The Complete Seventh Season
- Buy the DVD
Reviewed by Will Harris
ormally, we wouldn’t offer up more than a cursory quick take for the release of a TV series’ seventh season on DVD. But to offer an explanation that will no doubt ring true to those who have steadfastly followed the lives of Lorelei and Rory Gilmore for its seven year run, let it simply be said that “Gilmore Girls” was never in any way an ordinary series.
So why, then, did its final season receive such ire from so many people who once considered themselves to be fans?
Blame it on the Cult of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Sherman-Palladino created the series and cared for it well during its first six seasons, often with the help of her husband, Daniel Palladino, but after being backed into a financial corner by The CW, the couple and the network went their separate ways. (Whether their new digs at Fox will actually turn out to be greener pastures remains to be seen.) Unfortunately, however, The CW didn’t take into account just how many people viewed Amy and Daniel as a key ingredient in the success of “Gilmore Girls.” Upon their departure, legions of fans were immediately up in arms, and when Season Seven debuted, so did the flurry of complaints that the show was now little more than a shell of its former self, and that its current batch of writers were simply trying (and failing) to capture the sparkle of the Sherman-Palladino wit.
Even without seeing a single episode of the seventh season, this sweeping statement seems extremely unfair to writer and producer David S. Rosenthal, who was presented with the less-than-pleasant task of stepping in as show runner. After watching the season in its entirety, the statement makes the jump into the realm of the patently ridiculous. The final season of “Gilmore Girls” found Rosenthal and his staff doing their damnedest to wrap up the run of the series with the best 22 episodes possible, and they succeeded in a big way.
Season Six had ended with Lorelei (Lauren Graham) making the heartbreaking decision to find solace from her abrupt break-up with Luke (Scott Patterson) by having a one-night stand with Christopher (David Sutcliffe), a.k.a. Rory’s dad. As it turned out, Christopher was interested in having things continue beyond just the one night, and after several episodes of dating, the pair got married. It didn’t take, unfortunately, and though it’s probable that most viewers didn’t really think it would, the rapid disintegration was handled in a reasonable manner. Rory (Alexis Bledel) continued her relationship with Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), having whipped him into shape as a boyfriend even as he was whipping himself into shape as a businessman. When his company fell apart, however, so did his relationship with Rory. Although he realized the error of his ways and proposed, she realized that they had separate career destinies on opposite sides of the country, which resulted in an apparently permanent break-up that was still ongoing when the end credits rolled on the final episode.
In fact, there were transitions going on in the lives of just about every character in the series during this last year. Luke fought and won the right to see his newly discovered daughter, April (Vanessa Marano), on a regular basis; Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann) had a heart attack, which freaked out Emily (Kelly Bishop) in a big way; Lane (Keiko Agena) and Zach (Todd Lowe) returned from their honeymoon to find that they were pregnant with twins; Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) and Jackson (Jackson Douglas) are struggling with their relationship. Even Michel (Yanic Truesdale) deals with the death of one of his beloved dogs. It might sound like a lot to keep track of, but most of the plots are explored just enough to keep things interesting, but not so much that viewers were yelling for more time with the title characters.
There’s talk that Sherman-Palladino may yet revive her beloved “Gilmore Girls” for a feature film, a la “Sex and the City.” If that happens, let’s hope she sends Rosenthal a thank-you note for setting things up so that she can do so, but if it doesn’t come to pass, that’d be okay, too. As it stands right now, Rory’s off to seek her future, Lorelei and Luke are rekindling their feelings for each other, and all’s right in Stars Hollow.
Sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to end the story of the Gilmore Girls.
Special Features: Disappointingly, there are no audio commentaries, but at least we get some bonus material. It seems a bit odd that there was only one deleted scene throughout the entire season, but that’s all that’s included. Beyond that, there’s a featurette about the wardrobe of the characters, a nice backstage look at the show following Keiko Agena as she works on the final episode of the series, and a mostly pointless clip montage entitled, “Who Wants To Talk Boys?” The last feature is probably the funniest: “Kirk’s Tour of Stars Hollow.” Annoyingly, you have to go through each stop separately (there’s no “play all” feature), but it’s still worth it, as it provides a great blend of new material from Kirk’s tour, and clips from throughout the show’s run.