Friday, December 9, 2016

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Roundtable Discussion (“Spring”) [Contributors/Guest Posters: Chelsea, Kay-B, Hope, and Jaime]

Original Airdate: November 25, 2016

The girls are back — and so are our roundtable panelists! In case you missed it, some of the staff decided to cover the Gilmore Girls revival and discuss the highs and lows of each episode. You can find the roundtable discussion for “Winter” here.

For now, sit back and relax as the ladies discuss what went down in “Spring” (drama, drama, and more drama)!

What do you think of Lorelai and Emily’s therapy sessions?

Chelsea: I thought they were quite fun and true to their petty characters. They’ve always needed a platform to talk and be direct with one another and seeing them put the worst kind of effort into therapy was a joy to watch. Plus we got to see Kerry Butler and she’s always a treat.

Hope: I wish they had made more progress. I would have loved to have seen them actually work out some of their problems, because this would have been a perfect occasion for character growth. However, their interactions were rather funny. But the therapist really should have pitched in there with some conversation starters.

Kay-B: I hate that Emily quit prematurely. I really wanted them to use that time to work through a lot of their issues. Do I think they needed a therapist who was a bit more involved? Yes, but I think we also need full commitment from Emily and Lorelai. When Emily doesn't show that day, Lorelai is visibly hurt, but it also pushed Lorelai to stay and really work through others issues.

Jaime: I think I wanted more from it? One of my favorite moments in the revival was the cut from both Lorelai and Emily refusing to speak to them laughing over an old story. That felt like a classic Friday night dinner scene, and right there, that’s the heart of their relationship: they love each other but are fundamentally different people. Therapy could have been a great way to show the small, subtle connections between Lorelai and Emily, even underneath all the tension between them. I liked that Lorelai stayed in therapy on her own, but Emily leaving really kicked off her storyline of overcoming her grief on her own, and I think there was more that could have been shown there in terms of the family coming together and better understanding each other.

What’s going on with Luke and Lorelai?

Chelsea: They needed to create some sort of drama for the two of them and came up with all the weird things they could think of, I guess? I didn’t buy most of their drama but I really like watching the two interact. They’re in such a good place after a decade together that I don’t believe all of these conversations didn’t come up earlier.

Hope: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I can’t make myself believe that they’ve essentially done nothing in all these years — like talk about having kids or getting married — since they were previously talking about having kids and getting married back in seasons five and six. I get that it’s hard to pick up a series so far after it ended and to try to give it the ending you always envisioned... but just like with Rory, I think Luke and Lorelai shouldn’t have essentially been on pause for eight years.

Kay-B: I think they don’t necessarily communicate the best at times, but I think they wanted to create some sort of storyline that forced Lorelai to grow even more. From Luke’s perspective, there really wasn't much else he could do but let Lorelai leave and heal and move forward. He patiently waited for her, even though it sucked for him. Now, why he thought she would leave him perplexed me. She never made it about him — it was always about her personal journey.

Jaime: I think this is one of the two most egregious examples of the original plan for the end of the show not being adapted for an eight-year jump. I could see them being together for a year or two and mostly keeping parts of their lives separate, but it’s been nine years (more if you count their time together before the break-up). I’m less concerned about them not discussing marriage or kids (but also, really, that never came up? Ever? Kids maybe, but marriage? They were already engaged, that doesn’t make any sense); my issue is more in how separate their lives are. Limited contact with Emily, sure, but next to none at all? Luke’s refusal to have Lorelai help with April? That just doesn’t seem at all realistic for a nine-year relationship.

Why is Kirk? 

Chelsea: Oh Kirk. Bless his little, weird heart. What would Stars Hollow do without him?

Hope: So Kirk-y? The eternal question.

Kay-B: So incredible, crazy, amazing, eccentric, authentic and terrible? He is everything and every town needs a Kirk.

Jaime: Because we were in need of a phone-based car service, obviously.

What do you think of Stars Hollow? Is it good to see the town activities?

Chelsea: I love all the weird town activities and the sense of community in Gilmore Girls. It’s right up there with The Simpsons in that we care about all the random townspeople and their rich world. It’s a huge reason I fell in love with the show. I love seeing what Babette and Miss Patty are up to, and how Taylor is torturing the town.

Hope: I love Stars Hollow. I’m glad we got to see a bit of the town’s usual festivities, although sometimes it felt like multiple events going on at once (although the basket bidding was a nice callback). I would much rather have seen even more of the town than Rory’s business meetings in London. Not that they were necessarily bad, just that with only the equivalent of six episodes, I wished the narratives had as much focus as possible. For example, I wish we had seen more of Lane’s family, Mrs. Kim, and the band.

Kay-B: Stars Hollow has always been a fun, quirky town. I love how unique it is. I did not like that weird play they put on, nor did I understand it. I am also not entirely sure how people afford to live there as it seems like most people don’t get paid for their jobs.

Jaime: I love Stars Hollow. As much as I couldn’t want to see Emily, Lorelai, and Rory, I might have been even more excited to see the town. It was perfect that the very first scene in “Winter” was Lorelai giving a rundown on all the new things going on. We watch this show for the characters but the characters wouldn’t work without the setting, and we needed that immediate jump in to get the ball rolling.

How bad of a journalist is Rory, and how did she get this way? 

Chelsea: Rory is a pretty darn terrible journalist. You would have to literally do nothing to get where she is. Heck, I reported more out of Comic-Con than she’s reported of anything since we last saw her. She literally was on the campaign trail covering Barack Obama. How in the world did she not land any sort of job after that? And then she acts like she’s too good for the blogger job and doesn’t prepare anything for her meeting with the editor? REALLY?! Get over yourself and put your degree to work. She makes me so angry.

Hope: I want to know why she was broke (she was going to inherit money from both Gran and Richard at 25, and I’m sure Richard left her money when he passed away... is it all going toward her constant airfare?) I feel like Rory needed a reality check. The way she looked down on some jobs, even though she needed one, as beneath her... I think her focus is on being successful and writing pieces everyone will read, instead of on writing things she’s passionate about. She’s not the organized, hard-working, over-prepared, and perfectionistic character she used to be, and that makes me sad.

Also, this is unrelated, but have we seen her pick up a book? That seems out of character. It’s not like she has a full-time job taking up all of her time.

Kay-B: I can’t tell how bad of a journalist she is because they never let us read or hear an article! From that perspective, I was curious about her writing. Now in terms of her interview skills and interactions with clients, she was bad. I love how her old headmaster even saw some underlying things and offered her a job.

I wanted to see more from her, but again, it seemed like this wasn't her passion. More than just being terrible at interviews and getting things done, maybe that was because she didn't want to. She seemed to really lack passion for her profession and that, I believe, made her a worse journalist.

Jaime: I think her passion was really the issue there. They never gave us a solid sense of what she’s been doing for the last eight years (I mean, she had to have a real job at some point in the last eight years, right?), but I felt like they were trying to imply she was just starting to freelance full-time when she came back to Stars Hollow at the beginning of “Winter”? But any talk about her ambition felt like it came more from wanting to capitalize on the success of her one article, not a real drive to advance in her career.

And the worst part is she was so high and mighty about all of her journalistic success and she totally blew off the mere thought of doing anything else, for no good reason. Rory is a writer simply because she says she’s a writer. Again, that’s maybe something that wasn’t well-adjusted in the time since the original show: the Rory we knew was a writer, but maybe she isn’t eight years later, and that’s okay. I wish they had felt more confident in challenging who we knew Rory to be, especially given that she was a teenager when we first saw her, and, you know, people usually change over the course of sixteen years.

What did you all think of “Spring”? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to come back for the next roundtable installment soon!


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