A week in film – 2017, week 4

OK, I messed up, you guys. I had a week, two long distance train journeys, and at least one evening to myself. And I’ve watched NOTHING.

Well, OK, not technically nothing. I appeared in the room as my housemate was watching Horrible Histories and lingered for an episode, or thereabouts. While I enjoyed what I saw (seriously, it’s a madcap genius way of teaching history to kids), I don’t remember a great deal – apart from the boy band-style song from four King Georges – and it doesn’t feel like enough to report. I turned a couple of films on – Sing Street, 12 Angry Men – only to turn them off again when I remembered I’d promised to watch the former with my boyfriend and I woke up halfway through the latter.

Truth be told, it’s been a difficult week. January’s been dragging along, bringing with it a bunch of personal and professional situations to deal with. It’s really cold – the kind of biting, dry, painful cold that isn’t so much pretty as violent. If I’m not asleep I’m eating toast. It’s the time of year where bodies crave comfort. (This is even aside from the horror show that is global politics).

Now’s probably a good time to mention that I jumped back to watching early Gilmore Girls.

Yeah, I know that I’m an adult, and I know that, if I proclaim TV and movies are a huge part of my existence, I should probably broaden my sphere of understanding. But the fact of the matter is that January is a miserable time, and Gilmore Girls just doesn’t lend itself to misery. The later seasons, while noticeably weaker, still contain the occasional flicker of the show I love. The early seasons are that show. Rory’s not yet at college – and I forgot how fun the Chilton years are – and so there’s a lot more time for the Gilmore girls to be a duo, riffing off one another as often as possible. There’s no denying that Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are brilliantly cast as a mother and daughter, and there’s no denying that the show wouldn’t work anywhere near as well were it not for them right at its centre.

Still, the merit of early Gilmore Girls is its supporting cast. While Dean’s annoying he’s temporarily disappeared at this point in the series, to be replaced as Rory’s boyfriend by Jess, who is definitely Rory’s best boyfriend (apart from when he isn’t a good boyfriend). Jess and Rory work, partly because he’s the inevitable bad boy required in teen dramas, and partly because his character is basically hers without the list-making tendencies, knack for standard education, and stable upbringing. I like them as a couple, and I like what the writers do with them as a couple – they fall apart, which is bound to happen, but because he’s an eighteen-year-old kid and he freaks about what to do with his life; not for any major dramatic reason.

Then there’s Paris, who’s still in her ‘academic queen of high school’ phase. Paris has always been one of my favourite Gilmore Girls characters – her complete lack of people skills is oddly charming, and she gets the funniest lines, often when she’s being awful to someone. Lane is also at her Gilmore Girls best – she’s got the Dave storyline going on, which gives her the opportunity to have a romantic plot of her own (rather than commenting on Rory’s), and she’s in the midst of juggling her rock-music-loving tendencies with her ultra-religious responsibilities in Mrs Kim’s house. Rory’s friends, quite often, are more compelling than Rory.

At the end of the day, I’m relying on Gilmore Girls because it’s comforting. The world is a sucky place right now – it has become dark, horrible, and utterly, utterly cruel. To gain the energy to fight it, I’m going to use Gilmore Girls as a crutch for a bit. Yeah, it is in no way the same, and it’s not ground-breaking, nor is it a total model of ideal behaviour in itself. But it’s friendly and kind and I like it. And what’s the harm in a week of that once in a while?


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