Different City. Same Drama.
Last night I finally finished Season 3 of Last Chance U, and jaysus me bleeding Nuurves!! The last slow motion pass with half a second left on the clock was just not fair and gave me flashbacks to the season 1 finale of Friday Night Lights!
And while it was certainly refreshing to move away from Scooba and get the perspective of a different town and a different team, we couldn’t help but feel that the show has developed three noticeable themes that it uses to drive the story and the drama forward. These motifs were solidly established during the first two seasons, and in fairness you can’t really blame the show’s creators for keeping them for the third season. As the saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” These elements are what makes the show so captivating. The show gives us characters that we can relate to, empathise with, and root for. And that’s why we all love Last Chance U!
- The prickly but caring coach.
Buddy Stephens was no stranger to expletive laden rants or starting brawls with game officials. He took no shit from his players or his staff, and if he wasn’t happy with you he’d let you know. Jason Brown is no different, and is possible even fonder of swearing. He openly cusses out players during practice, and even more during games! But beneath their tough exterior, these men are big softies. They care deeply about their players and want to see them exceed. Their number one priority is graduating these young men and getting them ready for life after football. The ultimate proof that Jason Brown is a big softie? He got himself a puppy!
- The concerned teacher.
Since she left Scooba after Season 2, Brittany Wagner has rocketed to international fame. “Do you have a Pencil?” has become a household phrase, and Brittany has successfully launched her own education consulting company. Miss Wagner was essentially a mother to the players in East Mississippi. She made sure they got to class, that they ate, and that they kept out of trouble. Her relationship with Ronald Ollie was particularly heart-warming and it was clear to see how he grew under her care. In the latest season, LaTonya Pinkard the English teacher takes on this role. She makes it her business to get the players to see that they are more than just football players, that they have the potential to go further. In her unofficial role as counsellor, she forces the athletes to think past football. She forces them to take their academics seriously and does her best to motivate them. She may not be Brittany Wagner, but she’s not a bad replacement!
- The guy who just can’t get out of his own way.
Within 3 days of Season 2 being released, talented running back Isaiah Wright was arrested on the suspicion of being involved in a murder. He had being hanging out with some friends in his hometown and had gotten caught up in something he could have easily avoided. Outside the structure that college life provided and away from watchful eyes, he had fallen back into old habits. And those old habits got him locked up. Now I’m not saying he would have gone pro, but he could have easily gone to a better school and gotten a degree. Bobby Bruce was the tragic figure of Season 3. From a tough environment, he saw the NFL as his only escape. Resistant at the start, he eventually put his head down and showed some potential as a student. But just like Isaiah, once Bobby was away from the structure of college, he got into trouble. And who knows if he’ll get another last chance? We’ll have to wait for Season 4 to find out.