While I decide whether or not to start a blog about me watching TV, I will write stuff here.
Today I start rewatching the fantabulous Gilmore Girls.
First, a summary: Lorelai lives in a small American town called Stars Hollow with her 15-year-old smartypants daughter, Rory. The town is full of quirky characters like Sookie (the cook at the inn where Lor works), Miss Patty, Babette, Luke. Rory gets admitted to a fancy schmancy private school which is too expensive for Lorelai to afford, so she reluctantly asks her fancy schmancy parents Emily and Richard) for help. Her parents agree on the condition that the Gilmore girls go to Friday Night Dinners at the grandparents’.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
I like a lot of things about the pilot. While it feels stuffy, as a lot of the first season does – Lorelai gets better at the outfits as seasons pass – it explains very well what the show is about, how complex some relationships in it are, the type of humor, etc. It lets you know that it has a lot of comedy in the talk but a lot of drama in the background story.
Lorelai: Please, Luke. Please, please, please.
Luke: How many cups have you had this morning?
Lor: … Five. But yours is better.
I like the fact that Luke and Lorelai being cute and banter-y is the first dialogue that we see.
I like the fact that it establishes itself as a woman-centric show, and the first flirtation that happens with the ‘regular Jack Kerouac’ is not successful, and that Lorelai’s daugher clearly comes first from that very moment. I like that the guy flirting in a diner, in the morning, is clearly denounced as out of place, laughably inappropriate.
Now we are at the Inn.
It has come to my attention that some people don’t like Michel. HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE MICHEL? I mean yes sometimes he is a jerk (okay a lot of times) but he is excellent at it. While I go on and off in thinking about characters in terms of “favorite characters to watch” and “characters I would like as people IRL” (which sometimes overlap but often don’t), my brain tends to favor characters that are fun to watch and hear and see what they do. Michel is an excellent character, and Yanic Truesdale is amazing at it.
Alexis Bledel is a baby, but..!
That scene where the gals in class are talking about what Rory (Alexis Bledel) is doing and discover she is doing homework is great. Alexis was fresh off the cradle (that sounds so weird, I apologize) when she got the role for Rory so her acting is not stellar, but she has her moments. That smile she makes when the girls say she is doing her assignment instead of painting her nail (not plural, a single nail, which is apparently what girls do in school instead of studying) is so so great. She is proud of herself, while smirking at the fact that these girls think it is beyond uncool to do homework, and are almost disappointed in her for being responsible. That smile also tells us a lot about Lorelai. She raised a kid who is not pushed by kids into not doing homework, a kid who is confident enough to not care and even fucking smirk, and she did it by herself while supporting her daughter and loving her and also not pressuring her beyond what is healthy like Mrs. Kim sometimes seems to do with Lane. It is a difficult balance, one that makes Lorelai an amazing mother, and we learn this 8 minutes into the first episode. EIGHT MINUTES! This show is all out on some respects but smiles like that are the writers’ and the actors’ subtle little things that are a lot of what makes Gilmore Girls absolute gold.
Everything is kinda white, though.
The Kims are some of the only relevant (as in, to the plot) non-white characters in the entire show. And I think their story could have been so much more nuanced and round and less stereotypical and flat and one-sided. Lane’s love of rock music clashes with her mother strict rules and religion, which is a legit thing that can happen to many immigrant kids or kids of immigrants. But the show treats it as either a joke, or a very us vs them deal in which American culture is clearly the cool one, the progressive one, while the “Other” is the one to get away from. Wouldn’t it be cool if Lane had a thing at some point for learning about Korean culture, or learn Korean music? Or, you know, struggle with the disconnect in a way that wasn’t a punchline?
Gilmore girls does a lot of things very well, but race is definitely not one of them.
An intermission to tell you about how much I love all the times when someone doesn’t understand that Lorelai is joking. It is awkward.. and I revel in awkwardness. Also, it is usually rich, uppity people who don’t understand her joking which is interesting.
I find it necessary to clear the air right away and say that I never liked him one bit and never will. He is boring, cheesy, kinda creepy, and he turns into a possessive, jealous, unreasonable, asshat who cheats on his wife. He does not evolve, either. And he is not even attractive. Jared Padalecki looks like a cross between a possum and a moose.
“If you’re gonna throw your life away, he’d better have a motorcycle!” Whenever the girls fight, I stress out. That’s all I will say for now.
Meet the (grand)parents
Emily Gilmore is love, even though she fucks up sometimes. She is love. I like, too, that while Richard is amazing and important, the line of Gilmore girls is what stands out. IT IS SO RARE IN TELEVISION THAT IT MAKES ME HAPPY OKAY LEAVE ME BE.
Emily is highly misunderstood, okay? While once in a while we get moments in which we see how hurt Emily was when Lorelai ran away, I don’t think they are enough. Imagine your 16-year-old skips town with her daughter and only visits during holidays since then? I understand Lorelai had every right to, but acknowledging how hard it must have been and how much her parents did want the best for her would be nice. Unless they were abusive parents, which there is never any indication of, Lorelai should really grow the hell up about being “controlled” when she was a teen. Lorelai was clearly a responsible teen and is a great mother, which to an extent shows that her parents raised her to be responsible, respectful, smart about her choices. While obviously very different from Lorelai, and could be a little less overwhelming with Lorelai now being, y’know, a grown ass woman, they are good parents.
That’s all for the Pilot. Other episode posts will be shorter, if I ever do Buffy, they will be longer, and sometimes they will just be bullet points of random shit I feel like sharing.