Category Archives: Gilmore Girls

The End of Gilmore Girls: Series Finale May 15th

EDIT: Well, the show has come to a close: tonight, May 15th, Gilmore Girls ended. For a full review of the kind of great finale, click on the link – “Reviewing the Series Finale…” 

I’ve been holding out some hope in recent weeks that things were looking bright of the future of The CW’s Gilmore Girls. It was finally heading back towards its main story threads, Luke and Lorelai appeared to be back on track, and by all accounts the show was in much better shape. While there were rumours of this being the show’s last season, there was also talk of a shortened 13-episode season to close out the show’s storylines in a meaningful fashion. I, personally, took to calling this the show’s epilogue. And yet, with today’s news that Gilmore Girls has been cancelled, the show will be having its series finale on May 15th. And to be honest, I’m kind of pissed about it.

There are some good notes to this story: this is one more slot The CW needs to fill, and therefore one more slot which a revamped Veronica Mars could find itself in. However, that’s a bit of a stretch of a bright side, I’d say, considering that I’m oddly more concerned about Gilmore Girls. While I enjoy Veronica Mars, I feel more emotionally attached to the world Amy Sherman-Palladino created and abandoned at the end of last season.

I had resigned myself to the possibility of cancellation at the beginning of the season, which was admittedly a rough one. New producer David S. Rosenthal had a pretty huge mess to clean up with Christopher re-entering the picture, and it was…well, an exercise in futility of sorts. The show really didn’t get back on track until Chris was out of the picture, and this was only recently. In recent weeks it has been building up to Luke and Lorelai reuniting (Often with an incredibly obvious swing of the metaphor hammer, or the use of Dolly Parton songs), and Logan is asking to propose to Rory. Rosenthal built a season that, as it concludes, could have ended the show when we came to this point.

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Filed under Gilmore Girls, Television, The CW, Veronica Mars

Tuesday Night TV Society – May 1st (Gilmores, Idol, Veronica)

Gilmore Girls

David S. Rosenthal is doing his darndest to salvage what was left behind by Amy Sherman-Palladino in the span of, oh, three episodes. He’s used every trick in the book: giant hay mazes, car shopping, wardrobe changes, and even karaoke of all things. And, do you know what? It’s heavy-handed, cliched, and yet in the end…it kind of works. This being said, I worry somewhat about where things are headed. With Lorelai and Luke heading towards some sort of resolution, Rory and Logan apparently heading to the altar, Zach heading out on tour with VapoRub…everything seems very, oh, I don’t know, final. It’s like they’re handicapping the possibility of a series finale hanging in the balance, and yet they don’t seem like they’re ready for it. I just want to avoid a 7th Heaven-like scenario where things clearly came to a resolution and then “Surprise!” we need to fill another 13-22 episodes.

With 13 episodes looking more and more likely, I at least hope that the show leaves us hanging and with some sort of future for these characters that can fill that period of time. I also hope, perhaps against all odds, that Amy returns to write/direct the eventual finale. I’m sure her new pilot will fail anyways, it’s on FOX.

American Idol

Note to American Idol Producers: there are a lot of terms synonymous with rock out there, and sadly Jon Bon Jovi is not one of them. I thought this was “Rock” night, not the catalogue of the enjoyable in their own special way Bon Jovi. It basically placed the contestants into a situation where no real individuality was easily shown (I’ll get to Blake in a second) and any originality that came out wasn’t a true extension of their own tastes. If it’s going to be a single artist week, they need to have a diverse catalogue: sappy ballads and raucous “I’m awesome, now I’m going to sing about it” is not diversity, as much as there’s some quality tripe in there.

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Dear Television: Enough with the Metaphors.

It’s now officially May Sweeps (It started on Thursday evening), which means that all serial dramas are heading into their final storylines leading into their season finales. This means that they’re working overtime to make sure that everything is lined up perfectly, and that we as viewers are along for the ride. And, trust me, I understand why they do this. However, for the love of all things holy, quit it with the blatant metaphors and anvil-heavy examples.

Get it? It's a maze!

I know that Gilmore Girls is heading into its final series of episodes in what could still potentially be its last season (More on this at some point in the coming weeks, methinks), but does it need to be designed entirely based on metaphorical situations to place its characters in. It began two weeks ago with the hay maze. You see, you can’t go around the maze, you have to confront it. Just like Lorelai and Luke need to confront their mistakes in the past, instead of just going around it. Because it’s faster that way. And then Rory and Logan were going into the maze, and there was two directions to go in, and they went in the same one. Get it? Because he’s totally on her side, because the maze told me so! I honestly felt fairly stupid watching it, as if the show didn’t feel that I, as a viewer, was capable of figuring it out without an anvil-like metaphor.

And then they did it again a week later! I know that even Amy Sherman-Palladino (Creator and former showrunner) used metaphors to get across her points, but it never felt so blatant. In this episode, Lorelai and Luke tried to reconnect. In the same episode, Lorelai’s car breaks. Now, she goes car shopping with Luke, but she doesn’t enjoy it or the cars she sees. You see, she doesn’t want a new car, she wants her OLD car. Just like she doesn’t want this new awkward Luke relationship, but rather her OLD banter-filled, dented relationship with the diner-owner. Do you get it? Because Luke is just like her car.

And yet, its popped up elsewhere as well.

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Filed under Desperate Housewives, Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Television

On the Bubble – The Shows in Danger of Cancellation

As I’m headed off to deal with some family business, here’s something to tide you over until that point. Variety has released their shows which they view as “on the bubble” at each of the main networks; it’s usually a pretty darn good indicator of things, so take a look.

Variety – Shows Face Their Zero Hour

Some things of note:

30 Rock appears to be somewhat safe, along with Friday Night Lights, all thanks to the precedent set by The Office. This is good news.

Scrubs may be moving to ABC? That would be in everyone’s best interest, in my book; licensing fees are scaring away NBC, and since it’s owned by Touchstone anyways it would be a nice and easy transition to a network (ABC) searching desperately for a successful comedy.

Jericho started so strong at CBS, and now it finds itself struggling…which is not good news for a show on CBS. With so many CSIs which could rerun in any timeslot to great success, you need to stay strong.

– The CW has the same problem as last season, really; no slam dunk drama pilots, nothing is really succeeding anywhere, and this might save a show like Veronica Mars. Contract talks with Gilmore Girls will prove quite interesting, but I’m disappointed to see no mention of One Tree Hill being canceled in the article. The idea of Veronica Mars being canceled and One Tree Hill remaining on the air hurts my brain.

So, which of your favourite shows that have struggled in the ratings are you looking to save for next season? Studio 60? Medium? Feel free to comment.

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Filed under 30 Rock, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, Television, Veronica Mars

The Top 10 Episodes of February Sweeps 2007

It’s perhaps the most important non-premiere/finale month in the TV Calendar, the month where shows and networks are made and broken. Now, while I’m enough of a TV Geek to know when these periods are, Wikipedia has actually taught me a whole lot more on the subject. What is a Sweeps Period, you ask?

Link: Wikipedia – Nielsen Ratings System – Sweeps

“Much of the ratings system, however, still consists of the completion by viewers of ratings diaries, in which a viewer records his or her viewing habits, generally for a week, in exchange for being advanced a nominal fee. These diaries play an especially important role during the four sweeps periods conducted in February, May, July and November in an attempt to measure smaller local market audiences in markets that are not covered by People Meter samples already…”

Television networks and other programmers make unusual efforts to attract additional viewers during these periods, including airing mostly first-run programming as opposed to repeats, airing more special broadcasts, and including special content in programming such as guest stars, controversial and unexpected plots or topics, extended episodes, finales, and increased competition in advertising.”

So, during these periods the Nielsen ratings system is gathering data on those areas that are not usually found within their polls of the nation. As a result, this is the time when advertisers are most interested in seeing what people in the entirety of the U.S. are watching, so networks have a vested financial interest: the more different populations watching, the more advertising dollars they may be able to charge in the upcoming season.

So, much like the article says, February is defined by event programming and new episodes of shows. There are guest stars, huge new plot arcs, explosions, premieres, and just about everything else you can imagine. And, it is now my job to go back through this month and television and find out which 10 episodes stood out above all others. It’s a tough task, but I believe I’m up to the challenge.

Honourable Mentions

There are the episodes that were considered for the list, but just didn’t make the cut. Still, they represent some quality television and should be commended. Also, since I limited the final list to one from each show, some of these could have ranked quite easily.

The Amazing Race – “Beauty is Sometimes Skin Deep”
Gilmore Girls – “I’m a Kayak, Hear Me Roar”
Grey’s Anatomy – “Wishin’ and Hopin’”
Heroes – “Unexpected”
Lost – “Flashes Before Your Eyes”
The Office – “Cocktails”
Ugly Betty – “I’m Coming Out”

The Top 10 Episodes

Of February Sweeps 2007

(Episodes must air between January 29th and February 28th)

10. Veronica Mars – “Papa’s Cabin”
Airdate: February 27th, 2007

While not reaching the heights of its first season, the end of the 2nd Season Three arc on “Veronica Mars” felt more satisfying than its first. Things came together in a logical way, the perpetrator (Tim Foyle) didn’t turn into a raving lunatic at the episode’s end, and there were some nice comedic moments along the way to keep things a little bit light. The show will never be as cohesive as it was in its first season, but this episode shows that they’re still capable of ending an arc in a satisfactory manner.

9. Gilmore Girls – “I’m a Kayak, Hear Me Roar”
Airdate: February 19th, 2007

While certainly not the show’s best episode, and one that certainly won’t be remembered as a pivotal episode for the series, the fallout from Lorelai’s breakup with Christopher was incredibly well handled. Lorelai told Rory first, and then painstakingly told her mother while both were a little bit drunk. That level of mother-daughter bonding between Lorelai and Emily is rare for the series, and it was handled extremely well; when Lorelai woke up the next morning to find that her mother was now cold and angry about it all, it seemed even more natural. I’ve stopped thinking about the switch in producers for the show, and episodes like this are not changing that any time soon.

8. The O.C. – “The End’s Not Near, It’s Here”
Airdate: February 22nd, 2007

Although my detailed thoughts about the episode can be found within Thursday Night TV Club, on a simple level it was a satisfactory finale to a show that, a year ago, I had written off. While it was certainly not the simplest finale, and it was plenty contrived, it did its job well enough to deserve a spot on this list. It was an hour of television that made you forget, for just a second, that you sat through two seasons of absolute shit to get to this point; I’d say that’s a successful finale. As it ended with a young Ryan look-alike sitting, clad in his grey hoodie, looking lost, it was fitting; Ryan has turned into Sandy, and the circle continues.

7. The Office – “Business School”
Airdate: February 15th, 2007

While it may not be the show’s best episode of the season, and lacked the drama inherent within the next week’s “Cocktails,” I think that Joss Whedon defeated J.J. Abrams in the battle of the guest directors. From the hilarious “Jim the Vampire” storyline, to the handling of the bat by Dwight, to Michael’s candy bar lecture style, the episode delivered the comedy. However, it also dealt with the relationship between Ryan and Michael, an oft ignored one, and Pam’s art show provided some drama between her and Roy and a nice moment between her and Michael. It wasn’t a perfect episode, but it blended comedy and drama into a quality half hour of television.

6. Battlestar Galactica – “Dirty Hands”
Airdate: February 25th, 2007

Stuck with three filler episodes during the February Sweeps period, Battlestar Galactica managed to make one of them work to great effect. Tyrol’s return to a position of labour boss, as the episode was advertised was predictable, but it was the context which provided a great deal of interest. The idea of Baltar smuggling a book out of his prison cell is another nod to historical events, and its effects on the core storyline were immediate; painting Adama and Roslin as the aristocracy ,and then having them be a little bit crazy, paints a picture that is a fascinating microcosm of true events and one that complicates the fleet’s dynamics. Battlestar may be at its most explosive when dealing with the Cylons, but it’s at its best when it delves into the political drama inherent in their situation.

5. House – “One Day, One Room”
Airdate: January 30th, 2007

An episode so divisive that I felt like blogging about it specifically, it very much redeemed House in my eyes after it had struggled to keep my attention. While I think that the episode featuring Cuddy’s blind date may have been more entertaining, I think that this story of a rape victim that relates to House was far more interesting. The philosophical discussions were not life-changing, but they were necessary to balance out the fairly boring medical cases which had come before it.

House is at its best when it balances these elements, and this episode was something that I needed in order to continue to enjoy the show. While I can understand that some people may disagree with this, and considered the episode too preachy and abstract, I also think that neither of those are overly negative attributes. After the absolutely dreadful Tritter arc, which took the show in circles for a good six episodes, it was good to return to something on a larger scale that could actually change the titular character in some fashion. Divisive or not, the episode was the perfect example of what House needs to do to stay relevant.

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Filed under Battlestar Galactica, Gilmore Girls, Heroes, Lost, Television, The O.C., The Office, Veronica Mars

Tuesday Night TV Society – February 20th

Perhaps to help organize my TV blogging, I figure I should introduce another weekly feature to cover the breadth of TV on Tuesday evenings. This particular feature might be a bit slow-moving once one of the shows goes on Hiatus, but I can pick up another one or two if necessary to flesh things out. And yes, fancy writing denotes a society.

Gilmore Girls – “I am Kayak, Hear Me Roar!”

Not a show to let the happy train leave the station too soon, Gilmore Girls once again found itself a few problems to deal with as it heads into the end of what could be its last season. While the end result of things (Luke and Lorelai being together, Rory and Logan being together, etc.) is quite clear, it’s also clear that it’s going to take us awhile to get there.

On the Rory and Logan front, we’ve got Logan being screwed over on his patent deal, perhaps losing all of his trust fund. I think a Logan no longer tied to his father’s existence would be in the show’s best interest at this point; it’s clear that he struggles to remove himself from his father’s shadow, what better way to do so than to make Logan financially dependent on Rory? They’ll be remotely happier without Mitchum in their lives. It seems bad now, but this will end up a positive methinks.

The situation with the elder Gilmores, however, is quite foreboding. The drama at the Gilmore household was very well handled, ranging from Richard’s frustration with Emily’s helplessness. Emily relationship with Lorelai has always been tenuous, but her motherly advice while drunk was touching. By the same account, her anger in the morning was realistic. The characters were handled well, and things are back to the status quo.

This status quo allows us to head back to Stars Hollow for some Baby Showers, and likely some Luke and Lorelai drama, next week. With 7 episodes to go, time is running up for their relationship to come to fruition. Continue reading

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An Open Letter to The CW

Dear The CW,

So, how’re things? We’re now into the sixth month of your existence, and I’d like to be frank with you. I greatly appreciate your efforts to offer youth-oriented programming, and you’ve managed to develop America’s Next Top Model into a buzz-worthy program on the same level as other reality shows. And yet, as we enter your sixth month, I have a message for you: you need a complete makeover, in every possible way.

Now, I know that this might seem drastic, but let’s consider this year as a bit of a practice run. You just weren’t the huge success that they wanted you to be, all you could do was increase demo numbers in women from 18-34. This is good, and all, but there has been no breakthrough, no tremendous change; there is not yet a CW identity.

I know it’s difficult, when you’re taking on mostly shows from other networks, you’re not going to be able to suddenly brand everything together. UPN was a network that focused primarily on an African-American and female audience, while The WB appealed to families and young adults. These are two identities that can’t just be integrated overnight, it takes time.

This wasn’t helped by a few decisions that most definitely did not prove beneficial. The decision to keep 7th Heaven was a detriment to both of these images. It was clear that the family focus of the WB was headed out the window, the show only served to confuse your message further. Couple this with the decision, financially motivated, to renew Reba, and you’ve got a Sunday Night lineup that lacks any relation to the rest of your audience.

But, this isn’t your only problem. Even with this Sunday lineup, there was a chance to define something new that could be built on in the future. And yet, for two reasons, this failed. Continue reading

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Shipper’s Log: Gilmore Girls

Shipper’s Log – Stardate 020607

This is the beginning of a long-gestating series where, basically, I talk about relationships in TV series. How civilized. Really, though, they’re integral to understanding the appeal, success, and sometimes failures of TV shows.

Anyways, watching Gilmore Girls this evening was quite honestly difficult. I don’t know what it is about Luke and Lorelai, this pair of star-crossed lovers. One runs an Inn, the other a Diner. One talks faster than the speed of sound, and the other one stutters over a majority of their words. They’ve been married to other people, engaged to one another, and yet somehow their relationship has always stayed the same.

It’s one of the considerations of any show coming to its conclusion, these relationships that are established in a show’s pilot and continue to gestate (Used it twice in one post, fancy that). In the case of Luke and Lorelai, the departure of showrunner Amy-Sherman Palladino was a huge blow to the cause. In her final episode, knowing that she wouldn’t be back the following season, she had Lorelai sleep with former flame Christopher and break off their engagement. Palladino introduced Luke’s long-lost daughter, which drove them apart, and nothing made sense in terms of their relationship.

It’s really a good argument as to why shows like Gilmore Girls shouldn’t even bother to have these relationships, because they become a burden as the series moves on into later seasons. In the same way that a show like Lost has a long-gestating mystery (Which I’ll be getting to tomorrow morning) that fans want to have dealt with as soon as possible, viewers of a show like Gilmore Girls want to see Luke and Lorelai together sooner rather than later. Continue reading

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