On Friday Night Lights

Why We Love . . . Landry Clarke

By Jen Chaney

Landry Clarke killed a man.

As much as we fans would like to ignore that fact and pretend it never happened, there it is. He did it for a completely justifiable reason: to get better ratings for a beloved but little-watched TV show called Friday Night Lights.

No, seriously, he did it for a justifiable reason: to protect Tyra Collette, the woman he loved, from a man who was trying to attack her.

But that willingness to go all vigilante with a metal pipe–after just popping into the store for some Pringles, no less–is not the reason we love Landry Clarke. Actually, we love Landry Clarke in spite of all the melodrama that resulted from that season-two incident.

Landry Clarke was supposed to be the sidekick, the funny best friend who shows up at the Alamo Freeze at precisely the moment a sarcastic comment is required. He was supposed to be the provider of comic relief, as well as the provider of rides home when Tyra needed them, and the provider of Grandma babysitting when Matt Saracen needed that, and the provider of tutoring when Tim Riggins really needed to process Of Mice and Men.

He was supposed to be the guy that the football coach would forever mistakenly refer to as Lance.

But that’s not who Landry Clarke ended up being. He was far more complicated and forthright, loyal and hilarious, kindhearted and, yes, heroic than that.

We love Landry Clarke because he refuses to tolerate a defeatist attitude from anyone, whether it’s an indecisive Saracen  …

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