Archive for the ‘Gilmore Girls’ Category

Review: Gilmore Girls 7.2 — “That’s What You Get, Folks, For Makin’ Whoopee”

October 4, 2006

Which is what I think Ms. Goldberg’s parents said.

Vague-ish Recap:  Is beside the point.

Comments:

1)  If I were Chris, I’d have pressed charges for assault.  What Luke
did was totally in character and totally, at this point, unforgivable.
He needs to take an anger management class at the very least because,  well, I don’t think he should be around anyone, much less Lorelai, much less any kids he might have eventually with Lorelai, much less April with that temper.  I now fear for April.

2) Loved Rory taking on the parent role in the instant-classic
Asian-themed Scene.  Clearly, Lorelai did the whole shebang as her
attempt to wallow with Rory over Logan and it backfired into a classic
Gilmore Girls Role Reversal, with Rory playing the Mom scolding her
kid for, well, sleeping with Married!Dean or something.  Rory,
however, was perhaps a bit *too* angry, going into Emilyland in her
rant afterward.

2a) Loved Lorelai’s response, “I’m not perfect.”

2b) Loved the part of Rory’s hurt where she admitted that she was hurt because, “you didn’t tell me.”

3) *FINALLY,* the costuming is starting to show an uptick.  Loved both Lorelai’s sporty brown dress with her ever-present long-dangly
necklace and both Rory’s blue dress that she wore to her first visit
to Lane and her red shirt that she wore to her second visit to Lane.

4) Sometimes, it pays to know the Spoiler, as with Lane, I kept
saying, “Nine-Month Parasite!”

5) Loved the contrast in attitudes between Lorelai and Luke and the
situation:  Luke was constantly in denial saying, “I’m okay with it,
I’m okay with it until Liz laid it all out for him, shattering his
delusion by saying, you never really moved in, (shades of Nicole) and
you never told her about April (zing!  bullseye!).  Luke’s reaction is
to decide that he and Lor were never meant to be together — cynical,
fatalist.  Lorelai, by contrast, appears to admit to Sookie and then
to Rory that she indeed would have gone off and eloped with Luke had
she not boinked Christopher.  Which makes Rory’s laying into her about it right, if perhaps too much in a more than a little Emily-like way.  While I wish that Lorelai were stronger and had been sure that she would have stayed broken up with Luke whether she slept with Chris or not, this way, IMO, leaves the chance for reconciliation open.

6)  Calling them brats (as I’ve seen a mad fan or two call them) and then objecting to it misses the point:  they ARE brats.  Rory calls Lor on it and says, you don’t wallow by eating Chocolate Chip Daddy Dough, Liz says, you shut her out.  And Lorelai herself admits, “I’m not perfect.”  (Compare that with Lane’s desire to be perfect before she becomes a mother.)

Despite Lorelai’s clearly poor choice to use Chris as her wallow comfort food, it’s through Lorelai that This Relationship (with Luke) can be saved — ummm, *if* Luke can take some anger management classes and/or start seeing a shrink.  Right now, I don’t trust him around anyone.

7) I wonder if the shout-out to Sandra Oh is going to result in a
shout-out to Gg on Grey’s Anatomy.

Episode Grade:  A+

  — Rob

PS:  I’ll be doing some kind of essay/think piece on Gg this season sometime soon depending on what episode they’re on when I write it — in addition to my bullet reviews, which often neglect the quality of performances and quality of script *besides* the plot.

LORELAI: I am so done with plans. I am never, ever making one again.   It never works.  I spend the day obsessing over why it didn’t work and what I could’ve done differently.  I’m analyzing all my shortcomings when all I really need to be doing is vowing to never, ever make a plan ever again, which I’m doing now, having once again been the innocent victim of my own stupid plans.  God, I need some coffee.

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

September 27, 2006

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.  😉  )

Three Moons Over Stars Hollow, Take Eleventy-Seven

September 4, 2006

Just when I’m starting to get used to Three Moons Over Stuckeyville Cicely Mayberry Stars Hollow Milford, they throw yet another shameless reference at me that they’ve stolen directly from Gilmore Girls:  namely a Town Troubadour.  Okay, sure, he’s an accordion player this time, but, geez, that just compounds the sin.

It’s official:  ABC Family is desperate to have its own Gilmore Girls and Three Moons Over Milford is just as desperate to be that rip-off of Gilmore Girls as its wacky residents are to go off and do their wacky townie things. 

Note:  yeah, this means that I watched last week’s episode last night, which only shows you how much a combination of a prescription reaction and a sinus infection within two days of each other have just whammied me.  To make matters worse, Fox up and repeated the pilot of Vanished twice on Friday night rather than repeat last week’s Prison Break in the 8pm timeslot like they originally threatened to, so I’ve missed out on the second episode — at least, until they decide to marathon the first eight or ten episodes on FX in, like a month or something.  Still, grrrrrr. 

Thanks for nothing, Fox.  It isn’t as if you hadn’t already shown that episode of Vanished twice that week as it was.  And no, you’re not making me any more interested in a show I wasn’t planning on watching in the first place.  Instead, you’re making me resent having Yet Another Political Action Thriller in the vein of 24 and Prison Break shoved down my throat.  Very much a case of Fox’s programmers acting too aggressively and over-promoting a show.

The Secret to Alka-Seltzer is . . .

August 31, 2006

. . . use less water.  I’ve often made the mistake of filling an 8-oz glass full of water and then plopping Alka-Seltzer Cold-Plus into it, thus making me pee a lot more often.  But the reality is, less water — about a third of a glass — will make the Alka-Seltzer more concentrated and it’ll hit you a lot faster and a lot better than if you fill any old glass to the top and then add the tablets.

Yep, I warned y’all I had a sinus infection.  This is what happens.  You get directions on how to use Alka-Seltzer.

NOTE:  Some of my comments sections I feel turn into columns in themselves.  I’ll try to retroactively recategorize the initial post in any given thread by the gist of the comments if/when things go in a specific direction, as they did here with discussion of Lauren Graham and her newly announced guest-stint on Studio 60. 

Y’know, if there was a bit more functionality to this place . . .

August 27, 2006

2911.jpg. . . I’d add this picture of Lauren (from an issue of Hollywood Life from a couple of years ago) to my logo at the top of every page.  IMO, it’s the single funniest, sexiest picture of Graham ever published and IMO, it doesn’t just represent my luurrrrrve of All Things Graham, it so exemplifies the sense of humor that I want the blog to have I’d pay money for an autographed version of it, just like thousands of others would. But I’ve been to the original photographer’s website and he doesn’t seem to be interested in selling any of his work.  IMO, the pic should be her head shot.

PS:  ABC is counterprogramming the Emmys’ stupidity with a showing of Pirates of the Carribean.  I suggest we bloggers and posters similarly show our disgust with the Emmys by blogging about Lauren all day.  Who’s with me?

Fall 2006: My Tentative Viewing Schedule, Part 2: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

August 26, 2006

8:00pm Gilmore Girls (The CW)

8:00pm NCIS (CBS)

8:00pm House (FOX), then Standoff, should the latter show last that long

First, ain’t no way I’m not watching Gilmore Girls at time of broadcast.  Which means the cutest, warmest, most accessible Goth Chick in existence, Pauley Perette, gets taped to watch at around 11pm or so on NCIS.

Fox has made the schedule waaaaay more complicated than it has to be by putting House on at 8pm.  We know the format — it’s CSI: Doctor With Bad Attitude.  Jennifer Morrison makes a more convincing love interest for an introverted geek than Jorja Fox does.  But still, the story serves up NOTHING original.  So I’ll be watching these 8pm episodes a week or two later on USA channel Sunday late night.  Hope they go back to 9pm sooner rather than later, which would make me start watching the Mike Logan episodes of CI on USA’s late Sunday nights.

9:00pm — Veronica Mars (The CW)

9:00pm — Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Mike Logan Episodes only, NBC)

Despite UPN’s botching of the summer repeat schedule of Veronica Mars last year, I managed to become a fan of the show anyway due to three factors: 1) I went to Hearst College San Diego State University for my theater degree (stage management and dramaturgy/script analysis), 2) being a transplanted San Diegan, I went to their panel at Comic-Con in 2005 and fell in love with the cast and 3) I watched the s1 DVD in order, which resulted in my Media Center DVR piling up s2 episodes until I could get through s1.  I love the show — it’s Buffy minus all the supernatural stuff.  And with much more interest in the Joyce (Keith) as a character.  And me loves the Colantino.  So, screw you UPN, I hope none of your marketing and scheduling execs below Ostroff made it over the transom of the merger transition to the new network.  You made it more difficult for me to fall in love with this show than it had to be, but kudos to Warner Brothers for putting the DVDs in widescreen.  The problems I had with amateurish cinematography were just bad old pan-and-scan, as usual.

Pure and simple, I hate Vincent D’Onofrio’s overdone Goren.  He doesn’t work as a character.  I can see every single tick of his coming from a mile away and it’s all the more infuriating because outside of CI, D’Onofrio rocks.  (The Cell is still haunting).  Conversely, I like the hard-luck case of Mike Logan.  Chris Noth has aged *very* well and while I’m going to miss Annabella Sciorra’s twitchy Barek, who was a great foil for Logan, Julianne Nicholson is an inspired choice as her replacement.

I’ll be watching Veronica live and taping Mike Logan CI’s for later that night.

10pm — Law & Order:  Special Victims Unit (NBC)

10pm — Nip/Tuck, then The Shield (FX)

SVU is simply the best of the L&O franchises because it shows the least respect to the format, letting the characters tell the story rather than the format.  Hargitay didn’t deserve her Emmy nomination for the predictable, tired “911,” but I’m glad that Meloni got his nom for his tour de fource episode whose title escapes me right now.  OTOH, Lauren Graham isn’t even nominated in the Lead Actress Comedy category, so all the emmy nominations are tainted by this year’s Emmy stupidity.  Make of it what you will.

I’m addicted to Nip/Tuck’s twisted sense of humor even when I’m hiding my eyes at the graphic, gory surgery scenes.  Walsh and MacMahon were inspired casting all the way and I seem to be only one of three people who loved the finale of The Carver storyline.  Can’t wait for season 4.  The Shield, meanwhile, just keeps flooring me with excellent performances from its entire cast, Chiklis, Pounder, Karnes, and the criminally underappreciated Walton Goggins as the hapless doofus, Shane.  Best cop show on television right now.

So I’ll be watching SVU live and taping Nip/Tuck and The Shield, which often run-over and are easier to program on my Media Center DVR on my computer than they would be on a regular VCR.  Note, too, that in most cases, my choice to watch live versus watch taped has little to do how feel about the one show compared to the other.  It’s just which one is more convenient to tape.  OTOH, you should be able to glean my preferences among all the shows taken as a whole anyway.

Style-Guide Questions

August 25, 2006

1)  What type of writing style does my blog and usent writing seem to resemble the most at this point?  Critic, reviewer, commentator?  Whatever style I am, what books do you think I should look into to focus my style even more while at the same time keeping it conversational and as approachable as I possibly can?

2)  Does anyone know what sort of style guide Steve Grimm may have used when he created The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5 at http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/lurker.html way back when when that show started?  Newsfeeds like the new gilmoregirlsnews.com are fine, but the webshrines, well, when you’ve seen one webshrine, you’ve seen ’em all.  So I’m thinking more in a dramaturgical direction with Gg and want to know how Grimm did it.  He had the advantage of starting the site early on and following B5 all the way through its development and execution whereas Gg has existed for 6 years already with, really, little in the way of dramaturgical analysis beyond the best reviewers on atgg and certain message boards other than TwoP.  Other than that, I’ll have to rely on my own dramaturgy books and past projects from my classes, but I’m still wondering if there’s a style guide or two that I could use to move beyond the usual Watcher’s Guide-style of superficiality that hamstrings the Buffy and Angel guides.

The New Dosage

August 25, 2006

Through collaboration with the doctors, we were able to halve my dosage of Geodon.  I’m wary of the placebo effect, but there were times during my overdose on the Geodon where I was lucid enough to know that I was in the place where the drug was working.  Similarly, but warily, I’m in a *much* better, non-Prozackywackyshinyhappypeople place with the halved dosage, but then again, I’m also still coming down from the non-life-threatening overdose of the med earlier in the week.

It’s interesting, playing this trial-and-error game and never being entirely sure of anything, but one thing that I do know is that I thought that medication would cut down on my writing, take away my interest and ability in my art like movies and TV always show happens to mentally ill artists who get drugged out.  Instead, I feel more unleashed, more honest, and more conversational.  Might be the placebo effect of the new dosage, might not.  OTOH, it might even be the fun of learning how to use this here blog — any way you cut it, being medicated is more than it’s cracked up to be for, well, at least me.

Side-note:  I’ll fully admit that this may be me identifying with Lorelai a bit too much, but anybody want to discuss a theory that Lorelai might have Type 2 Bipolar Disorder — yes, the one I have.  To recap:  Bipolar 2 symptoms are mixed — there’s no rollercoaster of mood swings except when you’d expect “normal” people to have them (birth, marriage, bat mitzvah, third viewing of Titanic).  Instead, those with Bipolar 2 have mixed symptoms.  Remember when Lorelai was repeating the mantra to herself “fight or flight fight or flight” when going to Luke to explain to him why they had to enforce Rory’s own self-imposed boundaries not to talk to her?  Well, IMO, in TYpe 2 Bipolar, it’s not fight OR flight — it’s fight AND flight.  Both are stuck on in equal measure, and so you’re in constant conflict with your own instincts, not knowing which of your internal critical voices to believe because they’re telling you diametrically opposite things.  I think Lorelai’s exactly like that, which explains her constant ADD-like fidgetyness and why she BOTH fought Luke and flew away from him in the final scene of Partings.  I’m not saying I’m right or anything, just opening this one up for discussion.  What y’all think?

My Problem With the Lorelai-Luke Shippers

August 25, 2006

Part 2 of my fall schedule review will come later, but I needed to put this exchange that I had with a good friend of mine from the atgg newsgroup into the blog for further discussion:
“Rob Jensen” <ShutUpRob@aol.com> wrote in message
news:rq2te2l23umd96dbsvg80kq2qij95e0jm9@4ax.com
Okay, I wanted to untie the gordian know of thread drift and
microarguments about April’s DNA testing and pose this:

Writers often write in shorthand because they know that they only 
have limited amount of space to write their stories.  More important
stories get more screentime and/or are written more realistically,
less important stories get less screen time and/or are written less
realistically.  It works the same way with characters — the more
important characters, like Lorelai, are three-dimensional and capable
of making even infuriating mistakes, the less important characters,
like Kirk, are more cartoonish but still capable of making mistakes
(and indeed, making mistakes is part of that kind of cartoonish
Harlequin’s function).  So my question is this:  How do we get, say,
the ‘shippers to allow the show the space to show Lorelai making a
monumental mistake — because IMO, that monumental mistake
(boinking Christopher), just minutes after her greatest triumph
(walking out on the increasingly asshatted Luke) is just a triumphant
illustration of the complexity of human nature?  I’m stumped by the
‘shippers’ inability to see past the ‘ships and see into the show’s
real strengths and meanings, such as Partings.  So what can we
do?  What can I do as a poster?  (And “Be less arrogant” isn’t 
helpful as, IMO, explaining when the other person is clearly wrong
while respecting his right to be wrong is going to be considered rude
and arrogant by the other person no matter what you do.)  I’m
talking more generally — what can we do to meet the ‘shippers head
on and have them stop attacking Lauren and David and Amy and all 
the rest — as the show certainly has several more years left in it
given what a rich foundation Amy built for it?
 — Rob

My friend Sharpe and I responded in the following exchange, his statements with the > and mine without.

>The simple answer is there is nothing you or anyone else can do to
>convince them otherwise.
>
>I agree with you that the Lorelai / Luke storyline is less important
>than the Lorelai / Rory story or even the Lorelai / Emily story. 
>However, others feel L/L is the core of the show and I don’t think it
>it is possible to prove them wrong, even if ASP joined the group and >said so.

Now that’s a *great* observation of the ‘shippers’ mentality.  And IMO, it’s worth pointing that it doesn’t even matter whether or not ASP joins the group, she’s always maintained in print that the show is first  and foremost about Lorelai and Rory. 

DeFacto, the interpretations of ALL Lor-Luke ‘shippers who ignore the lesser significance of the Lor-Luke ‘ship to the Lor-Rory ‘ship are therefore categorically, manifestly wrong on all levels.  It’s one of those things where it literally really is there in black and white, in many places.

>You can point to all the evidence you want and they will answer that 
>the L/Lstory is the one that they see as most important and they are
>right that it is the most important – to them.

And I could say that a lightbulb is a squid.  The blatant
misinterpretation of the show by the ‘shippers is the same exact thing, IMO — nonsense — or, if you will, surrealism, except surrealism without even its mischievous point.

>If this were a simple factual question like which story gets the most 
>screen time you could in theory add everything up and come to an
>objective answer. If the question is what story is most important,
>that is personal opinion.  Even the shows creator can only say what she views as most important.

I cannot disagree more — the show’s creator is the show’s owner in every moral and ethical sense and her intentions should not be so cavalierly disavowed, dismissed and discarded by the overly hormonal gaggle of teenage girls and the like who have baldly, willfully misinterpreted the show for the past year and a half.  And misinterpreted it at the beginning of season four.  And misinterpreted it at the end of season 2.  IMO, and I’m going to be as impolitic about it as I possibly can (and I know that sounds redundant coming from me), but they’ve got to get their heads out of their asses and accept the creator’s vision or they have no chance whatsoever of understanding the show. 

And, IMO, this is true of any movie or show that is not made in a
deliberately open-ended surrealistic mode (ie: Monty Python, The
Prisoner, Arrested Development).  We have plenty of counter-examples to show that the directors/creators’ rights to the moral and ethical intent of even *open-ended* works begins and ends with them.  Baz Luhrmann, for instance, stated outright in his commentary tracks for his Red Curtain trilogy that the purpose of these movies was NOT to tell the stories, it was show how these stories are worthy of contemporization using modern filmmaking techniques and styles.  Now, I loved the Christian and Satine Romance in Moulin Rouge!, but the Christian and Satine Romance was explicitly, by the creator’s own words, not the point of the story, not the focus of the story, even though it was the main plot.  Who am I or any fan to argue with the creator’s actual intent?  IMO, it boils down to this: the sheer arrogance by the Lor-Luke ‘shippers who think they’re entitled to reinterpret the show in violation of Amy and Dan’s intent — that, to me, is artistic perversion and artistic vandalism that’s not worth even an iota of respect.

  — Rob

Note:  I lightly edited some of my statements above for the sake of clarity and/or emphasis.

A Netiquette Question

August 25, 2006

Okay, everyone on alt.tv.gilmore-girls knows how long and involved my bullet-pointed critiques of the show can get.  So rather than reinvent the wheel each time, I was thinking that when the new episodes appear, I would post the review in the four main forum that I post to, this blog (of course), alt.tv.gilmore-girls (a given), the E! Boards and GoldDerby.  I don’t mean it to be spam or astroturf and I would participate in the conversations that posting the same item in each forum would provoke, it just seems like reinventing the wheel for each forum would be insane, particularly since the fans in each forum don’t seem to overlap much (although the ones from here are coming mostly from E’s Row 1 Regulars).  I’d also add the URL for this here blog, but remain a poster in each of the forum.  Is this kosher?  Does it skirt around the rules of astroturf and spam by being posts that I’ll fully intend to (and likely will) participate in convesation in each place I post it?  Do I fully disclose that I post as a blog and anyone that wants to can also post here (even the same entry as elsewhere, as long as it’s intelligent, of course 😉  )   If it’s not a good thing, I’ll limit my gg reviews to just here and atgg,  but your input would be greatly appreciated.