Recent plot twists
I didn't post on 1.18, so this is a bit of a catch-up post as well. I love, love, love the new plot twists. I was adoring Waverley before now, but the reveal that she was bipolar has hooked me into her more than ever. No-one in this show gets away without any 'issues', of course, but rather than dwelling on that being contrived, I'd say that that pretty much reflects real life. ;-) And I love that they're tackling mental illness as well. I thought that the girl who plays Waverley did very well at conveying the elevated highs and crushing lows of a bipolar disorder in a few brief scenes. I hope we'll learn a little more about how her family is managing the illness and what led to her coming off her medication. In the meantime, I thought the scene with Smash was very good. 'If you could see your face' has a lot of resonance for me, because even those who feel very compassionately towards you may demonstrate fear in the face of mental illness. I know I found that with telling people about my depression, and I can imagine it would only be worse with other disorders. I believe Smash wants to cope with this for Waverley's sake--and I'm delighted because I think it will provide him with an opportunity to grow as a person himself--but it's a lot for him to take in. I admire Waverley for telling him. There are still so many misconceptions about mental illness, but I thought it was a good sign that Smash was talking to his friends about it.
Lyla has won my sympathy far more recently than ever before. I really feel for her going through this messy family divorce, her world crumbling around her, with Jason far away. I still find her behavioural responses to such stress unsympathetic (making a ridiculous drunken scene/throwing accusations at Street), but I do feel for her. As soon as Jason proposed, the crash that they're now facing was inevitable. He was, as he admits, 'clutching at straws', and he dragged Lyla along for that ride. Unintentionally, he's got his 'revenge' on her, and it's not pretty to watch, but it does have a very 'real' feel to it. This show's so good at that! And right now, Lyla's experiencing the 'when it rains, it pours' phenomenon of everything falling apart at once.
As for Street's new girlie, I kinda like her. I want to know more about her, but I think she's pretty awesome so far.
I initially hated the kid. My response was exactly the same as Timmy's (*glare*) but I didn't have the excuse of a hangover! However, I've grudgingly had to admit that he's less nails-on-a-chalkboard-like to me now. I like the mum, and I love the new plot for Tim's sake. It's too amusing to dislike for long!
Fathers and daughters
This week's centrepiece of the father/daughter dance was an interesting one for me. At last! A high school event that I can relate to! For my school had something along these lines, and it was one of social mortification for me, because my parents were divorced and my relationship with my father tempestuous. I planned to go with my mum, but my social embarrassment squick was so hight that I made her turn round at the gate. I justified this as me not wanting to put her through the embarrassment, but actually it was my own chronic social discomfort at that age.
Anyway, I think this meant I got some extra enjoyment out of seeing the various permutations on the father-daughter relationship explored: one 'healthy' family that are fighting; one single mother family with no father at all, one family divorcing. The first two show up, the other doesn't. Instead, Lyla conducted her 'dance' with her father by ramming cars in his showroom. And good on her, I say! Buddy is an ugly man (that ad was so cringe-enducing!) and the hidden truths that came tumbling out in the father-mother standoff were enough to send anyone over the edge. I also sympathise with Lyla getting caught picking sides. (Incidentally, I was startled to discover that she has siblings--I saw her as an only child, and I wondered why they'd been introduced. In any case, as the eldest by a lot, her position is unenviable.)
Much love, as always, for Tyra and her mum. They're kinda my mother/daughter OTP now! (Hey I've even vidded them already!) And seeing them dance together was cute and heartwarming, and good on them! I would be more irked by Tami's interventionist approach with Tyra if it wasn't something that Tyra wanted, and I did sympathise with Tyra's mum in the scene with Tami, because Tami's so pushy in assuming that they both want the same thing for Tyra and she's blind to the class politics and the financial issues. Again, something I can relate to strongly. But I felt so dreadful for Tyra when her mum dragged her out of Coach's house. But Tyra is very determined and I loved her standing up to her mum. I have faith they'll get through this.
The scene where Coach rambled about dance in Austin was absolutely hysterical. Tami's eyerolls were priceless. Again, I was very happy to see Julie and her father reach the place they did by the end of the episode, because they really didn't see how this would affect Julie. I'd find moving that often very hard, I think. And while Julie IS just fifteen and shouldn't get to decide everyone's fate, she does deserve to be listened to, yes, Coach!
The great and noble men of Dillon Panther football
If anyone had told me that there could be a show about American football that could make me love four typically dysfunctional teenage boys as much as I now do, I wouldn't have believed it for a second. But seriously, I LOVE THESE KIDS!
I love Jason's self-awareness and his passionate drive. I love that he tackles everything head on, and I love that even when he's got enormous issues in his own life, he's also a wonderful support to others. His coaching of Matt was such a wonderful magical scene. I haven't the faintest idea what that speech he made means, but it gave me shivers down my spine anyway! I love how he's still got this magical ability to bring the team together--Smash and Riggins were trading admiring looks of 'this feels so familiar'.
As for Matt, he didn't have a big role in this episode but his angsting was adorable and I squeeeed to see how he just shone when Jason believed in him. He needs someone to believe in him, someone he personally admires, preferably a male role model, and Jason's perfect for that. I really hope Jason's around for the finals--surely he will be! Because Jason's coaching and Matt's throwing seem like an winning combo.
And I'm overjoyed that Jason and Tim have resumed a friendship. When I saw Matt and Smash jump out of the car at the bottle shop, part of me was thinking 'oh no, don't crash their date!' I thought Tim would bail because Smash was there, but it all worked out ok.
I looooved seeing Tim get told off for cleaning rain gutters. That made me love Bo's mum a lot, because that kind of thing would really piss me off too. And I'd be insisting on paying Tim also. And I sympathised with her flip-out about Tim teaching him to fight. I'm a pacifist too and I'd be very concerned about someone teaching my kid to fight. However, I do believe in self-defense. I don't think that's exactly what Tim's teaching him, but I'm willing to handwave and let it pass. Tim means well, I do believe that. I'll love to see where that relationship goes. Oh, Tim!
Aww and the boys stayed up all night on the field and Smash and Matty passed out! TOO CUTE! And it was great that Tim and Jason got their 'Texas forever' moment together again, though with a lot less naivety (at least on Jason's part) than previously.
These boys are neither great nor noble. But they're beautiful kids (not just physically--really!) and I want to see them shine.
ETA: Essential reading: FNL's filming process, or why it's awesome!