Alright, 'Friday Night Lights' Fans: It's Time to Let Your Movie Dreams Die
Alright, so the TV iteration of Friday Night Lights is not going to get a film of its own. Tim Riggins doesn't want it. Coach Taylor doesn't want it. Creator Peter Berg doesn't want it. Read it and weep, wannabe adoptees of the clan Taylor: this shit ain't happenin'. The end. So can we all put this speculation to rest already? Move on, folks. Move on.
I, for one, think not doing the movie is a good thing. Nay, a great thing. As a fan of the series, I've never been all that keen on the idea that the story of the Panthers needed a revisitation. Coach and Tami Taylor ended their storyline on top, and in the best way possible. Isn't that enough? In a world where so many shows and things overstay their welcome and disintegrate into mediocrity, can't we just be satisfied with its oeuvre rather than what could have been? Sometimes we just have to say goodbye to what we love.
Besides, the show is already an adaptation of a movie — and as far as I'm concerned, better than the original source material. So if the TV show is an improvement on the film take, what's the point in bringing it all back to film again? The point is to reach the top of the mountain, not roll the boulder up there just to watch it fall again (unless, of course, you're Sisyphus.) And listen, as much as I love staring into the stern-but-dreamy eyes of Kyle Chandler on a grand scale, he already has a fairly robust film career — to say nothing of his time on Early Edition, a.k.a. my grandmother's favorite show. All I need to is close my eyes and chant "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" three times and suddenly every film Kyle Chandler is in becomes a Coach Taylor film. It's not hard.
Coach and Tami already got their happy ending, anyway. Showcasing the lead-by-example attitude the Taylors had on empathy, love, and sacrificing for the greater good, Eric and Tami ended up in Pennsylvania — Eric taking one for the family team (rejecting the offer to coach the Panthers again) — in order for her career to take the front seat for once. And you know what? I bet everything worked out just great. I bet each morning they wske up, happy to be next to one another. I bet Coach still makes damn good coffee (and hot!) every morning, and Gracie gets great grades in school — she wants to be a marine biologist.
On a handful of weekends throughout the year, I bet they even get visits from Chicago from Julie and her husband Matt Saracen. Coach still wasn't keen on the marriage — they were both so young, after all — but respected Saracen for his can-do attitude and drive. The kid really did love his daughter, he conceded. After years of gruff and mumbled awkwardness, Julie and Tami were both relieved to see the boys getting along, though none maybe so relieved as Matt. He worked hard (as did Julie, of course) to make sure they lived somewhere comfortable, but it was a nascent fear over Coach's disapproval of their life together that spurred Matt ever onward. And after saving for a modest one bedroom in Lincoln Park, both he and Julie felt they were ready to get hitched and prove themselves up to the challenge of married life.
It was a labor of love the starter home fit for habitation, but Tami loved those few moments where she could pretend Julie was a little girl again, picking up the tab and guiding her towards making the thoughtful, right decision. Sure, there were several trips to Ikea that had Tami and Julie at each other's necks a few times there ("But what about the Smörboll?" "No, ugh, mom! Ew. It's Grönkulla or bust."), but ultimately things stayed the same at heart. Heck, they even saw Landry once or twice, coming up to Philly for Thanksgiving one year. Last Tami and Coach had heard, he moved to New Mexico.
...oh, right. Guess I got carried away there. But it only goes to prove the point that sometimes when you love something too much, you can ruin it. You can grip it by the shoulders, eyes full of obsessive love, and pull it sharply towards your chest, hugging it until it loves you. But before you know it you have a dead, suffocated show on your hands, limp from the pain of disappointed expectations. Without a movie adaptation rummaging around, there's nary a worry about ruining the good name that it fought scrappily to preserve. So good night, Dillon, Texas. I hope we never cross paths again. And I mean that, with love.
Image: NBC; WeCan'tEvenn/Tumblr