Did April ruin the last two seasons of Gilmore Girls?
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Author Topic: Did April ruin the last two seasons of Gilmore Girls?  (Read 37102 times)
willambeau
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« on: February 15, 2009, 11:49:56 am »

My friend and I were debating the subject of whether April ruined the last two seasons of GG.

I think including her carried the show another two seasons. On the other hand, my friend argues that the story of April was not as credible because Luke loved Lorelai so much, and from the very beginning, that he would not have kept a distance after April was introduced to him.

What do you guys think?
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thevoid99
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 04:16:56 pm »

To blame a character for ruining the show is too easy.  It's really more about what Amy Sherman-Palladino was doing.  The show was too smart to add a new child character to the series.  It's often called the "Cousin Oliver" syndrome based on the appearance of Cousin Oliver on the last season of The Brady Bunch at a time the show was in trouble. 

Gilmore Girls was going through a more dramatic period due to the Lorelai and Rory estrangement plotline and Lorelai, overwhelmed with emotions over the loss of Rory and Luke's passionate plea to help Rory, proposing to Luke.  I think what happened was that the writers needed something to shake up the Luke and Lorelai relationship.  That solution was to bring in a long-lost daughter.  It would've been some cheap plot device or gimmick but I think that would've underestimate the talents of Amy Sherman-Palladino and what she was trying to do.  I think in creating the April Nardini character, it was more about giving the Luke Danes character more dimension.  While there's truth to the fact that adding April to the series ruined the Luke-Lorelai relationship.  It didn't ruin the show.  I think the April character showed new sides to Luke, both good and bad.  On the one hand, we see someone who is devoted to be a father and learning more about himself to the point that he was a better person.  On the other hand, it made Luke extremely oblivious to what he was doing to Lorelai and not allowing Lorelai to be in April's life was a bad call on his part.  At least Luke in the final season admitted he screwed up.

I can see that there were complaints to have April be like a mini-Rory but with some differences.  I think April is different from Rory considering that she had a dad that was going to be there for her unlike Rory whose father is there and isn't there.  I don't think the series had enough time to develop April into a full-fledge character.

That's what Virtual Gilmore Girls did by having April be more of a real character and be part of a family.  The ninth season has made her into a regular as she's now returned to Connecticut full-time with her mother following her grandmother's death.  It provided a unique dynamic with Luke while there was an episode where Rory taught April the art of ordering take-out food. 

It's too easy to say that a character ruined the last two seasons of the series.  The blame really lies on what happened to the series after Lorelai discovered that Luke has a daughter and having Rory back in her life.  It became soap-operatic near the end of the sixth season and the humor was forced at times.  Plus, it didn't have everything together.  To me, the show jumped the shark on the scene where Lorelai was in the bed of Christopher Hayden.  Then everything went to sh*t. 
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willambeau
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 02:32:52 am »

I agree with much of what you say, but my friend keeps insisting that the show made Luke too oblivious--to a point where you could not see the correlation between his longing for her and his surprising immediate distance.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 02:34:19 am by willambeau » Logged
HermioneGirl101
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 07:22:06 am »

Oh, April. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with her. In some accounts, she completely ruined the last two seasons. In others, she saved the show.
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 11:10:39 am »

3 words...

JUMP THE SHARK
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calbomm
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 03:12:09 pm »

I agree,the only reason April was put into the plot was to create a conflict for Luke and Lorelai to string out their courtship.  ASP must have been running out of ideas.  Season 6 is on ABC Family now and the difference in the show from the previous seasons is obvious, to me at least.  The spark is starting to fade on the show. 
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GILMOREorBUST
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2009, 04:04:54 pm »

I mean, in order to cause a conflict between Lor and Luke there needed to be something. I don't really think it's allll aprils fault. You could just as easily say it's Christopher's fault if you wanted to. I don't know. I don't think she did. I may have not loveddd the plot but they needed something.
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calbomm
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 04:52:00 pm »

My point is, why did they need a conflict. The only reason that I can see to do that is to extend the courtship and perhaps the series.  The last two seasons were getting thin on plot.  I understand why it was done, but didn't think it was necessary.
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thevoid99
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2009, 08:04:23 pm »

Well, part of Lorelai's story arc is her conflict with her parents and the rich background that she left behind.  Of the men she's been with, Luke is the one person who didn't come from a rich background. 

Max is sorta upper-middle class while Alex is a coffee magnet.  Jason came from a rich family and so did Christopher.

For Luke, being with Lorelai meaning he had to win the approval of Richard and Emily, which wasn't easy.  There was also the presence of Christopher which broke them up the first time around. 

The reason the conflict between Luke and Lorelai needed to be made was to remind audience of Lorelai's old rich background.  The fact that Christopher is still around, announcing he got an inheritance and can do things for both Lorelai and Rory that Luke couldn't do.  The arrival of April and wanting to be there for her gave Luke some kind of escape.  Unlike Christopher, Luke wanted to be with his daughter full-time.  Thus, leaving Lorelai out of the loop created some conflict forcing her to not be outspoken about anything at the same time.  They had to postpone the wedding.  Plus, I think Luke is also overwhelmed in dealing with Lorelai's parents where at the time he attended Friday Night Dinner the second time around.  It kind of scared him a bit while Lorelai became more and more desperate to maintain a relationship that was troubling.  Having to postpone and cancel things hurt her and that was Luke's fault all the way there.  Also him being oblivious about Lorelai's feelings and not including her in his time with April definitely caused problems until he needed her for April's birthday party.

Then came Anna, being very angry that Luke called Lorelai to help as she went to meet Anna trying to cool things down.  Instead, the harsh realities about people getting married all the time and such I think had Lorelai not want to deal with Luke.  Then came that stupid ultimatum she made as she felt that Luke rejected her.  She went to Christopher because, here was the guy who always loved her and will always want to be with her.  Therefore, she rejected a part of her true identity in favor to be secure with Christopher and go back to the world that she fought against.  For Luke, learning that Lorelai had cheated on him was the harsh realization that he could never win Lorelai Gilmore.  He believes that all he is just a guy who serves her coffee and she is striving for bigger, better things.  It kind of goes back to those harsh comments that Dean Forrester made late in the 5th season towards Luke. 
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sid
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2009, 09:21:09 am »

Blaming April for the last two seasons is too easy.  It is the writers to blame.  Yes she dis have a bit of a cousin Oliver feel but the show had the signs of going down hill before she appeared.

I think it started in season 5 when Lorelai started telling Luke that she seen Christopher in a way that it appeared she had something to be guilty about.  Like at the wedding when she told Luke about the Christopher's dad dying and her going round with a bottle of Tequila but it was all completely innocent. It didn't allow the  man to have any time to digest it before having to face Christopher.  And that was pre April.

It was like the writers decided to make Lorelai act like a guilty little school girl on those occasions, so no wonder the man got a complex about her wanting something else.  Dean's rant about Lorelai wanting more just backed up what he was seeing from her parents and from the presence of Christopher in Lorelai's life.  It didn't make it true but it sure didn't help.  I think that is the problem in the relationship Luke never wanted to escape, he wanted to buy the house so they could build a life and he liked living in Stars Hollow, he was just convinced that Lorelai wanted to be able to have the means to escape a hum drum life if she felt like it which her parents and Christopher's money could offer her. 

That is what Dean was meaning, could Luke really see Lorelai happy tied down with kids in a house with a diner owner, when she could have the opportunity to do all the other things that were opening up to her since she had started her own business and Rory had left to go to college, just like would Rory really have been happy settling down in a small town with Dean when she could be exploring the world, it was a bitter rant but it just voiced the idea that Luke was already beginning to think about.

As for Anna - I can actually understand why she got pissed off at Lorelai, she has never met the woman and she was getting advice about how to handle her daughter's relationship with her father.  She left April and the girls in Luke's care, not Lorelai's and in the end even though Luke was there for most of it Lorelai was running the show and that was not what she and the other parents had been lead to believe. I'd be pissed off if someone did that with my kid.

I'm not condoning Luke for keeping April a secret, but in the end she was just a relatively quick and easy way to show them growing apart prior to Lorelai jumping into bed with Christopher because Luke didn't do what she wanted,which in the end IMHO made Lorelai come off a cheap and spoiled.

The major mistake I think they made with April was trying to make her so bright so she came off as a cut price Rory, especially as she had a gutsy single mom who had her own way of doing things.  They could have come up with a slightly different template for Anna and April than Lorelai and Lorelai, sorry Rory.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 09:24:41 am by sid » Logged
James
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2009, 03:12:13 am »

My point is, why did they need a conflict. The only reason that I can see to do that is to extend the courtship and perhaps the series.  The last two seasons were getting thin on plot.  I understand why it was done, but didn't think it was necessary.

I agree with you!!
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