Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Goodbye to the "Gilmore Girls"

When people ask me why I like "Gilmore Girls" so much, I can never help but think "why not?"

You start with a show full of smart, funny and beautiful women, which I've always found to be a good thing. To that add a cast of supporting characters that are very quirky but rarely forced, the best ensemble since "Northern Exposure." And, finally, throw in the very clever writing (for the first five seasons anyways) of Amy Sherman-Palladino and hubby Daniel Palladino, and you've got me hooked.

Tonight at 8 on the CW, the show will finally end its run after a fairly phenomenal 154 episodes. It's probably gone on two years too long already, but I've stuck with it until the end, and will be sad to see it go. Here, in the Gilmores' honor, are my 10 favorite episodes, in only chronological order.

3. Kill Me Now
This was the episode that first got me hooked when daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) and mom Lorelai (the criminally underappreciated Lauren Graham) get into an argument about who has bigger breasts. It's as funny and odd as it sounds here.

13. Concert Interruptus
The very funny supporting players Paris (Liza Weil), Louise (Teal Redmann) and Madeleine (Shelly Cole) get big parts as the Gilmores hit NYC to see the Bangles.

25. The Road Trip to Harvard
Fresh off of dumping Max (Scott Cohen, who will star in Sherman-Palladino's new show, "The Return of Jezebel James," if it gets picked up by Fox), Lorelai coaxes Rory into a road trip that leads them to the hallowed halls of Harvard.

31. The Bracebridge Dinner
This is rapidly growing to more then 10 episodes, but I had to include this one as a model of how well this show wrote for its large ensemble of players. Richard (Edward Herrman) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) are particularly good in this episode about the whole town gathering at the inn for a wacky dinner party.

37. There's the Rub
A throwaway episode, perhaps, but very few got to the core of Lorelai and Emily's unique relationship than this weekend trip to a spa. Bonus: A lecherous Hal Linden hits on Emily at a 60-40 bar.

50. They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?
Along with colorful characters, Stars Hollow was also famous for its elaborate events, like the '40s-themed dance marathon that dominates this episode. Seeing Kirk (Sean Gunn) run around the dance floor to the "Rocky" theme is worth the price of admission by itself.

52. A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving
Can the Gilmore Girls really eat four Thanksgiving dinners in one day? They do, and each one is very funny, especially Sookie's (Melissa McCarthy) drowning her sorrows at the prospects of a deep-fried turkey dinner.

56. Dear Emily and Richard
The occasion of Sherry having her baby puts Lorelia into flashback mode, meaning we get to see how she ended leaving the Gilmore household at 16 with infant Rory in tow.

60. A Tale of Poes and Fire
Probably my single favorite "Gilmore Girls" episode. After the Poe Society descends on Stars Hollow, the inn catches fire and Rory will make her big decision about college.

72. The Festival of Living Art
The Living Pictures conceit may have been slightly funnier on "Arrested Development," but it had more heart here as Lorelai fights to stay frozen as Sookie's baby pager goes off at the worst possible moment.

74. Ted Koppel's Big Night Out
OK, the limit of 10 is officially out the window. Watching Richard and Emily tailgate and then Lorelai and Jason Stiles (Chris Eigeman, huzzah!) on their first date is just thoroughly entertaining viewing. You also have to watch Paris make out with a 60-year-old dude (Michael York), but even that is funny.

81-84. The Reigning Lorelai/Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist/Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!
For me, this three-episode arc was when the show was at its very best. In rapid succession, we get the funeral of "The Reigning Lorelai" (Marion Ross in one of her two "Gilmore Girls" roles), Rory and Paris on spring break (where, of course, the girls go wild and kiss), and then the breakup/bustup of Lorelai and Jason. For my money, no series has ever put together a better trio of episodes.

86. Last Week Fights, This Week Tights
The Renaissance-themed wedding of T.J. and Liz is is funny as it is sheerly frightening.

105. To Live and Let Diorama
As Old Man Twickham's house gets turned into a Stars Hollow Museum, Rory, Paris and Lane (Keiko Agena, my favorite of all the "Gilmore Girls" players) take a dive into Miss Patty's Founder's Day Punch to forget all their man troubles. Just very funny stuff.

128. I Get A Sidekick Out of You
Almost done. It's a sad statement about the slow downfall of this show that I could only pick one episode from the last two seasons, but this one is a real winner. It's Lane and Zack's wedding, which actually turns into two (one Buddhist and fake, one Christian and real) after Mrs. Kim (the great Emily Kuroda) learns her mother is coming in from Korea for the big day. Just an all-around reminder of how great this show used to be.

So, there you have it. I think that actually turned into 15, but it was hard to make my mind up. Tune in tonight at 8 on the rapidly dying CW to bid adieu to easily one of my favorite TV shows.

Talk to Me poster

OK, anyone who's bothered to make it this far certainly deserves a reward, so here it is. Kasi Lemmons' "Talk to Me," despite its rather generic title, gets my vote for the sleeper hit of this summer. It stars Don Cheadle as DC disc jockey Waldo "Petey" Green, and as you can see from the poster, you also get Chiwetel Ejiofor. Enjoy!


Beth said...

Ah, "Gg," one of the best shows of the past decade. I, too, will be sad to see it go. And even sadder that by all accounts, tonight's episode isn't particularly fulfilling, as no one seemed to know if this was a season finale or a series finale. But then again, now we get to imagine our own endings. LIke Logan will realize he's a doofus and come crawling back to Rory. And, of course, Luke and Lorelai will live happily ever after.

Reel Fanatic said...

For my money, Beth, I'd rather see Rory end up with Jess in the future, assuming he continues to develop into less of a prick ... And if tonight's episode is just light and funny, rather than trying to wrap up too many loose ends, that will be good enough for me

Marina said...

You know, I'm one of the few people in the world who didn't watch Gilmore Girls and over the last year or so, I've started to think that I'm missing out on something really good.

I may still, at some point in the near future, invest some time into the DVD's, I think it may be worth my while.

As for Talk to Me, I think this looks excellent. Looking forward to it.

Reel Fanatic said...

It would be well worth the rental and time to watch them, Marina, especially the first five seasons ... I'm pretty picky about hourlong TV shows, but this is one I firmly endorse

jeremy said...

Cheadle looks like The Ladies' Man in that poster! And he's playing a DJ. Nice.
Farewell GG, I will (sorta) miss you. I think tonight's ep looks cute w/ the town reenacting the graduation.
Also, have you heard that VM might get picked up?

Reel Fanatic said...

I've been tracking the Veronica rumors looking for a sure signal that it's coming back, Jeremy, but I haven't seen that yet ... It sounds like the best bet will be a revamped series with our heroine at the FBI Academy, which I would definitely tune in for

Tim King said...

I love GG. It's my all-time favorite best TV show. (And I'm no spring chicken.)

Early reports say Fox has ordered 13 episodes of Jezebel James. So Amy Sherman-Palladino and Scott Cohen should be coming back in the fall. (Yea!)


Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the heads up, Tim ... I wish the new show would be another hourlong one, but I'll take what I can get, especially with Parker Posey and Mr. Cohen in big roles

lylee said...

I thought the "Gilmore Girls" finale was actually very satisfying. It was the right time for the series to end.

lylee said...

I accidentally posted before I finished writing the post. Though come to think of it, I didn't have much to add except that I do love the show, though I thought it went seriously downhill in season 6 and only marginally recovered in the last season. But I thought it went out on a good note.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to agree with you there, Lylee .. when I started watching this final season, it started out just horribly .. They seemed to have no idea how to write for Lorelai .. as it went on, however, it just got better and better, and many of the shows from the second half of the the last season are among the show's best

Lorraine said...

I'm still in mourning about the end of the show...even at it's lowest it was better than most stuff on television.

I am extremely pleased to learn, via you, about the new project with Parker Posey and Scott Cohen...both of whom I love love love. Perhaps it will ease my pain.

The CW is dead to me.

Tim King said...

Hi, Lorraine. I'm excited about the Jezebel James thing, too. I've been following the Jezebel James story religiously on my Gilmore Girls site, if you want even more news on it. (BTW, the latest has video clips.)


Reel Fanatic said...

Only slightly bad news came from the Fox upfronts about Jezebel James, Lorraine .. Though the show was picked up, it won't be airing until January at the earliest .. Hopefully good things do indeed come to those who wait

Lorraine said...

Crap! I already have to wait until January for "Battlestar Galactica". What the hell am I supposed to do in the fall?