Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Gilmore Girls: 'The Ungraduate' (6x03)

This episode sees the show further settling into the new status quo that's been created with the rift between Lorelai and Rory. The emotional intensity has been taken down a bit since the first episode, and things haven't gotten quite as dark as I thought they would. This episode was fairly bright all around, entertaining, but not particularly substanative.

The one plot line I did love was seeing Lane's band back on the show. They're my favorite supporting characters, and the only ones who can be consistently interesting without interacting with the main characters, which is good because they're really off in their own world, disconnected from the rest of the characters. The thing I really like about that plot line is how different it is from other stuff on both this show and TV in general. You usually don't see that much about creating art and seeing as how that's something very important to me, it's cool to get to see it. I think some people feel that doing a show about makign a piece of art is too insular, and a lot of complaints were leveled against the Claire art school storyline in Six Feet Under for that very reason, but I love those episodes, and I really like the way Lane's band keeps moving forward, gradually becoming more and more successful. And it seems like they're going to continue that way with their new recording money.

With Lorelai we get a relatively goofy plot, the construction stuff. It worked pretty well, but wasn't too consequential. Similar stuff went on with her meetings with Paris. The show has a problem that it's got too many peripheral characters, who don't organically fit into storylines. Michel, Paris, Sookie, Kirk and Lane all really have no connection to the main plots and with the exception of Lane, don't have too much development of their own. And the more they mess with the show's status quo, the more difficult it is to fit them in.

I missed Rory's rage a bit here, last episode had her suitably angry with her station in life, but here she seems to be relatively back to normal and happy, though I did like the echoing of the scene where she's introduced to Yale.

And then the big news at the end of the episode is Lorelai putting off the wedding. It's a generally accepted rule that to put your characters in a happy romantic relationship is a mistake, and a wedding is particularly final, used in movies and TV as an ending, with the promise of future happiness, rather than the beginning of more potential drama.

But things don't have to be that way. Six Feet Under's Nate and Brenda were a Luke and Lorelai type couple, where you know they're going to be together eventually, but what that show did was show their married life as a source of real drama and issues for the two of them, rather than as a mythical happy ending. Admittedly, they might have been a bit too harsh, I really don't see either Luke or Lorelai dying anytime soon, but the basic principle could work. Lorelai's definitely someone who would have issues in a final long term relationship, with no more outs, much like Nate had a lot of issues. And I think they could get married and still have real issues, the only thing is, I'm not so sure that the creators want to go down that route and have really wrenching issues between the two of them.

So in that case, putting off the wedding is the best dramatic choice, and could provide a big happy ending when Rory reunites with Lorelai. However, I think that won't happen until at least the season finale, and even they do solve their current argument, there's a lot of big issues between Rory and Lorelai that still need to be resolved.

1 comment:

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