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YMMV: Friday Night Lights
The TV series

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Matt Saracen's actions have been seen in a very un-woobie light in a lot of peoples eyes, as far as showing him as someone who for all of his angst about "people leaving him", he wilfully shoves people away from him in order to play the poor pitiful me card to the hilt and will do so in the most vile way imaginable. He fucked his grandmother's caregiver and caused her to leave when he tries to force her into a relationship and most alarmingly, the fact that he sent his father TO HIS DEATH as far as hating his father for returning to help him take care of his grandmother.
  • Award Snub: Finally averted with long-overdue Emmy nominations in 2010 for Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler.
    • Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for Zach Gilford, whose performance in the fan-favorite episode "The Son" (where Matt has to deal with his father's death) was sadly overlooked. On the bright side, the episode itself was nominated for its writing.
    • Averted again in 2011 (the show's final season), where Connie Britton was nominated again, the show finally received a nomination for "Outstanding Drama Series", and Kyle Chandler actually *WON* the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama! We can be quite thankful that Breaking Bad didn't have a season that year. Jason Katims also won an Emmy for writing the Series Finale.
  • Badass Decay: Somehow between the beginning of Season 4 and the end of Season Five, Luke Cafferty goes from being a kid who can play Running Back, Wide Receiver, Quarterback, Linebacker AND Safety more or less equally well (any coach's wet dream) to a kid that absolutely no college of any size is even remotely interested in.
    • Screw college, with those kind of skills the NFL should have been trying to recruit that kid.
    • To be fair, he injured himself in Season 4, missed games, and wasn't really playing up to his usual standards when he was in after his injury. Colleges can be hesitant about going after a player when that happens.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Uses a lot of the truly epic and beautiful Explosions in the Sky songs that were present in the movie, as well as its own score by W. G. Snuffy Walden.
  • Dork Age: The second season put Landry and Tyra into their own, completely isolated plotline for the first ten episodes that is studiously ignored by the writers at all other times, even while the plot was ongoing.
  • Genius Bonus: Texas Longhorn football fans will find the idea of having to replace a star quarterback named J. Street with a big legacy to be quite familiar, as does the idea of a star quarterback named McCoy and an athletic, dual-threat star quarterback named Vince.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Landry's season 2 story created a gag among the fans that he was a serial killer and whenever a character inexplicably disappeared, he'd done them in. Then came Jesse Plemmons' role on Breaking Bad.
  • Memetic Mutation: Clear eyes. Full Hearts. CAN'T LOSE.
  • The Scrappy: Epyck for many, for being a very stock "troubled teenage ethnic girl" character and taking up a lot of screentime in the final season only for her story to end abruptly. Julie also qualifies for many with her bratty behavior and dud romance plots in Seasons 2 and 5.
    • Carlotta, who has no personality beyond Spicy Latina and apparently only exists because Matt couldn't just be single after breaking up with Julie. This is topped off by her being hastily written out of the show for reasons she refused to explain beyond "My family needs me."
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Smash's speech about he doesn't have to take offense to somewhat racist comment Mac says and how the implication that he should be is racist in and of itself.
  • Sophomore Slump: The Tyra/Landry murder plot, Julie becomes a brat, Matt boinks his grandma's caregiver, etc. This has led to some Canon Discontinuity in the third season, as the show itself seems to be ignoring a lot of these things ever happening. Seriously, two of the main characters murdered someone and confessed to it, but after season two it's never mentioned again.
    • Probably the most obvious case of Canon Discontinuity is Smash. During Season 2, he's looking to get into college, finally succeeding at the end of the season. In Season 3 Smash's plot revolves around... getting into college.
  • Tearjerker: The Son, aka 'Why didn't Zach Gilford get an Emmy Nom after this?'.
    • In "Jumping the Gun" when Coach Taylor calls Riggins honorable. The look on Tim's face...
    • "Leave No One Behind":
    Matt: You left me for a better job! Julie left me for a better guy, Carlota left me for Guatemala, my dad left me for a damn war! Everybody leaves me! What's wrong with me?"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Hastings was supposed to have a storyline about being gay and coming to terms with it, but then the writers chickened out, leaving the fans mystified at why they bothered to introduce a new character in the final season who then did nothing but take up space that could have been used for the people we actually cared about.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In "The Right Hand of the Father," Maura getting victim-blamed for her being taken advantage of while drunk, and the show expecting us to agree with that.
    • Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that. Mrs. Taylor was only laying into Maura, who was totally OK with being taken advantage of, in order to get her to improve herself.
  • The Woobie: Also Jason Street (kinda, see Wheelchair Woobie) and, to a lesser extent, J.D. McCoy in Season 3.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Subverted to hell and back by Jason Street. He doesn't want your sympathy, doesn't want your pity, doesn't want to be your mascot, but grows to fully embrace his situation and makes the best of it.
  • Iron Woobie: Matt Saracen would be a regular Woobie, if not for the fact that just about all of his suffering could have been helped if not for his desire to play martyr

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