Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why does an episode of Gilmore Girls work?

Have you been watching Agents of SHIELD? No, of course you haven't--the only people I hear talking about the show make it clear that they're watching out of a sense of duty: "we're watching it because it's Marvel/Whedon and it has to get better, right?" One complaint I had--and that I've heard repeated about the show--is that it's taking its damn time to set up the interesting things... rather than actually doing the interesting things.

Now Sarah and I are in Gilmore Girls season six and one thing I've noticed about it is that things tend to go pretty slowly. So, at the end of season five, Lorelei and Rory fought because Rory wanted to take time off from Yale. Now we're in season six and it's only in the seventh episode that these two have talked to each other again--which was pretty much the core of the show (mother and daughter who are more like friends). And a lot of the episodes--in this season and earlier--share a certain form:

  • we meander through a few subplots--Paris and her boyfriend/struggles, Lane and her mother and her boyfriend, Luke and Lorelei, Lorelei and Sookie, wacky happenings at the Inn, something with Taylor...
  • and then at the end we get some sort of kick with the main story--Richard shows up at Lorelei's to say he was wrong to help Rory quit Yale or Lorelei proposes to [redacted], etc. 

Theory: Gilmore Girls works by being slow because so much of the pleasure is hanging around and watching our friends/people we like--which cannot be said of Agents of SHIELD or possibly any genre show, which promises plot-based excitement.

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