Friday Night Lights is The OC in Disguise?

Published April 4, 2012 by jrm17

We are sadly reaching the end of our Friday Night Lights marathon and about to move on to another series (My vote is for The West Wing or Numb3rs).  We’ve been watching the fifth season for about seven episodes and I can’t decide how I feel about it.  There’s something eerily familiar about it that I feel like I’ve seen before.  Oh wait, that’s because I’m getting a feeling similar to The O.C. (I told you that I could relate everything back to that or Supernatural).

Because we are in the last season, all the original high school characters are gone with the exception of Julie Taylor (I’ll get to that later).  Well, I miss them.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Luke is a cutie and adore Tinker.  Jess and Becky are way cooler than Lyla Garrity and I like Vin much better than Smash.  Plus, the addition of Billy and Mindy as more prominent characters, I love.  I want my marriage to be a little bit like there’s when I grow up.  However, I really miss the old crew–except for Lyla and Matt…and maybe Smash.  I was so upset when Landry left for college (That may have had something to do with him saying goodbye to Matt’s grandma who I think is just about the cutest thing ever).  Like I said, Jess and Becky are cool, but they just aren’t Tyra Collete.  I liked that girl and I rarely like female characters that much.  She was so funny and didn’t take crap that I had to love her.  I know he wasn’t a big character but I miss Herc, too.  Him and Street were really funny but if it means bringing Street back, I’m cool with him being gone.  But most of all, I miss Tim Riggins (I know, it’s very shocking.  We should alert the presses).  He never said much but when he did, it was either very funny or very deep.  Plus, I’m in the same boat as Becky, Luke just isn’t Rigs.  Sorry, farm boy, you just can’t beat 33.

With all that being said, you get my point, right?  The only characters still around are the Taylors (since obviously the show is focused

Final season of The OC photo courtesy of

around them and no one is cooler than Eric and Tammi Taylor), Buddy Garrity (who no one really liked until his divorce), and Billy (who is the reason my Tim Riggins is in jail).  Sounds an awful lot like a Josh Schwartz show from, oh, five or six years ago.  You may have heard of it.  It’s called The O.C.  The cast started out as the Cohens (Sandy and Kirsten were the Taylors of that show and Seth could be compared to Julie in that they both hated high school and were socially awkward to begin with), Ryan (He’s the Tim Riggins role in my head only not as good.  I was Team Seth), Marissa (I didn’t like her so let’s call her the Lyla character.  Plus, she did mess up Ryan aka Riggins), Luke (I don’t really think he has a FNL equivalent), and Summer (My favorite so we’ll compare who to Tyra.  They both had big mouths).  By the final season, we were looking at a different group and story line.  In the fourth season, my favorite from the Core Four were still there.  Summer and Seth were trying to figure out if their love was just a high school thing, Summer getting kicked out of Brown, and thinking about getting married.  Ryan was getting over Marissa’s death and moving on with Taylor (I loved her so much more than Marissa).  Sandy and Kirsten were busy with the unplanned baby coming along.

However, we had some new characters and about eight other plot lines (Of course, that was nothing out of the ordinary with this show.  The various plots just seemed to tie together well).  There was the Julie Cooper plot–team Bullit or team Atwood (I’ve still got a serious case of the Franks.  Go team Atwood!).  There was the Kaitlyn Cooper plot (Can I just say that she was clearly the more interesting and cooler of the Cooper sisters)–the stealing, her love life, pushing her mom to marry Bullit.  Taylor had her story–the french ex-husband, her therapy, her mother, her relationship with Ryan.  Throw in a little bit of Che (OMG!  I absolutely loved this guy), Frank Atwood, and Bullit and you’ve got what turned out to be my favorite season of the entire show.  I don’ really understand why the ratings went down so far that they ended the show after this season (Okay, I know that it was because Marissa was no longer there but whatever).  The story lines were the best in the fourth season.  Something I’m not really seeing in Friday Night Lights.

Okay, I will admit that I am interested in the story but not in the same way I was in the previous seasons (I have a feeling this is how everyone else felt during the last season of The O.C.).  I like the whole East Dillon becoming really good.  I like the whole Becky everything.  Vin’s story with his dad is alright (Mostly because his dad is Lavan Hayes is Hart of Dixie and, therefore, adorable).  And as much as I hate to admit it, the story I’m most interested in is Julie’s craziness.

Let me start off with saying that I am not a psychologist but I’m pretty sure somewhere in my studying I found some sort of personality disorder that describes this girl perfectly (We don’t care about the individual in the sociology department.  We care are about society as a whole).  She has been given everything without having to work basically yet she doesn’t appreciate any of it.  In fact, she seems to rebel against that.  And here’s where the disorder comes in most of all (I think it’s narcissistic personality disorder–the same thing Dean Winchester has): she is completely oblivious to feelings of regret or sympathy or feeling bad when she’s done something wrong or broken a social norm.  Thinking back, you could kind of see it when she was sneaking around behind Matt’s back with the Swede but it’s very clear when she tells her parents about sleeping with the TA.  She makes up that lie about his wife hitting her in front of everyone as an excuse to not go back to school.  However, she shows absolutely no remorse and doesn’t even seem to feel bad that she slept with another woman’s husband when Coach Taylor is trying to get that through her head.  You can see him completely confused and infuriated that she did something like that (We all know how he feels about spouses fooling around with other people.  Need I mention his fight with the former high school friend who liked Tammi or Glen?).

Here’s my final comparison to The O.C.  I know earlier I said that Julie was be Seth in the idea that the Taylors are the Cohens.  That’s not completely true.  In that scenario, yes, she is.  But, she’s a lot more like Marissa than Seth (Lyla can still be Marissa, too, though since I don’t like her).  The thing is we saw all this issues with Marissa straight from the beginning.  She was literally given everything by Julie and Jimmy but she goes off to Tijuana and almost dies from an overdose in an alley because Luke cheated on her.  After her parents divorce, she becomes a total train wreck.   She’s on drugs.  She drinks way too much and too early.  She experiments with her sexuality and hurts Alex.  She skips school.  She shoots Trey (Okay, that’s acceptable since he was in the process of killing Ryan).  She’s pretty much the reason Johnnie died. She is basically suicidal and, eventually, started fooling around with Volcheck until it gets her killed.  I could very well see Julie going down that road.  Maybe not as damaging or death-impending because her family unit is much more solid than Marissa’s (I blame Marissa for that since she pushed away any help Jimmy, Julie, and anyone else offered).

Well, I’ve made my case.  Friday Night Lights and The O.C. faced the same fate and it’s because they were very similar in their set up.  They both lost some important characters.  Though, FNL had to send theirs off to college due to the timeline of the show–unless they somehow kept them around like Josh Schwartz did on The O.C.  Schwartz lost his because Misha Barton (Marissa) thought she could do better in movies and decided the show was no longer what she wanted (Yeah, we see how well that turned out).  The only difference here is that I liked The O.C. more without the lost characters and in the final season.  We’re about six episodes away from the finale (Yay!  My Riggo is coming back) so I’ll wait to make my decision then, but it’s not looking promising.  I’ve been hearing a rumor that there’s a movie being made that’s based on the show so maybe I’ll just wait until then (Yep, it’s a movie based on a show based on a movie based on a book based on real life.  I think that’s the way to advertise it).  One thing’s for sure, though.  I will always been team Cohen but I will always be Riggins’ rally girl more.


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