Warner Bros. // 2006 // 936 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Cynthia Boris (Retired) // September 25th, 2006
"And all this without a drink in my hand! Dealing with this family is
Logan to Rory
Like many people, I too began my life as a Gilmore hater. Having never seen the show, I constantly put it down as a ridiculous feel-good dramedy full of quirky characters which would bore me to tears. Then Supernatural came along and I became obsessed with all things Jared Padalecki, which meant catching him on Gilmore Girls reruns as Rory's boyfriend, Dean. I was hooked -- lined and sinkered and not just by the charming and sweet Dean. I fell for the intelligent patter, the trademark fast-talking (my husband says I sound just like them), and yes, the quirky characters. Once drawn in, I had no choice but to go out and buy all the seasons on DVD and greedily consume them. The true test? I even watched the episodes that didn't have Jared in them. Yes, I am sold on all things Gilmore. Or rather, I was, until Season Six came along.
Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) is a young single mother raising a teenage daughter who is also her best friend. Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) may be the child in the relationship but in reality she's more of the parent. Rory is organized, rational, well-behaved (to a fault), and she's in bed by nine on a school night. Lorelai is wild and disorganized; she's a lover of mischievous pranks, junk food, and coffee. Did I mention coffee? Lots of it. The Gilmore Girls live in the small Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, which is populated with a cast of characters that are all a bit off bubble, except for maybe Luke (Scott Patterson). He runs the town diner and after six seasons has finally admitted that he's in love with Lorelei. It may sound like the setup for a sitcom, but it's not. Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that straddles the comedy/drama border with laugh out loud one-liners back to back with angst ridden, emotional scenes. Pay attention, because everything on this show comes at you fast and furious, and if you didn't get that pop culture reference Lorelai just made -- forget it. Another one will be along any minute.
Welcome to Stars Hollow.
Grrrrrr. No, that's not puppy dog Paul Anka growling at one of Babette's gnomes. It's me watching this sixth season box set and in that, I'm not alone. Season Six was the show's most controversial, leaving fans to wonder if show runner Amy Sherman-Palladino had lost her spark. The banter was off. The plots were slow. There was too much time spent on lesser characters and...big and...Rory and Lorelai were hardly ever in a scene together, even after they got past the huge blowup that started the season off.
Part of the problem is the inevitable issue of aging whenever you have a show with a child in the lead. Meaning, Lorelai can stay pretty much the same for two years, five years, or twelve but Rory can't stay in high school forever. Once she graduated and moved on to Yale, the show lost that mother/daughterness that was the foundation. Still, they managed to keep Season Five pretty upbeat and snappy, but with six it all fell apart.
In what was likely an attempt to move the show in a new direction, Rory quit school and moved in with Lorelai's parents. This caused a huge rift between mother and daughter, which was made worse by Rory turning slowly into a miniature version of her grandmother (Kelly Bishop). There's nothing funny here. There's nothing even remotely interesting here, and watching Lorelai stomp around Stars Hollow pretending she doesn't miss her daughter is just annoying after a week. To cope with the lack of clever Lorelai/Rory scenes, the writers compensated by spending more time with Paris, Lane and her band, Luke's extended family, and a dog. Lauren Graham reportedly hates the dog. I don't blame her. Adding Paul Anka to Gilmore Girls is on par with adding Cousin Oliver to The Brady Bunch -- it's a sign that the show has jumped the shark.
Yes, sorry, I said it. Gilmore Girls has jumped the shark, and knowing that Season Seven is starting without the creator of the series at the helm (she had the good sense to move on) doesn't fill me with any sense of hope for a rebirth.
Here's what's in store for you in this box set.
* "The New and Improved Lorelai Gilmore"
Yeah, right. New maybe, but not improved. Lorelai and Luke get engaged.
* "Fight Face"
Rory does community service (her punishment for stealing a boat). Lorelai gets a dog. TJ helps renovate. Wow...how exciting does that all sound?
* "The UnGraduate"
Logan, Lane, the band, Paul Anka -- snore.
* "Always a Godmother, Never a God"
Sookie and Jackson feature in this episode about trying to force the Gilmores together
* "We've Got Magic To Do"
Rory uses her skills to organize a DAR ball, but it's soap-operaishly balanced against Lorelai attending a dance recital at Miss Patty's. Yeah, we got it.
* "Welcome To The Dollhouse"
A somewhat more typical episode with Lorelai fighting Taylor over the recently changed street names.
* "Twenty-One Is The Loneliest Number"
A totally depressing episode about Rory celebrating her 21st birthday without mom.
* "Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out"
Jess returns and Logan is a jerk -- actually, there's a spark in this one.
* "The Prodigal Daughter Returns"
Rory finally looks in a mirror and goes running back to Stars Hollow.
* "He's Slippin' 'Em Bread...Dig? "
Another Thanksgiving and I say, watch "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving" from Season Three instead.
* "The Perfect Dress"
A little too much wedding banter in this one.
* "Just Like Gwen and Gavin"
Lorelai finds out about April.
* "Friday Night's Alright For Fighting"
Rory saves the Yale Daily News (I like that part) and a creative bit of directing shows off an unusually volatile Friday night dinner fight.
* "You've Been Gilmored"
Rory takes over the Yale Daily News and Paris is burning.
* "A Vineyard Valentine"
A sickeningly sweet Valentine episode that so makes me yearn for Season One.
* "Bridesmaid Revisited"
Rory finds out that Logan isn't a saint (we knew that, why didn't she?) and Zach has something to say to Lane.
* "I'm Ok, Your'e Ok"
Zach, Lane, Mrs. Kim, Logan, Rory -- ah finally, a main cast member shows up.
* "The Real Paul Anka"
Logan's drinking and partying are getting to Rory, and Luke visits Jess.
* "I Get A Sidekick Out of You"
Zach and Lane get married.
* "Super Cool Party People"
Logan's latest stunt lands him in the hospital, and Luke tries to be a good dad.
* "Driving Miss Gilmore"
Lorelai sees a new side to her mother when she plays chauffer for the day.
Logan leaves for London, and Luke and Lorelai may be parting for good. (And what's with all the L's...)
To add to slow decline of an empire, this DVD set has no special features. Oh wait, there's a CW Network Preview on Disc Six. Ah, yes, 30 seconds of clips from this season with a voiceover telling us how well the show is doing. Grrr. Now, these DVDs never were all that heavy in that department, but come on! Not one commentary. Not one montage? Not even a gag reel? Believe me when I say, the end is neigh.
I like the color of the box. How's that? Seriously, even with the faults of this season, Gilmore Girls is still a well-produced, well-written, well-acted TV show. It's intelligent, it's funny (usually), and it does have some terrific character actors supporting the main cast. Actually, the fact that this season annoyed me and several million other fans is a testament to Palladino's original creation. You see, we really like these people of Stars Hollow. We think of them as friends, so can you blame us when we want to see them happy? Find a way to put Rory and Lorelai back in the groove, will you? I really want to sing the praises again when the DVD of Season Seven is released.
If you've been watching since day one, you're not going to want to miss this installment of Gilmore Girls on DVD. If you've never seen an episode, however, this would not be the set to start with. Pick up Season One and enjoy the full effect of pop culture chatter coming at you faster than Emily Gilmore can hire and fire a new maid.
This court finds Gilmore Girls -- The Complete Sixth Season guilty of falling into the seventh season slump a season early. (Not surprising, since they do everything fast on that show).
Review content copyright © 2006 Cynthia Boris; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 936 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site
* Gilmore Girls Fan Site