Monday, June 14, 2010

Notes on Pop Culture: FNL's Julie Takes Off, Those Maddening World Cup Vuvuzelas & 'thirtysomething' Season 3 Makes Great Viewing

FNL's Julie Takes Off

Tami Taylor was brought to tears in the latest Friday Night Lights episode, “Stay,” but not because of the nasty campaign to make her life as the principal of West Dillon High School miserable – a campaign spearheaded by the dark-hearted Joe McCoy. She shed tears because her daughter Julie took off overnight (against her parents’ explicit wishes) to see a multi-day music festival with the still grieving, still lost Matt, who had started overtly questioning why he had passed up his chance to attend a presitgious school in Chicago to stay in Dillon. By the episode’s end, Matt, apparently decided that staying was a mistake and he was smiling as he was driving away, leaving his Panther past behind him.

While Tami would’ve normally lit into Julie for blatantly disrespecting her authority and blowing off her repeated phone calls – no scenes of Tami texting Julie though, isn’t that what them there teens do now, text all the time? – when Julie burst into tears upon entering the Taylor house, saying she thought Matt was leaving for good, Tami’s heart just melted, despite Tami’s earlier vow to “beat her ass” for taking off.

Loved the series of scenes with the East Dillon Lions coaches talking to the media – including Coach Stan’s ridiculous “guarantee” of a Lions victory -- and Eric Taylor angrily walking out of a TV interview when the reporter asked him about his “history” of quitting. Hey, at least the Lions only lost to a powerhouse team in a televised game by seven. Not too shabby. If they’d won, it would’ve seemed a bit too unbelievable, too fairy tale-ish.

The story with Tim Riggins and Lyla, well, I already knew that Minka Kelly wasn’t going to be full-time this season, so the fact that she didn’t stay in Dillon like Matt had, at least initially, didn’t come as a big surprise. What I did find surprisingly, though, how heartbroken Tim looked when he told Lyla that all he wanted was her, and for Riggins’ Rigs to succeed with her as their business manager. Cue Lyla’s exit.

Shut the World Cup Vuvuzelas Up, Pretty Please

I watched the US-UK World Cup game on TV Saturday and became insanely irritated by those god awful horns, called vuvuzelas. Broadcasters are complaining that the sound of the noise-makers is drowning out the commentators, and players are peeved, saying that the incessant honking noise is distracting. The hatred many have expressed for those horns has World Cup organizers contemplating banning them. I absolutely cannot imagine what it must be like to try and watch the games in person and have to listen to that sound for 90 minutes straight. Maybe, for future game viewing, I should just watch games with the sound off.

Speaking of the World Cup, The Guardian has a very funny clip, reenacting the “big” moments in the US-UK game . . . in Legos, complete with the sounds of the vuvuzelas in the background.

thirtysomething Season 3 DVD was Great Viewing

The third season of thirtysomething – which aired between 1989/90 – was released in DVD format recently and, after plowing through the episodes during the season widely remembered as the one “when Nancy got cancer,” I discovered that this season was even more emotionally raw and relatable than its previous two, critically acclaimed seasons. Other than the Nancy cancer story, Gary and Susannah had a baby and Hope was pregnant with baby number two as she and Michael started to drift apart. Hope even kissed a bearded guy who worked at a D.C.-based an environmental organization who worked on a failed campaign with Hope to try to shut down an incinerator project in her neighborhood. It’s also the season where the Machiavellian Miles Drentell dramatically locked horns with Michael and Eliot. My review of the season three DVD set is here.

I cannot wait until the fourth and final season is released as I never saw it when it originally aired as I was busy finishing my senior year of college. The ShoutFactory hasn’t yet announced its release date but it has been releasing the first three seasons about six months apart from one another.

Did you have a favorite episode of thirtysomething?

No comments: