Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Inexplicable Gilmore Girls Revival Review: Spring (2 of 4)

Warning: Spoilers follow for the second episode of the Gilmore Girls revival. And, the image comes from The AV Club’s review of the episode.

Hey, Emily and Lorelai are in therapy! This seems like a great, adult place for them to be, and to work out their issues. Well, at least, it kind of did. Lorelai eventually gets something out of it, because the therapist makes her realize that things aren’t really OK with Luke.

However, Emily eventually leaves the sessions because she (rightly) thinks that Lorelai is just stonewalling the therapist. And while Lorelai does eventually seem to have a realization in her sessions, the portrayal of therapy isn’t great on the show, since Claudia the Therapist is later portrayed as a loon trying out for the Stars Hollow musical. It was frustrating to see the show treat the one person with training to deal with the tangled spider’s web of mother-daughter issues as a loon.

Anyway, Lorelai keeps her individual sessions private from Luke, who in turn keeps the money Richard left him to franchise his diner secret from Lorelai. As you can imagine, this whole “keeping secrets” business eventually bites them both on the ass, as Emily manages to spill the beans to them in separate, individual conversations.

At this point, let me speak for the deceased Richard Gilmore, because I don’t think the show did a good job of explaining his intentions – most likely because it was through the filter of Emily. I took the money that Richard left to Luke as a sign of confidence in the man, and I’m surprised it wasn’t portrayed like that. It wasn’t just that Richard wanted Luke to be able to provide for his daughter; it’s that he thought Luke *was the kind of man* who could.

This is a big friggin’ deal! But the show kind of glosses over this, and instead shades it as an issue of the Gilmores trying to get Luke to do something he doesn’t want to. While he doesn’t want to do it, I’d argue that because Luke is in such stasis at times, it wouldn’t be a horrible thing for him to stretch himself. His lack of growth is what causes some of the friction with Lorelai. And as Emily points out, what about people like Cesar? What about giving him an opportunity to stretch and grow too? And Zach or Lane (or both!) could be franchisees too… I just think the show too quickly dismisses this under the header of “Emily being too nosy,” instead of letting that plot thread develop.

In other business:

- Rory is still the fucking worst, in outlandish and realistic ways. You know, how she slept with (a) Chewbacca (cosplayer), and also completely bombs her interview with the online journalism outlet “beneath” her. Rory comes off as so inept in that job interview that it’s not surprising to me that she’s not getting other job opportunities. You can’t even BS a couple of story pitches? Almost any decent reporter has a couple good ideas bouncing around in their ole brainpan.

By the way, I’m guessing that the whole Chewbacca-bedding killed her drive for the Vanity Fair article, since we never hear about it again during the four-episode run. She was writing it without a contract, so that’s her choice, but even without that sleepin’ around incident, she seemed to have enough content to get something buyable to Conde Nast. Also…

- Rory rejects the headmaster’s offer to teach journalism or English at the school out-of-hand, which was depressing. This is another plot element that isn’t returned to in the show’s run, even though I ultimately found it a better idea than where they got to with Rory job prospects.

The return visit to Chilton does lead to what I’ve seen other blogs refer to as Peak Paris, which I agree with and enthusiastically embrace. Her bathroom meltdown with the empty briefcase is incredible, and the one time in the Revival that Paris / Liza Weil really just gets to let loose. Oddly, they didn’t get Chad Michael Murray to play Tristan, yet still had a brief shot of the new actor in the Revival. The scene would have been more effective if they had just started it in the bathroom, without the distracting, “Hey, that’s not really Tristan!” moment for the viewers.

- Speaking of the reunion at Chilton, the visit does cause the three most glaring omissions from the Revival, since the characters aren’t even mentioned: Louise, Madeleine and Max Medina. I hope it was simply a matter of the actors being unavailable, because all three of them could have been easily shoehorned into the reunion scenes. (I’ll have a “Top Ten” of missing characters in a future entry, since there are at least 10 noticeable ones missing for various reasons.)

- Rory’s book deal with The Crazy Lady falling through is probably the least surprising aspect of the first two episodes. Rory’s personality type never seemed suited to deal with her, although the scene with the Crazy Lady’s lawyer is fun times.

- Why didn’t Rory just ship all of her crap to one house? I forgot the explanation given for that, if there was any. It’s not like she knows a family member with a giant mansion that could accommodate all of her crap.

- Sneak peek: The third episode of the Revival is by far the worst. Karen and I were in agreement on that, although for completely different reasons.

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