August 2, 2010

Jordan Catalano = Tim Riggins

In 1995, Jordan Catalano was the stuff dreams were made of - in my middle school, at least.

Brooding, blue-eyed and misunderstood, Jordan was the enigma who captivated My So-Called Life's Angela Chase. And every female primetime viewer between the ages of 12 and 22.

The moment Jordan finally held Angela Chase's hand in the hallway was life-changing.

My ears have yet to recover from the estrogen-fueled shrieks emitted by my English class as we watched it. (How we got to watch this during classtime I'll never understand.)

Seeing it at twenty-something is decidedly less momentous, but it's a nostalgic flashback nonetheless. Fifteen years later, you can even buy a t-shirt declaring your love for the erstwhile Jared Leto. (Who has since gotten really weird. RIP, Jordan Catalano.)

Or you could just tune into Friday Night Lights, where Tim Riggins has been sulking and skipping class since 2006. Could he be Jordan Catalano for a new generation?

I'm several years late to the FNL frenzy, but after hearing lots of watercooler buzz, I sat down with B last month to give it a whirl.

Two weeks (and nearly two full seasons) later, I've concluded that Tim Riggins is Jordan Catalano: Popular but still an outsider. Avidly avoids academics. Same hair, same absent parents, same questionable evening activities. Even more heart, athleticism and chivalry, though, so ladies beware.

And if you think about it, Tim Riggins is really just a younger (and less stranded-on-an-island) version of LOST's Sawyer.

Gruff with a heart of gold. Ladies' man with a clever nickname for everyone. No stranger to a bar fight. Hair that always looks like it could use a wash. Endearing smirk and easy to forgive.

I haven't finished FNL yet, so I'm still wary of any trips to Sydney for our favorite Dillon Panther. If he buys a flight on Oceanic 815, I think we know what comes next...


Rowena said...

I whole-heartedly agree on the evolution of Jordan Catalano. Tim Riggins makes me weak in the knees and if Sawyer should show up on my front porch.... well, let's just say I'll offer him a beer and see what he thinks of my reading collection.

Becky said...

A friend of mine has been trying to get me into FNL for a long time now, but I think this post/comparison is going to put me over the edge. Jordan Catalono was soooooo dreamy! Can't wait to check out this Riggins character!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have a little date night every Friday - just my husband, Tim Riggins, & me! We both love the show, though we also got hooked late in the game. Kind of makes me want to move to Texas...

Rachel said...

Ohhhh....what a I wouldn't do for a date with Tim Riggins. That boy is so dreamy :)

Just Add Walter said...

this is the cutest post! I have never even heard of FNL but I am totally with you on the Sawyer thing!

Laura Scholz said...

You got to watch that in school? I was a freshman in college when that show came on--it aired opposite Friends. I was a loyal MSCL watcher, most especially because of Jordan Catalano. But agree--he's kind of creepy now. Fun blog--glad we met via Twitter and ARC.

Anonymous said...

People like to draw similarities between Riggins and Catalano, obviously for aesthetic reasons (e.g., the hair, the jacket); however, I disagree that Rigs is anything like Catalano, especially as you get further into the series. He IS the type of guy you'd want to date (that is, if you don't require your boyfriend to know much about, let's say, international relations). He is loyal and kind and always does the right thing (except, on occasion, when Billy gets in the way of that). He basically becomes a martyr, especially at the end of Season 4. And as much as they elude to him being a womanizer, he's revealed to be a sensitive feminist; he's in love with Lyla, he's really into Jackie, he protects Julie and Becky and refuses to take advantage of either of them. Rigs is an all-around great guy, whereas the same cannot be said for Catalano, who's selfish to the point of cruelty (e.g., the countless times he stands up / snubs Angela, the hard time he gives her when she's not ready to have sex). Jordan's also a really slow and uninsightful guy, whereas Tim may not be a Rhodes Scholar, but has a great head on his shoulders and understands people (and himself) probably better than any other FNL characters.

Sorry for the tirade, I just love Rigs, and I have so much respect for what Taylor Kitsch and Peter Berg did with the character, when they easily could've made him just another Catalano.



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