Initial Reactions: Gilmore Girls 7.1 — “The Long ‘Morrow”

I’m still mulling over the fantastic Palladino-less season premiere of Gilmore Girls, which to me exceeded expectations immensely and proved that Amy was right, the show can not just survive, but thrive without her.  But before I do an in-depth analysis (give me a day or three — I have four pages of notes), here are my initial ratings post from alt.tv.gilmore-girls and then my email to Hercules at AICN for her massively wrongheaded review of the episode.

First, my ratings post to atgg:

 5 out of 5, a perfect episode.

These are just my initial reactions as I’m still decompressing it in my head, but here’s a few of my initial thoughts:

1)  I read Ausiello’s misreading of the finer points of the episode at http://community.tvguide.com/thread.jspa?threadID=800005298#comments absolutely correctly.  Lauren was deliberately and marvelously underplaying.  Lorelai’s in a post-breakup depression, after all.

2)  Any accusations that the show has lost its zip are false.  The
show is still zippy.  Lorelai is not in a zippy place.  The zip comes
elsewhere until she has a zipless fuck one of these days.

3)  Loved that the crash wasn’t really Kirk’s fault, it was Taylor’s.  (PS:  Damn fool didn’t know that these cameras normally don’t come with flashbulbs for this very reason.)

4)  The car crashed into the very spot where Lor and Rory usually ate.  Had Lor and Luke not broken up and Lor just watched from the Diner, she would have died.  Also, way to make the metaphor about their breakup blatant.

5)  At the end, Luke learns the lesson of “Too little, too late.” It’s totally his fault.

Waaaaaaay more to come.   Blog-long.

  — Rob

 And then there was Herc’s insulting, totally off-base post at AICN http://www.aintitcool.com/node/30198 .  Totally pissed me off.

Subject:  Gilmore Girls and the Geek (Herc) Who Cried Shark

Date: 9-27-2006

To:  Herculesaicn@yahoo.com

From:  ShutUpRob@aol.com

Herc — you blew it. 

Gilmore Girls is *far* from over.  In fact, EW, Michael Ausiello, Kristin Veitch, a begrudging Matt Roush, and others got it right.  The show has sounded more like itself in the season premiere than it has in a couple of years.  The problem is that Lorelai is in a major depression after breaking up with the person she thought was the love of her life.  Lorelai justifiably has no zip.  Yes, she’s *supposed* to be the source of most of the zip of the show most of the time, but this was clearly, deliberately, NOT one of those times where she could be zippy and funny and Ambush Bug in drag.  Because of the nature of her story, she couldn’t possibly be the clown and Lauren played her part brilliantly and with profound, moving and very necessary sadness.  But Lorelai’s depression should not be mistaken for the show having no zip or verve, as so many critics who baldly misread the show have done in their terrible, nonsensical, even misleading reviews.

The zip — all of the amount of zip and life that the show normally has and the show has normally embodied in Lorelai, was indeed still in the show tonight — just elsewhere.  In Rory, with Bledel more energized than she’s been since the last time she understood her part in the show — which was season 3 — in Kirk and Babette, Luke whining that he can’t handle pressure.  It was an hilarious, bittersweet episode that was *better* than most episodes the Palladinos wrote last year (except for their sublime Partings and I Get a Sidekick Out of You), but that should be no surprise to anyone who actually watched season 6’s instant classic, Super Cool Party People, which was also written by tonight’s writer and the show’s new showrunner, David Rosenthal.  He has the patter down pat. 

And how about that hole in the side of the Diner being the metaphorical hole of Lor and Luke’s smashed relationship?  Shades of the structure of last season’s hole in the side of the Crap Shack.  Rosenthal has his sense of Gilmore structure, too — especially if one considers that if Lorelai had been watching the proceedings of the traffic light from her normal spot in the Diner because she was too busy making googly eyes with Luke, she would have *died.*  So breaking up with him saved her, metaphorically and literally.  Rosenthal *is* the show now, every bit as much and every bit as good at it as the Palladinos.

Herc, you’re the Geek Who Cried Shark — not to be believed on this subject.  You’re wrong about the continuing state of the best show on television and you owe the show a deep apology for bailing on it after just *one* episode that you clearly didn’t give a snowball’s chance in hell.

  Best,

  Rob Jensen,

  Straight Guy Who Loves Gilmore Girls

  shutuprob.wordpress.com

  (Also, I’m the shutuprob in Kristin’s E! Chats, but please don’t hold that against me.  😉  )

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8 Responses to “Initial Reactions: Gilmore Girls 7.1 — “The Long ‘Morrow””

  1. John Says:

    I am disappointed, but not surprised when L/L shippers complain, but the complaints by professional or semi-pros astound me.

    I had forgotten the aicn review, for good reasons I think. It really makes no sense. There was comedy – Paris was great, but the two main characters were not in a funny place so they aren’t going to be a laugh a minute. But even they have amusing banter and the raquetball (and the sports talk leading up to it) were very funny.

    To be honest, it was Matt Rousch’s review that really surprised me. He seems to view the show purely in terms of how well the L/L romance was going. I would expect better from a professional.

  2. Joe Says:

    I really enjoyed that short racketball court segment. It cracks me up for some reason. It is where Lore told two guys about still having it checked for the whole hour. Then R & L continue to chat with their ass’s on the floor. Why it seems so VERY funny … Ive not figured out. Watching GG should be fun. The boyfriends crap has (had) me overinvested in the wrong aspect of what was fun to watch. I want to see the girls have fun.

    –Joe..

  3. John Says:

    The Rory – Lorelai scenes in this episode were some of the best and most early GG we have had in a while.

    The racquetball scene and the prior scene where they discussed the sports they could do were great.

  4. Noële Filius Says:

    The show will be over when the fans stop watching not when Mr. Rosenthal says so, that’s the rule of the game in TV land. I read your previous diatribe about the Palladinos “grand scheme of things”, but let me tell you although I can appreciate your metaphorical analysis of the crash among other things, the majority of fans who sit in front of their TV are not into that kind of analytical frame of mind. We watch TV for “entertainment”, we are not watching the show because we have to write an essay on it the next day. Our brain relaxes in front of the TV. The writers should know that. Besides, I can analyze the crash situation even further. We don’t know if and when Lorelai and Rory “pop” into the Diner. They never had a set schedule for that. When Lorelai is alone she normally sits at the counter. When they are together they do not necessarily sit at one spot, I have seen them all over the place in the diner. My speculation is just as good as your metaphor and besides you don’t know if she would have “died”, she could have been seriously injured in which case it would have made for good drama in the Luke and Lorelai relationship/reconciliation, however angsty.
    Like you, I have “mulled” the “cheating with Chris” situation over and over (among many other flaws in the Palladinos writings of the show), and maybe Lorelai needs a tough life lesson like Rory had, but this situation is “unredeemable” for the Luke and Lorelai relationship. It’s a kill. It’s a betrayal and an insult to Luke of the highest degree. The message I read in that is “Luke, you were just a passing ship, you filled the gap that Jason (talk about a choice of boyfriend) left, while Christopher was unavailable for some reason, and you did not live up to my expectation, i.e. you did not worship me as I expected to be worshiped, so I am going back to the guy who does worship me, now that he is available once again and has lots of money” End of Luke and Lorelai forever. She is not crushed, she is going to be “romantically” involved with Chris, go on trips with him. There were other life lessons to be taught even involving Luke but not this. The majority of the people, including myself, who watch the show do not want to see a Chris and Lor relationship. That is not what the show has been about from the beginning.
    Keep it simple Rob. People do not watch the show to see metaphors and other literary schemes. They want to relax their brains after a long day’s work and be left with the feeling that they have been intelligently entertained and that the show is on course. This show is not on course when the Palladinos make a complete about face mid-Season 6 and turn Luke into a Jerk and Lorelai into a passive, moping, whimpering shadow of her former self. Since when a fiercely independent character like Lorelai wants to be married at all cost? Just does not make sense. People don’t just change like that, fiction or not. That is character assassination pure and simple. It’s a business Rob and the Palladinos sacrificed the show for their own selfish reasons, to hell with the followers. First of all you do not abandon a show like they did. They created Gilmore Girls with an unknown run timeframe. That in itself is a commitment and they had to see it through as long as the network was willing to air it. No, they had other ideas that took precedent. They got tired of GG? If this is the way it’s going to be with TV shows, then I would say to hell with it all. A show like that is like a long novel. The author/creator simply see it through to it’s conclusion and does not simply abandon the story to get to another one. That’s crazy and unethical and in writing it is suicidal.
    Season 7 is for a totally different following that those who stuck with the show until Season 6, however painful that season was. I used to tape because I could not stand the drivel about Lane’s band and love life, some of Paris antics with her boyfriend, troubadours, all those other stupid fillers. If the Palladinos are so brilliant, they should have concentrated on the main characters, (that the actors are paid good money to portray) and their story (that does not include Christopher who was never a regular), and little anecdotes and town quirks here and there. These shows are written for us the viewers and the viewers are now telling the writers to watch their own drivel in their ivory towers and are turning to more intelligent, stimulating shows. As to the Palladinos, I have learned my lesson. If they ask viewers to “invest” in their story, my advice is run the other way.

  5. shutuprob Says:

    These shows are written for us the viewers and the viewers are now telling the writers to watch their own drivel in their ivory towers and are turning to more intelligent, stimulating shows. As to the Palladinos, I have learned my lesson. If they ask viewers to “invest” in their story, my advice is run the other way.

    Actually, you’re wrong, Noele. The stories are written for and by the writers because they have stories that they want to tell in the ways that they want to tell them to anyone that wants to hear them in the ways that the writers want to tell them. The show is not yours, never has been, never will be. So get over your possessiveness of the show and its characters.

    Obviously, if it’s too difficult for you to “invest” in the story of Gg or any other show, then go through with your idle threat and don’t watch it. There are gazillions of shows for anti-intellectuals like you — According to Jim, a zillion CSI and Law & Order rip-offs, 2 and a Half Men, One Tree Hill. That’s fine. Go watch them. Just stop bitching when a show doesn’t go your way and you don’t understand why it doesn’t go your way even when why it goes that way is as plain as day.

    Gilmore Girls isn’t a comfort food show, it’s not the emoporn of soap opera, you’re not supposed to get any control over the storylines, as soap opera fanatics do — and derive a certain amount of unconscionable, unearned, arrogant entitlement from it. You’re not supposed to derive all meaning of what the show is about or any feelings of validation from the romantic relationships — *except* in how they pertain to the larger story of Lorelai and Rory. When Lorelai and Rory make mistakes, that’s what the story is about. If you don’t want to see lead characters make mistakes, well, heck, not even Leave It To Beaver is right for you. Go away. You’re the type of viewer that caused Arrested Development to be cancelled because in your words “if they ask viewers to ‘invest’ in their story, my advice is run the other way.” You’re the type of viewer that caused Wonderfalls to be cancelled because, in your words, “If they ask viewers to ‘invest’ in their story, my advice is run the other way.” You and other fairweather, antiintellectual viewers can’t handle anything harder to watch than the latest American Idol, so by all means, to evoke Lorelai and a Gg episode title for a moment, “Run away, little girl.”

    You don’t want to “invest” in a show, then fine. Stop watching the show and stop distorting its meaning, stop whining, stop pissing, stop moaning about things that don’t go your way when they aren’t supposed to go your way. It’ll make your life a lot easier because it’ll make your viewing habits a lot dumber.

  6. Noële Filius Says:

    Thank you ROB for the enlightenment. I feel so dumb now for not recognizing that sponsors “invest” millions of dollars in shows for the sheer gratification of writers and producers so that they can bask in the glory of their own creative greatness. What a novel concept. Oops, sorry not so novel according to you, because what the hell do I know, being so dumb, but I am not the only one because there are so many dumb people like me who watch television. Why, we just don’t deserve to even own a set. Such a waste of technology on all those dumb anti-intellectuals. All those other dumb people who kept bitching about season 6. Morons. Ignoramus, that’s what we are the whole lot of us. Not you Rob, of course. We do not deserve to share this show with the likes of you. Now I understand so much better why the writers and producers give the viewer exactly the opposite of what they told them they would give them. Why they make a story veer on itself to take a completely different direction. They are testing the smart viewers. Thanks for pointing that out Rob. I get it now. We are not smart enough to know that it is exactly how it should be.

    From your invaluable lesson I now know never to invest in any show. If I do sit in front of the TV I should just watch passively in awe of the geniuses who produce shows like GG and keep praising them silently for being so blessed with such creative minds.

    I am just one person but you could go on a crusade to enlighten millions, or even gazillions as you say, of dumb viewers like myself and show them the way to watch television shows. I am now scared to watch any show for fear of not being worthy of any of them, even the ones you said were right up my alley or right for my intellectual level, because as you have pointed out, I would not be able to recognize a good show when I see one. I am also afraid of picking up a book for fear of not being able to appreciate its true literary value.

    You should have a chronicle on the Internet or elsewhere explaining to the ignoramus of the world how to view TV shows like GG. Oh, wait, you are already doing that. How dare I be interested in such a genial show when I can’t see genius even when it is staring me in the face.

    I think initially television was invented for dumb people like me. It has definitely evolved but we did not.

    If I say that at least I always knew that Gilmore Girls is primarily about the mother/daughter relationship, would that redeem me a tiny bit in the eyes of the intellectuals who catch great metaphors right away? No, I would not think so, simply because the title is a dead giveaway therefore too easy.

    Good news, all the dumb people are now dropping off the show, leaving it to the producers, writers to write for themselves with a handful of higher intellectuals to appreciate it’s true value. I’m sure the network and the sponsors are equally thrilled. Rest assured Rob that this dumb person has at least the common sense to drop off a circle where she does not belong and now as you pointed out she is not wanted. Be sure to inform the network and sponsors about this great victory.

    I was blunt in my reply but you are just plain rude Rob, I guess that is one of the difference between anti-intellectuals and intellectuals, the latter are allowed to be rude, the former are just too dumb to know how. Having put myself in my proper place and perspective this should save you from writing anymore rude comments about me. Again, thank you for enlightening me

  7. shutuprob Says:

    Noele, I was deliberately rude because you were deliberately, knowingly rude first.

    You’ve proven everything I said about you in my previous response to you by being just as dumb. First, your allegation that viewers are leaving the show in droves is patently ridiculous. The CW actually does not cover anywhere near as large a region of the US as the WB did. In terms of analog channels, which is what counts, it covers roughly 83% of the country at best — only a modest increase from UPN’s affiliate coverage and significantly. less than the WB’s affiliate coverage — and the network is exaggerating the effect of the rest of its coverage of the country by inflating the size of its coverage by counting affiliates that are on digital cable/satellite channels only. Which doesn’t count for anything. You’ll notice that ALL the scripted former WB shows took a substantial hit in the ratings regardless of content except One Tree Hill, which was getting UPN-like bad ratings to begin with and is now following a former UPN show, ANTM, which is getting the best ratings of its life because it’s got the widest reach of its life rather than, like all former WB shows, the worst reach of its life.

    Your problem Noele, is that you’re making the logical fallacy that quality equals ratings. It does not. The continuing high quality of Gilmore Girls is substantially hamstrung by its being on a smaller network than it began with. Smallville, Supernatural and 7th Heaven, all former WB shows and the first two actually watchable, like Gg also took similar hits in the ratings while retaining their high ratings in target demos. You may not want to admit it, but Gg’s ratings are still respectably high in target demos — the only viewers that Gg lost are casual viewers that can’t find it yet because they can’t find the network yet.

    You’re also making the logical fallacy that the show is meant to make you happy — or the very teensy tiny minority of viewers like you happy. It is not. It is only supposed to tell its story in a way that they think will retain the most amount of viewers possible. They’ve succeeded in that because they’re ignoring you.

    Y’know why? Because Gg’s ratings are pretty much equal both in target demos and in aggregate ratings to what it does when American Idol is on. It’s taking similar heavy competition from House (which went into hibernation starting this week for the baseball playoffs and won’t even be in the 8pm timeslot when it returns), NCIS and the short-term reality show comparable to Idol in influence, Dancing With the Stars. Gg is actually holding its own because the majority of you Shippers are actually staying with the show because most of you (not whiny little Shipper brats like you, but the open-minded rest of Shippers) are begrudgingly admitting through gritted teeth that the show is still a great show to watch and stay invested in.

    But again, you admit that you don’t want a show that you have to invest in, fine. Again, go away. You don’t know what ratings mean, you don’t know the bad situation of the CW’s exaggerated affiliate coverage, you don’t know that the network is actually thrilled with Gg’s ratings retention. You don’t know jack shit other than that you are upset that Lorelai broke up with Luke and that someone like me is finally calling the whiny brats like you on it. Get the hell over yourself.

    Oh yeah, one more thing: Gg was never the “genial,” My-Little-Pony-flavored, Fuzzypuppylander show that you mistakenly think it is. It’s always been a prickly, melancholy wistful show built on the heartbreak of a woman who got pregnant at 16 and ran away from home with baby in tow at 17 because she needed to escape the psychological abuse of her mother and limit her infant daughter’s exposure to that same abuse. You’ve baldly misinterpreted the show by whining that it’s not the second coming of Northern Exposure like you thought it was. If you’d really like to understand where you went wrong (you don’t because, hey, you’re anti-intellectual, but let’s say for the sake of argument), you can get with the program — literally — by watching the show’s main influences, the crazy cat lady documentary, Grey Gardens (a snippet of which Lorelai was watching in one episode), the equally polarizing crazy-mother/straight-laced daughter movie Terms of Endearment, and the wistful Shakespeare comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, among ofther live and recorded dramedies. But, y’know, if you don’t want to watch any of those influences on Gg that’s fine, too, ’cause the show’s better off without non-fans like you trying to masquerade as the fans that you’re not.

  8. Noële Filius Says:

    I am only going to say one last thing Rob and then I will shut up and perhaps you should think about living up to your name too or rather change it to something more appropriate because your opinion seems to be law.

    I have read a lot of blogs on the matter of GG and the turn it has taken in Season 6 and I agreed with some of them because they reflected my feelings and I disagreed with others because they did not, but I don’t lash out at them, I just have to respect the fact that not everyone agrees with me. It does make me feel good when someone does and not so good when someone doesn’t that’s all, it’s a natural human feeling, it does not mean that these people are not entitled to their opinion even when contrary to mine. It’s “opinions” Rob, that is all and “opinions” are personal not universal and they are not carved in stone.

    You pointed out my many “problems” and I took your comments into account, I will point out one of your problems Rob and now I will be rude, you come across as a “pompous ass” in the sense that your opinion is the one that prevails and everyone who has a different opinion is a moron in your view. You should be more respectful of others if you call yourself an intellectual.

    You name shows that you think I watch and yet I never mentioned any shows in particular. You “assume” that I watch American Idol and you should not do that. I do not watch a lot of television, period. I did watch Gilmore Girls up until mid Season 6. You pointed out that shows are not written to make me happy. Point well taken and now that I know that I will watch TV in a more guarded way, with more detachment, with more respect for the writers/producers since it is their stories not mine, And if I don’t like a show then I believe that there are “off” and “switch” buttons on my TV and I will use them more often rather than as you say “whine” on the Internet.

    I never watched Northern Exposure so I never had that kind of expectation whatever it is or comparison to make. I did see and loved Terms of Endearment. I read and saw on stage Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost (had to read it as part of my English major and enjoy all of Shakespeare’s plays).

    You are right Rob, you made me realize that I am not worthy of a show like Gilmore Girls. As you pointed out it is a show way above my intellectual level and I should never have listened to the friend who incited me to watch it, because I simply do not understand what the show is all about, its intricate layers and deeper meanings and so the subject is close for me.

    I am glad that I stumbled upon your comments about this show which, right up to your last comments, have opened my eyes and enlightened me. You are right I am not a true fan and I should be ashamed of having called myself so all these years, well no more.

    You will notice that I do not disagree with you but I recognize myself for what I am, a “very limited” TV viewer, so that should please you. I thanked you for enlightening me, so that should please you too. As you say yourself, nothing we say or write will change the course of the show, for my part it was just venting, that’s what most people do or can do in these blogs.

    As to your comment that I was rude, I reread what I said and I did not use one insulting word in it. I just expressed my opinion frankly but politely. I always make sure of being respectful of others because I have seen so many insults being exchanged. I try to practice the principle: “Do unto others as you would like them do unto you” but I realize that it does not always work that way in practice.

    Continue enjoying GG and it’s wonderfully clever dialogues. I will try to find a show better suited to my intellect.

    Again thank you.

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