Tuesday, April 04, 2006

When we're not singing....

Between "Idol" and all the other Tuesday shows I follow, I should be all caught up with them by... a week from next Tuesday? Still have to get to "House" and "The Unit" and ESPN2's Barry Bonds puff piece and at least four other shows I'm blanking on now, but I got to a couple of other shows after "Idol" last night.

"Scrubs" has felt off-kilter for a while now. The entire season has been weirder than usual, but at first it was funny-weird. The last few weeks, the strangeness has been driving away the laughs. J.D.'s hissy fit about all the interns in Red Wings jerseys was bizarre even by the standards of his man-crush on Dr. Cox. On the other hand, it did beautifully set up the episode's best scene: Cox and Keith in matching outfits. Other than that bit and the shots of Dr. Cox in his happy place, this one felt labored, like the director wasn't sure where to put the camera and the editor wasn't sure where to cut the jokes and the writer didn't have a firm enough handle on the characters. But I expect they'll pull out of this soon, and it's always worth watching just for throwaways like the fact that J.D. and Turk both love Lorelai and Rory. And speaking of which...
I was TiVo'ing "Idol" and "House" downstairs while one of my upstairs VCRs recorded "Gilmore Girls" and "Scrubs." But either the VCR clock was off by a minute or "Gilmore" ran long again, because it cut off the episode in the middle of the last scene. I have no idea what Rory told Logan, which is probably better. Now I can imagine that she again told him off for being a spoiled brat whose tousled blonde hair and money and gift for bullshit doesn't compensate for his complete selfishness... and that after she did that, we somehow had enough time left to cut back to Stars Hollow, where Lorelai finally told Luke how pissed she is about the April thing, and the Anna bag thing.

At the start of the season, I complained that the Rory/Lorelai split was making me hate half the show, but now I find myself hating virtually all of it -- or, at least, any scenes involving either of our two main characters. Any scene with Mrs. Kim is gold, doubly so when she's with Zach, and I still like Lorelai and Rory when they're interacting with Richard and Emily (Lorelai's bitchface when Emily made fun of the new paintjob was hilarious). But when they're with their boyfriends or talking about their boyfriends -- which is most of the time -- I want to throw several thousand gallons of cold water on them.

(On another note, that opening scene might have been more interesting if it had aired the week after the last episode instead of several dinosaur-filled epochs later.)


Tosy And Cosh said...

I'm good with the boyfriend material, actually. The dynamics feel both real and appropriate ot the situation and the characters as we've come to know them. Lorelai having problems telling the people she loves about important things is a common thread here, and the complication they've come up with for her and Luke, while hated by many, seems perfect to me. The notion that Luke should get over it and include her is too easy--I fully believe that this guy, finding out that he was a father, would freak and want to keep tight control over that part of his life at first. And that Lorelai wouldn't know how to handle that, and wouldn't directly do so, feels right too.

As for Rory - she's a little Lorelai. She learned from her mother how to deal with men--and as teh show has shown us time and time again, Lorelai doesn't deal with relationships in a healthy way. Why should Rory?

Anonymous said...

Sad to say, this is the year that I gave up on Gilmore Girls. I just had it up to here with Rory's forced animosity toward her father (with whom she had heretofore enjoyed a very good relationship - despite Chris's ups-and-downs with Lorelai). And don't even get me started on how every boyfriend since Dean has been purposely designed to serve primarily as a wedge between Rory and Lorelai. I also hated the introduction of Lorelai's new neurotic pet, Paul Anka - whom she blathers on and on about incessantly. I love dogs but I don't enjoy hearing Lorelai's endless recountings about her dog's weird behavior (which we mostly hear about but never see).

The breaking point for me was when Jess (Jess!?! of all people) jolted Rory into going back to Yale. Of course, I wanted Rory to come back to her senses and go back to school but I wanted her to do it on her own - without any pushing or prodding from annoying, obnoxious Jess.

Whew. Rant over. Thanks for letting me vent.

La Binsk

Alan Sepinwall said...

I see what you're saying about the realism of these relationships, tosy and cosh. Rory has always had a thing for overarticulate douchebags (I have no doubt she and Tristan would've hooked up if Chad Michael Murray hadn't left to do other WB pilots), and girls/women of that age can make the same mistakes with men over and over. And I can buy Luke freaking out about April and Lorelai not knowing how to respond to this bizarre news.

But I don't watch this show for realism. Never have. It's a fantasy: two tall, gorgeous women who can eat mountains of junk food without gaining a pound, banter and drop obscure references at Mach-3, live in a Norman Rockwell town where everybody knows each other and even the kooks are harmless, endearing kooks, etc., etc., etc.

I'm not saying there can't be drama, that there can't be mistakes. But I f'ing hate what mom and daughter have become at the moment, and it's been going on so long now that I'm on the verge of following anonymous out the door. I'm locked into Idol for the duration of the season, but it's getting to the point where my upstairs VCR may be dedicated to NCIS, a show that's not daring in any way but always gives you the characters the way you know and like them. Sometimes, that's what I'm looking for.

Todd said...

The Girls have always been best when the intergenerational family conflicts are the big stories and they come with a side of relationship angst (they're worst when they do episodes where NOTHING HAPPENS, aside from kooky goings-on that don't really accomplish anything). The seasons where they muck up this formula too much are the seasons where things start to fall apart.

Obviously, season 5 had a HUGE dose of Luke and Lorelai, but the focus was on how that relationship affected the show's OTHER relationships (namely Lorelai and her daughter and Lorelai and her parents). And that provided an emotional center that kept the show working.

(I like the actress playing April, so I'm a bit more forgiving of that plotline than many.)

I continue to watch because the show is one that will, on occasion, hit an episode out of the park. It's sort of like the latter seasons of Buffy, where things weren't quite gelling like they once did, but something like "Storyteller" would come along once in a while and floor you.

This is opposed to something like Alias, which I sort of half-watch while doing more productive things out of an obligation to see how the story turns out.

Anonymous said...

Count me among the big Gilmore Girls fans who've given up on the show.

But the breaking point for me came last year, really. The whole year of Rory whining, Lorelai acting out character, Logan being smarmy - I couldn't take it. I stuck it out till the end of the year, watched the first of Season 6 and then I was done.

Tosy And Cosh said...

Alan - I see where you are coming from, although it's the drama and the tensions that have kept the show for me from being more than just about the wit and stylixation of the writing. True, the most fruitful drama has tended to stem from the interactions betwwen Lorelai and her parents in the past, and those tensions have been some of this and last season's most enjoyable. But I've found the evolution of the Luke-Lorelai relationship, especially, to be very interseting over the past two seasons (Rory and Logan less so, admittedly). That they've resisted the urge to male LL a cutesy couple, that their relationship has in large part stayed the same--she still annoys him, he's still grumpy, etc.--is welcome. Different strokes, I guess.