GILMORE GIRLS IS ANNOYING AGAIN - Complications Ensue
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Sunday, November 06, 2005

I have a strange relationship with Gilmore Girls. I find the earlier seasons unwatchable. Lorelai is annoyingly childish, and the secondary characters are all so cartoonish -- and self-involved -- that I can't stand it. But last season something changed. Lorelai had an adult relationship with Luke -- ok, she was a bit childish, but in the way a human adult woman can be childish, not cartoonishly. The secondary characters -- Sookie, and that awful guy with the French accent (yeah, I know, Michel), and Paris -- were pushed back by relatively human, attractive secondary characters like Logan, and Jonathan, er, Doyle.

Now it's back to those annoying secondary characters. I haven't been watching, so the last thing I watched was where no one will tell the idiot brother-in-law (I know, TJ) that he is not actually a contractor, after he broke a big hole in the outside wall with a sledgehammer. I mean, this is the sort of plot you can't do on a sitcom anymore because it's too dumb. But here it is resurrecting itself on what is theoretically a drama. C'mon. You can do better.

I like my hour dramas to be funny. But to be funny I need them to be keenly observed. Some of the funniest moments in television were on Felicity but they came out of the truth of characters you could believe. I believed Noel's feeling of abandonment when he discovered his girlfriend was no longer "a Mac person." (Lisa had to convert to Mac before we got married.) To me, characters with funny accents and characters who are impenetrably self-centered feel like lazy writing.

So here's the thing. According to Lisa, the Gilmore Girls fan base seems to have felt that last year -- the one I liked -- was the year the show went badly off track. And now they're relieved, and tuning in again. So there is an audience for cartoonish characters in an hour drama. It does not include me, but it's a large enough audience to keep Amy Sherman-Palladino busy.

Perhaps Ms. S-P thought she was trying something new and better. But one of the things you learn quickly about TV is that once a show is up and running, it is no longer really your show, even if you are the creator and showrunner. It is the audience's show. You can try to steer it gently in a direction, hoping you pick up new audience as fast as you shed it. But corner too sharply and the thing goes off the rails. That's why tv is not a medium for personal expression. Once you've got that template, baby, you're stuck with it...

14 Comments:

"Once you've got that template, baby, you're stuck with it..."

Yes, or you get accused of jumping the shark.

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 6:51 PM  

No! Alex, no! Gilmore Girls...annoying?! Oh you cynical, cynical man! God is a woman and her name is Amy SP. She is part of a trilogy, known as the Amy, the Rory and the Lorelai! Never, never diss the Girls! Or I will get a sangoma to put a curse on your herd of goats.

By Blogger African Den, at 1:16 AM  

Okay, so then explain it to me. Did you like last season? Why don't you find Michel annoying? Etc. Enlighten me.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:36 AM  

I never watched this show except last season my tivo always recorded it for some reason. So on weekends I'd watch...and I liked it.
I started watching this season...and it felt like I was watching a whole new show...thats borring...and really irritating. So I stopped watching...and fixed my TIVO.

By Blogger CharlieDontSurf, at 9:05 PM  

I think one of the issues people have with last season that Rory regressed to a certain extent. While that's continued, the fundamental relationship between Lorelai and Rory is on the verge of repairment, and the characters of Richard and Emily are retreating from the caricatures they'd recently become and growing a bit.

I couldn't agree enough about T.J., or Kirk -- "wacky townie" antics are just tiresome. But that has been toned down a bit in the last couple of episodes; the episode you mention was the last one TJ's been shown.

A lot of it is the Season Six effect. Buffy's sixth season had people a little pissed off at the massive regression all of the characters went through. If it had been executed better, it could've been really powerful. Regardless, I think it still would've been largely unpopular.

Still, your points are well taken. I only watch the show for the Luke/Lorelai bits and any scene with Paris. During every other scene (especially ones with Logan), my eyes glaze over and I just kind of nod off. I just hope ASP can pull off the catharsis to make the past season or so's trials worth it.

By Blogger MikeyMo, at 10:29 PM  

We're only 8 or so episodes into season 6 down here, so maybe my tongue-in-cheek comment isn't totally valid, but the episodes I've seen, I've enjoyed. Yes, Michel and Kirk (especially Kirk)and some of the other "quirky" townsfolk can be tiring in that embarrassing-family-member-way where a few minutes is too many (though I find Michel quite funny and see him more as a charicature of how the US views their ex-allies, the French, than anything else). But in the end, I watch the show for the two Lorelais and their relationship/s. I'm not saying it's perfect, sure it has its weak moments just like any other show (even Joss did that awful monster growing out the old woman's head in the hamburger joint episode) but the Gilmore Girls aren't annoying - and that's why I watch it.

Alex, you're a tough judge on things - gave upon West Wing coz you didn't like the direction John Wells took it. Walked out of Spidey 2 if I remember correctly. I'm more forgiving than you, I guess. If I have a bad experience at my favourite restaurant, I don't stop going to there - guess that's just me.

By Blogger African Den, at 1:56 AM  

Ahh, you're in South Africa, aren't you? (Where the sangomas are.) May I say how much I loved South Africa when I worked there. As a nation, you have a great spirit.

Yeah, I'm tough on shows. I don't have a huge amount of time to watch shows, and I want them to move me. There's nothing that's really rocking my world right now, and I wish there were.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:01 AM  

The shows that I'm really digging this season are:
House- missed it last season, but Hugh Laurie is just hilarious.
My Name is Earl- brilliant comedy, probably the best TV's seen in a VERY long time.
The Office- from what I've heard, it wasn't very good last season. But the six or so episodes they've aired this year have been fantastic. I hope the ratings pick up.

By Blogger MikeyMo, at 5:18 PM  

there will be no more gilmore girls.. we gilmore girls fans cannot allow this to happen.. i dont wana watch another tv series except gilmore girls.. i signed a petition at this link, help me and tell everybody about this..
http://youchoose.net/pledge/save_gilmore_girls/from/xavierr

By Blogger xabistuff, at 11:42 AM  

Gimore Girls to return? read this news for more info
http://www.youchoose.net/views/news_viewer.php?nid=57453

By Blogger xabistuff, at 5:52 PM  

Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that people love because they're so adorable...and they simply don't know it. And not teen pop bunk adorable, but as in they're easy to love.Enjoi here Download Gilmore Girl Free
all eps...

By Blogger adele, at 1:33 AM  

"Gilmore Girls" is probably the best show of its kind on TV today.It's a great show, first and foremost, because it treats the viewer as an intelligent person and requires one to pay attention.Enjoi all eps Download Gilmore Girl Free

By Blogger adele, at 7:24 AM  

"Gilmore Girls" is probably the best show of its kind on TV today.It's a great show, first and foremost, because it treats the viewer as an intelligent person and requires one to pay attention.Enjoi all eps Download Gilmore Girl Free

By Blogger adele, at 7:26 AM  

I don't think that this show is annoying at all.Different people have different ways of story telling.This show is different from the others but its not an odd one.Initially when i saw this show even i felt the same.But later when i started liking this show,then i decided to download gilmore girls season collection so that i can make a fair judgment about the show.After watching it i can say that this show is a good one.

By Blogger James, at 2:49 AM  

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