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Gilmore Girls: The Complete Seventh
Warner Home Video
DVD Released: 11/13/2007
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 11/19/2007
No one likes to admit that they're prejudice, as that label has such incredibly negative connotations. But, I'll say it -- I was prejudice. Despite that fact that I used to watch some shows on the WB -- Dawson's Creek (In the beginning due to the involvement of Kevin Williamson and later because I was familiar with the filming locations), Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (Due to the horror elements), and Angel (Again, horror) -- I often ignored and dismissed the network's other offerings. Especially Gilmore Girls, which appeared to be the ultimate chick-flick come to life. This summer my wife's friend lent her several season on DVD and my wife got hooked on the show. I watched it with her and I have to admit that the show is much funnier than I ever expected. Having watched the previous six seasons, I then settled in for Gilmore Girls: The Complete Seventh Season.
(Author's Note: In reviewing Gilmore Girls: The Complete Seventh Season, I must discuss incidents from Season Six. If you don't want spoilers from either season, please read with caution. -- ML) Let's start with a very brief overview of Gilmore Girls. Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) lives in Stars Hollow, Connecticut with her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). Lorelai was raised in the lap of luxury by her upper-crust parents, Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily (Kelly Bishop) Gilmore, but at age 16, she got pregnant and left her disapproving parents to fend for herself in Stars Hollow. She raised Rory by herself and both became pillars of the community. Lorelai worked in a local inn and eventually opened her own inn with her friend and business partner Sookie (Melissa McCarthy). Through financial assistance from her grandparents, Rory went to private school and was accepted to Yale. Throughout the years, Lorelai had a flirtation with local diner owner Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) and the finally began to date and then got engaged. During Season Six, Luke learned that he had a child from a former relationship and this caused him to distance himself from Lorelai. Meanwhile, Rory began a serious relationship with a rich playboy named Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry). At the end of Season Six, Lorelai gave Luke an ultimatum, stating that she needed to know if he would marry her immediately. He said no. She then ran to Rory's father, Christopher Hayden (David Sutcliffe), with whom she's been romantically linked on and off with in the past.
As Season Seven opens, Lorelai is conflicted. She regrets going to Christopher, but she feels that she can no longer be with Luke, as he is so closed off to her. Realizing that he's made a mistake, Luke goes to Lorelai, saying that he is ready to get married, but she spurns him. Assuming that Lorelai is ready for a relationship, Christopher begins to woo Lorelai and she is open to this. She decides that she's ready to truly explore a relationship with him. At this same time, Rory is completing her senior year at Yale. She's had success there, as she's editor of the student newspaper and she's popular. But, as graduation looms, she begins to fear that she doesn't have any kind of future. Her relationship with Logan is going well, but he's had to transfer to London for his job, and as he has a history of cheating, she's not sure that she can trust him. As the season progresses, both women are faced with some very important choices.
At first glance, Season Seven of Gilmore Girls doesn't look that different from the previous six seasons, but a closer examination reveals that it is. The viewer's enjoyment of this season will depend on how much they like certain characters and situations. For starters, we have Lorelai's relationships. For four seasons, we watched Lorelai and Luke flirt and most viewers rejoiced when they finally became a couple. And even when they were having issues in Season Six, they seemed perfect for one another. The show took a huge gamble by having them break up at the end of Season Six/beginning of Season Seven. Essentially, the couple who had become the hear of the show were torn asunder. In Luke's place, we get Christopher. Personally, I don't like Christopher, as he's a spoiled rich boy who never matured. And as the season progresses, it becomes very evident that we're going to get far more Christopher than Luke.
There's also more Rory as well. Yes, as part of the Gilmore Girls of the title, Rory has always been at the forefront of the show, but during Seasons Five and Six at least we had Lorelai and Luke's entertaining relationship to balance this out. I've never really liked Rory for two reasons; 1) She's always come across as whiny and annoying. How can someone who was raised by a single mom in a semi-desperate situation be such a cry-baby, and 2) I supposed Alexis Bledel may be a competent actress, but she's always looked like an amateur next to Lauren Graham's confident portrayal of Lorelai. So, we get a lot of Rory's waa-waa "I'm a star at Yale and I don't know what to do with my life and my rich boyfriend" complaining in Season Seven and it wears thin very quickly.
As far as I know, the makers of Gilmore Girls knew that Season Seven was their last, but they certainly didn't take the show out with a bang. Along with the issues raised above, the subplots concerning the wacky residents of Stars Hollow came across as weak in this season. Perhaps we've grown too accustomed to them. To make matters worse, the show is oddly edited in this season. Some scenes, such as Rory's roommate opening her acceptance letters or some musical numbers, run on for far too long, as if the show is attempting to kill time. I must admit that the series finale is touching as there as many tributes to the bravery and character which Lorelai showed in raising her daughter, but the conclusion is a bit too vague to be truly satisfying. Season Seven of Gilmore Girls does show traces of the show's trademark wit and I did laugh out loud several times, but there were also many times when I simply wanted the final curtain to fall.
Gilmore Girls: The Complete Seventh Season talks very fast on DVD courtesy of Warner Home Video. This six disc boxed set contains all 22 episodes of the show's seventh season. The shows are presented in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. As I never watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired, I can't compare the DVD transfer to broadcast. I can say that the image is sharp and clear for the most part. However, there is some noticeable grain in some shots, but it comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. The colors are good and the image is always well-balanced, being neither too dark or too bright. I spotted some mild artifacting at times, but nothing major. The DVD's have a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. But, that's about it, as the stereo effects are quite limited, and I didn't detect any notable surround or subwoofer effects.
The Gilmore Girls: The Complete Seventh Season set contains a few extras, but if you were expecting a big series-ending blowout, you'll be very disappointed, as there's nothing of the kind here. Disc 2 has a DELETED SCENE for the episode "The Great Stink". The remainder of the extras are on Disc Six. "Gilmore Fashionistas" (11 minutes) has costume designer Brenda Maben discussing the evolution of the looks and clothing of Lorelei and Rory over the years and gives us a brief look at the set clothes closet. In "A Best Friend's Peek Inside the Gilmore Girls: With Keiko Agena" (14 minutes), the actress who plays Lane gives us a tour of the set and takes us through the day of shooting the last episode. "Who Wants to Talk Boys" (1 minute) is a series of clips where the characters are commenting about males. What? "Kirk's Tour of Stars Hollow" (90 seconds) has actor Sean Gunn in his Kirk character talking about the town while standing in front of a gren screen. We then get an interactive map where one can choose from six locations in Stars Hollow where "Kirk" where describe the location.
Review Copyright 2007 by Mike Long