Friday Night Lights

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Hey, everyone. Korbi here, and I have to tell you, if I was geeking out yesterday, I’m gushing today. We’re at the tail end of the Friday Night Lights panel, and I’m on the verge of tears, simply because I so passionately heart this show.

However, I have a red carpet date with the cast shortly afterward (wish me luck!), so in the meantime, my partner in crime, Jen Godwin, will give you all the thrilling details on what we’ve just learned about the best drama currently on network television.

FYI: She’s never seen the show, so go easy on her. I will make a Dillon Panther fan of her this season if it kills me.

Jennifer?

Field Goals:  Football may not be as central in every episode of season two, although obviously it’s still a huge part of the show. According to executive producer Jason Katims, “We might not play quite as many full-out games as we did last year. We start [this season] in the last week of summer, and they’re practicing.” Katims says they aren’t looking to change the show, and they will go through the entire football season. They just want women to know the show is for them as well. Also, they’re getting more into the defensive side of things this season. The new D-team rolls in around episode six.

Scintillating Socioeconomics:  The show’s gritty realism isn’t going anywhere. Says Katims, "That’s the show. The show has for a backdrop a small town. It’s about high school football and the town’s obsession with it. It’s about marriage, parents, people trying to raise their kids, teenagers figuring out sexuality [and] issues of race and class."

Kyle-Connie Chemistry:  When a reporter gives Connie Britton the huge, deserved compliment that Tami Taylor may be the strongest female character on television, she goes for the humble joke in response, saying, "Kyle’s so angry that I got asked the first question." After she answers seriously for a while, he interjects, "Am I gonna get to answer a second question?" When the reporter follows up about where Tami gets her core strength, Kyle raises his hand.

Taylor Time:  The new season zooms forward eight months, and in the season premiere, Tami is in labor, and Eric comes back from Austin to be there for the birth. The Taylors immediately go into a five-ep arc about whether or not they made a mistake entering into this long-distance relationship. Tami’s dealing with an infant and a teenage daughter who’s "acting out more than she ever has," while Eric is dealing with "what college football is like and coaching there and not being the head guy in charge. A lot of interesting dynamics come out of that." According to Katims, "Eric and Tami are gonna be intensely connected from the beginning" of the season, rather than being separated into discrete stories or having an over-the-phone relationship.

Roll Tape:  When the DVD comes out in August, you'll be able to marinate in extra footage. According to exec prod Jeffrey Reiner, the first cuts of many episodes were 15 to 20 minutes too long. He says, “Some of the material on the cutting room floor is pretty amazing.” Someone asked if the DVD would make or break the show, and Katims cracked, "I didn’t think it could break it!"

New Time Slot:  Katims seemed at peace with the new time slot, Friday at 9 p.m. He says, "We always believed this was a 9 p.m. show...for it to be on at 8 was something that was a challenge to get past. And then the other thing was the idea of being Friday Night Lights and being on on another night, so [there are] really, really positive aspects of it.” As for any high school football fans who might actually be at games during that hour—they can record it, says Katims.

Hold the Line!  Someone asked what Katims would do if the powers that be wanted to change the show. Katims said, “You mean before the suicide attempt? Or after? If somebody really wants to sit down and have a conversation about changing it, it’s hard to imagine how we would change it. I mean, [referring to NBC's hit show, Heroes] we are adding the superpowers this year, but other than that, I don’t see any changes.“

Triangle’s End?  Big news! Apparently Jason begins to get movement back in one of his hands, and he takes it as a sign that he could someday walk again. He begins to explore treatments for his condition. He ends up reconnecting with Tim and Lyla through that process of seeking treatment, and it follows up on what happened between Tim and Jason and Lyla last year and—wait for it—"resolves all that stuff."

A little more scoop on Mr. Street? Jason has earned his GED and is full-time on the coaching staff this season. Unfortunately, the new non-Eric Taylor coach wants him to put his new job ahead of his friends on the team and there will be friction.

Kiss and Tell:  What’s next for Tyra and Landry after their kiss that got cut from the finale but was launched into legend nonetheless? According to Katims, in the first ep, the guy who tried to rape Tyra toward the end of last season comes back. Something happens as a result of that that ties Tyra and Landry together in a way that’s more intimate than their relationship now…

Dangerous Liasions:  Minka Kelly, who plays Lyla, was asked about her “infidelity“ storyline and says people pointed fingers in her face and yelled at her about the character, “But a lot of people were actually touched as well, because you’d be surprised how common of a story it is. Scott and I worked with a lot of couples in the same circumstances, who were happy to see their situation being portrayed.”

Random Spoilers

  • One of the characters finds God.
  • One of the characters has an unexpected wandering eye.
  • Seems like they may have cast the new coach today…Just a little hunch.

Quote of the Moment

"I'm from Zimbabwe, but I know good TV: You guys are awesome."
—Random guy in Seattle with thick accent, to Zach Gilford

Rosie O'Donnell

AP photo/Louis Lanzano

Update:  So, what do you guys think of the idea of Rosie O'Donnell playing an angry Dillon High soccer coach on Lights, as reported by our frenemy? According to exec producer Katims and Rosie's people, there might a little stunt casting in the show's future. Would it take you out of the reality of the show to have Trump's nemesis yelling at Kyle Chandler? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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