A great way to collect the first four of a great television
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've had one and only one tiny complaint with THE GILMORE GIRLS on DVD: it has come out a bit too slow. While the industry standard has become releasing the previous season's DVD set shortly before or just after the start of the forthcoming season, THE GILMORE GIRLS even after the release of Season Four will be a solid season behind. As someone who would like to evangelize new viewers to the show, I would love to be able to direct friends to all previous seasons so that they can be completely caught up for the current one. Still, I'm delighted that all four seasons are now available, and moreover at a very decent price. The key is that the basic list price is low for a four-season set, allowing resellers like Amazon to make the sell price after discount very low indeed.
What makes this such a great show? Like so many shows of recent years, it is the writing. In film studies, the ultimate responsibility for the quality of a movie is usually laid at the feet of the director. Even when given a quality script, a director is able to sculpt and mold it either through rewriting or reinterpreting, or changing the tone through the way it is filmed. But in television the writer working in conjunction with the executive producers (who provide the overall vision) is the most important contributor. If you have bad scripts, no how brilliant the director or how talented the cast, you have a bad show. Luckily, THE GILMORE GIRLS has great writers, a large number of the scripts written either by series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino. If you've ever seen her interviewed, you know who serves as the basis for Lorelai Gilmore, the central character on the show: she's merely the self-projection of Amy Sherman.
So what makes the writing so good on the show? First and foremost, it contains the wittiest, sharpest, and most frenetically paced dialogue on TV. For sheer quantity of words it is probably the most loquacious show in the history of TV. Luckily, because the words are good, that is a good thing. It is often said of the show that whereas most one-hour shows shoot with a 45-50 page script, THE GILMORE GIRLS usually shoots with a 75-80 page script. If you love great talk, this is your dream show. While virtually all other shows at least have segments where you get to watch characters do things, all the characters on this show do is talk. And they all talk brilliantly. In interviews Sherman has acknowledged that her models for the conversation on the show were comedies from the 1930s and 1940s such as the Thin Man series and Howard Hawks's HIS GIRL FRIDAY. All the actors talk fast, and the words simply pour off the screen, and much of the dialogue is witty, funny, and intelligent. The only show whose talk I enjoyed more was BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. It is the only I show currently watch just to see the characters talk to one another.
The second major reason the show is such a joy to watch is the first rate cast, most of all the wonderful Lauren Graham, who manages to imbue Lorelai Gilmore with such charm. The show revolves around the lives of a mother and daughter, both named Lorelai, though the daughter is called for some reason I no longer recall Rory. Lorelai became pregnant when she was 16, had Rory, and left her parents when they tried to control both her and the way her daughter was to be raised. She rushed immediately to the Independence Inn (its name is surely not accidental) in Stars Hollow, thirty minutes south of Hartford, Connecticut, and asked for any job she could get, taking a job as a maid, and over the years working her way up to be the manager. Her daughter Rory is more like her best friend than child, and in many ways they are complementary opposites, Lorelai ebullient and loquacious and unbookish (though obviously intelligent); Rory reserved and quieter (though a match for her mother's machine gun conversational style) and a passionate reader. Apart from Lorelai's parents, most of the rest of the cast consists of residents of Stars Hollow, such as Luke, the owner of the diner that provides Lorelai with the gallons of coffee she requires to survive and ongoing potential object of romance; Sookie, the chef at the inn, Lorelai's best friend, and future business partner; Miss Patty, grand dame and aging bon vivant who runs the local dance studio; Taylor, the head of the town council, local business, and fundamental pain in everyone's collective butts; Kirk, a minor presence in the show at first, but eventually major oddity of Stars Hollow and the apparent holder of every job in town; Rory's best friend Lain, the daughter of a rigidly devout Seventh Day Adventist and Korean owner of an antique store (Lain hides the finest collection of alternative and pop music in town underneath the floor boards in her room); Dean, Rory's first boyfriend; and Paris, Rory's ultra driven and competitive classmate who starts off as foe but ends up her friend (or at close to a friend as Paris is capable of having). There are numerous plot lines, but these are merely excuses to have the various marvelous characters interact and provide occasions for them to talk to one another.
THE GILMORE GIRLS truly is a wonderful, unique show. Essentially a comedy, it never becomes in any sense a situation comedy; while dealing primarily with human relationships, it never, ever feels at all like a soap opera. And in an era where shows love to uncover the seedy underbelly of American life, the worst that happens in Stars Hollow is tame compared to what happens on any other show on TV. Well, at least until Season Five, but even then the worst isn't that bad."
Trout | Crawley, England | 08/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I caught the Gilmore Girls by accident and have been hooked ever since both my daughter and I watch it and cannot wait for the next episode the writing is absolutely fantastic as is the acting all the actors and actresses make it seem so real and you feel that you are there going through everything with them. The good thing is that unlike most other shows there is no violence to speak of and it proves that you dont need bad language and lots of sex etc to make a show work. The only thing that could be done I think is to advertise the show more in England I think once the message got around it would be a hit over here as well.All in all excellent viewing and cannot wait for the next season on DVD to arrive in September."