next_to_normal: (Anya popcorn)
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I am now finished season 5 and finding that I remember NONE OF THIS.

Okay, that is an exaggeration. I remember some things. I remember Rory living with Paris at Yale. I remember Paris dating the professor, though I forgot that he died. I remember Paris/Doyle. I remember Marty (why didn't Rory ever date Marty? If anyone was ever the quintessential overlooked nice guy without being a Nice Guy, it's Marty). But I have zero memory of Jackson running against Taylor and becoming Town Whatever. Nothing about Michel being around during that in-between-inns phase. (I half don't recognize him when he's not wearing a suit and standing behind a desk.) Sookie having kids? Nada. 

I remember, of course, that Dean cheated on his wife with Rory. But I totally forgot that he left Lindsay and he and Rory actually tried to get back together and have a relationship after that? I promised I would revisit the "Is Dean out of character?" question at this point, and... I don't know. It's actually really interesting to see how different his relationship with Lindsay is, how NOT the perfect husband he turns out to be. You would think, if he's such the perfect boyfriend, if that's really the kind of guy he is, that he'd have treated Lindsay a lot better. Think of how devoted and eager to please Rory he always was, and then look at how hard Lindsay is trying with cooking the roast for him, and how he is just not giving back anything at all. I get that Dean rebounded super hard and marrying Lindsay was a total mistake, and Dean realizes that, but suck it up, dude. Live with your mistake and make the best of it, or get a divorce. (I honestly don't think he'd have left Lindsay if she hadn't found Rory's letter. He tells Rory he would have, but he is Less Than Convincing in that moment.) But apparently you have to be special like Rory for Dean to make an effort. Mere mortals get grumpy, cheater Dean.

So, is he written as much more of a jerk? Well, yes. But is it out of character? I'm not sure, maybe he's just supposed to be this guy who is NOT actually perfect, and is only a really good boyfriend when it's easy to be one, and is a bitter asshole when things don't turn out the way he wants.

Also, at this point, it clearly has nothing to do with competing with Jess, though it is interesting that when Jess comes back, he gets a little better and more mature, whereas Dean gets worse. His last appearance, where he basically is just trying to ruin Luke and Lorelai's relationship because he's bitter that things didn't work out with Rory? Gross, Dean. You are on Emily Gilmore's level, and that is NOT a good place to be. 

Oh, I also completely forgot that Lorelai dated Jason Stiles. Correction: I forgot that Jason Stiles was a character that existed. (For those who, like me, need a refresher: Jason Stiles is the son of Floyd Stiles, Richard's old boss. When Richard starts his own business, Jason decides to partner with Richard to piss off his father, succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, and ends up getting sued for poaching clients. Richard goes back to his old firm, taking all their clients and leaving Jason with nothing, so he sues Richard. Lorelai claims she can't date someone who is suing her family, so she breaks up with him.) Easily my least favorite of Lorelai's boyfriends, and clearly the least memorable. *sigh* I liked Max Medina. Remember Max? Other than the complete inappropriateness of dating Rory's teacher, he seemed like he was really good for Lorelai. I'm not saying Luke and Lorelai shouldn't be endgame, but if Max had ever shown back up when he wasn't Rory's teacher, I'd have been conflicted, let me tell you.

Speaking of Luke and Lorelai, by the time they get together at the end of season 4, I definitely had the feeling like, "Yeah, it's time," so well done, Show, on drawing that out just long enough and developing the characters to the point that it makes sense they'd get together now without it feeling like they've been idiots for not getting together way before now. At least the whole subplot with Richard kept Jason from feeling like someone we were just marking time with until the two of them figured their shit out. Nicole... somewhat less so, but whatever. 

The idea that Luke needed a self-help book to figure out that he needed to make a move with Lorelai, though. A WORLD OF NO. Especially because it suggests that he didn't realize he was in love with her, when their whole thing all along has been that he KNOWS, he's just deliberately not doing anything because they're friends. You could maybe explain it like he thought he was over her because he was in love with Nicole for a while, but... meh. Stupid self-help book. Unnecessary and stupid. The idea of Jess reading it, though? HILARIOUS.   

So, one of my proposed topics from the previous post was the complete inconsistency with with Lorelai and Rory's money situation is portrayed. Like, starting with the obvious: if they are supposed to be so poor, why do they spend so much money on takeout? There's one episode in season 4 where Rory comes home from college and is concerned Lorelai is having money problems because the fridge is fully stocked, and I'm just like HOW IS THIS THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS EVER COME UP?? Eating at restaurants or takeout for every meal (not to mention all the excess junk food they buy) is SO MUCH MORE expensive than buying groceries and cooking for yourself.

I know it's not always that simple with poverty, but Stars Hollow is obviously not a food desert, so there's no issue with access to cheap, healthy food. I'll give Lorelai a pass in the early years when she was a teenager and probably a.) didn't know how to cook for herself, b.) didn't have much to work with kitchen-wise in that little shack at the inn, and c.) worked long hours to make enough money to live on. But still, years later, whenever they have money problems, it never occurs to them to maybe reduce the food budget a bit? When Lorelai's best friend is a chef who would gladly teach her how to cook? When they live in a real house (and how on earth Lorelai afforded that house is another of the many dubious financial situations in this series) with a full kitchen to cook in? And while Lorelai is a single, working mom, she's not working multiple jobs or double shifts or anything that would preclude her from having the time to prepare meals. Or hey, here's a thought - Rory's a smart kid, maybe she could do some cooking if her mother's too busy working.

Speaking of which, why does Rory never get a part-time job to help pay for things? She works as the card swiper in the Yale cafeteria for about five minutes, and that's it. Granted, waitressing at Luke's or whatever isn't going to pay for Chilton on its own or anything, but she could pitch in, at least. Though I'm sure if it ever came up, Lorelai would insist that Rory's studies should come first. It's ironic, really, the way Lorelai raises Rory - in ensuring that Rory never wants for anything, she completely shelters her from all the hardships that made Lorelai the resourceful, resilient, independent woman she is. Lorelai had to fight and scrape and earn everything on her own from the age of sixteen, and managed to defy a privileged childhood by succeeding all on her own. Rory has never had to work for a thing in her life, and she grows up selfish and entitled as a result - exactly the lifestyle Lorelai was trying to escape from. It's no wonder that she takes so easily to the life of luxury offered by her grandparents and by Logan. It's no wonder she reacts to Dean being married the way she does - it doesn't matter that he's cheating on his wife, because Rory loves Dean and so they belong together, all other commitments be damned. Rory wants something, and so she automatically deserves to get it. And it's no wonder she flips out at the first suggestion that she might not be successful in her career - for all the time and effort she put into school, she was still academically gifted and so she never really had to deal with failure. Paris, at least, learned that lesson in not making valedictorian or getting into Harvard, and when Paris Gellar is more well-adjusted than you, you have ISSUES, yo.

But we have also seen that running away is generally Rory's method of dealing with problems. She runs off to Europe to avoid an awkward relationship issue, not once, but TWICE! (Which, ahem, she probably learned from Lorelai, Miss Let's Call Off My Wedding For No Reason and Take a Roadtrip.) So of course her reaction to being told she doesn't have what it takes to be a journalist is to quit college entirely, instead of, oh, I don't know, just changing her major? Or hell, deciding to prove Mitchum Huntzberger wrong and working harder than ever. No, definitely, the better thing to do is to steal a BOAT* and then drop out of school. (This, from the girl who, just a year ago, was berating Dean for dropping out of community college because he needed to work more hours! She cannot comprehend that, because she's never had to deal with the practicalities of paying bills - not everyone has rich grandparents to bail them out, Rory - but when SHE'S the one not getting to do exactly what she wants with her life, dropping out is a valid choice, eh?)

*If there is anything ridiculously out of character in this show, it is Rory stealing a fucking boat. The dropping out, sure. It seems counterintuitive for such an academically-minded character, but like I said, running away is what she does. But stealing a boat? Nothing in the history of Rory Gilmore suggests that she would react to ANYTHING by STEALING A BOAT. 

Okay, I maybe kind of went off on a tangent there? But nope, not apologizing. That boat thing is ludicrous. And so we have reached The Bad Seasons. Yay.

P.S. Next time, I HAVE to talk about Richard and Emily. How have I gotten this far and not talked about Richard and Emily? 
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