The writers of Friday Night Lights discuss the most controversial plot line from the show
In a perfect show, this still seems a bit off.
We're absolutely huge fans of Friday Night Lights because it's undoubtedly one of the best shows that you'll ever see. In fact, we've previously ranked the best characters, discussed our favourite episodes and devoted a host of our time to the iconic Tim Riggins.
If you're not already addicted to the world of the Dillon Panthers then you're in for a treat, especially the first season because it's fantastic TV.
The second season was very different though as things took a huge tonal shift.
On the field, the Dillon Panthers struggled to live up to the victorious heights of their State Championship, but this paled in comparison to the more melancholic events off of it.
Look at the evidence. Julie turned into a head-wrecking nag, Lyla became addicted to God, Tim and Street continued to fight and Coach Taylor took a job in Austin. The darkest plotline though revolved around Landry, Tyra and a murder which some critics felt detracted from the show's sense of innocence and fun.
Speaking on their regular Friday Night Lights podcast, the show's writers, Bridget Carpenter and Kerry Ehrin, discussed why the second season was so dark and the reason for the murder.
“I feel like something happens in the beginning of a second season of any show, which is you kind of play out the pilot in the first year and then the second year you feel the need to kind of reinvent a little bit to get new seeds growing,” Ehrin explains. “I think it came more out of that, of wanting to turn up the jets a little bit. I think I’m still probably one of the only people that really still… I like that storyline.”
“I do too,” Carpenter agrees. “I don’t feel defensive about it at all. I remember exactly why we did it. I was shocked at the animus towards it. I was sort of like, ‘Hey people, it’s TV, things happen.’ I will say too that I really enjoyed all the great gifts it gave us, which was Landry and Tyra getting really close.
Ehrin adds: “I think a lot of the reaction to [the murder plotline] had something to do with people feeling like NBC had asked for it. There was a sense of like a political thing… like, they were like, ‘oh make it more network-y.’ It could not have been farther from the truth.”
“I think people thought it’s not like small town America and Friday Night Lights is about these real slice of life things,” Ehrin says. “Honestly, that was never my personal perception of Friday Night Lights, I thought it was a story about a town where everyone was crazy. It was like everyone had drank the Kool-Aid and that’s sort of what kept it spinning, and then the slice of life stuff was within that world. It isn’t this small town USA storytelling about families – it was never that. It was about people who were crazy!”
As we all know, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!".
That's it we're going to watch it again.