FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS “Pantherama” Review

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Aimee Teegarden as Julie Taylor

“She’s, like this perfect doll, and I’m just like…some interlude and she’s the real deal.”

Remember that line from FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS‘ “Panterama” episode?

A misty-eyed Julie (Aimee Teegarden) says it to, Noah Barnett (Austin Nichols), Dillon’s new sex offender, err…I mean Arts teacher, shortly after seeing Saracen (Zach Gilford) slobber down his new cheerleader girlfriend in the school’s hallway…and can you believe the nerve of the little brat? – she’s feeling sorry for herself.

“I am just like some interlude?” she says pitifully to Noah, whose favorite pastime is probably listening to R. Kelly while watching a Roman Polanski film.

Well hell, I say to myself, you mean sort of how Saracen was like “just some interlude” when you callously dumped him for the Swede?


I dislike people who make poor decisions with relish then go about the world feeling sorry for themselves when consequences come back to bite them in the butt.

The thing is, Julie, like Ancient Rome, Washington DC and Smash, suffers from the Omphalos Syndrome – she sees herself as the Center of the universe, and when she learns that she is just one of many flawed planets struggling to find their orbit she bugs out, acting as if experiencing the growing pains every other young person in Dillon goes through sets her up for some kind of special treatment.

Okay, so, she’s just a kid, but so is Landry (Jesse Plemons) and yet Julie could still learn a thing or two about character from him. At least when he murders a man because he is all ga ga for Tyra (Adrianne Palicki), he immediately feels badly and doesn’t wait to feel that way only after the consequences of his actions blow up in his face.

But then Landry has his weaknesses too. Killing a man because pent up teenage lust overwhelms your urge to protect the girl you love is nothing to be proud of. That would never happen to Smash (Gaius Charles). Nope. Never. He gets too much nookie.

If Smash is killing anything it’s the concept of no sex before marriage. In fact, that’s the problem with Smash. He has too much charisma. So much so that wearing that silly burger joint uniform with the “say no to sex” fast-food paper hat doesn’t dim any of his shine.

When the let down comes for Dillon’s star running back, and it’s coming, it will hit him harder than any defensive player ever has. That’s why I love his relationship with his momma. The love is real and if he is man enough to apologize for acting like a jerk to both her and that recruiter from 2 and 9 Whitmore, then I’m confident that he has it in him to bounce back like a champ after the tough times have their way with him.

But who’s this new chick, Noelle, that Smash has over for dinner? I mean are all the girls in Dillon hot? Forget that town being a football factory, how about sending recruiters from Ford or Wilhelmina Models down there. Every girl is smoking and there is no cellulite to be found anywhere. If this is hick town America, I am packing a Bible and moving tomorrow.

Even the hired help looks good. All the live-in nurses I’ve ever seen would inspire celibacy in any man. But not Carlotta (Daniella Alonso), Saracen’s live-in helper. Not only is she a young, good looking Latina woman with hips that don’t lie, but judging from her favorable reaction after Saracen’s post-Pantherama kiss, it seems she is also down with cradle robbing. (That’s so Florida).

With all the sexual tension between these Ashton/Demi pairings (Julie and Noah, Saracen and Carlotta and Riggs and his hot neighbor), maybe this episode of Friday Night Lights should be called “Age aint nothin’ but a number.”

That said, Tami (Connie Britton) is watching Noah and Julie like a hawk. First Saracen, then the Swede and now the high school teacher with the creepy haircut – when will Julie’s virginity fly the coop? After all, it’s Dillon, Texas and if you don’t play ball, give your life to Jesus, or drink like a fish, what else is there but to fool around (you can also do all four of those things, just ask Riggs).

And when is Riggs (Taylor Kitsch) going to be back on the team? He used to be the star tight end, and he used to have a bed to sleep on, now everything he used to have is going to Santiago (Benny Ciaramello), and I bet that will include Lyla (Minka Kelly) too.

Poor Riggs. Seems like he’s just an interlude and Santiago’s the real deal.


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