and you took the fall. Let me tell you one thing, it's noble"

 

Mindy: Rhinestones make me look trashy.

 

Mindy and Lyla getting drunk and bonding over the Riggins boys, and the Collettes break up playlist!

 

The episode It's Different For Girls

 

The football players visiting Street at the hospital and his interaction with Tim

"Where the hell have you been?"

 

Homecoming.

 

Any conversation between Street and Coach.

 

Street's goodbye to Tim and his speech to his girlfriend and daughter.

 

Matt and Tim getting drunk on Wednesday, walking back to the hotel before State kicking ball and talking about life, their hunting trip... I was always surprised by how lovely their scenes were.

 

This was mentioned before but I just have to say it again:

 

Hastings, Tinker, and the boys talking about life while Coach listens from his balcony. It's so beautiful. Nothing happens. And I feel like with any other show, they would have used this to get the boys discussing some scheme or dark secret, but this is why I love FNL so much. They just nail it. You keep expecting them to say something, until they start talking about porn and fart, and that's when you know that's all there is to it. These are good kids. And Coach listening in and conforming it... it's beautiful.

 

Tyra's speech at the end of season 3. It's such a gut wrenching moment because by then Street was gone, and the pilot seemed so far behind, too far to still affect things so drastically. But when Tyra says "Jason Street got paralyzed"... it's like the camera just turned backwards inside that truck and revisited the timeline of the entire show. The fact that the show was still able to tie in its' character arcs so beautifully after 3 seasons says a lot. 

 

in The Son, I loved Matt with the shovel and the blisters in the end. I only came to watch this show recently, and I had watched The Leftovers when it came out. The scene where Liv Tyler goes and starts chopping off that tree is a call back to this one I guess (given that Peter Berg is on both shows).

 

But my all time personal favorite has to be the entire sequence in season 1 episode 2, when Coach goes knocking on Saracen's door, Grandma offering cake and saying 'I'll make you hot chocolate next time ' then to Matt 'you listen to him. You listen. I love you.' as she walks him to the door.

Coach teaching Matt how to scream after he tells him that he 'oughta be proud' for juggling a sick grandma, school, work and football, all while his dad's in Iraq.  'Your team mates if they can hear you they will believe in you ' and Matt screaming till it hurts with Explosions In The Sky in the background.

Coach: THIS IS ALL YOURS FOR THE TAKING. DO YOU WANT IT?

MATT: I WANT IT COACH. I WANT IT.

I don't know why this part gets to me so much, maybe it's the way Zach Gilford delivers that scene, he makes you feel like for the first time ever, Matt was admitting what he wants, and not just doing what he needs to do.

Then the scene with Buddy and coach the next day 'this town needs a W Eric ', the handshake and the cut to the game montage. Devil town playing, the rally girls and the players, the closed for the game signs, and the cheerleaders getting ready as the music amps up. Then the sequence in the locker room with the panthers heading out to the field, the camera panning back to Matt looking nervous as shit and his conversation with Coach :
Coach: You ready for this?
Matt: Yes sir
Coach: let me ask you one question, that pass last week, that winning pass, were your eyes closed?
Matt: No sir. They were open. My eyes were wide open.
Coach: That's what I thought. Now let's go play some football!

Edited by raytch

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I'm marathoning this for the first time, and am 13 episodes into Season One.  I'm confused about whether I'm supposed to like Smash?  It seems that all the other characters like him, and his mom is certainly great and enjoyable to watch, but I CANNOT STAND HIM, and if I'm supposed to enjoy his "confidence" which to me reads as unearned cockiness, then I'm apparently missing something big.

 

Despite my love of Jason, I was kind of hoping Lyla and Tim would stay together.  That's probably wrong of me, but they were just so very pretty together.

 

Julie's hair always looks like it needs to be brushed, or washed, or maybe like she should use less gel, or perhaps try blowdrying instead of letting it air dry.  That's way too much hair to just have hanging around so limp and dirty looking.

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Note: This will contain some spoilers that you might want to avoid, Irritable.

 

 

If I remember right, she fell for Tim because he happened to be there. That's about as much foresight Lyla had about anything. Her "dreams and aspirations" had been to get into whatever college Jason was going to play football for. His accident screwed up her plans for the rest of her life. 

 

I don't think that's why she fell for Tim at all. In the beginning yes, he was there, and he was an outlet for her grief and guilt and self-loathing. But after that she went back to Jason then found God then dated Chris. She ended up falling for Tim in the end because she learned that he was actually a good guy who was much more than he ever let on, and Tim actually seemed like a guy who wanted to make something of himself, when he was with Lyla.

 

Lyla never really thought for herself until after Jason got hurt, but that tragedy ended up opening a whole lot of different doors that she had never even thought about trying before. I don't think her relationship with Jason was about him being her successful meal ticket to a life of luxury, because they did love each other, but she seemed content to be a supportive football wife and nothing more. By the end of season 3, she knew that there was a whole world out there, just waiting for her. Pretty good character progression, in my view.

 

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but Lyla Garrity is one of my favourite characters in the entire show, because she grew and changed so much from the naive girl in the pilot episode to that serene, composed woman in Stay. She was fucking awesome.

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I miss this show so much! I am pretty sure that the above moment between Matt and Coach Taylor is my favorite TV moment of all time. Just reading the phrase "my eyes were wide open" makes me want to rewatch this entire series.

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My unpopular opinion? I never liked Tim Riggins right from the beginning until the very end. It also annoyed me that the show hinted that he and Tyra were going to be together in the future because I never felt that either of them were that happy together and weren't just using each other for one reason or the other.

Edited by kdm07

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My unpopular opinion? I never liked Tim Riggins right from the beginning until the very end. It also annoyed me that the show hinted that he and Tyra were going to be together in the future because I never felt that either of them were that happy together and weren't just using each other for one reason or the other.

 

I loved Tim all the way through, but I was also annoyed at the Tim/Tyra hints at the end. Because I agree, I don't think their relationship was healthy or pleasant at all. Like they themselves admitted, they cheated whenever they felt like it, treated each other like crap, and were generally toxic together. I did enjoy them as friends, later in season 1, and thought they had a nice, semi-antagonistic relationship then,

 

And speaking of Tim, here's another unpopular opinion from me: They should have written him out of the show at the end of season 3. Sent him off to San Antonio State and had him actually make something of himself, rather than show him failing without really trying, and crawling back to Dillon to fix cars and commit crimes. I held off on watching season 4 for the longest time, because I just didn't want to accept that that was Tim's future.

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On 05x03 - Julie and the TA: Ew ew ew ew no no no no no. Julie, you're an idiot.

 

Word. Pretty much any time Julie wasn't with Matt, the writing for her was a disaster. I don't know why they wanted to keep doing the 'good girl goes off the rails' plot with her, but I just never ever thought it fit the character. Don't know what they thought they were achieving, other than to show someone in danger of being co-dependent and relying on another person to give them direction and purpose. And that was not Julie Taylor.

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Aimee Teegarden stars on Star-Crossed, not that I watch that.

 

Becky's on it too! I kept staring at her trying to figure out where I knew the actress from. It also had Grey Damon (Hastings).

Edited by bettername2come

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What I seriously dislike about seasons 4 and 5  is Becky and her mooning eyes over Tim Riggins.  No matter how hard they tried, they can't make that girl a good actress, therefore she cannot sell a storyline. 

 

I miss Tyra, Landry, Matt.......I can see why it ended after 5 seasons. 

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And speaking of Tim, here's another unpopular opinion from me: They should have written him out of the show at the end of season 3. Sent him off to San Antonio State and had him actually make something of himself, rather than show him failing without really trying, and crawling back to Dillon to fix cars and commit crimes. I held off on watching season 4 for the longest time, because I just didn't want to accept that that was Tim's future.

I think Tim and Tyra should have been written off after season 1 or at least graduated from high school. No way do I believe they were sophomores in season 1.

 

I didn't have a problem with Tim quitting college and coming back to Dillon. The way it played to me was he only went because Billy and Lyla pushed him to go. Then Lyla ended up at another school and there goes Tim's "motivation" for going to college in the first place. I didn't care for Tim's crime spree but I was happy with his ending. He was in Texas (Texas forever) and it appeared he was becoming a productive member of society. 

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When Coach brought Smash his acceptance letter to A&M, Smash read it, looked up and said: "I'll make you proud."

 

I loved seeing Coach as we heard Moma Smash and the daughters' reactions to the news. Seeing how badly Smash wanted to take care of his moma and buy her a nice big house and then have that dream shattered was heart breaking. Then seeing Smash's work ethic off the field (how well he did at Alamo Freeze) and seeing him be rewarded with the scholarship and given another the chance to "take care of mama" was a very satisfying moment. Smash deserved that second chance. 

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What I seriously dislike about seasons 4 and 5  is Becky and her mooning eyes over Tim Riggins.  No matter how hard they tried, they can't make that girl a good actress, therefore she cannot sell a storyline. 

 

I miss Tyra, Landry, Matt.......I can see why it ended after 5 seasons. 

Becky mooning over Tim had me grating my teeth. I did however come to enjoy Becky and I really liked her and Luke. I also loved when Becky stayed with Mindy and Billy.

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There were three star football players in my graduating class (probably more) who got into junior colleges, never made it on the field, then came back to our dumpy town a year or two later where they were still "famous". I thought Tim crawling back to Dillon was yet another true-to-life moment.

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I fast-forwarded anything to do with Jess, didn't care about her character. Never liked her even with Landry or Vince.

 

I Iiked Tim with Jackie and her son.

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Last scene with Smash.  The freeze frame on his smile.  Best ending to a character arc on the show.

 

Taylor Dinner table Season 3.  Matt wanting to play receiver(?) and Julie brings it up to Coach at dinner. Matt tells her to drop the subject, she says, "Matt", and gives him a shut-up look, which he does.  Then Coach sees this dynamic and just stops in his tracks and looks at them both.  I think in that moment Coach knows Matt is whipped (in a good way) by Julie (just like he is with Tami).  He unconsciously knew they were having sex before he walked in on them, a few weeks later. 

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Surprised this hasn't been posted yet.

 

I never knew there were so many ways to say y'all. And they all imply or mean something different.

 

Tami Taylor is my spirit animal. If a fictional person can be a spirit animal. 

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Two of my favorites were Buddy with his kids.

The first was when Lyla told him how "unchristian" her mother was being by not hiring Santiago to do odd jobs around the house. A 10,000 watt lightbulb then went on over Buddy's head as he realized this was his chance to look good to Lyla and repair their relationship.

The other was when he was after Buddy Jr returned from living exile in SF with his Mom and tree hugging step father. Buddy mentioned how his step dad loved seitan and called it "nature's meat". Buddy Sr replied that "Nature already has a meat...It's called cow."

Loved Coach taking Smash to A&M.

I also enjoyed Smash mentoring Matt about women, both at work telling him to tell them what they wanted to order and his "open relationship" scheme to get the gf to break up with him. (Might even top George Constanza's "It's not you, it's me.")

Vince's Dad beating down the thug who was threatening Vince and Jess was great, too.

I enjoyed every time Coach Taylor called Landry, "Lance" and when he made the FG to beat Dillon.

Mac demanding a warrant from the officers who wanted to arrest Smash on the bus and his exchange with Smash when they got home was also one of my favorite moments.

Edited by Bryce Lynch
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UO: I don't like Lyla at all and I don't buy Tim/Lyla for a second. I do not believe that she saw anything good in him in that he was worth dating. Lyla is a snobby, rich, scholar. Why would she ever fall for someone like Tim who is an alcoholic who doesn't want to leave Dillon while she has dreams and aspirations? So, I'm not a fan of them together.

I agree. I could sort of buy the one night stand when he comforted her after Jason blew up at her, but after that, I think she seemed repulsed by Tim, yet continued the affair.

I suppose she could have been punishing herself for cheating on Jason by continuing to degrade herself, but I never bought or liked Tim and Lyla.

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I hated the Tami gets fires from Dillon plot. It was a great idea to get her to be the counselor at East Dillon, but the way she got fired was completely unrealistic.

First, she would NEVER have been fired for how she handled the Becky situation. She got the girl's mother involved and her mother not only agreed to, but pushed the abortion.

Luke's mother would have absolutely no standing to make a complaint and I thought it was unrealistic that she did. They made her into a gross caricature of a pro-Life mother.

They should have fired Tami over a jumbotron or suspendeding a star Panther or something along those lines.

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They wouldn't have fired her. They would have eliminated her position due to budget constraints.

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I enjoyed every time Coach Taylor called Landry, "Lance" and when he made the FG to beat Dillon.

 

My favorite "Coach calls Landry 'Lance'" moment is when someone else calls him Landry, someone asks who that is and Coach says "Ya know, that Lance kid."

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The biggest criticism of this show, and I think it turned more viewers off than anything else, is the constant and pointless cuts between cameras. Yes, they shot nearly every scene in a single take with three and sometimes four cameras (the rare scenes that were shot with coverage look out of place) and I loved that, however constantly cutting every two to three seconds was extremely jarring and distracting. I counted something like six hundred cuts per episode with an average length of just four or five seconds. The editing rarely followed the dialog and most of the time seemed completely random. 

I'm half through season 1 and don't want to read any more of this thread so as not to spoil myself.  But I don't love the 'home movie' type cinematography they used, and that's partly why I've never watched this series before now.

 

And what's bugging me to no end is that they call him MATT SARACEN in every single sentence.  It's like the writers think Saracen, Street, Riggins and Garrity are such cool last names they can't not add them to every line of dialog.  If they don't lay off the full names by the end of the season, I think I'm out.  The show so far is just ok to me.  

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There was a reason behind the cinematography style and the camera cuts. It was because the directors allowed the cast to improvise much of their own blocking and timing, to give the show a more natural feel, and so they couldn't set shots up in a traditional way, for the most part. That's why actors sometimes almost bob out of shots, or have cameras frantically tracking to focus on them.

 

I never minded it at all, but I know some people profess to getting nauseous if cameras move around too much. For me, I think it gives shows an immediacy and intimacy that you don't get from, say, a long drawn out two shot.

 

As for them using first and last names a lot, I took it as more a Texan, small-town affectation of importance. Especially with the football players. Like, Jason is just some kid from Dillon, but Jason Street is the Panthers star quarterback and NFL-destined talent. And Matt Saracen is someone that nobody has heard of, so emphasising his full name felt like it was highlighting his anonymity. But I can also think of many occasions where single names, and even nicknames are used, between people who are close. Streeter, Timmy, plain old Matt. So again, I suppose part of it is how well you know a person.

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My dh and I just started watching FNL in May. Tonight we watched The Son. That was at least a 25 tissue show. I am blown away by the acting. It was so believable and felt so genuine. Goodness, I am a mess. We love this show so much.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I loved the three and sometimes four camera setups which allowed them to shoot an entire scene in one take without shooting coverage. It allowed for a lot of natural overlapping dialog. One of my favorite scenes was Coach and Tammy arguing while taking out the garbage and nearly every line of dialog is on top of another which not only seemed perfectly natural but was also really funny.

 

BUT... I could barely tolerate the hyperactive cutting. Apparently they had so much footage from three cameras that they felt they needed to include a shot from every camera as often as possible. A 42 minute episode had 600-800 cuts giving an average shot length of 3-5 seconds! It was sometimes hard to appreciate the excellent acting when your brain is constantly trying to process this blizzard of edits.

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To me it feels disorienting like watching home video.  Which doesn't at all make it feel more like I'm there or it's real life happening, not a scripted tv show.

 

The last episode I watched Buddy Garrity is telling Jason he doesn't want him to date Lyla and Buddy calls her Lyla Garrity!   Then Jason proposes to her, and calls her Lyla Garrity!  ARG!  ENOUGH!  

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Is it not traditional for a man to use a woman's full name when proposing? Seems like it is on television, at least. Buddy's use of her full name in that instance felt to me like he was emphasising her social standing as being above Jason's (now that Jason has fallen, of course). 'She's a Garrity, my daughter. Why should she waste her time with someone like you?'

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I suppose for tv proposals that they want to use cheap dialog to over-dramatize.  They could have a variety of reasons for the near constant use of full names but I think it's lazy writing, personally.  Used a little here and there, fine.  But it's overused here, to an extreme, to me.

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To me it feels disorienting like watching home video. 

 

That's odd. Home videos don't have any edits. The only way it looks like a home video is that they used handheld cameras almost exclusively.

 

I loved that they rarely shot scenes with coverage. Many of the scenes with Matt and Landry wouldn't have been as funny if they had been multiple takes edited together. 

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The cinematography on the show was very good too. With the filming style and the Explosions in the Sky soundtrack, it really did feel like Texas. It felt like a documentary at times with a strong storytelling aspect.

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Dillion looked ugly and real! Other series were making their locales look beautiful and exciting while FNL made everything on its show look gray and dull (except the football games). The best shot I can remember was when Tyra and the oil guy were standing in front of a wide panorama under an overcast sky and he tells her that they couldn't find a trace of oil anywhere.

 

Tyra: "Even the dinosaurs couldn't stand this place."

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That's odd. Home videos don't have any edits. The only way it looks like a home video is that they used handheld cameras almost exclusively.

 It looked amateurish to me in that extras would wander between the camera and the person being shot, and the actors being shot would wander half out of frame sometimes.  And the handheld cameras.  It did have a documentary feel.  

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 It looked amateurish to me in that extras would wander between the camera and the person being shot, and the actors being shot would wander half out of frame sometimes.  

 

Yes, they had to use long lenses so the three cameras would stay out of each other's shots. With three distant cameras it's virtually impossible for actors to move around without blocking each other or getting out of one of the camera's frame at some point. The actors were also given freedom to move around naturally instead of moving from mark to mark while talking to each other. It was up to the cameramen to follow what was happening, which wasn't easy because a surprising number of scenes weren't even rehearsed and were shot in a single take. 

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Yes, they had to use long lenses so the three cameras would stay out of each other's shots. With three distant cameras it's virtually impossible for actors to move around without blocking each other or getting out of one of the camera's frame at some point. The actors were also given freedom to move around naturally instead of moving from mark to mark while talking to each other. It was up to the cameramen to follow what was happening, which wasn't easy because a surprising number of scenes weren't even rehearsed and were shot in a single take. 

 

Which I think is a great approach to take, with a show. It seemed to get the best out of each and every cast member (particularly if you compare how some of them have performed in other projects). And from the behind the scenes stuff, it seems like the show became a collaborative little fraternity of actors and writers learning and teaching. It took a little while for some of them to find their feet. Taylor Kitsch and Minka Kelly, in particular, seemed to struggle with the approach at first, but both grew into their roles, and I thought both were very good, by the time season 3 rolled around.

 

There are lots of scenes that just feel so real and genuine, and you know that comes from the actors being able to express themselves as they want to. I'm thinking, for example, of the boys on the field at night, in Ch-ch-ch-changes. They're drunk and laughing and talking over one another, Riggins is effusive, Matt is muttering to himself, Street is having the time of his life. And all that energy seems spontaneous and heartfelt. Or scenes with the Taylors bickering; Julie hashing something out with Tami, while Eric puts in generally unhelpful little remarks, all crowded into that little house together.

 

Or you've got that great montage in the second episode, of everyone going through their gameday traditions, and the town shutting up shop to head over to the football field. The handheld cameras made me feel like I was one of them, like I was in Dillon and being carried along for the ride.

 

So what if an extra walks in front of the camera, or an actor wanders out of frame for a moment? Taken as a whole, I think the cinematography on the show was a beautiful thing. Far better than the general 'shot, reaction shot, two shot, cut' approach of a lot of TV shows.

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