Naw, I’m not talking about Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor. I mean D.W. Moffett’s Joe McCoy, the blowhard-bully dad of the Dillon Panthers’ new “QB1,” J.D. McCoy (Jeremy Sumpter). Tonight’s edition of Friday Night Lights finds the controlling loud-mouth putting even more pressure on his emotionally-squashed son. One of J.D.’s teammates remarks, “Daddy got him on a leash.”
Veteran character actor Moffett looks like he’s having a great time playing this falsely-jovial, mean, petty backslapper, and why not? He’s getting some typically terrific scenes from the FNL writing staff. They’ve taken a pop-culture archetype that goes back at least as far as 1955’s Rebel Without A Cause (James Dean’s parents pressure him to conform) and, combined with Moffett’s shark-smile and intensity, have made every moment of father-son interaction incredibly tense.
We know that the true father-figure for J.D. (as it is for so many of the young men in this series) is Coach Taylor, and the deadly, silent stares Kyle Chandler shoots Moffett when Joe McCoy enters the sanctity of Coach’s locker-room tonight are priceless.
Everyone in this series is first-rate, of course, but I just wanted to tip my hat at this season’s best villain. Take a good look at Moffett’s performance tonight as you watch.
I mean, you will be watching Friday Night Lights, won’t you? Please?