TV Article

We'll Always Hate Paris

On ''Gilmore Girls,'' things go horribly wrong on Christopher and Lorelai's trip to France; plus, Rory mopes

Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls | PROMISE HER ANYTHING Christopher gave Lorelai l'Arpège
Image credit: Lauren Graham: Scott Humbert
PROMISE HER ANYTHING Christopher gave Lorelai l'Arpège

''Gilmore Girls'': No! No! For God's sake! No!

Well, the bad news is we'll always have Paris. We will always have this goofy, lamebrained episode marring our fond memories of our once favorite show. No matter how great the incomparable season 2 was, no matter what necessary repairs they do to this hurting series in future episodes, we, comrades, will always have the stank memory of a very special Paris.

Let me sum up Lorelai and Christopher's romantic trip thusly: The two are in bed, panting after a romp on high-quality hotel sheets. Now I think Christopher is a swell guy, a low-key font of bon mots, a total hunk — this despite the nagging fact that some astute message boarders have pointed out his striking resemblance to Bob Saget — and I still got the squiggles. Lord knows the hammy dialogue didn't help. A sweaty Christopher: ''Now that's what I'm talking about!'' A breathless Lorelai: ''I can barely talk.'' Sweaty Christopher: ''Which is...'' Breathless Lorelai: ''Saying something.'' A bored TV Watch writer: ''Okay, I've got to pick up my dry cleaning in the morning. The Chase bill is due. And where have I heard goofy sex talk like this before? Oh, right, All My Children, when I was home sick with mono in the third grade.''

Furthermore, the timing of their hot night was all off. Cut to Lorelai and Christopher waking up after a jet-lag-fueled nap at four in the morning. They're starving, and Lorelai, in one of her few recognizable moments of the evening, demands a cheeseburger with a side of cheeseburger and a cheeseburger smoothie. So they first try unsuccessfully to fall back asleep. Then they roam the Paris streets foraging for food. Then they, inspired by some lovey-dovey memory from the 10th grade, race back to the hotel to get it on. Then they doll up and head back out into the night looking for food. And now we're led to believe it's only 5 a.m. (So much for Christopher being a stallion between the sheets.) He finally remembers he's loaded and bribes the fancy restaurant l'Arpège to reopen. There's candles and goopy memories of being 16 and lots of good-natured gloating about Christopher's dough. And then, as we all knew was coming, what with this episode being subtly titled ''The Proposal,'' Christopher popped the question to a worried-looking Lorelai. Incidentally, my husband and I ate at l'Arpège on our honeymoon, dropping more money on one perfect meal than I did on my wedding dress. There was no gold-tinted Eiffel Tower to loom lovingly over us, just a charming little alley with a lone blue bicycle. But an overused landmark bathed in a pink sunrise was the perfectly hack background for this entire hack episode. I'm not trying to be a party pooper, but if we're really supposed to root for these two, don't we deserve better dialogue than ''Hey, when we're done with dinner, can we go back to that beautiful bed?''

Back in the real world, Lane and Zack learn that they're having twins. Not enough imagination is going into this story line to merit much further discussion. Mrs. Kim is thrilled and shows up at Zack and Lane's house with all of her things, insisting that her daily presence is needed. In my favorite scene of the night, Zack wonders what Mrs. Kim did with their old roommate, Brian. Cut to Brian sharing a traditional Korean meal with a bunch of Kims. I love Brian.

And Rory: Rory continues her weepy spiral into blandsville. Her tenure at the paper is over, and when the newshounds invite her out for drinks, she demurs, insisting that the new regime doesn't want an old dog hanging around. Rory, you're not Donald Rumsfeld demanding that somebody keep saving you a seat in the War Room. Go have some drinks with the nerds and lighten up already. Instead, she hooks up with those two annoying art-exhibit girls, and the three implausibly end up in Stars Hollow with tinfoil on their heads. Now Rory's hair is dyed pink (can't wait for the next Friday-night dinner! Wait, what happened to Friday-night dinners?), and she starts whimpering about how she doesn't know what she's doing with her life. The two A.E.G.'s console her with some gibberish about forming a Norwegian pop band. Rory turned down a drunken night with Joni to hang out with these buffoons? Turns out the taller one is the girlfriend of our old pal Marty, who'd prefer to pretend he and Rory have never met before, which could lead to something interesting down the road.

More intriguing though is Lorelai's pickled face when she returns home a secretly married woman. (She's now Mrs. Hayden, in a cruel final slap to viewers.) And as much as I like Christopher, it looks like he's rightly due for a little High Noon action with Luke in the coming weeks. Somebody needs a punch in the face, that's for sure: the writers of this episode, Danny Tanner, mopey Rory, her two shrill friends, Zach for that dumb Siamese-twins joke, Luke for wearing that ridiculous hat, Christopher for proposing without his daughter's blessing. Actually the only people on my good list are Joni and Brian. Get those two crazy kids together, sprinkle with a heavy dose of Paris (the girl, not the city), and we got ourselves a show.

What do you think? Is anybody happy that Christopher and Lorelai got married? How could they make Rory's final months at Yale more interesting? And who do you think would win in a fair fight: Christopher or Luke?

Originally posted Nov 15, 2006
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