I just finished Friday Night Lights.
. . . I know, I know. It’s two of my best friends’ favorite show, and I’m late to the game (no pun intended). Everyone in the world jumped down my throat when I wrote a list of the best fictional couples because HOW COULD I NEGLECT TAMI AND ERIC?! Okay, well now that I have actually WATCHED the show, I absolutely understand the outrage.
With the coercing of a dear, dear friend and a pretty big crush on a Texan, I caved and watched all five seasons. I now have a hole in my heart and feel like I’m mourning the loss of a family member, BUT WHATEVER. Worth it.
I didn’t even know who to begin with, and then of course I did. Because who else?
EINTKILF Tami Taylor
1. Everybody deserves a chance.
Tami is a guidance counselor, and then a school principal, and then a guidance counselor, and then—I won’t spoil it. But anyway, the point is, Tami is more than the best mother of all time: she genuinely cares about every kid. She literally represents No Child Left Behind, if that was actually a positive thing.
The scene that really stands out to me is towards the very end of Season 5. During a meeting about budget cuts and test scores, some jerk makes a comment like, “Do you expect us to sit down with every single kid?” And Tami scoffs, and laughs, and says, “Well, yeah. I do.” Because she’s the best.
2. It is okay to forgive.
3. Family comes first.
Tami is one of the best female characters in television history for MANY reasons, one of which is the fact that she multitasks like a boss. Tami has a baby when her oldest daughter is in high school and she has a career to tend to, all while being a supportive wife to her husband. She manages with practical ease. Not only THAT, but Tami is also everyone in Dillon’s second mother and takes kids under her wing constantly.
4. Stand by your man.
And speaking of family coming first, Tami does an incredible job of letting her football coach husband get basically everything he wants. In the last few episodes, Tami begins to remind Eric that everything their family has done in the past 18 years has revolved around his jobs. She stands up for herself, yet she will still choose her husband over her career. Something I would do? Hell no. Something I wish I had the heart to do? Maybe. (Something Tami has to do in the end? Nah.)
5. How to give sex / love advice.
Cue to me bawling in the fetal position when Tami talks to Julie about having sex with her boyfriend. I don’t even know WHY that hit me so hard—my mother and I never talked about sex! I just know if I ever had a daughter, I would want to talk to her about making sure she knew she didn’t have to do anything, making sure that she knew it should be enjoyable for both of them and that everything is okay. Jesus; Tami reminded me, at 27, of some truths I think I needed to hear. Not to mention, the way she talks to Becky about pregnancy vs. abortion is equally inspiring, cautious, and full of love. (And she didn’t even KNOW Becky.)
6. Be confident in yourself.
7. Care about football.
Or, you know, care about what your spouse does. I’ll tell you what; I don’t think I could be married to a football coach because a lot of it would be me pretending I was listening when I really, really wasn’t listening.
8. Wine helps.
But seriously, have you noticed how much wine Tami drinks? Hero.
9. Kill ’em with kindness.
Tami does an absolutely incredible job being nice to her enemies. I aspire to do that so, so much, but when I am trying to kill people with kindness, it comes off as absolutely fake-nice and condescending. The way Tami talks to the Panthers jerks post-East Dillon move is the perfect example. Tami is just the best at being the best. (Also, how could she at all have enemies?)
10. Take everything one day at a time.
Also, I absolutely cannot finish this without a shoutout to the absolutely brilliant Connie Britton, who has been one of the loves of my life since Spin City. Girl, youda best. #TexasForever