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The Trick You Said Was Never Play the Game Too Long

 

tim-riggins-fnl-2

I’ve been bingeing on Friday Night Lights this weekend (when I’m not reading Sophocles), and among the many things I love about it is how every single character is a great American stereotype, and yet they all feel very true to me. It’s almost like the more cliched they are, the more I believe in them (true blue quarterback, drunken hottie best friend, beautiful cheer leader they are both in love with, stalwart coach, loyal, supportive wife with the longest waviest red hair and good sense, painfully shy guy, painfully awkward guy, sexy girl flunking out, etc.) I’ve been able to predict how every story line was going to conclude, and I still cried at the end of every episode. My whole writing life, I’ve admired subtlety, nuance, ambiguity, grey area, etc. Why am I so in love with Tim Riggins?

Who is your favorite stereotype?

20 Responses

  1. The hard-boiled private investigator who walks the mean streets every day and still can’t help but do what’s right.

  2. I don’t know, but I am glad to hear watching Netflicks is someone else’s guilty pleasure when they SHOULD be reading Sophocles (or catching up on all the authors coming to the Nantucket Book Festival I need to read before I get on-island; thankfully, I already read your memoir before I binged on “13 Reasons Why,” whose protagonists I’d date and fall in love with if if I were 16..) just saying’.

  3. Texas Forever!

  4. High school cliches via netflix:
    Angela Chase, Brian Krakau, Jordan Catalano, Raylene. And Patty, the smiley, passive aggressive mom.

    There’s nothing like time travel.

  5. As a mellow, peaceful Italian American, I cringe when confronted with the all Eye-talians are mobsters mentality.
    The biggest thugs are politicians, but I don’t know if that’s a stereotype yet or just the truth.

  6. I’m in love with Tim Riggins and I play for the other team!

  7. You’re in love with him because 1) the actor who plays him is amazingly talented (and currently underused), 2) he displays the woundedness we all suspect is under these stereotypes.

  8. I’m a sucker for the fast-quip Aaron Sorkin type, maybe because I’m such a slow talker myself with no ability to deliver a comeback on time.

  9. Humor writers who are probably much more serious and much less funny when you meet them in person…

    Interesting that you mention this show. Son #1, who has turned me on to nearly ALL my favorite TV shows, has been pushing me for years to watch this series. I tried a few episodes and felt pretty ‘meh’ about it–mostly because I thought it was too football-centric, and I don’t know or care if the ball is pumped or stuffed. He insists this focus changes and that I would love the characters and story lines.

    I think watching was also a bit weird because Kyle Chandler is a dead ringer for my late father, so I need to get past expecting his voice to match, too.

    Maybe I need to give the show another chance?

  10. Holy shit all I can say is thank you for that recommendation. Somehow I missed that show but have been binge watching and am in love with everyone. So damn good. I so needed this in my life right now.

  11. The background music in the show is very similar to the movie Lone Survivor which also stars the Tim Riggins guy. I’ve watched it around ten times even though I’m not usually a fan of military type films but there’s something so damn human about the way the Marines cry and love each other so much and think about what color their fiancé was going to paint the kitchen walls when they die. I can highly recommend it.

    • Actually they were Navy Seals. You’d think I’d remember that after watching it ten times.

  12. where can i get it???

    • Not sure! I saw it on a cable movie channel and recorded it. It also stars Mark Wahlberg and Eric Bana so might even be on Netflix (?). And it’s a true story.

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