For those of you who have been wondering whatever happened to Jackson Montgomery's (Walt Wiley) adopted son, Reggie Porter (Michael B. Jordan) the answer is he has landed in Dillon, Texas on the fourth season of Friday Night Lights. Reggie disappeared off the AMC landscape in June 2006 when he supposedly went off to a basketball camp and was never seen or heard of again. In reality, ABC terminated Jordan's contract.
The unfortunate thing for Reggie was that the writers of AMC never found a story that quite fit this talented, young actor. Reggie was likeable but an appropriate plot line never developed. A large part of the problem was that Reggie, an African American teenager, was taken in by the well intentioned, but white, Jackson Montgomery, and the matter of the racial issues that Reggie might have met living in a culture different from his own, was never dealt with. Although AMC was well intentioned and has developed interesting and effective stories for many cultures, they just didn't seem to know where to take Reggie.
Tomorrow night, Friday May 7, the fourth season of Friday Night Lights airs on NBC. The show has already seen on Direct TV, which shared the expenses of producing the show with NBC this year to keep it alive this season. As the daughter of a small town football coach, I have had a deep attachment to Friday Night Lights from its first episode. It offers great stories, credible acting, and the flavor of local color that is too often lost in television drama today.
Michael B. Jordan plays Vince Howard, who in his opening scene is being chased by the Dillon police. Instead of taking Vince to jail for some petty offense, they take him to see Coach Andy Taylor (Kyle Chandler), and ask Coach Taylor to help Vince make something of his life. Vince has had some brief encounters with the law, but the police know Taylor and hope that he can turn around the life of this talented athlete. (It has been established in the chase scene that Vince can probably run the 100 meter dash in 10 flat). Eyeball to eyeball, Taylor and Howard agree that Vince will report to practice at 5:45 the next day.
Jordan, who is now 23 years old, is a little too physically well-developed to play a 17 year old, but he gives a powerful performance in the opening episode and promises to be a fascinating character to watch as Friday Night Lights unfolds this season. Howard, who has appeared on the HBO drama series The Wire, has an opportunity to establish himself as an up and coming actor who may end up eventually in much bigger roles.