Recently I was hanging out on the Hollywood Reporter's Emmy Awards clip site when I came across one of my favorite scenes from "Friday Night Lights." In it, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) has enlisted his wife, Tami (Connie Britton), to throw a last-minute party for his entire team and their families, and not surprisingly, she's none too pleased. She's under a table, cleaning up someone's mess, when Coach asks her to come up and help him host. She tells him that her wifely duties are going to have to wait: When she's ready, she'll come up with a big smile on her face, but for now, she's going to stay under the table and be angry.
I love that scene because it shows off both sides of Tami Taylor: her charm and her toughness. That depth has made Tami one of the most believable, relatable women on TV today. In fact, the only reason that this post isn't called "Why I Love Tami Taylor" is that I believe Connie is Tami — and vice versa.
In the first season of "Friday Night Lights," Britton has been a revelation, delivering the kind of layered performance that makes me wonder why she hasn't already won every award in the business. But that's not the only reason I love her, so
With her husband, Britton's Tami is sexy, loving, and yet honest about what she needs; with daughter Julie, she's caring without being overbearing; and with the high school students she counsels, she's tough yet sympathetic to their troubles. She has done what few actresses ever can: created a character whom I feel like I know, and whom I'd love to have as a sister, crazy aunt or trusted friend. In fact, Britton's Tami is the kind of woman I hope to be someday.
Britton has gotten the most notice for her dramatic work on "Friday Night Lights," but she has powerful comedic chops as well, as evidenced by her years on "Spin City." And, in fact, one of my other favorite "Friday Night Lights" moments involves Britton's humor: In the "Mud Bowl" episode, she and Kyle Chandler filmed a scene in a cow-filled field. At one point, one of the cows approached Britton, and she laughed and backed away, improvising the rest of the lines — and that take made it into the final cut of the show.
It was endearing and remarkably genuine — and those are exactly the words I'd use to describe Britton herself.