Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Gilmore Girls" On The Brink...

...of losing me. I watched Tuesday night's episode and was aghast. But first, that recent NYT diatribe on the show. They're right that the show sucks now, but they get it all wrong. Virginia Heffernan says,
"That was the charm of the old show: women, fundamentally women without men, were compelled to talk as fast as they could to keep their loneliness at bay."
And this,
"Lorelai’s internal life — her desperate loneliness (come on, have any of these forgettable guys even come close to matching her?) coupled with her untenable reliance on her daughter as the one true thing in her existence — is clear to longtime viewers."
Huh? The witty, sparkling, screwball comedy-worthy banter from the show's glory years was merely a front to keep loneliness at bay? What were Rosalind Russell and Katharine Hepburn? Manic depressives?

Lorelai was desperately lonely and had a freakish dependence on her daughter? I don't know what show Heffernan was watching, but it wasn't "Gilmore Girls." I didn't see a woman who was desperately lonely because she didn't have a man. I saw a smart, intelligent, funny woman who had raised a terrific kid as a single mom and excelled in business. She was open to the possibility of romance but she wasn't sitting around waiting for a knight in shining armor.

And who says she was lonely? Both Lorelai and Rory were part of a warm, vibrant community -- surrounded by friends and coworkers and indeed an entire town that loved and respected them. Lorelai had issues with her mother and the show (initially, at least) slowly drew them back together. And her relationship with her daughter wasn't co-dependant; it was delightful. If you described a man who was supremely witty and fun and sexy, who raised a kid on his own (and a great kid, at that) and was running a successful business and poised to launch a business of his own, he would be described in one word: a catch.

Typically, the NYT probably got it wrong -- the way they did with "Battlestar: Galactica" because they simply haven't been watching "GG" all these years -- they certainly haven't been writing about it very much. And Heffernan's description of Lorelai actually sort of fits the sad wreck of a character that Ms. Gilmore has morphed into this season.

Tuesday's episode was a train wreck of stupidity, tired old storylines and behavior by Lorelai and Rory that was increasingly unpleasant. Lorelai's parents love Yale and to see them at Yale on Parent's Day would hardly be a surprise. But Lorelai can barely stand to be in their presence anymore and acted like an idiot while her parents behaved as politely as possible. (That ignores the journey Lorelai took in the first five years and the entire setup of the show where her mom was in fact hilariously controlling and Lorelai dealt with her gracefully and with humor.)

And Rory! What a pill. She acted like she couldn't bear to be in the same room with any of her coworkers at the school paper. She never goes out with them after the paper has been put to bed? They don't go drinking or have parties? Then that paper is unique among college papers. And NONE of them are her friends? Okay, but she can't even bear to have lunch with them to celebrate putting out a special edition? And no one suggests taking the damn creme brulee dessert "to go" when they have to rush back to work? I don't even like these women. But that's okay: they're not Lorelai and Rory anyway.

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