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NBC's beloved high school drama Friday Night Lights took a shocking turn in Season 2 when it featured a murder plotline centered around Landry and Tyra, which kicked off in the season premiere. Now we know how series star Jesse Plemons, who played Landry, feels about it as he looks back at that time.
Jesse Plemons is certainly correct that the Landry of Season 1 Friday Night Lights would never have gone as far as his character did in Season 2. And, while it absolutely gave him something brand new to deal with as an actor, it's also true that he feels the story was clear evidence that NBC was messing with the show and trying to bring in sexier action in order to lure in more viewers.
If you were a fan of Friday Night Lights, you might remember that at the end of Season 1 Tyra was sexually assaulted and nearly raped by a stranger as she waited for Landry to show up for their study date in the Alamo Freeze parking lot one night. Landry showed up in time for the man to run off that night, but in the Season 2 premiere the same man has been following her and tries to attack Tyra again (as she waits for Landry...again). This time, Landry shows up and is able to confront him, but he's unable to subdue him in a regular fight. As the man is walking away, an angry Landry picks up a pipe and hits him over the head with it (twice), killing him. Landry and Tyra are then tasked with hiding the body by dumping it in the river.
Friday Night Lights dealt with a lot of intense stories that many teens (and their parents) might have dealt with in real life, and one of the reasons the show was so loved by its fans was how realistic it was. So, as you might imagine, this whole sweet-nerdy-Landry-kills-a-dude-for-Tyra-and-they-hide-the-body plot left a lot of fans and critics confused at the course the show was taking. Not to put too fine a point on it, but folks hated it.
Well, that is one way to get what you want when you can tell the direction of your show is changing for the worse. Luckily for fans, NBC and the producers seemed to get the point, and Friday Night Lights was back on track before too long.