Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 5, Episode 19 “But I’m a Gilmore”

SO CLOSE TO THE END OF THIS SEASON. I don’t think I’ll ever catch up to the Gilmore Guys. But there is a good chance I will finish the entire series before the new episodes are released. I just thank God that Amy Sherman-Palladino is a better writer than Chris Carter. Because that X-Files revival? Save the joy of seeing Mulder and Scully pal around again and one amazing episode featuring a Were-Monster (and Kumail Nanjiani!), the season was lackluster. And the premier and finale were complete ass. Ever wonder what would happen if you gave an anti-vaxxer, a chemtrail truther, and your Tea Party Uncle the green light to write two hours of television? That was “My Struggle” parts 1 & 2.

At least we got this out of the revival:

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io9 – Thank you for preserving this moment for internet posterity. We can only hope the Gilmore revival will produce something 20% as magical as this gif.

Warning – I may discuss the finer points of the song “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” at some point in the near future (the song playing during Mulder’s mushroom trip gif’d above). This is really becoming a stream of consciousness self-therapy blog where I discuss random pop culture shit that hasn’t been relevant for 20 years, oh, and sometimes the Gilmore Girls, too. Something I’ve noticed while writing these posts? I sound really fucking angry when I read this shit back. I’m not. I don’t think? I should probably think about that – oh, look! The dog has a puffy tail!

It’s the day after The Drunkening in Stars Hollow. Everyone is hung over and sucking down hangover food, courtesy of Lorelai, who is one rich husband away from becoming Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls. She doesn’t ask how three underage girls were so easily served booze in a town where everyone literally knows how old they are and the self-appointed mayor of the town is most likely a teetotaler himself. Instead, she wants the 411 on Rory’s ramblings about Smarmy.

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Rory doesn’t answer her and Lorelai is all, “DAFUQ???? (Also, tears)”

Tired of her bullshit relationship with Smarmy, Rory confronts him at his dorm. She tells him that she’s a “boyfriend girl” and says that they can just be friends. The blocking in this scene is really fucked up because Smarmy starts pacing around like a MMA fighter. I don’t know about you ladies, but angry dudes yelling at me about how they want to be my boyfriend is a TOTAL turn on (#sarcasm, in case that wasn’t clear.)

It sets a tone that doesn’t fit the subject matter of the scene – this is dangerous, he is dangerous, and it’s not cute or endearing. I think Rory would actually feel threatened and intimidated if this was real life, but because it’s not we get to see Smarmy be like, “YEAH, I WILL FIGHT YOU BE YOUR BOYFRIEND! LET ME KICK YOU IN THE FACE KISS YOU!”

Behold, Smarmy’s “I’m so happy to be your boyfriend!” face:

 

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Romantic.

Sookie has been put on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy and this allows us to discover that no one in the Gilmore Girls writing room has ever worked in a kitchen or watched one episode of Top Chef. (Granted, that show didn’t premier until 2006, but I assume at least one of them can see the future.) They’re called sous chefs, and they execute the head chef’s vision. The idea that Sookie can put out a multi-course meal (save salads and desserts) for dozens of people by executing it all herself every night is ridiculous. It also undoes hiring all that kitchen staff that she loved back when the inn opened.

Since all of Sookie’s kitchen staff (the 5 of them!!!) are useless, Lorelai calls Luke. He immediately drops what he’s doing at his business to run to Lorelai’s aid and work, unpaid, for her. Her father would be so proud of her for exploiting labor in this way.

As luck would have it, Smarmy’s sister has gotten engaged and she needs Smarmy’s support when she breaks the news to her parents. This means Rory gets to join the whole Smarmy family for what is, quite possibly, the worst dinner ever portrayed on this show. This includes the Floppy/Gilmore Dinner, the Luke/Gilmore Dinner, and the weird Harvard Twin Incest Trivia Dinner. (Before we can get to the dinner we have to watch Rory tell both Lorelai and Paris what happened between her and Smarmy. It’s tedious and unnecessary. For a show that allows so much of its action to happen off-screen, it sure does a lot of restating events the viewer has already seen for the benefit of characters not present during said scene.)

The dinner is a disaster from the start with everyone sitting around waiting for Smarmy’s dad. Do rich people actually sit and have drinks before dinner is served while wearing their finery? Do people still dress for dinner like this is Downton Abbey?

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Grandpa Smarmy and Momma Smarmy are upset at the low-class people who are trying to marry into the Smarmy family. Not the sister’s boyfriend, RORY. First – this is dumb. Second – This is dumb because they’ve literally been dating for A DAY. This sort of conversation shouldn’t be taking place now. Momma Smarmy should understand that Smarmy’s girlfriend today isn’t necessarily going to be the person he’s with in two years because he’s YOUNG. Rory’s YOUNG. Why not wait and see if it fizzles out on its own? And third – They’ve known Rory for all of 30 minutes. At least get to actually know her before hating on her.

To Smarmy’s credit, he tells his family to shove it and walks out on dinner. This is the only decent thing I’ve ever seen him do.

There’s a lot of Luke/Sookie drama that doesn’t matter. You know what does matter? Sookie’s Last Unicorn poncho.

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I loved The Last Unicorn when I was a kid. It’s heartbreaking. Everything about it is heartbreaking. Even as a child I related to the character of Molly Grue. She’s an older woman and when she sees the unicorn she says:

Molly: No, it can’t be. Can it be? Where have you been? Where have you been? Damn you! Where have you been?
Unicorn: I’m here now.
Molly: And where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you! How dare you come to me now, when I am this! [Weeps]”

I think I even understood then that the unicorns don’t come for all of us.

After the nightmare dinner, Rory has to call Lorelai and again relay something the audience already knows to a character who did not witness it. In this scene it’s fine and understandable, but my patience is already thin from the three “this is how Rory and Smarmy got together!” scenes from earlier in the episode. Lorelai tries to explain to Rory why dating Smarmy isn’t the best idea (and she uses reasons other than “he blows” and “he sucks”.) It doesn’t matter. Smarmy comes a’knocking and Rory forgets the “blows” and “sucks” part of the talk. Good thing, because the next day Poppa Smarmy waltzes into the newsroom and offers Rory an internship at his new paper. He has no idea how good of a journalist she is, he’s never seen her resume or read her writing, but she gets an internship based solely on her boyfriend’s dad’s guilt. Mmm….nepotism at its finest. I’m sure there are plenty of talented disadvantaged kids slaving away at state schools (or community colleges), drowning in debt and desperately trying to add clips to their files just so they meet the qualifications required to apply for an internship like the one Rory was just handed. But they’ll never get it. They have no chance of getting it because people in power, people like Poppa Smarmy, will always pick personal connections over ability. AMERICA!!

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