Friday, February 16, 2007

Luke and Logan

I have been watching "Gilmore Girls" faithfully with Mrs. G. and our girls since its inception. I have enjoyed the show's wit, speed, and it must be said, fine-looking women. This season, the last, is probably the weakest. Still, we must watch, to see how they resolve the two great marriage plots of Lorelei (mother) and Rory (daughter) Gilmore.

As a sociologist I have particularly enjoyed "Gilmore Girls" because it is one of the very few ever to show rich people as more than caricatures. Lorelei's parents are Connecticut Old Money. Lorelei has both resisted this influence, and benefited from it. Her main romance has been with local working-class diner owner Luke. However, rich-boy Christopher, the boyfriend of her teen days who fathered Rory, has returned as a rival. Meanwhile young Rory, at Yale, has been torn over the years between hard-working scholarship boy Marty and reckless rich kid Logan.

At the beginning of this season, Christopher swept Lorelei off her feet, took her to Paris, and talked her into eloping. Logan, meanwhile, has been off in London learning the family business, leaving Rory in school at Yale.

I think the conventions of television require that both titular girls end up married. At this point in the series, the real contestants are on the field. SO, accepting these assumptions, there are four possible outcomes for mother's and daughter's husbands, respectively:
1) rich, rich
2) rich, poor
3) poor, rich
4) poor, poor.

The writers have it in their hands to make any of these men sympathetic enough – to make them, in other words, the right choice. The playing field was level at the start of the season.

I would have been most interested if the writers had had the nerve to take the first solution – rich, rich – which would in many ways have been the most class appropriate. Mrs. G. argued, though, that this is just not possible in American television world, and I think she is right.

At some other moment in history it might have been possible to take the fourth option – poor, poor – though it is hard for me to think when that might have been. The novel, movie, and television examples I can think of from the past usually have at least one of the heroines ending up with money.

So we are left with the middle two as the most likely. On the whole, I have been thinking the most likely outcome was 3 – poor Luke, and rich Logan. Some clues at the outset were that both men were more central to the last few seasons than their counterparts. Moreover, in the recent crisis of Lorelei's father's heart attack, the suitors got to show their true character, and Luke and Logan came through with shining colors.

I think this solution is, on the whole, the most appropriate. The rebellious independent woman finds the person who matches her entrepreneurial character and the place she has made for herself in the community. Thus, Lorelei and Luke. And the reckless rich kid is civilized by the ever-decent, and ultimately socially conforming granddaughter of her Old Money grandparents. Therefore, Rory and Logan. American individualism is honored, but in the end family and tradition win, in updated form.

We will see how the string plays out. That is my call.


Mark Smith said...

I'm a huge fan, too.

It'll be #3.

Also, Luke will end up with April living with him and Lorelei by the end of the year - at least part time.

Gruntled said...

I did consider the possibility that all the parents would end up together, so Lorelei and Christopher, and Luke and Anna, but that leave GiGi out in the cold.

Anonymous said...

And how fitting, yet sad, that Christopher is left as the single parent just as he left Lorelei with Rory.

-Amanda B.

Anonymous said...

And Luke is allowed to be a father to April just as he has been all along to Rory.

Gruntled said...

It would be sad, though, to leave GiGi as a single-parent child. I think that is why the writers suggested that her selfish mother may be rehabilitating herself, for an off-screen reunion with the father of her child.

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely rooting for choice number 3! And I'm eagerly waiting to see how the rest of the season plays out.

Molly W. said...

There is another option: Rory ends up back with Dean (Jared Padalecki is still under contract with the CW for Supernatural, so it wouldn't be impossible). There are also multiple money options: for instance, Rory has a trust fund left to her by her great grandmother (Lorelei "Trix" Gilmore) that she'll come into when she's 25.

Gruntled said...

I think Rory has educated herself past Dean, and his is still married. Rory and Marty could be self-supporting anyway; also, she will only be 22 when the series ends. I stick with my call.

SPorcupine said...

One episode on, there's another permutation. Logan gets Rory, but Rory gets Logan as penniless as any other fellow who ever caught her eye.

Gruntled said...

And then, some years after she has proven that she is not a gold-digger, she can stake him with her inheritance. (I like it.)