Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gilmore Girls... Is it Just Me or?

A certain segment of the internet has been very happy for the past two weeks, because "the Gilmore Girls" has become available on Netflix streaming.

I've mentioned before that, unsurprisingly to anyone who knows anything about the show, and my own pop culture proclivities, I quite like it.

I was actually out of the country during most of it's original run, so I never got into it then. But on the recommendation... actually the incessant obsessive raving... of several friends (after I mentioned I really liked "Bunheads") I binge watched all seven seasons over the course of about a month, while I was recovering from cancer.

I'm total sucker for rapid fire, witty, snappy dialogue, full of clever jokes and pop culture references. Sorkin, Tarantino, the old screwball romantic comedies... And Gilmore Girls (and Amy Sherman Palladinos next show "Bunheads") hit all those points fast, hard, and frequently.

So much so, that Gilmore Girls scripts for a single 48 minute episode were often as long as feature film scripts (generally twice as long as TV).

The show is definitely worth watching if that's the kind of thing you like.

I've personally described the Gilmore Girls family dynamics as "If you made them Irish, and even more screwed up, they'd be a hell of a lot like my family".

One thing that's been happening these past few weeks as people have rewatched, or tried to convince friends and random strangers to watch... is that lists and summaries, and memes, and gifs are being created... because I guess that's what we do now with pop culture stuff.

The most frequent comments I've seen have been:

  1. "Lorelai is really rude" -- Yes, she is. And she's often obliviously self centered when she's not stupidly martyring herself, and totally irrational and ridiculous about... lots and lots of things. Which means she is exactly like a LOT of women I've known (and some I've loved). If the writing were not so good, and if Lauren Graham didn't have such great natural humor, timing, and presence, Lorelai would be unwatchable.
  2. "Is Rory just not that great a character? Or is it that Alexis Bledel is not a very good actress?" -- Yes
  3. "Is it just me... or are the side characters... and their actors performances... way better, more fun, more likeable, and more interesting" -- No, it's not just you. Yes, they are.
  4. Is it just me, or are Emily and Richard the best characters on the show" -- No, it's not just you. Yes, they are.

    However, in large part that's because Kelly Bishop (45 years on broadway, 1 tony) and Edward Herrmann (5 emmy noms, 1 win, 40 years on broadway 2 tonys) are truly wonderful actors, delivering performances that absolutely OWN every minute they're on screen.

    If there's a scene that could make a grown man cry (and there are more than a couple)... it's a safe bet that it's an Emily or Richard scene.
  5. "Is it just me, or are seasons 6 and 7... kinda... not very good? Maybe even bad" -- No, it's not just you. Yes, they are.

    Honest to god... I didn't skip them because I'm an obsessive completionist, but you can... and really, you might be happier that way.

    The shows creator and head writer (Amy and Daniel Palladino) left the show for seasons 6 and 7, and by the end of season five they had sorta written themselves into places that would've taken really great writers to get out of. They didn't have really great writers.
  6. "Hey, isn't that that guy, who was in that thing? -- Yes, yes it is.

    Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that somehow seemingly had everyone who was famous in the mid to late 2000s through today show up in some minor role for some episode... or even for a season or two. In particular there are a lot of indy movie stars, and a lot of alternative and improv comedians.

    Oh and because of Amy and Daniel Palladinos obsessive pop culture disorder, and extensive contact list in the music business, the show has a LOT of punk, new wave, alternative, underground, and folk musicians filling minor roles as well.

    If you're a music geek, you WILL find yourself running to IMDB to see... Yep, that WAS Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon... and hey... yeah, that's Carol King in the music shop and... and...

Anyway, if you're looking for an actual family friendly show, that isn't boring, that's well written, that's funny and fun, that's sweet, that you can watch with your wife, or your kids, or your grandma...

Check it out... it's worth your time.

Oh and check out "Bunheads" as well... The show is worth watching just to see Sutton Foster (6 tony nominations 2 wins) be Sutton Foster (and Kelly Bishop be even more Kelly Bishop than she was in "Gilmore Girls").