Friday Night Lights

Season 1 Episode 15

Blinders

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 07, 2007 on The 101
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

8.5
out of 10
Average
199 votes
  • Pure utter PC garbage. I never thought this show would sink to that level.

    6.2
    I'm sick and tired of seeing people bandstand about race and comments made about it. You know who is pushing each other farther apart? Blacks. Yes I use the term Blacks because we are "whites" and when did they come from Africa? Oh 100's of years ago but still we have to hear them refuse to accept blacks as okay terminology. We see Smash that is going in the right direction. Knowing that the comments people make aren't always what they seem. Of course they then play up on the coach being super ultra racist inside.

    When I see a show sink to the level of race it concerns me. The reason is that shows like THOSE are the ones that push people farther apart. There will always be people that believe a certain race should exist or that they are inferior. What else can you do?

    What made it even sadder is that they show seperation of blacks and whites okay. You have Saracen trying to talk with Smash and him playing the angry black man. You have Riggens trying to tell him to cool down his friends so they can all get along. But of course that's a slap in the face somehow.

    I am not racist. I feel that everyone no matter what culture, race, or background should be given a chance. What I don't agree with is how I'm force to say I'm okay with the ghetto attitude. If you dress like a thug and act like the thug speaking street language I will lose respect for you. Speak like an intelligent human being and maybe I can actually respect you. But that's racist. Everything is racist. But only white on blacks. Black on whites seem to not exist. Yeah, a lot of bad things happened a long time ago. First of all, there is no one living that went through slavery currently. Second of all, the best way to seperate ourselves is to fight about race. How else are we going to move on if we can't accept that the past was bad but the future is important? Third, the reason closeminded people hate blacks is because of upbringing and media. The media portrays blacks as crooks and drug dealers. Rappers go on and on about girls and money and guns and violence. Then they turn around and say all this stuff about whites being racist. The culture that blacks have adopted that learning and living a clean life is a "white" thing and your selling out is the saddest thing I've ever heard. No wonder why terrorists hate us. We are incredibly dumb.

    The episode is pandering to the crowds of people. They didn't want to push the envelope. They just wanted to sell PC crap to teens to push a further wedge into this society. Everything gets blurred and focused on this issue. They could have played up a lot more of different sides in the episode instead of whites hate blacks, blacks need to stick together, and Texas is a breeding ground for hate. As I said, some people will never learn. But for the rest of us, if you want our respect dress non gangster, talk non street, and don't portray the crime that we hear about in our cities and such. Maybe then we will respect you and life will be peaceful.
  • This is my first review of Friday Night Lights, so be gentle. I have reviewed a couple of other shows, and it seems like I review them only when I don’t agree with the other reviews. This is one of those cases.

    6.7
    Overall, this is a great show, one that is unlike most shows on TV now. Maybe some HBO shows are in the same vein, but FNL is certainly unique. I think all of my favorite shows (Las Vegas, the Law and Order series, Studio 60, the Simpsons, Family Guy, The Sopranos, Scrubs, etc) are rated way too high by most fans. Not every episode of every series is the “Best Ever”, and too many of them are rated over 9. Because FNL is a superior series (conversely, Las Vegas is pretty bad but is a guilty pleasure) and the bar for FNL is set so high, a good rating for it should be in the 8 range, and only a really, really, really good episode should rate over a 9.

    And in my opinion, this week’s episode was below average. Again, not compared to other TV shows, but to its own high standards. My focus will be on the main subplot of Mac’s comments. The subplots of the Powder Puff game, and Lyla’s dad hitting on Tyra’s mom, and Tyra possibly being a bad influence on Julie were nicely done, and consistent with arcs for those characters in this serial.

    Now regarding the storyline about Mac’s comments to that reporter; it felt like FNL tried to force this storyline on us. I think the subject was a good idea to write, but it seemed poorly executed. (I am white, and trying to write this objectively). I saw no problems with Mac’s original comments. The “junk yard dog” comment may have been a fair comment. Really, does Matt Saracin look like he has the attitude and fire to be a running back? That’s not to say that Smash can’t be a QB. (I don’t see this as white v. black, but rather an aggressive personality v. a passive one.) The set-up was also done well with the fact that it was with a writer taking notes (and asking leading questions as if to “find” a story) who could tweak the actual words and generalize what she wanted to. In other words, if Mac said the same things in front of a camera, the possibility of skewing the comments as racist would have been lower (don’t get me wrong, with skillful editing, sound bites could be made to sound racist, too). This is TV, folks, and to this point in the series, Mac has not been portrayed as racist.

    But from that point, everything about this subplot seemed forced... like the series felt it needed to go from zero to 60 in 46 minutes. Waverly tried to convince Smash to be a vocal leader, when it wasn’t his interest. The scene in the diner when they saw the comments on TV and the black and white players chose sides. This seemed to be where the direction started to fail. We go from everybody at the diner having fun, and suddenly 20 seconds on TV polarizes everybody. I don’t think that Mac’s non-apology should have had that much of an impact. Other than some very subtle references, race and racism hasn’t been a main focus of the show, and now I am supposed to believe that some comments taken out of context divide the town. If the producers were going to arc this storyline, they should have planted a few scenes in previous episodes along the way. The scene at the bank where Mom was declined for a mortgage seemed too contrived. I, too, have been pre-approved for a loan, found the perfect house, then the financing fell through. It is absolutely heartbreaking, but Smash goes from being ambivalent about racial issues to ready to throw a fit in a bank. I like Mom bringing Smash under control, but the scene seemed forced (almost as if production said “OK, we need another example of Smash seeing racism where it may or may not exist”).

    At this point as I am watching this, I have stopped buying into the story and got frustrated with this plot (again, I reiterate that I don’t mind the plot, only that it was written and/or directed poorly and could have been done so much better). So Waverly laid on a guilt trip and Mom got denied for a mortgage, suddenly Smash does a 180 and – completely out of character – confronts Mac? Maybe if it wasn’t Smash… maybe if it was a different black player with whom we haven’t been introduced to (one written to have a chip on his shoulder or at least one that might have that conviction from the start), then it might have been better. Anyway, Smash confronts Mac and Mac says something stupid (this time, it was stupid) and Smash decides its time for action.

    Again, if it where a different black character it would have been better, but the plot line picked-up significantly when the black players had the meeting at church and then stood solid during practice. But it was how the story got to that point that I feel was poorly executed.

    I intentionally didn’t mention Mrs. Coach’s “dialogue” scene because it was so horrible and tacked on. It wasn’t needed, it didn’t say anything, and didn’t add anything to the story. Then the writers completely invalidated the scene when Mrs. Coach later says something about very few football players even attended. I don’t remember if a black student interrupted a black student or vice-versa, but suddenly the interruption has a racial connotation? Hell, these are high school kids. Life is all about interrupting each other. I can’t get through a full meal at home without my two teenagers interrupting ever comment someone makes (or conversely, not saying a word even when asked). If they really wanted this scene to work, a white student should have used an outright racial slur or a black student should have gotten in a white student’s face with a stereotype. It seemed – like the scene at the bank – where the producers said, “we need to show another escalation of the situation”. This scene could have been eliminated and nobody would have missed it. If the producers of FNL want to keep this a credible subject once this arc has played out in a couple of weeks, they need to continue to make racial tensions part of the series. If not, then the producers expect us to believe that a town can go from no real racial concerns, to a powder keg, and back to no real racial concerns over the course of a couple of days. Racial tensions in some cities – both in the north and south – are deep and lasting. Dillon, TX apparently has these tensions, and for the series to maintain credibility, the producers need to keep bringing it up. With each succeeding season, there are new players joining the team. Both white and black, they will come in with their own racial morals which come from their parents. Ending this story arc will not alleviate the attitudes of the entire town in perpetuity.

    Although I don’t think this was a great episode, I certainly look forward to how they producers will resolve this storyline.
  • In this episode they show once again as they do every week why this is not just a football show. Racism is this weeks main topic or focus.

    10
    As this show is always misunderstood as a "football" show. Once again they have shown this is a story of a family and friends that live in a town with everyday issues such as love, fun, racism, hardships, etc... They just happen to all play football or be apart of it.
    I love this show! And I hope they get a second season. People better realize this is a show for yes, football fans, but also fans of gathering information on everyday teenage issues and everyday lifetime issues for that matter. Its amazing how they make the actual games last on the totum pole in a show called "friday night lights"
  • While this may not have been the best installment to date, great tension between characters, and racial tension give this episode a dramatic boost.

    9.0
    The Powderpuff Girls Game, ridiculous comments from an assistant coach, tension between schoolmates, relationship issues, racist explosions between students, and a field walkoff deliver a good episode in this fantastic under-viewed series. Julie and Matt are having troubles, after Matt was in a photo with some girls, and Matt doesn't make it any worse when he chooses Julie third for his Powderpuff Girls Football Team. Even though, Julie, being the football coach's daughter, knows her stuff. Which later leads to a somewhat heartwarming scene between father and daughter when Coach Taylor and Julie play some football in the street. There's anger between Lyla and Tyra, which has been seen before in this show. However, with the addition of the possible relationship between Lyla and Tyra's parents, the conflict between these two hasn't gotten old yet. The racial blowup brought on by an assistant coach adds a new sense of drama and frustration to the show, in a good way. The racial issue outlines the characters inner thoughts towards each other, on and off the field, and their thoughts on their coaches, and teachers. Some people want the issue to go away, so everyone can hang out with everyone, some people want the issue to go even farther, adding a new interesting level to the show. A good episode.
  • Another great installment

    9.0
    The issue of race and how it affect the Dylon Panthers was briefly brought up in the first episode of Friday Night Lights (now available as a free download on iTunes…go now and watch if you haven’t seen it!). And now, fifteen episodes later it comes back…

    After winning their first playoff game and using a half-back option pass from Smash to Scarasen, Coach Mac is drawn into an on-the-record conversation with a reporter. In the interview, Mac says some things he shouldn’t, sticking his foot squarely in his mouth. By Monday, the talk radio show has blown the story out of proportion and has news outlets across the state turning their eye on the Panthers. In light of the issues with Smash, such scrutiny is not a good idea. Taylor orders Mac to issue a public apology, but its too little, too late (and not exactly the most effective apology in the world either). The issue is now out and the town is caught up in the debate, leading to lots of resentment and hurt feelings on both sides.

    At first, Smash is not concerned about it. He’s just getting his swagger back and is only concerned about Smash. But as the episode progresses, he becomes drawn into the debate, culminating with his mother being turned down for a home loan (she was pre-approved) In one of the great scenes of the episode, Smash’s mother tells him not to lose it at the bank and to act dignified–to walk away and not give the people there any more to talk about. Smash calls a meeting of the African-American players at the church and the episode ends with them walking off the football field in protest.

    So what happens next? Well, I figure we can assume Smash and the other players will be back…but how will Taylor react? Remember that just last week, Taylor stretched out his neck for Smash and now this happens. Again, the scrutiny on the Panthers and Smash could lead to Smash’s steroid use coming to light and that would be bad for everyone….

    Tami tries to help things out by having a forum to discuss the issues at school–but it quickly descends into a near fight by both sides. Tami’s frustration at trying to do the right thing and having it fail was nicely done. And it was a rough episode for her. Julie is hanging out with Tyra and the influence is not good. Julie skips three gym classes. As punishment, she and Tyra and put on the powderpuff football teams–with Scarasen as Julie’s coach. This is not good since Julie is still peeved at Matt for his antics last week and lying to her. Though it does lead to another great scene as Taylor finds out she cut class. He is stern with her, until he finds out she’s been made QB of her squad. He almost dance down the hall after her and holds a practice session in the yard with her to run plays. Again, it’s nice to have a light moment like this in all of the heavy drama going on.

    Meanwhile, Jason Street returns to school and finds the obstacles before him greater than he thought–to the point he’s thinking of dropping out and pursuing a spot on the national Rollerball team and getting his GED instead. This does not sit well with Lyla…I think this may be leading to them breaking up.

    Which would be good with Buddy Garrity…assuming he could stop flirting with Tyra’s mom. I figured this was where this plotline was going, but I’m intrigued to see where it will lead.

    All of that in one episode–and it never felt like one plotline was more compelling than the others. The show once again has a fine balance between the various plot threads, making all of them interesting and leaving me yearning for more next week.

    I’m going to be very upset if this show does not get a second season…
  • Powderpuff game for the ladies and some racially sensative comments from a Coach highlight this episode.

    10
    Great episode!!! The Panthers won their playoff game, by the way, but all of that was overshadowed by the rest of the episode. Julie gets caught skipping classes with Tyra and now Julie is having new trust issues with her parents. As punishment Julie and Tyra have to play Powderpuff football. Tim and Matt are the coaches with Landry as the referee. :) Julie ends up being the quarterback and when Coach Taylor finds this out he practices with her. Tyra lets out some rage on the football field towards Lyla when she sees her mother getting "close" with Lyla's father results in a BIG TACKLE instead of pulling her flag. That was cool but the other cool thing was the difference in coaching styles. You had stuttering and disorganized Matt vs. Coach Tim, yelling and organizing his team correctly. The other half of the show was Coach Mac making a comment that Quarterback isn't a natural position for someone like Smash Williams. That statement snowballed into a huge racial issue at the school. Smash doesn't take it too seriously until his mother has her loan rejected and there doesn't seem to be any other explanation for it besides race. Smash reevaluates Coach Mac's comments and tries to have a conversation with him about it. After the way Coach Mac talks down to Smash he decides that he needs to do something about it and has a meeting with other Black players on the team and they organize a protest in practice against Coach Mac. The team has a big problem now, they have another playoff game to play and half of the team won't practice. We'll see what happens next week.
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