Lamenting the Gilmore Girls

Much has been written about the change in management on Gilmore Girls, a series that has been a Greenberger Family favorite since its debut. The critics have pretty much savaged the writing, noting the hip and current asides are missing, the speech pacing has slowed down and therefore the leads – Lorelei and Rory – no longer resemble themselves.

After watching last night’s episode, I realized the show’s problems run deeper. The entire point of view has altered and not for the better.

In the beginning we were introduced to Lorelei who rejected everything her parents stood for and set out on her own, sixteen and pregnant, to find her own way. Her fierce independence has been demonstrated time and again, from living in the barn behind the Inn to seeking out her dream to own and run her own Inn. It was always Lorelei and Rory first and foremost.

With time, though, Lorelei has been slowly learning to not only trust others and let them in to her life, but that to achieve her dreams she needs to accept help from others. First, Luke was there with a loan when the money to refurbish the Dragonfly Inn ran out and later when there was a fire and her father had to step in and help her with the insurance. The latter actually helped heal long-standing wounds between father and daughter and both characters benefited.

Today, though, the series has been less about independence and more about class warfare. Now that Lorelei’s first love, Christopher, has come in to money, we have the Gilmores at the top of the pyramid followed by Lorelei and Christopher and Rory and the very rich Logan. Storyline after storyline has played with this battle and it’s rather wearisome. The show even tried to show us that Lorelei was wistful for the things that weren’t during the cotillion episode – perhaps the least in character moment of the season. The loveably idiosyncratic residents of Starrs Hollow now appear less unique and more like country bumpkins. That was made clear in Tuesday’s episode with how they reacted to Christopher marrying Lorelei and later after Christopher made up the shortfall in the fund raising drive. Worse, in the teaser for next week, he calls Luke the “diner guy”.

Luke is anything but that. Luke is as fiercely independent as Lorelei has been, keeping the diner his way and again, very slowly have we seen him accept other people in his life. The parallels between him and April and Lorelei and Rory are clear and as annoying as April was as a plot device, the relationship has grown nicely.

Christopher was a screw up, one reason he and Lorelei never really stayed together. He was failure in his personal life and his professional life. Despite Richard Gilmore’s support, he continued to screw up his career. Now that he’s come into significant money, he has proven that inheriting money equals character makeover. His character arc is unrecognizable and somewhat of a series low point.

Deb observed recently that Lorelei hasn’t looked happy all season despite rejecting Luke’s re-proposal of marriage, jetting the Paris and ultimately marrying Christopher. There’s little joy in her life as she’s allowed events to carry her along as opposed to the Lorelei of the past, the one who charted her course and bulled ahead to make the absurd a reality. If anything, the show has missed a key character point in never showing us her repaying Luke the thousands of dollars because if nothing else, she wanted to be beholden to nobody.

The show’s ratings have taken a beating as people have not warmed to the new production team’s approach to the show. We’re nearing the season’s halfway point and there’s little sign they’ve taken any of the criticism to heart. It’s a real shame since this was one of the freshest shows and most original voices on prime time television for six straight years.

7 comments

  • Bob Kahan

    Thanks for summing up what I’ve been feeling all season. Watching the show has gone from a pleasurable experience to a somewhat painful one. The last couple of episodes are sitting in my DVR and I almost dread watching them.

  • Bob Kahan

    Thanks for summing up what I’ve been feeling all season. Watching the show has gone from a pleasurable experience to a somewhat painful one. The last couple of episodes are sitting in my DVR and I almost dread watching them.

  • Sarah

    I love Gilmore Girls, but this year the new writers have ruined the show for me. I just sit there watching the show wondering what happend, did this guy even watch the show? Or is he just doing to the show whatever he wants…whatever it is, I just hope that it changes. This is not the way Gilmore Girls should end.

  • I stopped watching when my sister moved out because I was no longer forced to watch. She recently moved back in and I watched a few episodes from this season. I missed a few and then all of a sudden Lorelei married Chris and Luke has a daughter. This show is spiraling into a hole that it soon won’t be able to get out of.

    -Wes

  • Tom Galloway

    Well, this already was probably the last season of the show; from what I’ve read, both Graham and Bleidel’s contracts expire this season.

    Me, I thought the show lost Rory’s character, oh, about the time she slept with Dean and completely when she hooked up with Logan. Now, having an arc where Rory hooks up with someone like Logan and is seduced by the rich side of the force (continuing Lorelei’s fears about letting Richard and Emily come into Rory’s life) is reasonable…except she needed to snap out of it a fair time before she did…and more importantly, not then get sucked back up into it. Save for the one scene where he used his contacts and skills to get the Daily News out, there’s been nothing to indicate to me why Rory would care about this cad. But then, the show has never given Rory an equal as a romantic partner.

  • Bob, I think you may be misinterpreting the Christopher storyline. His miscalculation over the bridge funds and his later line about being the “guy who people like” demonstrate to me that if anything, all that money has only accentuated his character flaws. he’s still a screw-up, still immature. As spoilers seem to indicate, I don’t think the marriage will last much past the next sweeps period. Why else build up Luke’s maturity and decisiveness through the plot with April, but to make him ready to be the man Lorelai “deserves”?

    Also, I interpret Lorelai’s recent “out-of-character” behavior–marrying Chris, nostalgia for the life she rebelled against–as perfectly in-character fall-out from the break-up with Luke. She has always been close to brain-damaged when it comes to romantic relationships, and this is no different. As I said over at Johanna’s, she seems to be over-correcting out of a skid. Rory knows it. Sookie knows it. The writers know it. By episode 13 or so, I predict Lorelai will finally know it too. Like you, I do wish the dialogue was sharper.

  • Kay

    Hey Yall, Just Wanna Say GG Totally Rocks This Season, I love the scene where Rory fights With Logan And Now They’re About To Break It Off. Season 4 was so much better, OMG this season sucks so far, holy shit!