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Oy with the Poodles Already: The End of 'Gilmore Girls'

by Brian Orndorf, Filmfodder Senior Reviewer

abledel.jpgUnlike other TV programs that I've followed from the start, I didn't get in on the ground floor of "Gilmore." After spying a commercial promoting an appearance by The Bangles midway through the first season, I tuned in to spy on my number one rock crush, Susanna Hoffs. What I ended up with was a severe curiosity about this strange show where characters vomited brainy dialogue in atypical Gatling-gun fashion, located in an anti-Mayberry small town populated with the most itchy and socially constipated neighborhood characters I had ever seen. I was hopelessly hooked from the cold opening.

The continuing adventures of Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore was defined in the first six seasons by the lightening-fast wry wit of creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (along with husband Daniel). Her crystalline vision for Stars Hollow was staggering, constructing prime time dramedy that wasn't afraid to drop obscure literary and pop culture references, put alt-rock hipsters to work, and fall hard for the actors, fighting furiously to hand the cast plenty to work with in nearly every episode. In a landscape of procedural dramas, hospital-show cringing, and shameless reality muck, Sherman-Palladino desired her show to feel like home. For nine months out of the year, she achieved exactly that.

Like any television series, "Gilmore" set sail with humble beginnings. Funded in part by the Family Friendly Television Forum, the show was promoted as a softer alternative to the harder-edged programming that clings to the boob tube like a virus. Watching "Gilmore" evolve over the years, the program grew a startling personality, leaping between the fantasyland of comedy and the universal heartbreak of parenthood, shedding any sort of mild foundation to blend in staggering emotional verisimilitude -- occasionally piercing right through the heart. Even awful detours in scripting and tone (every show has them) never asphyxiated the serene, cordial intent of the show.

No matter how verbose, romantically tangled, or slapsticky the program became, a critical dramatic magnetism was always maintained by Graham and Bledel. Two actresses pitch-perfect in their river deep, mountain high roles, the girls of Gilmore always grounded their show in intelligence and open-hearted humor. Over the run, Bledel grew slowly into Rory's skin, cautiously feeling around the gracelessness of teendom (privileged teendom no less), blossoming into a young woman of anxiety but unswerving in her intellect and curiosity.

How Lauren Graham was routinely ignored by the Emmy Awards is one of Tinseltown's biggest mysteries (next to the Black Dahlia murder and Joss Whedon's popularity). The bottomlessly talented actress delivered every week as the flawlessly dressed, rarely inhaling, unlucky in love single mom. Lorelai's character arc was a knotted, often uproarious journey, with Graham acing every one-liner, unspoken desire, and hairpin scripted turn with a heavenly poise you rarely find on television anymore. It was just this level of monumentally funny, touching acting that elevated "Gilmore" every chance it could find.

For the record, my gushing, indefatigable crush on Graham only informed 10% of the preceding paragraph.

I know for some fans, saying adios to "Gilmore" isn't such a difficult task. After leaving the series last season due to a contract dispute, Palladino was replaced by semi-quack David Rosenthal (do yourself a favor and Google his backstory), who had the grueling task of making the show hum just as efficiently while also dealing with the demands of his newly empowered cast. The seventh season certainly hasn't been as thoughtful, passionate, or sharply blueprinted as previous years, but, at the end of the day, it's still "Gilmore." Like pizza, sex, and the Nintendo Wii, when it's bad, it's still pretty good.

Tuesday nights just won't be the same without Luke's wet blanket charm, Kirk's buffet of impulse, Sookie's irresistible spunk, Lane's ubercool way of the drummer, Taylor's megalomania, Paris's destructive social skills, Richard and Emily's unrelenting WASPness, Rory's plucky educational spirit, and Lorelai's coffee-stained oneness with the sprawling and tranquil Stars Hollow universe. "Gilmore Girls" was classic comfort food television that, if there's any justice in this world, will be cherished for years to come.

Posted by Rachel Cericola on May 14, 2007 5:06 PM
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They made fun of me for loving GG, but in the end I was right. Good writing appeals universally. I will miss Graham and her fantastic hotness

-- Posted by: tim at May 15, 2007 11:20 AM

I love the GGs but what CW did with them sucks! I can't believe the last episode. I was more mad at CW than the GGs though. Their ending reminded me of the bad conclusions I used to write for my essays in high school. Just throw everything together, and no build up to the end. I hated the way Lorelai and Luke got back together. It's like they ran out of ideas... but boy I'm sure if Palladino hadn't stopped writing the show would have ended with a bang!

-- Posted by: Monica at May 22, 2007 4:44 PM

gilmore girls is the best show ever. i love it i own all 6 seasons and cant wait to own the 7th one. this sucks that this show is one of the CW's most watched show and they are canceling it... this show is great. we see luke and lorelai kissing but what happeneds after that? they cant let us assume that they lived happily everafter and got married. i wanted to see their weeding. and i wasnted to see rory get engaged at least... i mean who does rory end up with now that she doesnt have logan???? come on there needs to be at least one more season so we can all find out what happends... at least the ones who care. come on CW give Gilmore Girls one more seasonnn!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by: taylor at May 30, 2007 6:35 PM

I loved Gilmore Girls too but I also feel that the last episode was anti-climatic. What about Luke and Lorelai and Rory and Logan? And how did Rory do on her 1st real job? I need more!!!!

-- Posted by: Amy at September 27, 2007 9:17 PM

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