WHAT IS A LION? Having finally caught up on the last couple of episodes of this season of Friday Night Lights, I wanted to say a few things. First, in no small part because of the substantial rebooting this season involved, this is shaping up to be the strongest season since the first. While we've lost some interesting characters (Tyra, Jason Street), we've also lost some performing deadwood (Minka Kelly, who, while exceedingly nice to look at and much improved over the three seasons, wasn't playing on the level of the rest of the cast), and the new cast members have proven quite solid. Second, I would watch an entire show that is nothing but Tim Riggins doing things that aren't quite appropriate for him to be doing (dress shopping, explaining Broadway theatre, etc.)--comic gold, I tell you. (And he can take off his shirt from time to time, to cover appeal to that segment of the audience).
Third, because of the East/West divide introduced into the show this year (paralleling the real-life Midland/Odessa divide that's a big part of the original book), the show has found a new way to explore issues of race and class. Now, such issues have typically been the domain of HBO (particularly the David Simon shows), though they find their way on to networks from time to time (Izzie's background on Grey's, Foreman's backstory on House, and some very mild stuff on Good Wife), but rarely in such depth. Credit is also due to the FNL crew for doing it without beating any political message over our head (though I understand there's some pretty expressly political stuff, albeit not on the race/class front, coming down the pike). And, as always, really nice work from Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton is just anchoring the show.