Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Inexplicable Gilmore Girls Review: Okay, Rory IS awful

Warning: Spoilers follow for episodes 21 and 22 for season five of Gilmore Girls, and the first four episodes of season six.

In the last entry I wrote on Gilmore Girls, I wondered aloud whether Rory might actually be a horrible human being. Well, since then, she got arrested for stealing a yacht, her loser boyfriend didn’t suffer many consequences for that action, she dropped out of Yale, and she fought with Lorelai and moved into her grandparents’ pool house.

Outside of that though, things are fine!

So, yeah. I think the show is attempting to portray Rory as going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I’m not crazy about it though, because it mostly does this by making her seem meek. The primary influence in Rory’s life to this point – Lorelai – is many things, but meek is not one of them. It therefore stretches credibility to me that Rory just kind of gets swept up by Logan, and then, has a crisis of faith when Logan’s dad tells her she’s not cut out to be a reporter.

The story arc has culminated with Rory and Lorelai being on the outs for the first time in a major way in the series’ run. Sure, they sparred over Rory liking Jess, and staying out overnight with Dean, but there hadn’t been a major blow-up like this one before.

Lorelai also (rightly, in my mind) bristles at Richard and Emily basically using Rory as a Lorelai Make-Up. Meaning, Rory is now their project for social and status gain, whether it’s pairing her up with Logan Huntzberger, getting her involved in the DAR or having her involved in their social activities now. One of the best season five scenes to me happened in the first third of the season, when Lorelai cringes as she watches how easily Rory fits into the high class life she willingly left behind.

Anyway! Some other odds and ends:

- The journalism depictions in Gilmore Girls are laughingly bad, but I wasn’t really expecting much from the show either. Logan’s dad is a newspaper executive in 2004, and he’s incredibly confident, which just makes him seem like many of the buffoonish executives around at that time.

I was a college sophomore and junior in 2004, and although the show was probably filmed in 2003, even then there was a distinctive, “Hey, we might be in trouble!” feel in the newspaper industry. There was also plenty of cost-cutting and layoffs going on before, during and after the run of Gilmore Girls, yet the paper Rory interns at has a comically large newsroom and hustle-and-bustle going on.

By the way, her internship specifically seems horribly miscast. Hollywood and entertainment industry interns might follow around the boss and fetch coffee. Journalism interns start in two gigs – Weekend reporter, covering bake sales and other low stakes shit, or calendar listings and notes sections. Meaning, compiling the large lists of group meetings and events you see in a daily newspaper. Even if Rory is just an intern, and Huntzberger Senior doesn’t think she’s going to be a great reporter, she’s still capable of producing content and copy-editing some listings.

- Logan’s awfulness has been reduced slightly in season six, as he’s a tiny bit more supportive of Rory and less Unavailable Douchebag Boyfriend, a la Jess. However, he’s still “supportive” in an extravagant way, like throwing her a Felon Party and whisking her away to New York. I suppose that if you have money, you should use it, but he mostly uses it to escape any sort of responsibility. Good times!

- Rory and Logan being awful overshadow some of the sweeter plot lines that start season six, like Luke and Lorelai gradually upgrading their house and plotting their wedding, Sookie and Jackson having the only stable relationship on the show, and the road trip with Lane’s band. And hey, Lane’s boyfriend is Zach! I finally remembered because he seems like a dumb, loveable oaf, in comparison to all of the horrible boyfriends on the show.

- Finally, Paul fucking Anka! He’s the MAN, even though he’s a dog. He makes me wish I had a dog. And the real Paul Anka, he has one of the most awesome blow-up tapes ever. “The guys get shirts! Don’t make a fucking maniac out of me. The guys get shirts!”

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