Monday, July 26, 2010

'Friday Night Lights:' Things Get Worse for Tami Taylor

*Warning spoilers ahead from the recent episode of Friday Night Lights.*

Although she did nothing wrong, Friday Night Lights’ Tami Taylor was summoned to appear before a closed-door school board meeting in the recent episode -- “Injury List” -- to answer Luke Cafferty’s mother Margaret’s allegations that Tami urged 15-year-old Becky Sproles to get an abortion. (Even though it was Becky's mother who insisted upon it.)

When the school board voted against taking any action against the West Dillon High School principal -- who’d previously been a guidance counselor and who made no recommendations to Becky – it seemed as though the 15-year-old’s abortion storyline would be done, wrapped up.

Only it wasn’t.

The baby daddy's mother, Margaret Cafferty – who’s unfortunately being portrayed as a one-dimensional, spiteful, angry character – went to the news media about it and, in the closing minutes of FNL, Tami received a call from a local newspaper reporter who asked her to comment on allegations that she advised a pregnant teen to have an abortion. (She provided no comment.)

Tami, as she’s been a great deal of the season, was trying to deal with this development on her own because her husband Eric was off drinking with Buddy Garrity (anyone notice that Eric’s drinking has increased this season) and said he didn’t want to go home yet. Eric's not been there for Tami a lot this season, preoccupied as he is with his new coaching gig.

Seeing Tami sitting alone, in the dark, on the front stoop of her home, frightened about what was going to happen to her for doing nothing more than listening to a girl in trouble and telling her about her options – she even mentioned a teen health clinic and adoption first before Becky asked what she could do if she didn’t want her baby – was filled with melancholy.

My pop culture column over on Mommy Tracked this week examined how the mothers involved in this storyline – Tami, Becky’s mother Cheryl and Margaret Cafferty – are depicted as they struggle to do what they think is right for the teens.

What do you think about the way FNL has handled this issue?

Image credit: NBC.


Amy from VA said...

I think FNL has handled this plotline realistically, without making it a main focus of Season Five. To be honest, though, it's not exactly the plotline I'm most interested in. The relationship between Tami and Eric (and as you mentioned, his continued drinking) is one that is far more layered and poignant to me.

Meredith O'Brien said...

I agree. The Taylor marriage is one of the most realistic relationships on TV right now.

It has been bothering me how distracted Eric has been about his job that he doesn't really understand how difficult this year has been for his wife. What with the Luke Cafferty transfer fall-out, being booed in her school, being threatened (McCoy even "teasingly" telling her she'd get lynched), having her car trashed, having someone try to get her fired and now being thrown into the public arena with a false accusation on a hot button issue.

It's not that Eric has had it easy -- making a team out of nothing and being humiliated every step of the way, but she's more than been there for him (making dinner for the boosters, attending his events) and, while he's given lip-service to supporting her, he's been spending a lot more time hanging out at the bar drinking.