Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Inexplicable TV Review: Gilmore Girls, episodes 10 to OMG THE BREAKUP

Warning: Spoilers follow for some episodes of the hit new original show Gilmore Girls.

The thing about Dean from Gilmore Girls is that he’s really just a crappier version of Rider Strong from Boy Meets World. I think they kind of look alike, although Dean has a tiny bit of Fulton Reed in him too. (Side note – I didn’t realize at all that Foggy Nelson and Fulton Reed were the same guy! God, I’m a horrible TV aficionado.)

But anyway. Dean seems like the cool, tortured type who’s secretly an intellectual, but at least through THE BREAKUP, we don’t really learn that much about his background. Well, except that his mom stays home and cooks, from the episode where Rory channels Donna Reed. He seems like a nice enough guy, but pretty undeveloped as a character, and his reaction to Rory not saying “I love you” back seemed unrealistic to me. It’s fairly well-established that Rory is inexperienced when it comes to relationship things, so it’s not outlandish to me that she would freeze and need to think about that. Her reaction to her first kiss was “thank you,” after all.

THE BREAKUP episodes produce the most cringe-worthy moment of the first dozen or so episodes for me, which is Rory sucking face with Tristan. Yes, he had a humiliating breakup of his own that humanizes him slightly, but I still considered it something of a stretch that Rory would be vulnerable enough after her own breakup to have that happen.

I enjoy about 75 to 90 percent of Gilmore Girls, but the parts I don’t like are when it becomes a conventional TV show. At certain points, you can really see the seams when it comes to the writing, since the traditional TV tropes seem out of place when confronted by otherwise rational folks.

The most jarring example to me in the recent run of episodes we watched was Rory volunteering their house as a hotel for her motorcycle-riding dad. Rory is 16, she can drive, she’s dating a dude. It struck me as ludicrous that she would think it’s OK to have her dad – her mother’s ex – stay at the house for a couple days. It felt like a heavy-handed Traditional TV Plot, especially since Lorelai runs a friggin’ inn.

Other thoughts:

* Paris is a bright shining star and steals every scene that she’s in. Although I’m sure that there will be absolutely no fallout from Rory and Tristan kissing. And hold on, let me try to pick up my eyes, now that they’re done rolling out of my skull.

* Madeline and Louise kind of get the somewhat thankless role of being Gilmore Girls’ version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. However, even minor roles like theirs get some humor and savvy imbued in them, as they’re consistently taking jabs at the anti-social Paris. In the first few episodes, it seemed like Paris was a Regina George, Queen Bee type, but as the first season has gone along it has established better that she’s more of an intense, focused nerd who’s forced to socialize.

* Max Medina is still kind of oily to me. I can’t explain entirely why yet though. He just seems… meh. I don’t trust the dude.

* Luke is slowly growing on me. You see, he’s gruff, but he has a heart of gold. (What a unique concept!) However, I like that they actually had him makin’ time with his ex, instead of just turning her down and pining for Lorelai.

* Emily and Richard Gilmore are still hot fire. Richard dressing down Lorelai at the end of the episode was a Grade A “the reason you suck” speech. And I’m excited to see the next episode, which has Richard’s mother, apparently the one person in the world capable of making Emily frazzled.

* Melissa McCarthy, Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop (Emily) are still the best actors on this show by far.

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