So I think I took my issues with the show out on Julie this week... I alternately wanted to strangle her or the creative team writing her. I realised that I haven't liked her consistently in any episode in season 2. I've had moments of seeing her pov, but they've been rare. And it's not just that she's turned into a right little brat (she has), I'm also starting to feel like her characterisation is becoming a bit haphazard. Like the sudden set-up with Tim? That seemed completely constructed. Why did she have to go to the store with him? She just got home. Tim's so not her type--it was a stretch for her to date Matt--so I was really hoping they weren't writing her as suddenly being interested in the jockiest of football jocks. And while they didn't exactly go there, it did feel quite contrived. I wound up feeling very sorry for Tim and wanting to slap Julie. I understand why Coach reacted the way he did, but ugh. On the plus side, we saw the elusive Lois!
I do find the tension between Shelley and Tami very well written and acted. You can see the years of built up resentments in their behaviour patterns with one another, and how they totally fail to see the other person's point of view despite loving each other. Shelley doesn't see how undermining she is in Tami's family at a difficult time. And Tami doesn't see that she comes across as self-righteous and superior. At the heart of the matter seems to be the fact that Tami is more mature than Shelley, because she has to be to work and look after her family and juggle those responsibilities. It's easier for Shelley to goof around and easier for her to take Julie's side of arguments. I think Tami knows she went too far in saying 'no wonder you're single'--that confirmed all Shelley's worst suspicions about how her sister views her. However, Shelley lost a bit of my sympathy when she pulled the guilt-trip card about Tami leaving the baby with her. That's totally missing the point, and while I think it will 'speak to' Tami in the sense that it will get her to feel guilty, it doesn't actually resolve any of the issues between them. They need a mediator!
I didn't find the Garrety family drama particularly engaging, but I did feel sorry for Lyla. Her parents seemed to be acting like teenagers. And that montage of 'Garrety the good dad' made me gag!
I was far more interested in the rival teams set-up--that felt more like old-school FNL. I loved Coach's slapdown of the other coach. In fact I really liked Coach all episode. I always appreciate the show reminding me how obnoxious most coaches are, as Coach seems good in comparison. Without that comparison, I can too easily sink into just remembering why I hated organised sports so much. ;) I loved Coach and Tim's random game of table tennis too. Hee! Gah, so annoyed that that relationship's ruined again--Tim needs a good role model so badly.
Tyra and Landry are breaking my heart. And right up until the final scene I thought everything was really well played. I was so relieved that the murder plot was behind them and that we were back to scenes of Tyra shrugging off football jocks. I felt it was quite easy to understand Tyra's conflicted feelings about dating Landry, but I confess I assumed that her hesitation was mostly to do with Landry's father warning her off. I'm not so sure after the final scene. Either way, I think there's a subtext of Tyra still feeling awkward about going public with him, which was obvious in the canteen scene where the other football boys were joking with Landry. I really felt for him then and could understand why he felt compelled to go up to her, even though it was a stupid move in many ways. Because the connection between Tyra and Landry does seem so genuine, I really liked Landry's speech about not giving up on someone if you really like them. However it seemed to be completely belied by his actions in the very next scene. Tyra told him she had strong feelings for him, and he still walked away? Yes, I understand that he was tired and fed up of being knocked back in front of everyone. But I expected him to be more patient in his impatience, if that makes any sense. So despite my sympathy for him throughout the episode I ended up wanting to slap him about the head too. I did love that he told Tyra she was 'better than' dating the dumb puking jockboy. He's right that she needs to believe that. But she needed to hear that with more love and less anger, I think. Damn she looked pretty though!
In summation: waaah Tim! waaah Tyra! waaah Landry! *smacks Julie*