Thursday, February 23, 2006

TV: Gilmore Girls

I feel it is time to speak of Gilmore Girls. Mainly because I just watched three TiVoed episodes back-to-back. To-back.

I like Gilmore Girls. Perhaps that's the first subject I should broach. I do. I like it. I have since day one. Admittedly, I only watched on day one because of star (and future Object of My Affection -- well, past, present, and future OoMA, but future in the sense that I haven't yet actually put her picture on the sidebar in the OoMA spot) Lauren Graham. I loves me some Lauren Graham. She makes me go like this: ggrRR-RR-ROWWWwll. She maketh me to lie down in green pastures; she leadeth me beside still waters. She's smokin' hot, is my point, I guess.

What good fortune that the rest of the show should turn out to be pretty darn good, too. The first season was almost uniformly fantastic, and I was solidly hooked.

Every season after the first, though, has been playing a game of catch-up, with varying success. A lot of it has to do with the rotating cast of significant others for mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. There was that season where Rory was dating Jess -- oh, he was awful. Then there was Max for Lorelai -- he was all right, actually, but the relationship just dragged on for so long, and then ended so abruptly and poorly. And then Chris Eigeman was there for a season -- what was that all about? And now Rory's dating Logan, who is five times as obnoxious as Jess ever was. And what should have been the best relationship of the show's run has turned into one of the least successful, in my eyes, anyway: Luke and Lorelai, together at last.

From the first episode, we knew those crazy kids had to end up together. But I never expected their hook-up ultimately to be so chemistry-free. It's very rare the two characters seem to be connecting on-screen; they seem mostly to talk at each other, rather than with each other. A lot of that may have to do with rumors that the two actors don't much care for each other off-screen (or more specifically, according to most of the rumors, that she doesn't care for him). Keep that in mind next time you watch an episode. Then watch how often they kiss. This is supposedly a couple very much in love, soon to be married. But they kiss less often than Frank and Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond. Compare them to other romantic TV couples -- Sam and Diane, Monica and Chandler, frickin' Dharma and Greg. They were always smoochin' it up. But on the rare occasions when Luke and Lorelai kiss, it seems as though they are fulfilling their contractually-obligated minimum kiss requirement for the episode. Think of the episode after Lorelai asked Luke to marry her. They didn't kiss for like, half an hour afterward. They hardly touched each other. Dude, you get engaged, you think there'd be some lip-locking. I'm just sayin'.

Above and beyond the way the actors do or don't connect, the characters don't seem to like each other very much. She's always bullying him into doing some stupid, annoying thing he hates (but then, she does that to everybody, which is not nearly as endearing as the writers seem to think it is); on the other hand, he hates everything. On the recent Valentine's Day episode, the couple went on a romantic getaway to Martha's Vineyard, and Luke spent the entire time bitching and complaining. I was glad that she finally called Grumpy McFrownsalot on it, but he does that every episode. On the other other hand, if I had to live with someone who, say, made up gigantic lists of handyman work for me to do at her bed & breakfast, without pay, without asking, when I actually have my own business to run, thank you very much... I might be grumpy, too.

So, anyway, that's been bugging me. This whole season has been bugging me, really. I would say it's the least successful season of the show yet. It just seems like one long series of misssteps, from the actor who plays that jackass Logan being promoted from guest star to full-time castmember, to the sudden appearance of Luke's previously unknown 12-year-old daughter (and of all the obstacles the show has thrown in the way of Luke and Lorelai's relationship, that is the most ridiculous), to the increasingly forced and unfunny insane obsession and bitchiness of Paris, who used to be my favorite character, to the near-complete disappearances of Lane, who is allegedly Rory's best friend in the world, and Michel, who has been a primary castmember from the beginning, but who seems to appear in the show less frequently these days than former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, to, worst of all, the agonizingly drawn-out rift between Lorelai and Rory, which dragged the show down to its lowest point ever. It's not that a falling-out between the two characters was impossible, or even dramatically unsatisfying, it's how long it went on. Maybe the extended duration was meant to add to the realism of the dispute between the two, but when your show is built primarily on the relationship between mother and daughter, to have those characters not speak to each other for half a season is a mistake, plain and simple.

There have been reports that the show's creator doesn't want to continue with Gilmore Girls after this, its sixth season, and that maybe she doesn't want the show to continue at all. With the merger of the WB and UPN into one network, the CW, which will need an established success or two for next year's schedule, it seems very unlikely Gilmore Girls won't be back, but still -- I don't think that's such a terrible idea. The show may very well have run its course. It hasn't all been downhill since the first season, despite my complaints; it's had plenty of high points throughout its run -- though none really stand out from this season -- which is why I'm still watching, six years later. But the show seems to have lost its focus and momentum to the extent that, rather than continuing down wrong paths, maybe it would be best off finishing this season with a bang -- big wedding, whatever -- and just letting it end.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by