There was an interesting interview with Amy Sherman-Palladino in the Sunday New York Times, which I only got around to reading today. Early the interview, Virginia Heffernan asked ASP about last season:
Last season, some people thought the show was off its game. What happened?
And I was all like, huh? Because I didn't hear anyone saying anything like that at all. Most people I know who watch Gilmore Girls thought last season was great. My own opinion is that the second half of the season, and the last five episodes in particular, was better than the show had ever been. There were so many incredible moments in those last five episodes: Richard and Floyd Stiles golfing together and agreeing to screw Jason; Lane visiting her old house in the middle of the night to watch her mother sleep; Rory's categorical rejection of Jess's offer to run off with him, which, astonishingly, made me feel sorry for a character I'd hated ever since his first appearance; Lorelai's argument with Rory about her affair with Dean; and, best of all, Luke and Lorelai dancing together at Liz and T.J.'s wedding, which was perhaps the greatest single thing I saw on TV all last year. Yes, even better than their kisses on the porch of the Dragonfly Inn in the next episode, though that was pretty great too.
The only thing I can imagine people not liking about last season was that Jess wasn't in it very much, and that he didn't come off particularly well when he did appear. Personally, I think Jess was a good-for-nothing loser in desperate need of a prolonged series of slaps upside the head, but I suppose that if you liked Jess and wanted to see him and Rory as a couple (I was going to say "were emotionally invested in his relationship with Rory" until I remembered that raw, seething hatred is also an emotion), then you might have been disappointed by the fourth season. But people like that are wrong. Jess was a punk and Rory's well rid of him.
Now, if Heffernan had said that about this season, I might have agreed. Don't get me wrong, I still really like it, but the first half of the current season hasn't really lived up to the promise of the second half of the last. Part of it is that I've watched enough television to know that happy relationships usually don't last very long, so there's a certain sense of imminent disaster looming over Luke and Lorelai. I've got my fingers crossed, but I can't help feel worried that it's all going to come tumbling down any minute now, especially now that Christopher may be back in the picture. Also, I'm not particularly interested in Rory's pas de deux with Logan. I like Logan as a character—his Hildy Johnson routine in "Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant" was hysterical, as was the stunt he pulled in Rory's philosophy class—but I don't like him as a romantic interest for Rory. On the other hand, Rory exhibits a certain tendency toward humorless drudge-ism—remember that campus tour she gave in "But Not As Cute As Pushkin"? Man, I would have run away too, and I have an exceedingly high tolerance for pointless facts and worthless information—so spending time with someone less repressed than she is might be good for her. But he could do that as a friend, like Lane used to.
But despite all that, it's still my favorite hour-long show, and there's still plenty of stuff I like about it. I've enjoyed seeing more of Richard and Emily's relationship. They were so cute together last night with that dog! I wouldn't necessarily say I want them to continue having marital troubles, but it has energized their characters and provided a showcase for Kelly Bishop to strut her stuff, which is a good thing. And seeing Luke and Lorelai together has been fun, my concerns about its future notwithstanding.
Hm. You know, I didn't expect this to turn into a 700-word essay when I started typing this. But these things happen sometimes.