Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 6, Episode 1 “New and Improved Lorelai”

I can’t believe I finally made it to Season 6! When I started this project in January of 2015, I honestly thought I’d be able to make it through the entire series by the end of the year. Here we are in March 2016 and I’m staring down 44 episodes. What I’ve learned from this – pick shows with fewer episodes, OR pick shows with shorter season (13 episodes instead of 22.)

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This episode starts exactly after the end of last episode, with Lorelai and Luke in the diner after Lorelai proposed. Luke’s answer is an immediate “yes.” I should be elated. But I know things are rarely that easy on the Gilmore Girls and I expect the rug to be pulled out from under me in less than 3 scenes. Even Luke knows this shit can’t last because he asks Lorelai if she’s sure she wants to celebrate, what with her relationship with Rory in tatters and all.

I think I figured it out. Lorelai’s proposal is Rory’s yacht. It’s the crazy action they take when their worlds have come crumbing down around them. Rory was devastated when Poppa Smarmy told her she didn’t have what it took to be a journalist so she stole a yacht. Lorelai was just stabbed in the back by her entire family so she asked Luke to marry her. They’re both grasping at straws to keep themselves together.

The next morning, Luke is happy until Babette and Miss Patty come to the diner to make him feel bad about not asking Lorelai to marry him.

The troubadour shows up again looking like hipsters before hipsters were a thing:

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He sings another on-the-nose song about the action in the show. There really should have been a musical episode of this show so Amy Sherman-Palladino could have gotten her need for story-songs out of her system. How great would a musical episode have been? Write a song for Rory to the tune of Grease‘s “Beauty School Dropout” called “Ivy League Dropout”. Lyrics like:

Your story’s sad to tell
A smart and brainy girl
Most mixed up debutant on the block
Your future’s so unclear now
What’s left of your career now? 
Can’t even get a trade-in 
On your books

Ivy league dropout 
No graduation day for you
Ivy league dropout
Stole a yacht and quit the school
Well at least you could have taken time
To tell your mom what’s up
After running to your grandpa
To beg him for the pool house!

Rory, be honest
Why believe that random guy?
Just ’cause he said that
You’ve got the dream but not the drive? 
If you go for your diploma
You could prove him oh so wrong
Stop the wallowing and
Go back to that school!

Ivy league dropout 
Hangin’ around grandma’s home
Ivy league dropout
It’s about time you knew the score! 
Well, they tried to break your spirit
You think you’re such a failure
But no matter what they say to you
You should still get that degree now! 

Rory, don’t sweat it
People will say worse all your life
Better forget it
Dropping out would be a mistake
Now your mom is home
Pick up the phone
And tell her while you cry
Wipe of that sad sad face and go back to that school! 

Rory, don’t blow it
Don’t put this good advice to shame
Rory, you know it
Even Dear Abby’d say the same! 
Now pack your bags and go back home
To get ready for fall! 
Gotta be going to that classroom back at Yale

Spacey Grandpa calls Lorelai to ask if she’ll be attending the meeting for Rory’s court case. Lorelai is all, “Sorry, dad, I can’t hear you over the sound of this knife sticking out of my back.”

Judgy WASP Mom wakes Rory up and presents her with a literally insane breakfast spread. Seriously, I’ve seen breakfast ordered for 15 people that didn’t have as much food:

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Rory then meets with her grandpa and her sleazy ass lawyer, who delight in telling Rory about the time he got a guy who embezzled $94 million from the company PENSION FUND. That guy lives in LA now. There were no consequences for his actions. Well, for HIM. I’m sure all the people’s pensions he emptied out didn’t fare nearly as well when they discovered everything they’d ever worked for was gone and there was nothing they could do about it. I hope they like spending their retirement eating dog food and not buying the prescriptions they so desperately need!

Richard actually says, “If you knew the number of truly guilty criminals put back on the street by this man here, you’d never believe in the criminal justice system again.” If you watch, you can actually see Rory’s soul leave her body:

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Plus, who the hell believes in the justice system any more? People who commit heinous crimes walk free as long as they have money, while the poorest among us get shot in the street.

Of course, Smarmy and his friends, the people for whom the justice system in this country actually works, think it’s great that Rory is in trouble with the law and start serenading her with “For she’s a jolly good felon!” The fact that none of these people are worried about how Rory’s crime will affect her future career prospects, marriage prospects, voting abilities, or even living arrangements is galling. They know what she did will literally have no affect on the rest of her life. She’ll get probation and then she’ll laugh about it with her friends when she’s older. While probably less than 5 miles from the bar where this is happening, there is some poor kid sitting in jail who got busted with enough weed to classify as a felony. He’ll get an overworked public defender, and, even though this kid has never been in trouble before, he won’t get a plea deal. He’ll go to prison on a felony charge, and when he comes out, even after doing his time, he won’t be able to vote. Because of his criminal record, he probably won’t get hired by anyone, meaning he’ll have little to no options when it comes to making a living. Because of his criminal record, he may not be able to find a decent place to live. That kid is going to be punished for the rest of his life because he was poor and charged with a crime. But, sure. Let’s sing to Rory about how great it is that she been charged with a FELONY.

I’d still be pissed about this but I’m too confused to be pissed due to the next scene. I mean:

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What is going on with Luke’s hair? It can’t be that hard to tame, right? It’s either great or a disaster whenever you see him without his hat, and you never know which one you’re going to get.

At the “LOL, the law is for poors!” party, Rory (a 20-year-old) opening drinks beer and declares that she will be doing nothing with herself while taking time off from college. I’ve mentioned this before, but I took a year off from college myself. You know what I did? Worked retail 40+ hours a week. I was glad to go back to school. Rory also wants to know how well beer & ice cream go together. Short answer: they don’t (don’t ask how I know.)

When Rory gets to court, she thinks she’s going to walk with nothing by 20(!) hours of community service. Unfortunately, she ends up with basically me if I were a fictional TV judge. She’s all, “I have no fucking patience for you rich brats, so here’s 300 hours of community service and one year of probation, bitch.”

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. GOOD. Too bad it wasn’t Smarmy getting the same sentence (or worse.) Of course, Spacey Grandpa cannot believe there is anything his money and power can’t buy, so he makes a scene in court (and doesn’t get held in contempt.) He’s going to sue that lawyer for not getting Rory a lighter slap on the wrist than she got. Have fun with that, Richard.

Lorelai, who didn’t show up to Rory’s court date, decides to bring the rest of Rory’s things to her parents in the middle of the night. She didn’t want to see her mom when she came over earlier, so Judgy WASP Mom left notes and a passive aggressive voice message, so Lorelai decided to be a petulant child at 3 am. I would have left all Rory shit by the front door, but that’s just me.

When she gets home Lorelai cries in Rory’s room. I should be upset but I can’t find it in me to be upset about this.

One of the best things in this episode was Babette running full speed down the street holding her boobs. Truly, she gets me. Boobs are hard to wrangle while running.

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5 thoughts on “Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 6, Episode 1 “New and Improved Lorelai”

  1. Jen, you’re a lyricist! Brava! (Those folks win NOBELS, donchaknow?!)
    Good call; the amount of food on camera on this show is so obscene it’s almost David Lynch-ian.

  2. Great summary and commentary. I was confused at the end, what did Luke say “full moon, moment’s here”? Why didn’t we see what he was talking about while she was crying

  3. My thoughts exactly. Rory’s “friends” are encouraging her to become a loser. Even with all that money (I’m assuming trust accounts because she really has no money), she will be a loser because her ultimate life’s goal was to finish college.

  4. I know this is super late, but I love reading commentary on my favorite series. This made me LOL quite a number of times, especially the series of pictures celebrating her consequences and the “see her soul leave her body” parts. Well done!

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