Tag Archives: friday night lights

Too Many Feels: The TV Moments That Make Me Cry

Whether it is for a happy or sad reason, I love it when an episode of television can move me to tears. As Katie said a few weeks ago, it gives us the opportunity to examine ourselves and figure out why it affects us so much. It also gives us an outlet for our feelings when they get to be too much. Sometimes we just need to cry but if you’re like me, you don’t always give yourself the space to fully feel, so clips like these are waiting for us and give us the freedom to fall apart on our own terms. These are 10 moments that not only made me cry the first time I watched them but continue to make me feel deeply on re-watches as well.

Sawyer and Juliet remember (LOST) Yes, I know this finale is one of the more divisive in television history. But if it’s one that works for you, it is almost guaranteed to make you cry. While all of the reunions are emotional, the one between Sawyer and Juliet makes me cry the hardest. This love story snuck up on me and got one of the most perfect episodes imaginable in “La Fleur” before being tragically separated. Their typical banter is so beautifully reflected in this scene but it’s the montage of their relationship that starts the sobbing for me even before the looks of wonder that cross each of their face as they remember their history. It was a gift they could never have imagined and the way they cling to each other and that glorious smile on Juliet’s face as she tells Sawyer to kiss her will stay with me forever.

Tommy and Eric reunite (Girl Meets World) There was no better story arc for Eric on Boy Meets World than his brief relationship with Tommy. Eric loved Tommy enough to give him up so he could have his best chance. Eric wasn’t in a position to be a full-time parent, no matter how much he wanted to be. So he let Tommy go and find the family he deserved. It was a story that made me cry every time I watched it and just hearing that it had been revisited on Girl Meets World had me crying before I watched the clip. Hearing Tommy talk about Eric is such glowing terms and knowing that as he grew up, he recognized exactly what it was that Eric gave him and never forgot him was simply beautiful, as was the look on Eric’s face when he realized who he was. It was a moment that probably played better for fans of the original series than fans of the new one, but I’m so grateful they made the decision to revisit such a successful story line.

Seasons of Love (Glee) I think Glee handled “The Quarterback” in the best way they could but this song is most successful as the cast’s tribute to Cory Monteith. The grief wasn’t what their characters were feeling for Finn, it was what these actors felt at the loss of their friend. The staging was simple and it was a remarkably understated moment for the show, which just felt right.

Rory’s going away party (Gilmore Girls) As soon as Jackson and Zach show up with umbrellas to escort Rory and Lorelai to the party, I am a mess. I love seeing everyone we love in Stars Hollow there to celebrate Rory and that it’s also a way for the audience to say goodbye to them. Kirk’s ridiculous sash is perfectly fitting as is Taylor’s awkward preamble to Rory’s speech. In recent watches, however, it’s been Lorelai’s conversation with her parents that gets to me the most. Richard is right, the party wasn’t only for Rory. Yes, Stars Hollow has fallen in love with her and many of the adults at that party had a hand in shaping her as she grew up. But it’s also a testament to the life Lorelai made for herself and a tribute to the love this town has for her. It does take a remarkable woman to inspire that love and there is not a more fitting word to describe Lorelai Gilmore.

Continue reading Too Many Feels: The TV Moments That Make Me Cry

Attack of the Feelings: Friday Night Lights

I am most attracted to shows that make me feel things. Well-thought out plots are good and an interesting premise certainly helps, but I want my TV to make me have some sort of emotional reaction. I want to be connected to the characters and their lives and invested in their present and future.

One of the show runners most known for making his viewers feel things (and cry a lot) is Jason Katims. He builds such believable characters and worlds and draws the viewer into those lives and worlds. Today I’ll be focusing on one of the shows he is best known for – Friday Night Lights.

I never expected to love Friday Night Lights as much as I do. I have never been a big fan of sports and this is a show that is at least partly about a football team and their season. That being said, it was the football game that made me cry during the very first episode and a football team that made me cry during the first season finale. What this show does better than nearly any other that I’ve watched is create a very detailed world and dropped the viewer into it. I went to a small high school and visited many towns much smaller than Dillon during my four years of high school cheerleading. The towns weren’t even big enough to have football teams, so basketball was the sport of choice. On game days, those bleachers were full of people who weren’t so dissimilar from the fans of Dillon. They were passionate and invested in their high school teams and a win meant a lot. So the portrayal of the town’s relationship to the team felt right. It felt real.

The same can be said of the moment in the pilot when Jason Street was injured. Fortunately, no one was ever too seriously injured during any of the games I cheered for. But at the moment when the star of our girl’s basketball team tore her ACL, the gym felt an awful lot like the stadium in Dillon felt. It’s a hard feeling to put into words but it’s a collective sense of worry and sadness that impacts everyone, regardless of what team they are on or are there to support. Once again, the emotion produced by the show felt right.

In addition to the strong sense of place, Friday Night Lights had a lot of well-rounded, fully-developed characters. The writing for them was strong but what has impressed me is the freedom the actors had with their characters. Scene blocking was minimal and so long as the overall plot wasn’t hindered, they were encouraged to change lines to better fit the characters if necessary. It resulted in a group of talented actors who knew and were comfortable in their roles and it showed on screen.

It gave us characters like Coach and Mrs. Taylor, Matt Saracen, Tim Riggins, and Tyra Collette. Characters we could look up to and invest in. Characters who we might like to know in real life. Characters that grew and changed while never losing what made them great. It gave us characters who didn’t always do the right thing. Who weren’t always very good people. Who hurt the people around them. But they were real. It gave us characters like Buddy Garrity, who started out very unlikeable, became more understandable as we learned more about him and as he was forced to grow throughout the series, we were forced to reevaluate our initial impression of him.  No one was perfect, everyone made mistakes. But they were never made to be unredeemable by those mistakes. They could still be characters we loved and cheered for. They were always characters we wanted to see happy.

What show(s) make you feel deeply about the characters and their fictional universe? What show will always find a way to make you cry both happy and sad tears?