A Meathead Watches Gilmore Girls (“Rory’s Dance” and “Forgiveness and Stuff”)

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Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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23 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    “He has thus far been portrayed as basically the perfect man. Everybody but Lorelai can see this and I boggle at the idea that we’re meant to endure and “will they or won’t they” for seasons. That though is for another day.”

    To be somewhat fair, this is a problem of romantic tension on TV in general and not necessarily Gilmore Girls. Will they or won’t they? creates banter, tension, etc. And once there the question is answered, the fun of the show goes away. Moonlighting generally seems to be most common example of this.

    The West Wing was pretty good at developing a relationship between Josh and Donna without having either one obviously pine for each other in silence (as far as I remember). Though I always liked Amy more.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

      Yeah, I was very pleased when the Big Bang Theory runners decided to stop teasing Leonard and Penny and just made them a couple so they could look at other issues – couple’s issues.Report

    • Avatar Michael M. says:

      In addition to what Saul said, Gilmore Girls makes it pretty clear that Lorelai set aside pursuing any kind of romantic relationship with anyone in favor of focusing on raising Rory herself. One might argue about how realistic it is for a person in Lorelai’s position to do that, but if you accept the premise, then it is easier to understand how Lorelai wouldn’t look at Luke and think “he’s the perfect man for me!” Max, we are asked to believe, is the first man in 16 years that has broken through the limitations Lorelai imposed upon herself, and we all know hardly anyone gets it right the first time.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    Aw, Terriers. Now I’m sad all over again.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      It’s on Netflix. Am I hearing recommendations?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Only if you want to be sad, evidently.

        I saw the first several episodes and it looked pretty good. Got distracted, but definitely going to go back and watch the rest of it.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @mike-schilling – yeah, it’s really good. It only got one season and it ends on an ambiguous note, but like the Veronica Mars finale, that ambiguous note kind of works (when you have a series about scrappy underdog [heh] PI’s, perhaps it’s fitting that not all questions are answered at the end).Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Also, I don’t think the *show* will make you sad. I just meant I was sad when it got cancelled. It had a lot of potential I thought. The leads were great, the setting was vivid. But the ratings just weren’t there, though it got plenty of critical plaudits. Consensus was that poor marketing (and possibly its name) did it no favors. Was it a show about dogs? Who knew?Report

      • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

        The ending actually ends up being perfectly ambiguous. It’s very much worth your time to watch.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        So, it’s objectively a good show?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

      @glyph

      It seems exceedingly easy to make you sad..

      Are you a character in a Russian novel?Report

  3. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    I’m uncertain as to how Sam actually feels about Emily’s passive aggressiveness. She’s my favorite character on the show, and her slyly crafted criticisms are the main reason.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

      I’m baffled by the notion that anybody should like Emily so far. Maybe she gets better later but so far, she is insufferably cruel.Report

  4. Avatar Kim says:

    Sam says “ah, testosterone filled not-quite-fighting” — I understand this.

    But what rings back in my head is Sana-chan saying, “No fighting! This is a shoujo manga!”Report

  5. Avatar Michael M. says:

    I think one of the most interesting aspects of the scenario Gilmore Girls posits is the tension — and I’d say it is more tension than “conflict,” but it leads to conflict and informs how different characters respond to conflict — created by Lorelai’s attitudes toward and concerns about Rory’s behavior. I presume that’s why the show begins with Rory being about the same age Lorelai was when Rory was born. On one hand, of course parents don’t want to see their teenage daughters get pregnant and be saddled with a baby (or face making difficult decisions about adoption or abortion.) On the other, that’s exactly what happened to Lorelai and Rory is the result. Come down too hard on Rory and Lorelai is in the difficult position of over-emphasizing the extent to which Rory’s entire existence is basically the result of a mistake, one that she doesn’t want Rory to repeat. Don’t come down hard enough and (at least in Lorelai’s worst-case-scenario imagination, if not in Rory’s) and Lorelai may become Stars Hollow’s youngest grandmother. The show interested me a lot more when I looked at the conflicts that do develop, especially between Emily and Lorelai, and the decisions Lorelai makes through that prism. It’s a tough needle to thread and it has to be in backs of everyone’s minds, because everyone knows Lorelai and Rory’s backstory.

    Maybe it resonates for me because I came of age in a time when a common line of LGBT advocacy, such as it was, was that we were all supposed to claim that of course we didn’t choose to be be gay and of course we would prefer that it wasn’t the case, but it isn’t and we just have to make the best of that. There was always something about that line that bothered me, long before I could articulate what it was. It’s not like looking in a mirror and wondering what you might look like with blue eyes instead of brown eyes, you’re talking about changing something that is so fundamental to who you are as a person and to how you relate to others that it becomes like being made to wish you were no longer you. Rory has to make peace with the idea that she was a mistake, which is a lot easier to do when your mother (who made the mistake) is hovering over you worried that you are going to make the same mistake. The tension between thinking “You shouldn’t be here” and “But I’m glad you are” is easier to resolve when you also aren’t contending with “Don’t put yourself in the same position.”Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      That’s a difficult one, in many circumstances. We usually get around it by saying things like “I just wish I’d been older and more settled when you were born. I could have been a much better parent,” ignoring the fact that the baby born five years later wouldn’t have been the same person.

      Or, suppose you’ve always known quite well that your parents wanted two kids, and then you find out that your mother had had a miscarriage before you were born. Without it, you wouldn’t ever have existed. What the hell do you do with that?Report

      • Avatar Michael M. says:

        I think one thing that is key is to make sure a child feels wanted, whatever the circumstances of their birth. There is a big difference between “unplanned” and “unwanted” and I think Gilmore Girls handles that well. It might be helpful if parents, generally, were more upfront about the circumstances surrounding birth (certainly, some are). I know the circumstances of my birth were unplanned because I was adopted as an infant, but I appreciate that my parents told me about this while I was still very young so that I could grow up accustomed to the idea, even before I necessarily understood or could think through its implications.Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    That throwaway comment about Luke being the perfect guy and everyone in Stars Hollow knows it except for Lorelai? Don’t forget that. IIRC, The writers gave themselves license to have a little bit of fun with that.Report