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Gilmore Girls: Season 3
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More fun, more flames, more flameouts: more Gilmore. This Deluxe 6-Disc Set contains all 22 third-year episodes (plus bonus features) of The Gilmore Girls, the hit series known for its witty, rapid-fire dialogue and poignant, suds-free storylines. For mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, it's a year of change. Much of it is expected, like Rory's graduation from Chilton and the anxiety of waiting for college acceptance letters. But much of it is not. Rory starts the year with two boyfriends (that may be two too many). Lorelai rekindles the flame with Max (maybe). Lane meets Mr. Right (at last). Sookie gets a surprise (a good one). And so does the Independence Inn (not such a good one). The girls are waiting (get watching!).=20
Senior year meant some surprising changes for the Gilmore girls, as both Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) wrestled with their pasts in order to figure out what the heck they were going to do with their futures. In the wake of finding out that her relationship with Rory's dad was not to be rekindled, Lorelai endured a variety of suitors as she attempted to keep her life on an evil keel--not easy when her former flame's girlfriend was pregnant (and clueless), her former fiancé shows up unexpectedly, and her beloved inn suffers some unforeseen damage. If it was minor drama for Lorelai, it was full-fledged soap opera for Rory, who broke up with longtime boyfriend Dean (Jared Padalecki) in the wake of her attraction to the moody bad-boy Jess (Milo Ventimiglia), only to find her new relationship fraught with difficulties. Add to that the pressure of getting into college (Harvard or Yale?) and stressful senior class politics at the snooty Chilton private school, and it's a wonder she still had time to crack wise at breakneck speed with her mom and the rest of Stars Hollow.
The center of the third season of Gilmore Girls was the Rory-Dean-Jess triangle, which played out with surprising sensitivity and not a bit of sadness; it all came to a head in the episode "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" in which Rory and Lorelai's quest to win a dance marathon ends in tears and break-ups. The year's teen drama did have a tendency to put the adults on the back burner, but the luminous Graham made the most of her character's dilemmas, whether gauging her growing attraction to diner owner Luke (Scott Patterson) or wrestling with her parents' continuous meddling. While it is hard to pinpoint a specific compelling story arc for this season, that doesn't mean it wasn't filled with the charm, smarts, and rapid-fire dialogue that made Gilmore Girls one of the brightest shows on television. Stellar supporting turns from Liza Weil as Paris, Rory's friend and nemesis by turns, and a pre-O.C. Adam Brody, as a band member who falls for Rory's best friend Lane (Keiko Agena), also punctuated the drama of the season with great comedy. --Mark Englehart
- 22 episodes on six discs
- Additional scenes on three episodes
- All Grown Up: a documentary with the cast about their childhood experiences
- Who Wants to Fall in Love: a montage of the best "love moments" from season 3
- Our Favorite '80s: the cast and crew show off their favorite '80s dance moves
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As with many of life's great changes, there are points of closure and this, for me, is one of them. If the series had ended here, I would not have been unhappy. Everything wraps up nicely as Rory finishes high school and closes this chapter of her life.
Of course, there are questions that still remain, but life generally does that. :D
I do have the next seasons ready to watch, but will give myself a breather to do a few other things in my life, as I am comfortable leaving it "here" for now.
As always, the show is driven by the great dialogue and talk, but it is also structured around a number of long-to-resolve issues. Will Rory get into Harvard? Will she go there? Will Rory end up with Dean or Jess? Will Lorelai end up with anyone? Will Lorelai and Sookie get their inn? All of these questions get answered, not always in the ways that we anticipated. But this is one of those shows where what happens is of interest only because we like and care about the characters. "What will happen next?" is not a question that tortures the viewers of the show. 24 and THE GILMORE GIRLS inhabit different television universes.
By Season Three we have come to love all the ritualistic aspects of the show. Ritual has always played a crucial role in great comedy, from the always-repeating antics of Laurel and Hardy to the never-ending adventures of the Roadrunner and Coyote to Kenny's tendency to die over and over. On THE GILMORE GIRLS we have grown to anticipate a new maid each week at the Gilmore residence in Hartford. And a new crusade by Taylor, as well as a new occupation or obsession by Kirk each week. Structurally, things like these are necessities on a show such as this one that is not driven by plot.
While I thoroughly love the show, I do have to utter a couple of words of complaint. As someone who got a graduate degree at Yale (and therefore lack somewhat the love that undergraduates feel for their alma maters), and decided to go to Yale over Harvard, I was always perplexed by the Harvard mono-mania. The folks I knew at Yale always considered Yale to be the better school, though most of us would have swapped New Haven for Cambridge. But I want to object to a couple of other details that were a tad off. First, in "Let the Games Begin" they visit "Yale," which was apparently a public park in California in which they put a fake "Yale University" sign to make the unsuspecting imagine that Yale might look like that. In fact, the fictional Yale bears utterly no resemblance to the actual Yale. There were statues on this campus, and although my memory could be playing tricks, I can recall no statues on campus apart from the very famous one of Nathan Hale (of which imitations exist in front of the Chicago Tribune Building on North Michigan Avenue and in front of the CIA Headquarters, which was largely founded by Yale graduates--well, Skull and Bones members to be even more precise) that stands in front of Connecticut Hall, where I used to take philosophy classes. Also, a good deal of the plot at one part turns on Rory getting a financial aid offer a few months after getting into Yale. Anyone who has gotten into a major university knows that financial aid offers almost always arrive at the time of the admission offer.
Still, carping aside, another great season. I'd like to point out as I have in previous reviews that several people have told me how Lorelai and Rory remind them of my daughter and me. But the imp in me has to point out that my daughter's SATs were much higher than Rory's :) Anyone thinking such parental boasting inappropriate need only think of the season finale, where Lorelai intentionally goes hunting for Rory, asking for her daughter the class valedictorian. The end of the year, however, clearly marks a transition point. Rory will be off to Yale in Season Four, and Lorelai will be leaving the fire-damaged Independence Inn for her and Sookie's new Dragonfly Inn. Clearly, great things await!