Mitchum Huntzberger / Gregg Henry Appreciation
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« on: May 16, 2006, 04:41:09 pm »

I never thought after watching how last season ended that I would start a thread in appreciation of Mitchum Huntzberger, but here I am doing so.  I didn't see one already here...probably for good reasons (LOL).

Anyhow...with  6.22 Partings, we sort of started to get a glimpse into perhaps a different side of Mitchum.  Perhaps a different side into what makes him tick.  He doesn't buy into his family's concerns about who Logan dates  (and given the speech that Emily Gilmore gave to Mitchum's wife this season, he might have received some major backlash for who he married as well) 

His only concerns right now concerning Logan are for him to grow up and become a responsible man.  He gave him some freedom to do some irresponsible things (probably much as he had been given), but now expects Logan to grow up.  He offers him the ability to do so under the family umbrella of what they do. 

This is actually being a good parent.  Now of course he could have done things a bit differently (given Logan some choices for instance), but his motives seem plain and clear.  He intends for Logan to grow up. 

He isn't standing in the way of Logan's relationship with Rory...and perhaps, it seems ....after the discussion in the elevator and the newspaper article where he spoke kindly of her, Mitchum likes her.  Perhaps he did for her by telling her what he did after the internship will be a good thing for Rory instead of a bad.  Perhaps he didn't take into consideration how she might react (stealing a boat, dropping out of Yale) , but he didn't cause her to do those things.  She did them on her own, and paid the price for her actions.  Mitchum got where he is by demanding excellence from those around him.   It wasn't him that spoke badly of her at the family dinner, it was the grandfather and Logan's mother. 

Anyway, I could add more, but thought I'd throw this out there to see if anyone else was having a change of heart concerning Mitchum.  It is still wait and see, but I do not think he is who we were led to believe in the first place. 
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006, 05:45:12 pm »

I was thinking of starting a Mitchum thread.  Actually had a post all typed out, and then decided I'd be talking to myself Roll Eyes

I haven't changed my mind about Mitchum, because I started off feeling the way you do now.  I never blamed him for Rory leaving Yale, or felt he did anything horrible in his actions.  He wasn't even cruel.  Blunt, maybe.  Maybe he wasn't as gentle as he could have been, but then why should he have gone out of his way to be gentle?  I think he did a nice thing in asking her to intern, probably because he knew she had been attacked at dinner, and also, maybe as a gesture to Logan.  And, he must have taken the time to find out about her and her ambitions, and even his talk was going above the call of duty for his son's little girlfriend.  He could have just assumed that after the internship was over, he would tell her goodbye, brush her off and that was it.  Duty fulfilled, didn't hurt him any.  Instead, he took the time to offer what he felt was an honest opinion.  I'm guessing he felt that it was a kind thing to do, being honest with her instead of letting her drift around fruitlessly pursuing a career that, in his opinion, she wasn't fit for.  Interesting, Mitchum is one of the few people who has called Rory like he sees her, with no ulterior motive.  He's not under her spell, and he doesn't hate her.  She's just someone who's dating Logan.  Although that must have shocked him at first to find that Logan was showing serious signs towards anyone.

Now, Mitchum as a father is more complicated.  They started him off as just someone who Logan hated.  From Logan's descriptions ("You'd have to be me to be a disappointment to him" or something like that) I pictured him as a kind of Emily/Richard type parent, with Logan in the Lorelai role.  And, Lorelai seemed to feel that way about him in A Vineyard Valentine.  It could still be true.  I don't want Mitchum transformed into a saint, or anything.  But, I also agree that they've shown him not to be completely malicious.  Oh, he can still be nasty (resolving to stay away from Logan in the hospital until Rory called) but the whole London thing is because he wants Logan to grow up.

Now, like I've been saying in various places, if Logan had plans than it would be up to Mitchum to back off and not force him into the family business.  I wouldn't be on Mitchum's side if Logan wanted to do something completely different from the family business or even work at another paper, and Mitchum had some restrictive ideas that a Huntzberger can only do one thing.  But, for a son who isn't doing anything and has no plans to do anything but the next LDB stunt, I can understand him pushing, especially since it's what worked with him.  Maybe if Mitchum had been a more hands on talkative, maybe less critical father, he could have gone the route of talking to Logan trying to find out what Logan might be interested in, and then nudged him towards that, instead of making him go off to London.  Which would have been better, but I don't think Mitchum chose this method for any reason than what he said.  He sees Logan floundering, and he has too much fatherly pride in Logan who he knows is better than that to just stand by and let it happen.  He's a man of action.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2006, 09:46:33 am »

I was thinking of starting a Mitchum thread.  Actually had a post all typed out, and then decided I'd be talking to myself Roll Eyes

I was wondering if I'd be talking to myself...lol

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2006, 03:29:09 pm »

i'm afraid i dont agree with you. sorry. but since this is an appriciation post..i'll keep my mouth shut.
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 03:53:47 pm »

ITA with the first and second posts. Mitchum isn't a bad guy. In fact, I like him better than I like Logan. Mitchum is just trying to do the right thing for his son.
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2006, 04:50:37 pm »

I'm surprised and delighted to see this thread. Given the rest of his words and actions, I think his cold-hearted dumping of Rory from the internship was slightly out of character. There are ways to tell someone such things without crushing them or making them feel like failures. The Mitchum we're growing to love would handle that better.

This aside, there is much to love about the guy. He seems not to share the stuffy pretentions of the rest of his family, and he seems to have a realistic grip on life. There are ups and downs and choices to be made and sometimes bad-tasting medicine to be taken, but a person (Logan) should use his god-given gifts and make something of himself.

It was a little lame that he would refuse to come visit his mangled son in the hospital until the saintly and always right Rory left a message on his voicemail chewing his ass for this. If nothing else, you'd think he'd come just to drill home the lesson of how foolish and irresponsible behavior can have serious consequences.

I think Mitchum is kind of cool. It will be interesting to see what Logan is like upon his return and if we see more of the relationship between these two. Mitchum could turn out to be one of my heroes, and - Gadzooks! - a real man!


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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 06:51:37 pm »

Well, I know you like to treat the characters like real people, and I do for the most part, but that pesky wanna be writer in me can't help looking at things from a story view.  So, I see the infamous conversation to Rory during her internship in two ways.  Just from my view of Mitchum, I see him as a plain speaker.  He probably thinks unvarnished honesty is the best and maybe even most decent way to tell someone something.  He saw someone who, at least from what he had seen, was dreaming of a career that she wasn't equipped for, so he gave her a private talk to try and stop her from wasting her time (or, maybe even try to see if she would take the challenge).  Do we know that he dumped Rory from the internship?  He told her what he thought, but that didn't say she couldn't have kept on working.  Especially since what she had been doing there was mostly stuff that an assistant would do -which brought up his telling her that she would make a good one.  But, either way, I didn't find his words to be that cold.  He just didn't try to pussyfoot around the issue.  And, maybe because I agreed with his assessment (I can think of other careers that would fit Rory as she's been written much better than a journalist) that what he said didn't strike me as overly harsh.

Now, from a story pov, I think they needed Mitchum to be as blunt as possible in order to make Rory's meltdown at least halfway believable.  He couldn't leave her with any doubt that she didn't "got it" or she might have taken that and behaved like she had behaved with every other obstacle, as a challenge to overcome, rather than something to just give up on. 

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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2006, 08:38:39 pm »

The better writing, I think, would have been to allow us to conclude a little sooner that Rory was spoiled and that the onliest disappointment in her life up to this was when she got a D on her first Chilton paper from Max.

A successful executive would have been more professional in his assessment of Rory as intern. It still would have rung true for her to be crushed and overreact and quit school and steal a yacht. That was all over the top anyway. When you have to give a subordinate an unsatisfactory performance review or fire someone, you can still do it in a decent, professional way. Amy S-P, if it was she who wrote this ep, obviously has no idea how to be a manager or executive. She's giving us yet another stereotype so we'll believe Rory's extreme reaction.

I guess it wasn't perfectly clear whether he "dumped" her or she just quit at that point, but that isn't an important factor to the story. She had to run away and do something bizarre, either way.
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2006, 08:57:55 pm »

The better writing, I think, would have been to allow us to conclude a little sooner that Rory was spoiled and that the onliest disappointment in her life up to this was when she got a D on her first Chilton paper from Max.

True, but if I were to get into that, I'd either have to start a Rory unappreciation thread, or an AS-P unappreciation thread.

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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2006, 05:10:17 am »

I think Mitchum was trying to do his job in telling Rory what he thought. He may have done it in a colder way than I would have liked, but from what we know of him, he really doesn't tip-toe around issues. He'll do or say whatever he thinks necessary. I.E - He is trying to give his son a life, a life that is more than partying and drinking. If that takes London, so be it.

In regard to the hospital, he was trying to prove a point. I believe that by that point they knew he would be okay, if I remember correctly. There was no real sense of urgency, and he was showing Logan that he did not support his antics.

I loved Mitchum in 6.15. His son did not do what was expected, and he called him on it. A bit forcefully. But he showed Logan that he had to be dependable. I almost got a real 'This-is-my-kid-and-I-won't-let-him-screw-up-no-matter-how-hard-he-tries' feel from their fight.
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2006, 04:38:26 pm »

I think it says something that Mitchum doesn't have the attitude that Logan will get a trust fund and doesn't have to worry about money, but thinks Logan should have a work ethic.  And, I think now, with Logan showing no inclanation towards anything, a shove is necessary. But, I also wonder if possibly Mitchum facilitated Logan's attitude.  Not blaming him, of course, becasue Logan is an intelligent person who can make his own choices.  But, I'm picturing Mitchum as probably thinking that Logan could sow his wild oats.  He probably mentioned the family business and it was in the back of Logan's mind, as something that was supposed to happen one day, but maybe he didn't really make a big deal out of it early on.  I can picture Mitchum when Logan was 18 or 19, not really coming down too hard, but letting Logan enjoy the whole LDB antics.  Especially since he was part of it.  And, it fits in with Mitchum getting a push himself.  Like I said, Logan could have started being serious about school, started planning what he was going to do as a career past the next party.  But, I can still picture Mitchum just assuming that Logan would have done things on schedule, like he did, so he didn't really make an issue of it until he saw it wasn't going to happen right away.  Am I right in assuming that Logan stayed in college longer than he had too?  I remember an episode where he was saying that Mitchum had decided that it was time for him to graduate.  So, I assumed that he had put it off and could have graduated sooner.  (He did take a year off, right?)  So, I think Mitchum might have thought, "let the boy do his thing, and when the time comes for him to graduate, he'll have it all out of his system and be ready to take on the reigns."  But, I think he just didn't really think about Logan specifically.  He didn't think that if he let Logan do his partying, that Logan might not want to stop when Mitchum felt he should. 

I don't know, since we don't know about what happened before Logan and Mitchum came on the show, but I think it would fit with a guy who wants the best for his son, but like all good characters isn't perfect.
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2006, 05:29:18 pm »

Yeah, Logan did take a year off from school.  Honor mentioned it as a barganing chip to get him to come to dinner when she wanted to announce her engagement to Josh, that she had helped Logan talk the parents into letting Logan have that year off. 

I guess it is possible that Logan was just continuing to go to school, even past the point of having enough credits to graduate, earning more than one degree....and his father finally put an end to it. 
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2006, 05:38:21 pm »

I was thinking more along the lines of not getting enough credits to let him graduate within a 4 or 5 year period.  Maybe just taking fewer classes a semester.
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2006, 08:35:35 pm »

There was a recent article I saw about this guy that is in a band that has off and on attended Harvard....that just now is graduating, after 10 or 11 years. 

I also saw this article about this guy that has been in college for the past 10+ yrs that either is now graduating, or is going to graduate after studying abroad for one more semester.  Supposedly he has enough credits for several degrees.

I guess I had both of these stories in my mind as I wrote my post about Logan.  I suppose if you have the money...and the ability to do so-one can be a professional student even at the most prestegious schools....at least until daddy pulls the plug.

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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2006, 11:27:21 pm »

I think it says something that Mitchum doesn't have the attitude that Logan will get a trust fund and doesn't have to worry about money, but thinks Logan should have a work ethic.  And, I think now, with Logan showing no inclanation towards anything, a shove is necessary. But, I also wonder if possibly Mitchum facilitated Logan's attitude.  Not blaming him, of course, becasue Logan is an intelligent person who can make his own choices.  But, I'm picturing Mitchum as probably thinking that Logan could sow his wild oats.  He probably mentioned the family business and it was in the back of Logan's mind, as something that was supposed to happen one day, but maybe he didn't really make a big deal out of it early on.  I can picture Mitchum when Logan was 18 or 19, not really coming down too hard, but letting Logan enjoy the whole LDB antics.  Especially since he was part of it.  And, it fits in with Mitchum getting a push himself.  Like I said, Logan could have started being serious about school, started planning what he was going to do as a career past the next party.  But, I can still picture Mitchum just assuming that Logan would have done things on schedule, like he did, so he didn't really make an issue of it until he saw it wasn't going to happen right away.  Am I right in assuming that Logan stayed in college longer than he had too?  I remember an episode where he was saying that Mitchum had decided that it was time for him to graduate.  So, I assumed that he had put it off and could have graduated sooner.  (He did take a year off, right?)  So, I think Mitchum might have thought, "let the boy do his thing, and when the time comes for him to graduate, he'll have it all out of his system and be ready to take on the reigns."  But, I think he just didn't really think about Logan specifically.  He didn't think that if he let Logan do his partying, that Logan might not want to stop when Mitchum felt he should. 

I don't know, since we don't know about what happened before Logan and Mitchum came on the show, but I think it would fit with a guy who wants the best for his son, but like all good characters isn't perfect.

I like this. I recall seeing an article about the differences in values and attitudes between first generation wealth, the ones who began with ordinary means and became wealthy, and second generation wealth, the ones who grew up in an already wealthy family. They tended to have different values and different opinions of what mattered and what did not.

Mitchum is shown as already second generation wealthy, so at least at first, we aren't sure whether he has any substance to him or not. Now, I'm neither first NOR second generation wealthy, but it occurs to me the onus would be on Mitchum to see to it that his son grew up realizing that even though the family had means, it came as a result of hard work. He would also need to instill values in his son of things other than money. Logan seems to have character and altho he was initially shown as shallow and condescending, he seems to be growing up and working a mature relationship with Rory as best he can. As his mother is shown as very shallow and vain and spoiled, it would seem some of Logan's good character traits must have come from his father. These can't be inherited; they have to be taught, or at least learned by observing.

As someone pointed out - Danielle, I think - the show simplifies and stereotypes rich people rather brutally, but we see Mitchum making serious effort to get Logan on some kind of life track. Altho it's a little heavy-handed, we see Logan both growing up and realizing what some of the downsides of wealth can be. He seems to despise the snobbishness and insensitivity he sees in some of his family, and to do this, he'd have to have received some kind of example of the opposite.

It could also be that Mitchum is overly blunt and even cruel because even when he makes a difficult choice, his wealth and position have screened him from the unpleasant effects of some of the things he does. It probably never occurred to him how crushed Rory might be by his clumsy and demeaning put down, as no one had ever put HIM down that way.

Mitchum is probably a better father than we originally thought. If Logan turns out to be a good kid, he MUST be.


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