Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's Got Style!!

Been watching Gilmore Girls, Season Three, on DVD (Gilmore Girls being one of those shows I've either never watched or didn't watch earlier on in "real-time" and am now catching up to on DVD), and noticed something. When I recommend the show to people the most common response is that all of the "fast talking" is just too much, too distracting and annoying for them to watch or enjoy the show. And the first few times I watched, I could kind of understand the complaint. All of the characters, but especially lead characters Lorelai and Rory, do talk fast, very fast, with lots of quick exchanges and quippy one-liners, all sauced with a generous ladlefull of sometimes-obscure references. And, yes, for those first few episodes I sat down to watch it was distracting. But going through this third season now, after having gone through all 44 episodes of the first two seasons, and watching the show regularly on Tuesday nights for the last year (season five), I've realized that I'm just not noticing the rapid dialogue at all anymore.

Why? Have the writers toned it down from previous seasons? I don't think so. See, the particular dialogue quirks on the show are simply a device, a stylization device. We're not meant to hear the dialogue as natural, or realistic, any more than we are supposed to assume that characters in a musical are really, in the literal sense, singing. Singing in musicals, and the dialogue in a Gilmore Girls episode, are devices. And once you get used ot them you tend not to notice them. When I first saw a musical, it was odd that these characters were all-of-a-sudden singing. But when I see musicals now, it's completely natural. Same thing for Gilmore Girls dialogue. I've become accustomed to the device and can now just except it. And it's a good thing, since the device, again, just like the songs in a musical, does an excellent job of telling us things about the characters that they could never tell us with more naturalistic dialogue. It also gives the show a particularity and style that no other show has. In short, it's a wonderful choice, and one well worth taking a few episodes to get used to.

So--the moral of the story. If the dialogue on Gilmore Girls has put you off, give it, not just another chance, but a few of them. You'll be glad you did.

Until Whenever

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