Thursday, April 19, 2007

"This is important! The minotaur is speaking!": Gilmore Girls

With rumors of a shortened eighth season next year, I watched Tuesday's Gilmore Girls (back after a big long break) with a mix of mild excitement and the feeling "just let it die!". Apart from the odd episode, the show has been pretty lame and has shown little sign of improvement (although many fans would argue that the departure of Christopher was definitely a step in the right direction). Well, this episode, with its supposed reconciliation of Lorelai and Luke, had been hyped as the big game-changer of the season, and I guess it wasn't so bad.

One reason might be cause it was written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner, former Buffy scribe and also the only GG writer under the Palladinos to stick around past season six. She also wrote "I Am Kayak, Hear Me Roar", the season's other standout episode. Anyway, it was a fun slow-burner in traditional Gilmore fashion, culminating in Lorelai and Luke finally, quietly, apologizing to each other for their various relationship sins over the past year. Both parties were perhaps stirred by the examples of maturity they saw in their own children--Rory showed up with Logan to show him around the town for the Spring Fling, and April arrived from New Mexico with pierced ears, a new vocabulary and better glasses. Now, I really should mention how ridiculous it is that Logan would have not seen Stars Hollow over the two-plus years he's been dating Rory, but whatever. I guess Lorelai and Rory were estranged for a fair amount of that time, and Rory/Logan were broken up for a bit too. So I can just about allow it.

This episode reminded me how little Rory has had to do all year, however. Really, what has been her arc this year? Mostly she's been saddled with being Logan's responsible partner and maybe occasionally having some sparky dialogue with Paris, or Emily and Richard. But really, I can't remember a single significant thing that's happened to Rory all year, and that's a terrific shame. Not to beat a horse that is dead, buried, and totally decayed, but I bet Amy Sherman-Palladino's idea of bringing Jess back into the mix would have been a lot more fun. Am I right? Am I right? OK, forget I said anything. Anyway, it's a total bummer that Rory's been so deprived of cool storylines, considering how Bledel's grown as an actress, and what a good job she did in season six with considerably more interesting material. In this ep, Rory really had to start thinking about her future with Mr. Huntsburger, when she got a job offer from a paper in Providence. She turned it down, in hope of a fellowship at the New York Times, but still it seemed like she was putting off the inevitable confrontation she's going to have to make when she gets a job and Logan's plans (which, after his big dotcom bust, currently consist of "writing down ideas") don't mesh with hers.

What else to say here? I don't always enjoy the town madness episodes, especially ones dominated by Taylor (there's a certain fascinating quality to the endless speeches he can go on, but they're rarely good television), but the storyline here was just amusing enough. Taylor's autocracy at the town meetings reached an amusing level of insanity as he literally turned the whole town into a hay bale maze. Nice touches were Kirk dressed as a fairly cubist minotaur, Zack's increasing savant-ish obsession with how to solve the maze, and best of all, Luke and Taylor blindly ranting at each other, a sight that's always made me smile, but has been less and less frequent these days. Luke and Lorelai's little confrontation was very well-done, if quite long overdue (episode 17! Rosenthal certainly didn't rush to overturn the season 6 finale), and April's always great to see. I imagine we'll soon have news whether this is the final season of GG or not, so weigh in if you think it should end now, or if there's life in the old dog yet. Despite the relative quality of this episode, I'm still leaning towards putting us GG fans out of our misery.


Filipe said...

Rory supposed big storyline was her leaving college and dealing with the pressures and insecurities of post-college life. At least that was what rosenthal said in interviews. The reality is that this is the sort of stuff that is hard to write into big dramatic events, so it got mention here and there while the writes give her lamer material like Marty's return to deal with.

I agree that Logan not knowing Star Hollow was very lame, but was in continuity with the way Logan/Rory relationship has always being written. Remember that unbelievable momment on Rory's birthday party last year when Rory actually introduced Logan to her supposedly best friend Lane almost a year after they start to date?

I agree that this was one of the best episod this season, even it would sound just like a solid one around season 3, but then that's more than we got during the last year. The only thing missing were a couple of scenes with the Gilmores.

David Sims said...

Yeah, Rosenthal has really skimped on Emily/Richard this year, and their major event (Richard's heart attack) did not gel at all for me. It didn't seem like the show at all.