In my dreams I post here every week - even every six weeks would be great but maybe we're settling for every two months right now?
News round up:
- My rock and roll band Dérive released Instantly Black the Goodness last August on Howling Frequency. Tomorrow night (December 2nd) we are performing at The Flywheel in Easthampton, MA.
- The Boston Conservatory Composer's Orchestra premiered Staghorn Sumac in October.
- contraBAND premiered Transient the week after at their drag show. My partner and I were in appropriate outfits ---
- And speaking of - did I forget to post here that I am engaged? I popped the question last June and here we are planning a wedding for September 2018!
- Jon Whitin and Sarah Harvey premiered my piece Ravens in the Gun Tree (which will be performed again on Tuesday in Boston) at a recital in New Britain, CT. The same night Bri Tagz, Kelvyn Koning, and myself premiered my piece Fun Facts. Word is it'll be getting a second performance on January 20th in Boston.
- Black Sheep Contemporary Ensemble will be performing my trio Scanned into the Bright Light sometime in the spring.
- FINALLY my first opera War is a Racket is completed. The premiere is on April 22nd and I'm sure I'll post about it again before that...
Onto the real business though.
Chances are you've at least heard of the show. It mostly features Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, mother and daughter with ridiculous appetites for junk food and coffee, whose dialogue is usually rapid and full of too many references to pop culture for even the most in-the-know to know. I consider myself a fan of the show. I've been through the series a few times and waited with anticipation last year for the Netflix series to be released. But the new episodes tricked me. I had always been under the impression that Gilmore Girls would end like Seinfeld. In the latter, we watch four New Yorkers take advantage of, lie to, and swindle just about everyone they meet for nine seasons. All of it for us to be reminded that despite the fact the actions are funny, they're actually really quite despicable people we're watching. The series ends with the four being thrown in jail as a result of their various schemes over the years. I always felt like Gilmore Girls would be the same way. I shouldn't have been watching it as some sort of twisted social satire. i should have been watching it as Amy Sherman Palladino's strange perception of human relationships.
Let's start with Lorelai. The entirety of the show is based on her struggle to understand that her daughter can't be her best friend all of the time. We're expected to feel sympathetic and jealous of what a close relationship they have while lauding her for being such a great mother, but in fact she totally fails to treat Rory like a daughter. (and by the way can someone explain how Lorelai somehow has enough money to eat out a few times a day and be a homeowner but still complain about being too poor?). Lorelai has a strange insistence on being part of every facet of Rory's life. Her desire to know every detail about Rory losing her virginity is nothing short of creepy.
Her relationship with Rory is strange but the way she treats her friends, family, and community is just awful. How many times throughout the show does she toy with Luke's emotions? She knows as a fact that Luke is in love with her but she continues to traipse her various boyfriends around him and then get upset when he shows frustration at her constantly leading him on. When she ultimately cheats on him the show expects us to feel sympathetic with her, instead of feeling bad for Luke who has spent the last however many years going out of his way to do favors for Lorelai. In the new series she treats him even worse - how long can she go on with "I'm afraid of commitment" act before we call bullshit and someone on the show tells her that it's time to grow up. Luke aside, her treatment of her parents, who aren't without blame, is bratty, but we're constantly told that it's endearing and quirky. Meanwhile Lorelai is rude and disrespectful to just about everyone who lives in Star's Hollow. Every scene that is meant to be read as "Wow! Look at how fast talking and witty Lorelai is" just feels like, "Why is she being so mean to everyone?"
So while all of the above is going on Rory is mirroring the behavior of her mother. Actually I take that back. For a lot of the original run of the series Rory is fairly better than Lorelai. But just to be clear, the way she treats Dean (he's not a gem either - see below) is pretty despicable. She's not too great to that guy she meets in Yale whose name I can't remember. Do you know who I'm talking about? He works a million jobs and seems like the perfect guy for her? He likes the Marx Brothers?
And as a *brief* aside, can we just admit that for a show that was marketed to middle and high school aged girls, it teaches a lot of really bad lessons about relationships. Everyone loves to argue about which of the three boyfriends is the best for Rory, but the real answer is that they're all kind of awful choices. Dean breaks Rory down to the point that she can't have a conversation with him without it ending in her pleading, "Please don't be mad." Jess is the most appealing to me (or I think his character has more depth) but he does pretty seriously assault Rory at a party. I would argue that Jess actually redeems himself but it's an issue that goes entirely unaddressed and we're still expected to sympathize with Rory as she struggles to decide if Jess is the right choice for her. Finally there's Logan. I hate him because he's a real smug douchebag but at least his offenses are the least of the three. Some would argue that he really takes care of Rory and has her best interests at heart but I find him to be somewhat controlling and manipulative. No good choices here.
Which brings us to the (original) series finale. Lorelai and Rory have spent the past six seasons being awful to everyone they meet. For some reason Rory gets a job following Barack Obama on the campaign trail so Luke (what the fuck are you doing Luke? Have some fucking self respect. Why in the hell are you trying to help out the woman who cheated on you not a year earlier???) organizes a town wide going away party for Rory. I want even half an explanation about why anybody in that town cares about Rory. She's nothing but rude to everyone and hasn't even lived there for 4 seasons. The show tells us that for the entire town to love you all you have to do is be a little quirky and read a lot. It's not true!
AND THAT brings us to the Netflix reboot which features GUESS WHAT.
- ONE. RORY HAS A LONGTERM BOYFRIEND WHOSE NAME SHE CAN'T REMEMBER. BY THE WAY, SHE'S CHEATING ON HIM
- TWO. LORELAI HAS YET ANOTHER FREAKOUT THAT CAUSES HER TO SORT OF MAYBE LEAVE LUKE **AGAIN**.
- THREE. LORELAI'S COMMITMENT ISSUES SHOULD HAVE BEEN SOLVED IN THE SECOND SEASON
- FOUR. WHY DOES LUKE LET HER WALK ALL OVER HIM
- FIVE. WHY WASN'T THERE MORE OF KIRK? HIS UBER PLAN WOULD'VE TAKEN OFF IF SOMEONE IN THAT GODDAMN TOWN WOULD SUPPORT HIM
- SIX. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT RORY BEING PREGNANT AND ALONE AT THE END. Actually I think that's a great ending. I think other viewers might have seen that and thought, "Oh wow what a cliffhanger!" And I thought, "This is the Seinfeld ending I've been waiting for. Neither Rory or Lorelai deserve my sympathy which they are clearly vying for."
I can't really say why I like this show and continue to watch it, but I do. Maybe it's a sort of 21st century primer on exactly how not to treat people. Or maybe I'm just watching it because Kirk is the best character on television.