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Growing Up Gilmore

Analise Lipari | Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Following the current trend of television series coming out on DVD, Warner Brothers has recently released the fourth season of its popular hit, “Gilmore Girls.” The series, featuring the mother and daughter duo of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, reached what some regard as a creative slump in this season, arguably the worst of the five that have aired in their entirety so far. However, despite a slight drop in creativity during the season’s midsection, its season finale is considered to be one of the finest in the series’ repertoire of episodes.

Opening with the Gilmore’s return from a summer backpacking in Europe in the season premiere, “Ballrooms and Biscotti,” the DVD of all twenty-two episodes is a well-done compilation of both the season itself and some fun bonus extras. These include “Who Wants to Get Together,” a compilation of the season’s most romantic scenes, as well as deleted scenes and a “Stars Hollow Challenge” trivia game, among others. With each disc’s main menu supplemented by the show’s traditional “La la la” soundtrack, this disc set is decidedly and delightedly Gilmore through and through.

The fourth season’s main plot opens with Rory beginning her Yale career. Having recently both graduated valedictorian from her prestigious private high school and broken up with her boyfriend, Luke Danes’ nephew, token bad boy Jess Mariano, Rory’s life has its share of new beginnings. However, one tie to her old life remains, as she arrives at Yale to discover that her high school rival, Paris Gellar, is one of her new roommates. Throughout the course of the season, Rory deals with new and old friends, tough classes and professors and the increasing attentions of her other ex-boyfriend, the now-engaged Dean Forrester.

Lorelai also deals with new challenges, as she is faced with an empty nest for the first time since Rory was born. In addition to this difficult change, she finds a new romance with an old childhood friend, Jason “Digger” Stiles, who is now her father’s latest business partner. While the romance with Jason was often criticized by fans as a dud, the show’s faithful saw it as a necessary step in reaching the season’s romantic conclusion.

Yes, Stars Hollow’s star-crossed lovers, Lorelai and Luke, finally came to terms with their mutual feelings in the final episode of this season. After four years of fan frustration, this DVD set concludes with one of the show’s most gratifying episodes for devout watchers.

For Rory, the season closes just as dramatically. Despite his recent wedding to local girl Lindsey, Dean and Rory make the decision to sleep together. While this also caused criticism from fans, showing the more human (thus erring) side of Rory, often the goody two-shoes type, was a daring choice for the show’s creator, Amy Sherman Palladino.

The special features on the Season Four DVD set are fun and unique in that they reflect the nature of the show itself.

As the series is known for its rapid-fire humor and quick-witted cultural references, the DVD features, including a “Pop-up Video” style treatment of episode seventeen, “Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doing the Twist,” keep up that tradition. This feature, the “Gilmore Goodies and Gossip” segment, is both informative and hysterical, as the trivia tends to go on random tangents, just as Lorelai and Rory do in each episode’s verbose conversations.