Thursday, May 17, 2007

No More Gilmore

Watched the season finale of Gilmore Girls yesterday, and I was quite disappointed. I know that the episode was filmed before the cast and production team knew if the series would return for an abbreviated eighth season, but my disappointment had very little to do with the plot or production. My disappointment was with the cast, and in particular with Lauren Graham; if there was ever a case of an actress walking through the script, this was it.

Graham, in her role as Lorelei Gilmore, alternated between two expresssions: irritated and bored. When the script called for poignance, longing, sensitivity, compassion, wistfulness, nostalgia, or love, she simply ignored it and chose from the two emotions of the day. I was so unhappy with her performance that I pulled the DVD of the first season and watched a couple of episodes just to remind myself that Graham could deliver a full range of emotions when she began this role; by the time this final episode came around, though, she was making it clear through her performance that she just wanted out. There was no chemistry between her, Scott Patterson, or Alexis Bleidel; even though the latter two did an incredible job in their roles as Luke and Rory, they were unable to compensate for the dreariness and disinterest that Graham put into this episode--and in fact, into most of this season.

It's a real letdown when the star of a series this beloved by much of its fanbase is so unwilling to return that dedication. I hope that Graham finds something that inspires her to act once again; obviously, the final season of Gilmore Girls wasn't it.


Janice said...

I didn't feel that Graham was quite as bad as you indicate here but I think that some of the scripts left a lot to be desired. Her credit as producer this season was solely due to her input on character development but I don't think it went quite far enough. While I wasn't as frustrated with the Rosenthal era as some fans, I did think a lot of the zing went out of the series when the creator left.

For example, in the final episode, the scene where Lorelei is talking with Rory about her feelings for Luke seemed very awkward to me: the character is rarely that self-aware to start with, and the whole exchange seemed much more straightforward than the traditional Gilmore Girls elliptic conversations.

cliff said...

This season's scripts were horribly unpredictable; some had the feel of "real" Gilmore Girls scripts, while others seemed like bad parodies. And the whole Christopher storyline seemed forced and out of character. When Amy Sherman-Palladino lost control of her own show, the series lost its rudder and drifted aimlessly.

Lorelei's conversation about staying in control and not "losing it" (the ironing talk) was another out of character bit of writing, as far as I was concerned.

I still feel, though, that Lauren Graham's subpar performance was the final kiss of death for a series that was already on the fence, however.