You’ve been Gilmored…Posted: October 20, 2006
This past Sunday I acquired the sixth season of the WB (now CW, I think?) show the Gilmore Girls. I have spent the spare hours of my week devouring each of the 22 episodes, for both my sake and yours.
My infatuation with Gilmore Girls supposedly comes from my tendency (according to Psycholarry ) to “love anything if I watch/read it enough.” I just think I love the show so much because it’s so well written and acted. Which is more truthful? YOU DECIDE!
Season six is generally divided into to two story arcs. The first deals with the fallout from the end of the fifth season (Rory and Lorelai fighting, Rory quiting Yale, etc.), the second deals with fallout from a particular plot twist from about a third of the way through the season into the season finale (aptly titled ‘Partings’).
A show like Gilmore Girls relies for its success completely on the strength of its characters and its through its characters that Gilmore Girls shines. The very few characters in television are as interesting and complex as those found on this show. The executive producers (Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel) are not afraid to let their characters make bad choices or do things that are sure to infuriate fans, as long as those choices are consistent with the long term characterizations. I am amazed just how consistent the characters (especially Lorelai) have remained over the show’s six year run.
In the sixth season you see totally see the willingness of the writers to take risks come to the fore. The titular ‘Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai and Rory make several bad decisions, some of them heartbreakingly tragic. The writers and the actors always do a great job of showing you exactly how and why Rory did this or Lorelai did that. In the end the characters, no matter what they end up doing, become like you friends who’ve made terrible mistakes. You know what they did wrong, or even horrible, but you can understand why they did it and even still love them because you know deep down they’re still good people.
Another great thing about the characters on Gilmore Girls is how sympathetic even the ‘villians’ of the piece are. Even Logan’s (Rory’s main love interest in season six) dick of a father has a believable and understandable motivation towards his prickishness behavior towards his son.
Another strength of the show is it’s great supporting cast. The Palladinos are always using their eccentric, colorful supporting actors to great effect. Six season is no exception. Lane, Kirk, Sookie, and Taylor all get great moments sprinkled through out the season.
My only strong complaint about the sixth season is the plot point, mentioned above, that really changes the direction of the season. (I’m going to go ahead a SPOIL it now). In the episode ‘The Prodigal Daughter Returns’ it is revealed that Lorelai’s fiance Luke (their relationship had been building through out the show’s run) had a daughter he didn’t know about which, understandably, changed the Luke/Lorelai dynamic from then on.
My problem isn’t so much with the reveal or the events that followed it (which I will not spoil) but the inherent “HUH?” nature of it all. It seems to me that through out the fifth season and beginning of the sixth the writers had spent a lot of time showing just how well the Luke/Lorelai worked. In the previous seasons, they’d burnt through all the roadblocks to their relationship. There were now only two routes to go to create sort of drama that drives a show like Gilmore Girls. Either the characters could do something completely out of character or the writers could turn to their “Bag O’ BIG Plot Twists (TM)” and pull something out. And because of the Palladinos (above noted) drive for consistency in their characterizations they went with the later. This was, I guess, the lesser of two evils.
Another factor againist is that Lukes daughter, April, isn’t much of character. They didn’t spend much time making her interesting or appealing beyond a basic level. She was much more of a plot-cipher than a developed character.
As for the DVD itself, I was disappointed. Gilmore Girls DVD collections aren’t known for their great special features but this set contains NONE, except for a crappy trailer for the new season which contains no new footage.
Generally, a tragic as season six was, I really enjoyed it. It easily matches (and sometimes exceeds) the quality of the earlier seasons.