Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The end of "boyfriend!"

It seems we can finally graspe the major difference in the sea change that is "Gilmore Girls" this season. For the first time ever (even with Daniel Palladino's scribing) we have a strong male perspective on the eratic and often self centered decisions of our girls. Suddenly, Logan is the most complete and understanding character on the show!

Let's start by looking at Chris and Lor's crumbling relationship. Lorelai has always been quite selfish in her choices - running from Max, leaving him the weekend of their wedding - dropping Jason the second he stood up for himself against her father... and dumping Luke because he would not move at her pace (even though he was dealing with having a new daughter he had never met!!!!). But for the first time in the show - the characters are questioning her selfish decisions.

Chris called her out for not wanting to move from Stars Hollow - for not wanting to move forward with a family that he wants to make! Lor was finally given the smackdown that was long overdue. She is completely self absorbed and not willing to let anyone be their own personality - she must reign. Yet she mocks her mother for the same attributes - they just show in different ways (Lor giggles and mocks authority - Emily revels in her upper class world - both demand control of their surroundings).

David Rosenthal is flipping the show on its back - finally giving the male audience a chance to say "STOP BEING A SPOILED B*TCH!!"

As I mentioned, Logan is the most level headed character on the show now. The scene where he finally tells Rory's friend that Marty was in Rory's life is essential to his character. Logan would not lie when asked directly about Rory and Marty - thus making a rift with Rory and her friend. Rory proceeded to rail on Logan for not lying - "How can you be mad at me for telling her the truth. It was the right thing to do." Holy crap!!!

Rory has always used her men - poor Dean and Jess went through several trying moments when professing their love for her and having her look dumb-founded back at them. Here is the first time where her boyfriend is calling her out for her decisions - and we get to side with him!!

The episode ended with more male violence from Rosenthal - he wrote the first episode which ended with Luke heading off to punch Chris. Here an all out brawl took place - fun to watch but very interesting in what is going on.

Both men are struggling to find happiness in their lives - both think Lorelai is the answer. Both guys have their own girls that have been taken away from them... and I think both want Lorelai to help them build a family of their own. Yet, I believe they both see Lor's inability to let go of her independence (did you see how upset she got when Chris insinuated that he had something to do with the greatness that is Rory?) - and overall her drive to end up hurt and alone - with only her daughter's love to comfort her.

What is really interesting about all of this is that Amy Palladino lead us here. I always enjoyed the show's ability to let their lead women make huge mistakes and allow us to witness their faults. I admired this fact - a show that loves its characters, written by a woman, about women - who continually destroy the men that come into their lives. But as the show went on - I saw a sad pattern develop. It seemed that the creator might not know how horrible the choices that her characters made really were to the men in their lives. I mean - Rory destroyed Dean's marriage... yet she continued on to take all that was left of Dean and dropped him to move on to "fun" Logan... all without any signs of true remorse or understanding of what she did to him.

Now steps in David Rosenthal - someone who obviously can mimick the style and feel of Palladino - and is dealing with the mess that she left - but now is beginning to mold a more rounded show. One where everyones decisions/choices and there effects on others can and will be pointed out to our girls.

Does this mean he is watering down the series - or making it far more 3-dimensional? You tell me.



Kern said...

Fino-That was one of the most complete and well written analyses of a show I've read in a long time. Nice work.

I think I felt these changes on some sort of a subconscious level, but I hadn't really taken the time to put it all together. (I was watching and painting at the same time last night). But I do believe that Rosenthal has injected a certain amount of testosterone into the proceedings, and I would agree that after six years of bad choices and a decided lack of regret on both of the Girls' parts, it is a refreshing change to see that their capricious dalliances actually have consequences. I loved what you said about loving Amy for allowing the girls to make mistakes to a point, but there has to be more. In my opinion, characters, whose humanity is defined by their mortal failures can only truly be well realized characters if the creator allows them to learn and as you said, they don't seem to have done much of that.

I felt that last season was basically critical mass in terms of watching both mother and daughter completely eschewing any concept of selflessness, family, or personal responsibility which really made it a struggle to watch.

Big ups to you for so brilliantly articulating what I had brewing in the back of my mind.

PS- I had some stuff churning about the fight too, but you caught a lot of the finer details. Nice work.

Sheriff Officer Greg the Bunny said...

A huge "Gilmore Gong" is in order for our fearless leader, Jed, who in some small way has made the world a better place today through his milky smooth prose.


ps: After I take out monkey slapper..I'm comming for YOU!!!!

"I want Holyfield"

Damfino said...

"after six years of bad choices and a decided lack of regret on both of the Girls' parts, it is a refreshing change to see that their capricious dalliances actually have consequences."

Man - I wish I could write like that. Alex, you have an amazing gift in writing... it makes me want to stab you in the skull with a straw and suck out the talent for my own benefit.

Thanks for the props.

One note - I am not sure Rosenthal has injected testosterone, rather he kind of has a more open mind in asking the male question of "what the f*ck?"

Sheriff - I have already collected some of the cash - good luck and may LT tear something soon.


Kern said...

Ah, gracias my good man. If I were to let anyone do any such sort of sucking of me, I'd let you cut to the head of the line.

Too true about the testosterone, though I should have clarified that this particular observation was more about things like Luke deciding to get a bit more ballsy and less passive in regard to April, and going over to punch Chris in the face, not to mention the fight last night.

It was interesting though, and maybe I'm reading too much into this: the last part of the fight when they both got up and looked at each other, did anyone get a slight twinge that there was a fleeting moment of respect between the two since they both realize the stakes and as Jed pointed out, they both know what it's like to be dicked around(literally and figuratively) by Lorelai? It was odd, for a slight second I thought they were almost maybe going to shake hands.

In a way, it reminds me of Fight Club, in which many of the latent issues leading these men to reestablish their male nature is in part because of emasculation not only by society, but in certain respects, women. The fight between Chris and Luke came across to me to fit this model. Perhaps it wasn't pent up rage, it was therapy for two men who have both suffered some sense of humiliation or loss of control under Lorelai's thumb; a primal grappling for understanding in a situation where no words could accurately suffice.

Wait, I think I just had a Tobias Funke moment...

Damfino said...

Oooh - "t was therapy for two men who have both suffered some sense of humiliation or loss of control under Lorelai's thumb" - and April's mother's thumb.

Women's thumbs in general!

Nice connection Kern. I gotta wonder if female audiences are scattering from the show because of this!

I also got the feeling that they shared a moment of respect due to the situations women have put them in... and the lack of control they have in them.

Wow - this would be fun to write about in college.

Thanks Mr. Kern my main analrapist.

Kern said...

My pleasure.

I think this kind of analysis is a lot of fun.

Speaking of Fight Club and essays, as soon as I see Munich, I am going to write an essay on the moral ambiguity of terrorism as exemplified in Fight Club, V For Vendetta, and Munich.

Why, some may ask?

I think it might be fun.

Fino did a good job of brightening an otherwise dull ass Wednesday.

Cheers for that, old friend!

krysta jo said...

This female viewer has scattered from the show due to inhumane working hours.

Thanks for the update.

Damfino said...

Excuses are like killer clowns with ice cream cones and hidden mallets - they are small - plastic - and sitting on my desk.

Do you have a small plastic killer clown offering an ice cream cone while hidding a mallet to hit you with sitting on your desk?

No - I didn't think so. That means you don't have an excuse.

Gilmore is life... live it.


onecrazylady said...

I'm not running from the show. I'm enjoying the fact that the men have finally gotten some balls and stood up to the Girls. They needed to be knocked of their high horses.

Damfino said...

YA YA!!!

Kern said...

I third that!

Strangely, I think I had gotten so used to aligning my sympathies with the Girls as they are the protaganists of the show, that I now realize looking back that I overlooked a great deal in regard to their personality flaws.

Part of me feels like Amy's potrayal of the characters allowed for them to hide those flaws in the empty spaces between spitfire dialogue and coquetteish charms.

I, for one, either didn't let myself believe that these characters had become as selfish and bratty as they had, or I just didn't realize it until the uncharacteristic split between the two last year.

If anything, I think Luke is at least becoming a much more well formed character with thoughts and feelings instead of just Lorlai's male bantering partner/romantic interest. I've really liked the direction he's taken this season, and I've really been feeling the show has picked up a lot overall.

Now Nip/Tuck...I'm nearly ready to cut it off. Someone wake me when the Shield come back.

Vic, we miss you.

Damfino said...

Spot on about Amy hiding flaws... it will be interesting to see what the Palladinos do now.

Kern said...

I am also curious to see what they do.

Is anyone else watching Studio 60? I know it's been met with a lot of critical derision and ire from the general public, but I have to tell you, from a writing standpoint, I really love it.

The banter in a strange way reminds me of vintage GG in it's rhythm and beats.

onecrazylady said...

Kern-I have been watching Studio 60. I'm also enjoying the show.

Kern said...

Yes! Thank goodness, I'm glad someone else likes it, too. I have to say, I thought Monday's ep was really great. The whole Christmas thing was funny with the debunking, the coconuts, and all. Plus how great was the thing with the New Orleans jazz musicians?

onecrazylady said...

I would agree with Monday's show. Having to make more snow because the ligts burnt the coconut shavings. I also enjoyed the jazz musicians. It definitely put me in the Christmas spirt. I must have not been paying much attention because I didn't see the romantic linking between Jordan and Danny coming. I saw the one between Matt and Harriet. I was thinking that maybe Jack and Jordan may get together.

Kern said...

Yeah, it was interesting how much nicer Jack softened towards Jordan once he found out about her pregnancy. It made me kind of wonder a little bit if there might be a Jack-Jordan-Danny triangle a-brewing.

I also loved the way Harriet kept trying to punch Matt and she kept hurting her hand.

"Abs of granite, baby!"-Matt

Ha ha.

onecrazylady said...

How is it that Harriet is unable to tell a simple joke?

Kern said...

Ha ha...that was awesome too. And the way Matt and Danny were giving her crap about it. Oh, and the spit takes! Ha ha ha!

Damfino said...

I have been watching Studio 60 too - I dug the first couple eps - then it started to suck... but the last 2 have been pretty good.

The main problem is Aaron Sorkin does not have the dramatic drive West Wing did... and some of the actors suck (Harriet was horrible casting!!!).

Perry does a great job... and I do like Peet. The new storyline is pretty good as well.

Oh - I love Steven Weber - wish he had a better character.

Kern said...

Yeah, I like the fact that Weber is in a serious role. I've really enjoyed pretty much the whole show thus far, but I thought Monday's was magic.