Better Than the Original: A Comprehensive Defense of A Year in the Life [Revival Spoilers]
Hi. I’m a 31 year old dude. I’m a teacher. I’ve enjoyed Gilmore Girls for several years and really liked the new episodes. I read a bunch of negative comments about them on Facebook, though, and felt compelled to put this post out in the world. I know it’s long-winded and I doubt many will read it, but it feels better than replying to random people on a dumb Facebook thread.BackgroundI watched Gilmore Girls for the first while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in 2011. My girlfriend at the time (and my wife now) was a fellow volunteer in the same city; over the course of two years, we spent our evenings and some weekends streaming each episode of Gilmore Girls. She’d watched the show when it originally aired, and, being the same age as Rory, really identified with her character. For me, the show was a warm blanket I could wrap up in and forget about speaking in a foreign language for forty-two minutes. Similarly, everyone seems to have their own personal connection with the show that they associate with the time period in which they watched. This seems to be a both a blessing and a curse for the revival; although fans have rapidly consumed the show and taken to the internet to discuss it, they seem to be judging the quality on whether or not their own personal expectations for Character A were met. That sucks, because the overall story is massive and nuanced in a way that “Team Jess” or “Team Logan” proclamations overlook.If not for my wife’s insistence, I might have given up on the show after two or three episodes; I never took WB shows very seriously for some reason, and the strength of those episodes alone wasn’t enough to shake my bias. As I continued to watch, though, I grew an appreciation for the world Amy Sherman-Palladino had created– it was nuanced, interesting, and, perhaps most importantly to me, funny. From Miss Patty declaring that she was relieved to have had so much sex earlier in her life to Kirk regaling us with tales of cat attacks to Taylor’s birth metaphor in the final episode, the show is at its best when it’s funny.ExpectationsASP’s ability to develop characters is also the reason people have very strong opinions about what they think should happen. Based on the response I’ve seen so far, people generally wanted more face time with Rory’s ex-boyfriends in order to confirm their preconceived ideas of who the best boyfriend truly was (some have suggested that the musical should have been shorter in order to accomodate more time with Jess or Logan, for example). To them, the show must have always been about these relationships alone. Their expectations apparently not having been met, many are taking to Facebook and declaring that Zach looks different, that they don’t like Rory anymore, or that they would have written things differently. Reading these initial responses, I can’t help but wonder if these people realize that conflict is what drives a good show; that seeing Rory happily married to someone she dated in high school or college and working for the New York Times would not be compelling television; and that a world in which you get to view a character like Zach’s twelve year arc and the changes he’s gone through is actually really magical and rare for a television series. Although I have a definite Jess bias, I did not feel personally invested in the continued exploration of Rory’s old boyfriends. I tried to avoid any specific expectations, other than a kind of general desire that Rory would no longer be with one of her ex-boyfriends, and a hope that the writing wouldn’t suck. As a Kirk fan, I also hoped in a general way for some hijinks from him.I was not, on any account, disappointed; in fact, from my perspective, the show was better than it had ever been. I thought Kirk’s antics with Ooober and dressing as Jack Nance’s character from Eraserhead were hilarious (as a Twin Peaks fan, I’ve long thought that certain episodes had a Lynchian influence; multiple references to his work in these new episodes suggest that it really might be the case). I liked the fact that Rory, who’d basically had the world handed to her in the first several seasons, is now, despite early success as a reporter, floundering and confused. I found the development of Luke and Lorelai’s relationship believable, and their marriage in the fourth episode much more fulfilling than the original twenty-second Season 7 resolution. I loved the fact that Kirk played such a sweet role in making it happen, legitimizing him as a character in way we’ve never before seen. I loved Emily’s development as a character. I loved seeing the people of Stars Hollow again, and, in the case of people like Taylor, seeing them engaged in the story in a way that felt like more than just a cursory tribute– there were real, engaging, funny moments that add to overall story in a way that feels genuine. I loved the ending, and I feel simultaneously excited and repulsed by the prospect that more will be added. I loved the fact that it didn’t feel like a WB show anymore– GG was always great within the parameters their previous network allowed, but it sometimes felt too sanitized and idyllic. The characters go to some dark places in these new stories and occupy that space longer than some fans seem to feel comfortable with. I understand why the Holden Caulfields of the world might want Rory to be a teenage wunderkind forever, but the anxiety of a one-night stand is actually more appropriate to her 32 year old character. The story also just feels complete for the first time, with a bow that ties it all back together. To add more might make it feel like a less symmetrical story now, if that makes any sense.For all these reasons, I’ve been blindsided by the initial negative response in the show’s Facebook feed and also here on reddit– so much so that I feel compelled to defend it.Response to common criticism”Zach looks old!” – Comments like this not only fucking suck, they’re short-sighted. I already hit on this point a little bit, but it’s incredibly rare for a show to develop a character from their teenage years into their 30s. It sort of reminds me of a metaphor Vonnegut used in Slaughterhouse Five (bear with me)– instead of appreciating the entirety of a mountain range, people tend to fixate on one specific part. Folks seem to want ASP to fixate and develop one specific piece of the mountain/character, instead of painting an entire picture. On a side note, I wonder how much the people making these comments have changed since the show originally aired. In any event, I was impressed with how the characters developed and changed, while the general tone and feel of Stars Hollow remained the same.”I don’t like Rory anymore!”: Look, I get it. She’s doing truly repulsive things. The thing is, that shouldn’t exactly surprise anyone. This isn’t the first time in the show’s narrative that Rory has slept with someone who’s already spoken for, and the only reason she felt bad about it with Dean was because she was caught. This is another one of those criticisms I suspect come from a place of being “Team Logan”– although I always thought he was kind of sleazy, there was enough ambiguity in the initial run that people could overlook or justify his sliminess in the name of him “growing as a person” or “how nice he is to Rory.” There’s no room left for that now– Logan is, and perhaps always was, a pretty despicable dude who is charming enough to talk Rory into things she wouldn’t likely otherwise do. It was always there in the previous show, but the stakes were never as high as Logan being engaged to another woman. The new show confirmed his sleaziness in a way that can no longer be defended– and folks who have been “Team Logan” for years no longer have a leg to stand on. With the exception of the affair, I liked Rory’s character in this new run more than I ever have before. It’s interesting and relatable to see a character struggle with the expectations of adulthood. Also, I can’t harp on this enough: ASP obviously intended for GG to be a continuing story, with several chapters. As the story develops, Rory changes. I read several comments where people complained that all this groundwork had already been laid for Rory to be successful– Chilton, Yale, the Obama job, etc.– as if one characteristic (“success” or “hard work”) is enough to define a person. If you watched the showing expecting Rory to read books on the bus and talk to teenage boys, obviously you were going to be disappointed.Even among people who seem to have liked the show, a consensus seems to be growing that the musical was too long. I hope I can in some way begin to turn that tide– I thought it was actually one of the most interesting and funny parts of the new episodes. I wonder how many people lobbing this criticism have seen Bunheads, ASP’s project between the old and new episodes of GG. As a thirty year old dude, I was probably outside the target demographic for a show about teenage ballerinas. All the same, it’s a great series in which ASP continued to develop as a writer. It wove dramatic dance and song sequences within the plot in a way GG never did, and I wonder if missing them made the Stars Hollow Musical feel out place or not in keeping with the tone of the original show. To me, it felt like a tool I’d seen ASP use to great effect before, and I was on board with her continued development as writer. I was also already familiar with Sutton Foster’s character in Bunheads, and I couldn’t help but wonder if she was supposed to be the same character here. I honestly laughed so hard I was crying throughout the whole thing– Taylor mouthing along the lyrics was so silly and funny in the best possible way. I did not want it to end. It was weird and funny and unique.The only part of the new episodes I thought was kind of stupid were the Life and Death Brigade scenes. Maybe I’m just being too literal, but are we really supposed to believe that Rory, Logan, and Logan’s friends spent the evening posing on the tops of various buildings in Stars Hollow? I never thought they were funny or charming– buying a business just because you have enough money to do it, or trashing a restaurant and throwing money behind you to atone for being a jerkoff, is not very compelling TV to me, and the only pleasure I took from it was that it was very obviously a “last hurrah” for Logan. Other than that, I’m very satisfied with these new episodes, and I felt compelled to put those vibes out in the world.
Hum Tv Dramas Lyrics 2015
Submitted by 4thand2
Better Than the Original: A Comprehensive Defense of A Year in the Life [Revival Spoilers]