Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gil Me No More

So I heard the other day that the New CW is cancelling Gilmore Girls.

I wasn't surprised.
And I wasn't very upset. That /did/ surprise me. After all, Gilmore Girls has been my favourite American television show for years.
But let's face it: it jumped the shark a while ago. This season has really been driving that home. For the first half of this season, 4 or 5 episodes would pile up on the Tivo before this one guy or I could be bothered to watch them; even then, it was more out of commitment to the Remembrance of Things Past* than actual pleasure.

So what went wrong?
Well, you can't blame the CW, its new network this season, which formed from the unlikely merge of the WB and UPN...
Can you blame the leaving of Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show's creator at the end of last season? Well, probably. Quite frankly a lot of the problems cropping up in the show look a lot like actors getting to much head and writers without much self-control.

The biggest single issue, I think, is (was?) the show's growing lack of respect for its viewers. Early on, the show hummed with energy; the dialogue was lighting fast and its references -- to pop culture and to more, umm, obscure areas of culture -- were just as fast.
And unexplained. The show just assumed you got it. And it assumed you could put the parts of a plot together without being babied.

Now? Hah!
The scenes of the show this season, virtually every one of every episode drag. Drag like a bad SNL skit with Derek Jeter. Too long. Too obvious. Everyone says exactly what they mean, means exactly what they say and go to almost absurd lengths to make sure you at home get it, too.
That'd be the end of oh, say, complexity and subtlety.

Concomitant with that was the lack of discipline on the part of the writers. Luke and Lorelei's romance was built up over the course of years. It was defined by its complexity and depth.
And then it was essentially over in a night and the two acted like children for a year.

...and then Lorelei took up with Christopher. Which had all the cleverness of a divorced six-year old*. And then that ended, too.
It seems a lot like a group of writers sitting around and saying "What'd be fun?" rather than "What will develop our characters?" or "What would be really interesting drama?"
"Fuck it," says they, "A marriage in Paris would be pretty!"

What really told me things were going down was Logan. Flimsiest pre-text of a character he is -- and oh, so perfect for Matt Czuchry as an actor -- they were pretty stalwart about not showing his flesh. Much to my chagrin.
Fortunately and tellingly, a recent episode went to pains to show him in bed, in his boxers, discussing (slowly, natch) his need to be dressed in front of Lorelei.

...and then it hits me. Shark jumped = the time Rory picked Logan over Marty.
Saw him nude his first time on camera. Rory always was a smart girl.

*1) Nice little season 1/2 present for you there.

*2) Another little sly joke there for you.

No comments: