Here’s a new feature that I’m calling The Friday Five. It’s basically just a list of five things that I’ve been into the past week. I think it’ll be a good chance for me to talk about things that I might not otherwise discuss on here (and some things that I definitely would). I’m hoping to make it a weekly thing, so here’s the first one!
1. Friday Night Lights Season 2
(*SOME SPOILERS ABOUT SEASON 2 AHEAD*)
From what I understand, some Friday Night Lights fans have a beef with the show’s second season, but at the halfway point, I’m enjoying it so far. The whole murder (or manslaughter, I guess?) storyline is kind of ridiculous, but to me, FNL has walked a fine line between drama and melodrama several times before. And while it’s not where I would have wanted Landry’s character to go, at least he’s getting more screen time.
Julie’s storyline seems pretty natural to me. She was always a self-involved brat, so I’m totally not surprised to see her “acting out” more this season. I’ve never really liked that character (and I don’t Aimee Teegarden is a very good actress), so at least it’s something more interesting for her this season.
I also have to give them a lot of credit for where they’re going with Jason’s character. Because literally just at this point (I’m at the point in the season where he just got back from Mexico) I’m starting to care about his character. I’m not exactly sure why, but I never connected with him much before. But whenever you throw Jason Street and Tim Riggins together, I’m probably going to like it. Actually scratch that – whenever you put Tim Riggins with ANYONE, I’m bound to like it.
My hopes for the rest of the season are that they focus more on Matt, and that they find more excuses to put Coach Taylor in a suit.
2. The Head and the Heart by The Head and the Heart
Hey, do you know what the world needs? Another bearded folk-rock group from Seattle on the Sub Pop label.
Seriously, though, these guys are good. The lead single from the album, “Lost in My Mind“, is a hushed, harmonized stunner, and the rest of the album lives up to it. If you like bands like Mumford & Sons, and yes, Fleet Foxes, be sure to check these guys out. They released this debut album independently at first, but it was recently reissued on Sub Pop.
3. Taran Killam on Saturday Night Live
All four of this season’s SNL newbies (Paul Brittain, Vanessa Bayer, and Jay Pharoah are the others) have had really funny moments, but for me, the one that’s really standing out is Taran Killam. He was woefully underused at first, but after shining in the Unstoppable trailer spoof, delivering a spot-on Eminem impression on Weekend Update, and writing the off-beat-but-strangely-awesome “Les Jeunes de Paris” sketches, he’s getting more airtime (especially in the last two weeks). His best moment yet was in the Elton John episode, when Killam and John played a gay couple hosting their own show on the LOGO network. It’s a fine line to play a stereotypically gay character, but Killam’s performance was entirely sweet and affectionate. He played off Elton John perfectly.
4. “Fragile Bird” by City and Colour
Dallas Green used to be best known as the guy who sings the melodies in Alexisonfire, but thanks to two solid albums, he’s getting tons of praise for his solo work, too. Three years after his last album, we finally get to hear some new material, and it doesn’t disappoint. “Fragile Bird” is one of his strongest melodies yet, and Green’s voice sounds prettier than ever. There’s an electric element that might not sit well with some fans of his usually acoustic fare, but I personally really like the evolution in sound. It sits nicely between Alexisonfire and his earlier solo stuff. The only downside is that we have to wait until June 7 for his next album, Little Hell.
5. Modern Family
I know I’m late to the game on this one, but isn’t Modern Family such a nice little show? I’m halfway through the first season, and it’s totally living up to my expectations. I loved the episode where they throw a birthday party for Luke, and the one after that, where the Dunphys cancel Christmas.
Everyone is good on the show, but the immediate standouts for me were Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ty Burrell. Ferguson plays Mitchell (half of the show’s same-sex couple), and aside from the fact that I can relate to that character to an extent that slightly frightens me, Ferguson just has such an easy, wry sense of humour. As for Burrell (who plays bumbling father of three Phil Dunphy), his physical comedy is absolutely fantastic AND he’s totally charming. He’s like some wonderful Chris Farley/Robert Downey Jr. hybrid. And he’s not bad to look at, either.