“Friday Night Lights”: Reflecting on Landry and Tyra

Landry_116_2Still love the show.  Still love Landry and Tyra.

But deep into the hide-the-homicide plot of “Friday Night Lights,” I’m still bumming.

It’s not that showrunner Jason Katims and his crew, once they forced Landry and Tyra into crisis mode with his killing of her stalker/rapist, have done a poor job with the story. The first time Landry’s cop father confronted Tyra about her interest in LandryTyra_116 was among the best scenes the show has had in its sophomore year. But not even the finest moments have kept me from mourning the loss of the real relationship the two high-schoolers had been building.

What’s most frustrating for me is the way “Lights” is erasing the memory of Tyra’s initial attraction to Landry, which was borne out of an unlikely yet sincere connection between the two — a priceless reminder that looks and status needn’t be the determining factors when it comes to having the hots for someone. Frankly, I’m a little insulted by the possibility that we weren’t supposed to believe that what they had was solid.

Instead, the Landry and Tyra story will always be about how they overcame (or didn’t) this tragedy.  It’s quite a tale, but it’s not a tale to cherish, the way the rest of “Friday Night Lights” so typically and so amazingly is.

— Jon Weisman

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  1. What can I say about the show? It’s really awesome. I can’t wait to see the next seasons.

  2. A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

  3. First, the artist acts as god by concocting a world, or a system for generating beauty.

  4. paranoidandroid says:

    I was disappointed with the plot line to dispose of the body. However, the strength of the show is the dialogue and it continues to work.
    When Landry’s father told Tryra to stay away from his son, the knowledge his father had of the crime was evident. The reaction of Tyra in telling Landry that it was over worked.
    I think we have to give it more time to develop to see if it was a total mistep to take the story in this direction.
    An example of how the whole show works is Landry getting the call for the final play of the game and he doesn’t make the big catch. That isn’t canned nonsense that is prevasive on television.

  5. Jon says:

    Shaun, I have no trouble believing Landry walloped the guy. I do have trouble with him participating in the cover-up. Landry’s strength is his integrity and backbone. His ability to explain what happened and his clean record, combined with the evidence that Tyra had previously been attacked by the guy, offered a much believable course of action for Landry. The issue wasn’t her credibility, because she’s not the one who wielded the weapon.
    Plus, Landry respects his father and would know how dicey it is to try to get away with this crime, and how much worse it would make him look if it were discovered.
    I agree that “Last Summer” analogies are off base. To me, the sudden killing doesn’t come out of left field, but Landry helping dump a body does.
    And again, I still love the show, but even if you can justify this story, is this really the best use of the characters?

  6. Shaun says:

    I absolutely hate the way everyone calls this storyline an “I Know What You Did Last Summer” story line. First off, that was a mediocre movie that doesn’t deserve the comparison. Second, it was a movie about a bunch of spoiled kids who “kill” a man out of stupidity and recklessness (drunk driving), and then hide the body to protect their futures from being ruined.
    FNL’s storyline is different in so many ways, and far superior. First off, the murder is boderline self-defense. The man assaulted Tyra, stalked her, and then tried to do it again, telling her he would finish what he started. Landry got involved and tried to save Tyra. Hitting him with the pipe as he walked away, borders on “this wasn’t self defense, but sort of was,” but was totally believable I feel. Knowing who Landry is and how deeply he cares about Tyra, not only was it not out of character for him to lose it a and take that last hit after the rapist’s comment, but I feel like it was totally IN character. Everyone has a breaking point and that was his. Did they need this story line to bring Tyra and Landry together? No, but it introduced an underlying drama to their relationship that is interesting.
    As for them dumping the body, I felt it was totally within Tyra’s character to do that. She doesn’t have a good history with the police, she’s white trash (in other people’s opinions), and chances are (she believes) no one will believe her. In short, her credibility sucks. She also has grown to care for Landry (prior to the murder) and is concerned for how it will affect HIS future, which is brighter than hers, and up until then, untarnished.
    So I actually don’t mind this story. It’s not my absolute favorite, but it’s not a story that’s come from out of left field. Stuff like this happens, and I think the characters acted completely in character. If this where “I Know what you did Last Summer” Riggins and Smash would have run down Buddy while drinking in the truck and then dumped the body somewhere to avoid losing their college scholarships. And Lyla wold have prayed.

  7. EC says:

    Casting Landry’s father with Aaron from “24” was a stroke of genius! I still LOVE the show (this past week’s episode was especially good). But this show doesn’t need “I Know What You Did Last Summer” melodrama to work. Fortunately, it’s still the best show on TV, largely due to the quality of acting that’s keeping these unfoturnate plot choices very well grounded.

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