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Friday Night Lights Season 5 character update

Friday Night Lights poster

Written by : published Tuesday 30th November 2010

Friday Night Lights Season 5 character update main image

The original Friday Night Lights movie was a masterpiece. You didn't have to like football to see that the fates and futures of these few teenagers in a one-sport town hinged on victory. Football as the defining set of values permeated a town where a young coach down from the college leagues learned the hard way that the stakes were just as big in the sticks. But Coach Taylor's sweetheart decision to stay in Dillon has backfired strangely. The town has turned on them a little bit.


Dillon has turned into the kind of town where the quarterback plays in the final game even though his knocked-up girlfriend lost the coach's wife her job. Coach Taylor now faces football playing against West Dillon and the program he helped groom. The finale marks how Coach Taylor can prevent his successor to get the West Dillon Panthers to the playoffs. One crosstown win will stop them, and Landry is the kicker. The Lions/panthers game is a huge showdown, but it proves once again that no amount of winning on the football field wins the game of life.



Julie Taylor

Aimee Teegarden

This character has jumped the shark. The sympathetic plot device served well when she was the only child of Coach and Tami Taylor's home menage. Now the baby has turned chez Chandler into some sort of weird soap opera. This girl lives by the standards of two people who can't get their own life together is it any wonder all she wants to do is get out of town? And being a unpaid mother to Mrs. Taylor's infant baby puts a weird light on what choices she does have.



Tami Taylor


Connie Britton


Tami Taylor groomed herself into a niche career at the school. Her husband's job as the coach probably didn't hurt. But successive seasons of Friday Night Lights focus the attention too much on thew wife. Connie Britton is allegedly receiving Emmy as the wife of a coach in a series about high school football. That should reveal right there how off base the writing is. As Coach Taylor drives home with the big game trophy, his wife is getting fired for counseling his player's girlfriend.

The coach's home should have been a tranquil oasis in a sea of storm. Unbalanced situations in the home are full of conflict and unease. The entire family life teeters in a  manner as unstable as the suburban ones of East (or West) Dillon. Mrs. Taylor is so in her own mind that as Principal she cannot ride out the storm of controversy that breaks out when she counsels a young student who chooses abortion. This is not the Tami Taylor we know and love, but it positions Mrs. Taylor in another drama that cracks the home life apart. (Yawn).





Jesse Plemons


This character migrated from the sidekick of the great but naive quarterback trying to make his way in the varsity squad after the real talent foundered in a crippling accident. Poor Landry picks the wrong girl again. She tried to like him as the right guy but fell for Vince and his bad-boy problems and drug-mom rap. Landry's destiny seems to be being caught between the big money players and their women. But Landry does get playing time, which equates to a life in Dillon.



Matt Saracen


Zach Gilford


This character has been shuffled off to Buffalo (Chicago, actually). For some reason it made sense last season for the QB Matt to disappear without a word and leave everyone who had counted on him in the lurch. To be fair the pressure of his grandmother's condition was heavy. When  Matt comes back in time for Thanksgiving his entrance back into the storyline is awkward.





Michael B.Jordan


Vince is a young black character whose criminal career at the juvenile level is cut short by Coach Taylor's intervention. His job to support a black mother in drug reocvery (of course) leaves him choiceless but to join a posse of evildoers (also black). Of course, the mother chows down on Thanksgiving turkey, never questioning where her son gets the thousands in cash to put into a custom rehab. Kennard, the thug, shoots Vince when he tries to leave the posse. Vince is team captain of the East Dillon Lions. Of course he survives the shooting, and gets the girl (after she dumps Landry).



Luke Cafferty


Matt Lauria

Luke Cafferty is the God of East Dillon football and rules the team from a moral base of Christian parents. But Luke doesn't tell his girlfriend what to do when she tells him she's pregnant. he also doesn't tell the coach about a seriously worsening injury he continues to play with. Luke's family comes after Tami Taylor's job when their right-wing sympathies are jarred by news of the abortion. Of course, Luke still gets to play in the big game. Because in Dillon even murders probably play if they can help win the game.



Tim Riggins


Taylor Kitsch


Riggins has taken his varsity lead status and done nothing with it. He romances the girl next door without meaning to. Of course she means for Tim to "save" her when she gets pregnant with the Cafferty child. The Riggins family curse travels to the current generation, as Tim and his brother work stolen cars in a chop shop operation. Tim counsels Becky about her problems. Lyla is a thing of the past.

Riggins uses the cash flood to buy land and make plans for a future. Billy of course now has a wife and child, leaving Tim to make the necessary sacrifice. Riggins get drafted into volunteering for the jail time and gets burned by the trailer-park neighbors. Becky's mom throws Tim out of their lives when she can't co-opt his attention from her daughter with sexual overtures.





Madison Burge


Becky originally was one of the characters who reflect how little wattage is left for female roles in a town as dominated by football as Dillon. She gets the star of the football team to date her but doesn't really want him. She considers Tim Riggins a friend (a red flag) and then when she becomes pregnant tries to make the right decisions at the wrong time. When she finds out about Riggins' chop shop work, she screams at him in disappointment.





Jurnee Smollett



Jess is the black cheerleader at East Dillon who captivates Landry and is to good to look at Vince. of course, by the end of the fourth season she has faced up to the drama and tension between her and Vince, and caused tension between Vince and Landry. Jess breaks all the rules for Vince, while Landry gets dumped again.



Buddy Garrity


Brad Leland


Although the world is moaning because Minka Kelly left the show, Garrity is a great portrait of a small town man whose gung-ho investment in small town sports ownership overshadow hsi life. Garrity gets invited to Coach Taylor's Thanksgiving because he is divorced and lonely. When the series started, he owned the town and had a happy family and thriving business. At the end of the season he's lucky to be allowed to the Taylor family Thanksgiving, where he brings a turkey to deep-fry.


Missed any of the last 4 seasons of Friday Night Lights then why not buy the box sets now.

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Hi my name is  Chris Ramsden, I am the creator of TheTVKing. I don't write that often but every now and again I dust off the keyboard. I tweet as @TheTVKing

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