I’ve just wrapped up watching the entirety of Friday Night Lights, Season 1. I know, I know: welcome to 2006! It’s just that I’ve resisted watching this show for four years because I just assumed that it would be boring and/or exactly like a TV version of Varsity Blues. Although Dawson’s cry face is probably one of the greatest screen grabs of the past ten years, and I regularly use the phrase “Ahhh don’t wawnt yer laaaf”, I just didn’t have any interest in something that I thought would pale in comparison, in terms of the “making fun of it” value.
After reading an essay about FNL in Chuck Klosterman’s new book, Eating The Dinosaur, I finally conceded that I should, once and for all, watch the show. The second I laid eyes on Tim Riggins, the full back/running back for the Dillion Panthers, I was like “Who is the fuck is this bootleg Jordan Catalano?”
Like seriously, exhibit one:
I just wish I had a screen-grab of Riggins and his damn sheepskin jacket. You know which one I’m talking about. It’s the one that looks EXACTLY LIKE THIS:
Bomber jackets, haircuts, brooding/troubled mystique and hotness aside, I’ve actually come to the conclusion that Tim Riggins > Catalano. And though I’ve put my Jordan Catalano dreams aside for quite some time now (you know, now that Jared Leto has become a living joke), that character still holds a special place in my heart, to the point where I really never thought I would say that someone has actually out-Catalano’d Catalano himself. And I mean this in a good/crushable way, because in real life, you should never actually date someone like either of them.
However, here are the ways in which Riggins is way more redeemable than Catalano:
1. Riggins can actually read
True, Landry had to read aloud the entirety of Of Mice And Men to Riggins, but it’s more of a laziness issue than an “I’m a complete illiterate” issue. Plus, I doubt Catalano was capable of making any sort of minorly complex analysis whatsoever, even if anyone had read an entire book aloud to him. Also, I’m just glad the Brian Krakow character (Matt Saracen) of Friday Night Lights gets a girlfriend too!
2. Riggins kares about kidz…even if they’re clearly a member of the lollipop guild posing as a child.
True, I’m sure this was probably driven mostly by ego and Daddy/Mommy issues, but try and imagine Jordan Catalano picking a 5-year old up from school and teaching him how to fight back against bullies. Does not compute. Also, the kid in question is CLEARLY a midget actor portraying a child. Am I right?!?
3. Riggins has the capability to fall in love….even if it is with the insufferable can’t-unclench-her-teeth-because-then-it-wouldn’t-be-dramatic Lyla Garrity.
Ok, I don’t dislike her that much– it’s more just Minka Kelly’s acting “choices” that bother me. But anywho, Jordan Catalano is more of a lone wolf…but more because he has about 3 emotions (confused, brood-y, and horny). Tim Riggins has at least 2 more than that, mostly because he’s actually more of a well-developed character. But I, for one, was kind of surprised Riggins gave up drinking because Lyla thought it was lame– even if it was just for a little while. This however, doesn’t mean that he’d be an ideal boyfriend by any means…not by a longshot. But maybe if you were, say, his next door neighbor sans kid, it might be grounds for a rollicking good time.
4. Riggins has a sense of loyalty…even though he slept with his paralyzed friend’s girlfriend
One thing that Jordan Catalano didn’t have was a sense of responsibility towards anyone or anything. At least Riggins has the football team, which he, more often than not, feels loyal towards. But more than that, he actually recognizes the mistakes he’s made towards Tyra, his best friend Jason Street, and his brother, and is surprisingly articulate about it. I’m still glad that Tyra didn’t give in to his apology, though, and get back together with him.
In sum, Tim Riggins, although he has a very pretty face, etc that may or may not resemble a certain Catalano-ian archetype, he has bit more depth and conscience than Angela Chase’s pipe dream. I’m also fairly sure that the actor who plays Riggins, Taylor Kitsch will not go whoring around with Paris Hilton, or have some sort of 30 Seconds to Mars-type disastrous band.
But, you know the person on this show who you’d really want to date is Coach Taylor….before Tami and Julie existed, of course: