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Thursday, January 27, 2005

ANOTHER AWKWARD EP

Watched this week's Gilmore Girls, where it snows in Stars Hollow. After those squirrelly Corner Gas eps, I'm wondering if everyone's off their stride after the Christmas break. It didn't feel like a GG ep so much as someone trying to write GG without really getting it. (And no, I didn't check to see if it was Amy Sherman-Palladino's name on the ep or not. She might have been exceptionally busy that week, or sick in bed, and had to hand off the later drafts to staff.) I guess it didn't help that Lorelai was acting hysterical due to snow. It's hard to watch people getting hysterical about snow if you happen to live in Montreal where it is a winter wonderland for several months in a row, and you just deal with it. It's also harder when no one in the cast seems to be dressed as if it's below freezing -- no one goes out in a low cut blouse with just a coat thrown over it, not even in Connecticut.

But the real problem seemed to be rhythm. Gilmore Girls is a triumph of free verse. Most hour dramas have very strong, obvious structure. Act one out, wow, Jack Bauer's saved Secretary Heller. Act three out (or act four, I forget), wow, there's a spy in the Counterterrorism Unit, and probably a plot to melt down every nuclear reactor in North America. Gilmore Girls is more liable to go out on some small moment between two people. And she doesn't even button the dialog -- the teaser might go out on a downbeat, "Rory...." as if you're watching a slice of life and yes, their argument will continue while you're watching commercials for Skittles.

This sort of thing is extremely hard to do well. The reason people wrote sonnets for so long, and why, now that poets mostly write free verse, almost no one reads it any more, is because structure helps you. You can abandon it if you are a superb writer and you know what you're doing, which ASP obviously does. But if you then get the flu, or just have a bad week, you wind up with a weak ep.

Meanwhile, here it is 11 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit. Face-hurts cold. If the dog will let me get away with it, I'm going to stay indoors till it warms up a bit.

1 Comments:

The episode was written by Amy's husband Daniel Palladino. Next week's episode is credited to someone else. But the week after that is episode 100, and ASP is writing that.

By Blogger Jeff, at 11:02 AM  

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