Friday, December 2, 2016

Inexplicable Gilmore Girls Review: Is Rory secretly awful?

Warning: Spoilers follow for episodes 1 through 20 for season five of Gilmore Girls, although I’m taking a more circuitous route today than in previous entries.

I promised to write a bit more positively today, so let me do that!

Luke and Lorelai are excellent when they’re together, which varies strongly from episode to episode in season five. I didn’t find Luke’s super hurt feelings over Christopher all that believable; he knows that Emily is horrible when it comes to supporting Lorelai. So, why was he threatened by Christopher? Lorelai told him about the meetings – admittedly, very awkwardly – and their behavior toward one another was not warm at the wedding. It’s one thing if Lorelai was making puppy dog eyes, a la Rory at Logan, but she was pretty, pretty, pretty cold the entire time.

Again, I felt like I could see the seams here, the realization of the show’s staff that, “Hey, we need to stretch this thing out for 20 episodes this season! We better throw a break-up in here.” I felt similarly about Richard and Emily, in that I never really believed the reasons for their break-up to be legitimate, and thus, never bought into it as a storyline.

In other relationships, Lane and her doofus guitar boy are more entertaining than I anticipated. This goes doubly when Lane freaks out about needing to wait for marriage, and when he actually sides with her mother when it comes to Lane’s glasses. Also, Replacement Lane (as I call her) is highly entertaining, and she needs more screen time.

Likewise – Paris! She’s still so baller in all of her scenes, even when she’s taking care of the highly blah Doyle McMaster. Well, okay, it’s her Portuguese nana who’s taking care of him. Still though, I think she’s the one who gets credit for that move. Every episode she’s in, she has at least one funny line. She needs more airtime!

That’s typically my biggest complaint with Gilmore Girls – an intense focus on things I don’t care about (the latest horrible Rory boyfriend) or the outlandish Stars Hollow folks, at the expense of expanding our knowledge on some of the other, interesting side characters. The show is at its best when it stays focused on realistic, simple characters and relationships.

Final controversial thing – Is Rory a good person? Season five kind of casts a lot of doubt on this.

On one hand, well, she’s a socially-awkward and kind of maturing 20-something. We would expect her to be awful in some ways, and to have trouble dealing with attention from guys and sorting out which ones are enticing but also not horrible human beings.

But on the other hand, good lord, she’s racking up a body count in season five. While Dean is horrible and ultimately responsible for breaking up his own marriage, Rory didn’t exactly resist him at any point. Then, when she realizes the drudgery and class differences between herself and Dean, it doesn’t take her long to move on to Logan. This is fine with her even though Logan was dismissively and shitty to her friend Marty, he doesn’t apply himself, and he’s actively a prick to her while they’re casually dating. You know – pretty much all of the reasons she gave for dumping Jess.

The final straw for me was her behavior during the dinner with Emily and Richard that Logan attends. She just sits there and doesn’t say anything after Emily freaks out about the missing paperweight. It’s Lorelai(!) of all people that has to goad him into turning it over, so that the maid doesn’t get fired and/or arrested.

I’m hoping there is a moment with Rory where she realizes, “Hey, I’ve been kind of awful this year… Maybe I should make some amends.” However, I’m not anticipating that moment of clarity. She’s not Jay-Z.

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