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Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Oh. They're Going to Lose, All Right. A Lot

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 14, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 14, 2009 |

If you haven’t caught up yet on “Friday Night Lights” and intend to, the following post will contain spoilers not only about this past season, but a little about the upcoming season, as well. So, if you don’t want to be spoilered, then be gone with your bad self. And if you haven’t seen “FNL” nor have any intention of ever doing so, then you and I are may need to take a break from one another for a while. But please don’t see other people. It’s not a break up, it’s just a temporary break.

Anyway, first the hard news: Adrianne Palicki, Zach Gilford, and Minka Kelly aren’t coming back as series regulars next year (although, I suspect/hope that they will appear for a few episodes to help us transition). I could give or take Minka Kelly, but the loss of Matty Saracen is a tough pill to swallow, and what may be even harder is the possibility, at least in my mind, that he’ll probably return only to see his grandmother pass away, paving his way to finally go to college (he’s scheduled to appear in five eps). That’s going to be tough. Mrs. Landingham died in a car accident tough. With Gaius Charles and Scott Porter also gone from the show, that leaves only three of the regular students remaining from Season One: Aimee Teegarden, Jesse Plemons, and Taylor Kitsch.

Kitsch’s return, unfortunately, ruins the perfect ending to his storyline in last year’s finale. But, he’s the show’s one huge break-out star, so it makes sense from a ratings standpoint to keep him. Apparently, he’s going to get involved with a student’s mother next year, and that mother’s sophomore daughter — after catching him — will attempt to seduce him. I’m not really thrilled about having a character — even as one as charismatic as Tim Riggins — exist outside the Dillon High, and what’s more, we already know where he’s heading now. We’ve seen his older brother. Clearly, the cycle is set to repeat.

Three other, as yet uncast, regulars will also be added to the show, according to EW: “A charming yet dangerous African American who Coach Taylor will have to straighten out; his cocky Caucasian nemesis; and the daughter a once NFL hopeful who all the fellas from both the East and the West crush on.”

Who knows which school any of these players will attend — Dillon East or West, or which school the show will focus on most this year (Tami is principal of one; Coach Taylor coaches the other one, setting up a pretty phenomenal rivalry). The show is set up for two more years, and it’s not expected to be extended beyond that, so look for this to be a rebuilding season for Coach Taylor’s new team heading into one final glorious season. I expect we’ll see him dealing, for the first time in his career, with a losing team. If he beats J.D. McCoy just once this season, however, we’ll have to consider it a moral victory on the year, particularly if it gets Wade Aikman fired. God, won’t that be sweet, sweet comeuppance.

Man, I miss “Friday Night Lights.”

Cliffhanger Trailer | Let Me In Movie Poster

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.