Archive for September 29th, 2006
From TV Guide (Really sums up this great Episode):
In My Time of Dying:
I’m just so glad this show is back on the air. This second season premiere gave us so much goodness, some questions and lots of sadness, specifically when John seemingly sacrificed himself for his son. Let’s just take this one step at a time, however.
The recap: This time it was set to Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” — this is a song I admittedly don’t know much about, but the title and some of the lyrics say it all. It feels like an appropriate song to kick things off even though I still think Kansas’ “Carry on My Wayward Son” set the standard for these classic-rock recaps.
The crash aftermath: I’m not sure why the demon inside the trucker just took off after Sam threatened to kill it with the Colt. Self-preservation, maybe? From the looks of the crash, it seemed like John would have been even more beat up, huh? But then we wouldn’t have gotten the face down with the demon if that had happened. Also, not sure how much time spanned from the accident to Dean realizing he was in a coma. Does anyone have any guesses?
The new title page: Loved the fiery Supernatural title page. Very appropriate to the meaning of the show and the tone of the show. Love it.
Spirit Dean: Whereas in “Faith” it seemed that Dean readily accepted his impending death, it definitely seemed like he wasn’t wanting anything to do with death in this episode. I liked the idea of the reaper taking a human form (Tessa) in order to help Dean come to terms with what was supposed to happen. I like a Dean who fights to live even better.
The Brothers: The connection between Sam and Dean is just so great, isn’t it? Even when Dean’s spirit is roaming the hospital, that doesn’t stop these two from communicating and finishing each other’s sentences. Must have something to do with Sammy’s extrasensory abilities. Jared and Jensen’s chemistry is still going strong — especially in that Ouija-board scene.
The Impala: Sam letting Bobby know that the Impala needs to get fixed no matter what just felt so right. We need that car back. Sooner rather than later.
Sam and John: These two continued to fight the entire hour to the point where spirit Dean even tried to act as mediator. But when Sam couldn’t figure out what to do, he knew his dad would know what to do. That’s family.
The demon vs John: The guy who played the face of the demon was scary. Nothing against the actor, but he did evil really well. Here’s where the questions enter the equation: Why did the demon say that Sam isn’t much of a threat to him? What is this truth about Sammy and the other children? I hope we find out by the end of this season.
Tessa and Dean: The reaper asked Dean to make a choice. Stick around and end up becoming an angry spirit, or accept his death. Part of me wishes the demon didn’t save Dean until we found out his choice. That was Lindsey McKeon playing Tessa. Saturday-morning TV fans know her from Saved by the Bell: The New Class, daytime-soap fans know her from her days as “Marah Lewis” on CBS’ Guiding Light, and WB/CW fans know her as Haley’s sis on One Tree Hill.
John and Dean: Last season, I felt like we never got any quality time between John and Dean. This episode basically took care of all that in two especially poignant scenes:
1) Dean’s still a spirit and he comes upon John sitting by his bed. Dean’s asking his dad to help him instead of just sitting around doing nothing.
“I’ve done everything you ever asked me. Everything. I’ve given everything I’ve ever had. And you’re just going to sit there and watch me die? What the hell kind of father are you?”
Of course John couldn’t hear Dean at the time, but Dean’s just saying that was big. We’ve never heard him question his dad like that before. Little did he know what his dad was planning.
2) John knew what was going to happen and he asked Sammy to leave him and Dean alone. The resulting conversation was so satisfying — it was better than the flashbacks we got in “Something Wicked.” It was better than Dean starting to talk back to John in “Dead Man’s Blood” and “Salvation.” We knew that Dean had to give up a lot of his childhood to the hunt and to taking care of Sam, but it had never been stated so definitively before.
“I put too much on your shoulders, I made you grow up too fast. You took care of Sammy, you took care of me. You did that and you didn’t complain – not once.”
What did John whisper to Dean? I’m so curious.
More Big Daddy Winchester: John explaining his behavior after he was resigned to his fate was also really powerful. He admitted he made mistakes, that half the time he doesn’t even know what he and Sam fight about. Then, of course, there was that monologue of love to Dean. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was simply excellent. But unlike Denny on Grey’s Anatomy, my guess is we’ll be seeing Big Daddy Winchester again in the future. That’s the beauty of a show about the supernatural. Anything can happen.
Favorite lines from “In My Time of Dying”:
1) “You’re the psychic. Give me some ghost-whisperin’ or something.”
2) “Dean’s going to be pissed.”
3) “If there’s only one working part, that’s enough.”
4) “You see me messing with crystals or listening to Yanni?”
5) “Dude, I full on Swayze’d that mother.”
6) “I just want you to know that I’m proud of you.” “Is this really you talking?” “Yeah, it’s really me.”
Tuesday’s Gilmore Girls premiere was viewed by 4.55 million, better than the WB’s top 7th Heaven the day before and the best serial rating so far on the new CW, but debates still rage on are Gilmore Girls just as good as when the Palladinos ran it. Many viewers are commenting no, while others thought it was a great, maybe not the best but still very good. Dave Rosenthal has been scrutinized this past week for his writing and directing of the show, should he?
Last season viewers were upset with the Lorelai and Rory estrangement, and then April and Luke freezing out Lorelai. Many of the supporting Stars Hollow characters we know and love were absent, it was the beginning of Rory’s dumbing down too. Theses were stories written by the Palladinos. Season six was actually deemed the worst creatively for the show. Actually throughout the series many of the best episodes were not written by the Palladinos especially season one, when only a sprinkle were written by them.
Rosenthal was put in a hard place, what to do with Luke and Lorelai after she so apparently slept with Christopher in the season finale. The best solution was to roll with it, flip flopping fans might feel sad now for Luke, but last year he was the villain. I too feel sad about the whole L/L story, but they made an awkward couple, their pre-couple bantering was great, but afterwards it was a letdown. The actors don’t seem to like each other anymore. Even Lauren Graham admitted last year she’d like Lorelai to end up Christopher. It should be interesting to see how they work out as a couple they never had a chance and that needs to played out even if Lorelai ends up marrying Luke in the end.
I have a disagreement with the way Rory is portrayed both by Alexis Bledel, and through the writing, she is becoming more ditzy, and less smart and rational that was part of the show’s premise. This is not Rosenthal’s fault, but has been happening since she hooked up with Logan it is an old problem that should remedied quickly!
As for the premiere’s writing the characters were like themselves, they are not acting strange, not every episode especially in the past season were full of pop culture references, and yes the pace was a little slower, but do they need to always appear like they are on speed, it was refreshing. I especially enjoyed seeing the rest of the Stars Hollows gang, Taylor, Kirk, Babette, Lulu, Patty, and even Gypsy, who has been missing for too long, they are important part of the humor, and yes Rory has often found town stuff humorous and even Kirk.
Next week’s episode was written by Rina Mamoun (Everwood) so it should be emotional, that was a hallmark of Everwood and it will be great to see some of that at Gilmore Girls. And from upcoming spoilers it sounds that Gilmore Girls will be just fine, maybe even better.
September 26, 2006: Danes’ Pains and Automobiles
No matter how many inn reservations Luke Danes made, no matter how much cool stuff he packed for a romantic honeymoon, no matter how long he stood there with those puppy-dog eyes begging for forgiveness, nothing called off his quickie wedding plans faster than Lorelai?s one line: ?I slept with Christopher.? Even I was equally blindsided by her flat, emotionless admission. But that?s probably because I was watching the entire episode on the edge of my couch, judging every line, analyzing every shot, hoping our girls would be handled with care by new show-runner David Rosenthal. But when the screen went dark, and the credits flashed, my eyes immediately welled up. (Yeah, yeah, I?m a big softie. You guys knew that already.) But you know what? Those tears were really, really good news. The show is going to be OK.
Actually, it?s going to be way, way better than OK. David got it down right out of the gate! The real Lorelai never minced words when she was hurting, so of course she was going to tell Luke as bluntly as possible. The new guy also nailed the fast-paced dialogue. (Sookie running around the kitchen extolling her forearm strength, Paris cutting down a mom whose kid needed SAT tutoring.) He also worked in the funny pop-culture refs:
Rory: So Logan and I were on the couch…
Lorelai: Wah, wah, wah!
And he included the bizarre hilarity that is Stars Hollow. (Kirk crashing Taylor?s classic 1964 Ford Thunderbird into Luke?s Diner after being blinded by the newly installed ?auto patrol? camera flashes.) But most importantly, he worked well with several subtleties, an Amy Sherman-Palladino specialty. That car wreck wasn?t just a ha-ha moment. When the tow-truck driver asked Luke about taking out the car or waiting for the insurance guy to show, he got the same angry diatribe from the night before: ?Don?t pressure me! I don?t like to be pressured. It?s not one or the other. Give me time to think.? Not much to think about, actually: The T-Bird/Lorelai had to be removed from the diner/Luke, and both need to be fixed.
Want some more symbolism? Did you Google that ep of the Twilight Zone? Yep, it exists, and it?s a perfect allegory for both Logan and Rory, and Luke and Lorelai: two couples who try to stay in sync for all the right reasons but just can?t seem to get the timing right. Will it take 40 years? We have one season, hopefully more, to find out. I can?t wait.
EW: No Man, No Cry
After tuning in to my wonderful girls for six seasons, I look for certain things in an episode: Lorelai and Rory cracking wise in the same room, Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop, where is your Emmy recognition?) throwing a fit, some physical comedy from my should-be best friend Sookie, and a good cry. I like jokes about Desperate Housewives and Somerset Maugham and Jude Law’s nanny. I worry that I what I liked most, though, was the whoosh and zing of creator-writer-director Amy Sherman-Palladino’s brilliant brain. The new CW network parted inelegantly with her at the end of last season, so, needless to say, I approached last night’s premiere with some anxiety.
We kick off where we left off, with, oh God, Lorelai in Christopher’s bed. Lorelai, who broke, ripped, and spat on my heart last year when she gave Luke that wrenching ultimatum to stop stalling and marry her already, sought comfort from Christopher. I was shocked then; I’m still shocked. (Make no mistakes, I’ve always loved me a little Christopher, and Luke behaved like a major lunkhead for much of last season. But still, sex with the ex? Lorelai! Don’t worry, I’m just like Sookie. Still here for you.) Christopher looks like a dopey smitten kitten, and Lorelai looks like she just ate cat food. He offers to make her breakfast in bed, and she bolts.
Rory, meanwhile, is missing Logan, who left hours ago for a year in London. (Oh Logan, I’ve got lots of friends — smart ones who are into nice guys, not jerks — who sing your praises. Sorry, blondie, I’m not buying it.) He’s left her a strange present that she doesn’t understand the significance of, a model rocket. Screw the spaceship, I say. He also left you a fully furnished rent-free apartment for a year. Invite Paris over and get loaded on homemade rocket fuel! Rory is bummed, though, and moves home to Stars Hollow for the summer to live with Mom.
And here is where, perhaps unfairly, I start to worry about new show runner David Rosenthal. Lorelai and Rory reunite, and Lorelai spills about breaking up with Luke (leaving out the part about consoling herself in the open arms of Rory’s father, of course). She’s not ready to get into it, though, and the two engage in some lame-brained blather about what they could do to keep from talking. Hello! Luke and Lorelai have broken up. They were supposed to grow old together, and he was supposed to make her special plates of diner food for the rest of her life. And now she doesn’t get to wear her blush-colored wedding dress! (Oh, I loved that dress. Not that weird fairy veil though.) I get that she’s in shock, but wouldn’t she break down for half a second? Or at least not get grinningly distracted by subpar banter about racquetball for God’s sake. Racquetball! (Amy, were you watching? Were you gloating?) That said, the later scene at the gym — Lorelai and Rory in cute workout clothes, sitting cross-legged on the court — was quite dear.
Later in the episode, Rory misses Logan so much that she calls him with the intention of inviting herself to London for the summer. He underestimates her enthusiasm and says he’s already bought her a plane ticket. For Christmas break. She feels dumb and deflated and hangs up. Why? Why couldn’t she have just said, ”Wow, you bought me a plane ticket? Thanks, blondie! I might buy my own plane ticket and come for a visit this summer. Cool?”
In the end, Luke (and Scott Patterson, I must say, you have never been better) shows up at the house looking sweaty and sheepish and like he might pass out from fear of losing Lorelai for good. The truck is packed, and he wants to whisk her away to get married, and he’s got all these heartbreaking plans for honeymoons. Lorelai, still stone-faced, tells him she slept with Christopher. Luke, poor, poor thing, burns rubber out of there.
And yet, no cry for me. No lump in my throat, no calf chills, no nothing. And, as Lauren Graham can do no wrong in my book, I blame the writers. I blame the writers for, in the era of Star Jones, James Frey, Katie Couric, Lindsay Lohan, Stavros whoever, only giving us one lame Fast and the Furious joke. I want more pop-culture funny. And I want to believe that you all can do better and that I’m totally jumping the gun and these are perfectly understandable early-in-the-season kinks. I’m 100 percent keeping my Tuesday nights at 8 o’clock free, but I want there to continue to be a swell reason to do so.
What did you think? Am I panicking unnecessarily? Will Lorelai and Christopher be a thing now? Is Logan bopping Kate Moss in London, or can he be trusted? And is The Fast and the Furious worth revisiting? (Never mind answering that last one.)