Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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Let’s discuss the Gilmore Girls revival that hit Netflix last week. I’ve watched all four episodes and even though I tried to spread them out, I ended up watching Spring, Summer and Fall all in one day. Oops.

To be honest, I’m not 100% happy with A Year in the Life. Winter and Spring felt very off to me and almost boring. Not a lot happened and everyone seemed kind of disconnected with their characters. I know it’s been ten years since they played them but the performances were stiff and even Rory and Lorelai didn’t quite interact with each other the way I was used to. Thankfully, this seemed better by Summer and Fall and those two episodes were extremely enjoyable and felt very much like the Gilmore Girls I know and love.

Rory’s story arc through the entire season was frustrating. She should have been over her “vagabond existence” by age 32 and I absolutely HATED Paul, the new boyfriend. He was so unnecessary and I suppose added in to bring comedy to the series but it just didn’t work. And the Logan affair – DID SHE LEARN NOTHING FROM HER STUPID MISTAKE WITH DEAN?? I seriously wanted to shake her when I found out Logan was engaged to Odette, yet they were still carrying on like it was no big deal. Poor Paul  – even though I hated his character, that still wasn’t right to treat him that way. For someone who didn’t have a steady income, Rory seemed to be doing a lot of flying back and forth to London and as someone who has flown abroad, those flights aren’t cheap! I thought it made the story seem a little choppy and even though I love Alex Kingston from ER & Doctor Who, she was yet another character that seemed out of place. I think if the season had been longer than 4 episodes this would have worked better but I didn’t like how it messed with the pacing of the show.

Logan disappointed me. Even though I’m a Jess girl, Logan actually seemed to grow up a bit by the end of Season 7 of Gilmore Girls. I wouldn’t have hated it if he and Rory eventually ended up together but in the revival, he seemed to regress and become more like Mitchum Huntzberger. Yuck. His character saving moment was during the Life and Death Brigade montage which was quite possibly the best part of the four part series.

Also, can we talk about the musical? I do not enjoy musicals anyway and even though I thought it was a very typical thing for the town of Stars Hollow to do, 10 minutes out of an already limited series was wasted on something completely non-essential. The final song was important since it sent Lorelai off on her “Wild”trek, but why not just show that instead of the whole thing? My guess is that it was a way to give Sutton Foster more than just a quick cameo role since she worked with Amy Sherman Palladino on Bunheads.

Now that I’ve gotten most of what I didn’t like off my chest, let’s talk about what I DID like! First of all, I just really loved being back in Stars Hollow and I wish there was more to watch, especially since it really got going at the end. I hope they make more, but it sounds like neither of the Palladinos have thought about anything past the final four words so I don’t expect anything any time soon.

Luke and Lorelai’s story ended the way I always hoped it would – the wedding was magical and I loved it. I got pretty nervous in Summer when everyone started fighting and then Luke thought she was going to leave him after her “Wild” trip but I am so glad it worked out for them. I always wanted to see their wedding and when I heard someone was getting married, I had hoped it would be them and not Rory. Wish granted 🙂

I loved the presence of Edward Hermann throughout all four episodes – he may have been gone but he was most definitely not forgotten. The funeral was so sad and I admit that I cried and probably would have cried more had I been watching it alone.

Paris Geller was even more Paris Geller than before and that door kick! I’m holding out hope that she and Doyle reconcile in any potential future episodes because they’re just hilarious and so made for each other that it would be a shame if they didn’t.

The Life and Death Brigade sequence was THE BEST. The episode in the original series when Rory does a story for the Yale Daily News about the secret club is probably my favorite episode of all time and I would have preferred ten more minutes with then rather than the stupid musical.

Emily Gilmore really came into her own – with Richard, all she knew how to do was be a society wife, going to parties, DAR meetings and functions and keeping the maids in check. But now that he’s gone, her house seems to big, her life empty and she moves on to something and somewhere new. I’ve always liked Emily even though she could be very harsh at times but she just really soars to new levels in the reboot. Her meltdown at the DAR meeting is a new Gilmore Girls classic scene.

Jess. Once Jess got over his bad boy ways, he really became Rory’s Luke and even more so in my imagination now that we’ve heard the final four words. Logan = Christopher and Jess = Luke. Jess always tells Rory what she needs to hear and gives her a push in the right direction. Team Jess forever 🙂

I could probably keep blabbing on, but this post is getting a little long. I’d love to hear what other fans think! Did you like it? Hate it? Meet or exceed expectations? I kind of feel like watching it again so if you comment and I take a while to respond, I’m probably in Stars Hollow having a hot chocolate, burger and fries at Luke’s.

 

 

 

The X-Files: Season 10 Review

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On January 24th, fourteen years after what fans thought was the series finale,  The X-Files kicked off its much hyped six episode event. Ratings were HUGE with 16 million people watching episode one (probably didn’t hurt that it directly followed the Super Bowl) and even though episode two only pulled in about 10 million viewers, those are still big numbers for any network show, but especially interesting considering the show’s age (the pilot episode of the X-Files premiered 23 years ago.)

Critics eviscerated the first episode (“My Struggle”), but from a fan perspective, I thought it was pretty good. Granted the first episode brought a lot of happy nostalgia with it, which probably skewed my opinion of the episode a tiny bit, but at the end of the first two hours, I felt like the show still had something special to offer. Yes,  a lot of information was thrown at us all at once but the writers only had so much time to catch everyone up, introduce a new alien conspiracy and set in motion the rest of the season.

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny also seemed a little bit rusty with their character portrayals, although by the second episode, the actors seemed more like their usual selves. But maybe the most jarring part of watching was seeing how much Mulder and Scully have aged from previous episodes – it took some getting used to and probably seemed more prominent since I had just finished watching the entire series the week before.

Episode two (“Founder’s Mutation”) felt more like your typical X-Files, re-introduced us to the William story-line and left fans feeling a little bit weepy. By episode three (“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) fans were treated to a monster-of-the-week episode written by Darin Morgan who wrote several of the show’s all time best episodes. “Home Again” contrary to early speculation was not a sequel to season four’s “Home” (although that would have been really cool) but instead continued with the monster-of-the-week theme.

By episode five, the season 10 story arc had switched gears, moving things toward the finale. “Babylon” felt more like an episode of 24 and touched on post-9/11 subject matter and themes that the show never got to explore  in its initial run. The episode also has one of the funniest moments of season 10 when Agent Mulder is given psychedelic mushrooms and sends him on a country music fueled trip that also includes a tribute to the Lone Gunmen – another weepy moment for the show.

That brings us to episode six (“My Struggle II”) and the finale. We’re brought back to where episode one left off and a deadly contagion starts wreaking havoc across the globe . Scully seems to be the only one who is immune to the virus and begins work on a vaccine made from her DNA but when she finally reaches Mulder in time, only their son William can save him. The problem? No one knows where William is.

Cue the alien spaceship and bright light beaming down on Scully and cue the end of season 10.

Fans were promised a cliffhanger and Chris Carter delivered. The only downside is, we have no idea when/if the show will continue, so opening up a whole new chapter on the X-Files when there are no more episodes being planned is really quite typical, but frustrating.

Do I think there will be more? Probably. Ratings were solid, fans will be eager to see what’s next and the actors have said they’re open to more. Personally, I’d like to see maybe thirteen more to explore the themes the show opened up this time around but I say after that,  wrap it up and give some closure to the series.

When that will happen remains a mystery. Until then, I want to believe there’s more story left to be told. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another fourteen years to tell it.

 

A Look Back at the X-Files, Season 9

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Well, I did it! I finished re-watching the entire series – and a full week ahead of schedule! My season nine re-watch wrapped up on Sunday, the 17th of January and the new revival begins this Sunday, the 24th at 10 p.m. on Fox.

Season nine was a mixed bag. David Duchovny only appeared in two episodes and was completely taken out of the opening credits. Scully was more of a consultant on cases and began a teaching career at the FBI Academy. Even the opening theme song and montage was tweaked – giving it a 21st century feel.

In many ways, it felt like season nine was a transitional season – a baton was to be passed from Agents Scully and Mulder to Agents Doggett and Reyes and while the Doggett/Reyes combo was fine, they just weren’t the heart and soul of the X-Files. Had the show continued without original cast members, I doubt it would have lasted more than one season.

Toward the final few episodes, there are some real heart-breaking moments, most notably with the Lone Gunman and William, Mulder and Scully’s baby. I won’t spoil anything but I would have liked to have seen a better ending for the characters, however I know not every story line can end happily.

Instead of breaking down particular episodes to watch like I’ve done in previous posts, I recommend that you watch the entire season. Sure it’s got ups and downs and overall isn’t as good as previous seasons, but it is the final season and closes the book on that particular chapter of the X-Files.

I hope you’ve enjoyed re-watching and re-living The X-Files with me! Don’t forget to tune in to Fox on Sunday, Jan. 24th at 10 p.m. to watch the first of six all new episodes. Check back here in a few months for my recap of the X-Files: 2016 Revival. And remember: The Truth is Out There.

A Look Back at the X-Files, Season 8

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Mulder is out and John Doggett is in as Scully’s new partner on the X-Files. Originally recruited for a special FBI task force to find Mulder (who may or may not have been abducted by aliens),  Doggett and Scully start off on the wrong foot but by the end of the season, generally work well together. As a veteran FBI agent on the X-Files, Scully’s skepticism and need for proof seems to have been satisfied and for quite a bit of season eight she almost personifies Mulder while Doggett becomes the skeptical partner.

The first half of season eight focuses on the search for Mulder, working in a few monster of the week episodes here and there. The last half is all about *SPOILER ALERT* Scully’s pregnancy and whether or not her unborn child is an alien baby. We also meet Agent Monica Reyes, who joins the series full time in season nine.

From a critical standpoint, season eight is very uneven as viewers have to adjust to a new working chemistry between Scully and Doggett. The show starts to show its age a little and you can feel that the producers and writers were running out of steam. The addition of Doggett and Reyes, besides filling a character hole left by Mulder’s absence, were probably brought in to give the series life beyond the central characters of Mulder and Scully and while they were fine in their own way, they just weren’t the heart and soul of the X-Files.

Here are a few stand-out episodes from season eight:

Episode 1: Within. Important to watch as viewers meet John Doggett and learn about his assignment to find Mulder.

Episode 3: Patience. Doggett and Scully work on their first case not involving the search for Mulder and realize their investigative techniques are nothing alike.

Episode 4: Roadrunners. Scully is out on her own and is taken by a satanic cult that worships a worm like creature. Gross content alert!

Episode 6: Redrum. Doggett’s friend is on trial for the murder of his wife and while trying to clear his own name, finds that his days are moving backward. The best episode of the season.

Episode 17: Empedocles. Mulder and Doggett work a case together but neither trust the other.

Episode 21: Existence. Scully’s baby is born.