Friday Night Lights: For Football Fans & Working Moms.
It’s not just about football.
That’s what I tell non-football fans when I urge them to watch NBC’s sophomore drama “Friday Night Lights.” Sure, it’s set in
But the beating heart and soul of this critically-acclaimed, yet ratings-challenged drama is the Taylor family, comprised of Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler, the bomb squad guy from “Grey’s Anatomy,” his high school guidance counselor wife Tami Taylor (Connie Britton, from “Spin City”), their teenaged daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden) and their newborn Gracie. It’s through the
Taylor family that viewers can see a glimpse of everyday examples of the push-and-pull of work, family and sacrifice.
This season, for example, commenced with Eric Taylor living four hours away from his pregnant wife and daughter so he could pursue his dream of coaching at the collegiate level. Tami and Julie stayed behind so Tami could keep her job and Julie could remain in her high school. Though everyone tried to act like this arrangement was working, it took a serious toll on the
Taylor family. Eric nearly missed the birth of his daughter. Julie was becoming belligerent toward her mother because she missed her father and was jealous of her new sister. Tami felt abandoned and overwhelmed by her rebellious teen and her colicky newborn, whom she had to rush to the Emergency Room one night after the baby fell ill. As the ER doctor told Tami to feed the baby once an hour -- first breastfeed, then formula feed – in order to get Gracie’s strength up, the doctor suggested that Tami take turns with her husband in order to keep up the pace, only Tami had to do it on her own. It eventually took one of Eric’s friends to tell him that his family was lost and falling apart without him. Within the span of one episode, Eric quit his college job and was back home coaching the high school football team again.
Still think the show’s only about football?
As the second season has progressed and Eric returned to the family fold, Tami returned to work, placing her newborn in the hands of her sister Shelley (Jessalyn Gilsig) who offered to stay at the
Taylor home and watch Gracie. The intersection of family and career was comically depicted in a subsequent scene where a troubled high school football player and his uncle were waiting for Tami in her office and started fiddling with the breast pump equipment she’d left on her desk, musing about how it’s used, and in another episode when one of Tami’s colleagues noticed that she had dried baby spit-up down the back of her blouse.