What made Gilmore Girls
special, in one word: Vision. Amy Sherman-Palladino has a vision for the stories she weaves, and it shows. Then she pours her passion into making this vision a reality. Then her passion pours over into the fans she creates for her stories. She did it with Gilmore Girls
, turning it into a world-wide sensation. I expect she'll do the same thing for The Return of Jezebel James
, if given the chance.
It's fascinating. What follows is based on link
. I wrote it just after the news broke that Amy and her husband Dan were not returning for the seventh season of Gilmore Girls
. And even I was surprised at how little I needed to change it. The legacy Amy Sherman-Palladino created lives on.
From the early seasons of the series, we could tell the Palladinos were weaving a deep, intricate, character-based story. Still, we need look no further back than the last episodes they made to see how deep, how intricate.
Lorelai and Luke
Lorelai and Luke don't trust each other to stay even when the going gets tough. Whether their doubts are founded, two people need this trust in order to make a marriage work. Lorelai loves Luke, as Luke loves Lorelai. Luke goes shopping for Lorelai, something he usually hates, but he does it and enjoys it, just because she's there. Lorelai buys and wears clothes that Luke likes, just because it pleases him. They are so into each other. They are even ready to commit. But the other side of commitment is trust, and we can see so clearly that they do not trust each other. That's why their relationship became so rocky.
For example, Lorelai didn't tell Luke about her drunken toast at Lane and Zach's wedding. Even though Miss Patty covered up for Lorelai, Lorelai should have come clean. She should have told Luke the truth and used it as a way to tell him how she felt. She should have told him she wanted to meet his daughter April. She should have told him she felt excluded from his life. She should have told him she was afraid they would never make it to the altar.
Similarly, it took Luke months to tell Lorelai after he found out he even had a daughter. Then he didn't want April to meet Lorelai, because he feared Lorelai will take April away from him-- just as her mother Anna feared. It took April's birthday party, which Luke tried to throw without Lorelai's help. It took this birthday-party disaster to push him to letting Lorelai in, despite his fears.
Lorelai and Rory
These fears are strangely reasonable. That is, Lorelai missed the relationship she had with Rory. Their relationship has changed, has been ever since Rory went off to college. Rory's been making her own decisions. She's no longer Lorelai's little girl, no longer Lorelai's best friend. April's birthday party, for Lorelai, was a throwback to this relationship she had with her own daughter. I wonder how Lorelai felt when April told her, "You remind me of my Mom. I think you'd like her."
And I wonder how she felt when Luke told her that Anna was mad about her being at the party. She looked like she was about to cry. Lauren Graham is so cool.
Of course, Anna is with April just like Lorelai was with Rory, trying to protect her daughter from turmoil, from disappointment, from getting too attached to the guys dating her, trying to provide stability in an unstable existence, afraid to get attached herself. And like Lorelai, Anna also doesn't trust Luke:
"He's not a kid guy, never has been. And [April] she's getting very attached. I need to know he's sticking around first."
No, that's not Lorelai talking about Christopher, but it could have been.
Rory and Logan
Now Rory is her own woman. Remember when she moved in with Logan without even telling her mother? That was proof right there.
As of the end of season 6, Rory loved Logan. Yes, we hated him. But she really was in love with him. (Making the final ending all the more confusing, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.) We know she felt that way, because she raced to the hospital to see him, even though she hates hospitals. Then this usually timid, waifish girl proceeded to chew out Colin and Fin for acting insensitive. And what she said to Mitchem! I wonder what he thought. She must have broken all his conceptions about her.
But at that time, Logan was still a little boy. He had not undergone the right of manhood. He hadn't taken responsibility for his choices. He had two alternatives. He could have taken on the family business as his father Mitchem wanted him to. Or he could have forgone his family's wealth, blaze his own path. Either alternative would have made him a man. Instead, he avoided choices, because he didn't want to think about the consequences. He needed to grow up, stop trying to weasel his way out of his choices and their consequences.
But in a hospital bed, after parachuting drunk off a cliff, in "serious but stable condition," his choices had time to stare him in the face. He began to grow up. He told Rory, "No, it is not okay" that he almost got himself killed. And he told her there was nothing she could have done to stop him. "I was goin' no matter what. It's my fault... I'm the one screwing things up with us here, not you! I'm sorry you're in the hospital right now. I'm sorry about all of this. I don't know what's going on with me..."
I was actually proud of Logan when he left for London at the end of season 6. And then proud again when he left his father's company in season 7.
Passionate about stories
This only touches upon the complexity in the epic tale that is Gilmore Girls
. What motivated this story? In an interview with Michael Ausiello, Amy Sherman-Palladino told us:
"... when you see stuff happening, and when scenes and moments happen that you didn't think could happen before, and when you add a kid like Matt Czuchry to the show and all of a sudden it brings in different layers and different stories and different textures, it's like, it doesn't have to end...
"It's horrifying... if we can't ensure the quality... every year we've tried to push the bar higher. For better or worse, whether people like it or don't like it, we tried to make our stories more complex. We try and push the quality higher..."
They're passionate about stories and were passionate about Gilmore Girls
. Everytime they saw an opportunity to make the story better, it energized them. It energized them until it burned them out.
Well, Dan and Amy, we were sorry to see you go. I'm sorry that your successors were not able to finish off the storyline with the same passion you had shown. And as I wrote a year ago, when you left Gilmore Girls
: Wherever you go, whatever you end up doing, I'll be looking forward to your next project.