Monday, November 24, 2014

Célèste Review of S1E16 "Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers"


“Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”
Season 1, Episode 16
Original airing: March 8, 2001

My Rating: 73

The Good:
  • The return of Rachel certainly is another surprising twist in the ongoing will-they-won’t-they Lorelai/Luke saga. Her character is instantly intriguing, and I want to see more.
  • The Firelight Festival is a really fun town event, and the bonfire scene is beautifully styled and beautifully shot. The troubadour is well used here also
  •  On the heels of his great dramatic performance last episode, Edward Herrmann nails it again, this time comedically. It was a great idea to have Richard and Lorelai both bored by Chase, and every line Richard delivered cracked me up.
  • Lauren Graham’s performance in the awkward Lorelai/Richard conversation was also fantastic.
The Bad:
  • Jared Padalecki is still ruining scenes, and its not just the way the character is written; it’s his performance. In the restaurant scene, he actually wins me over with his delivery of the line, “you eat cute,” but then he ends the scene with a very awkward, exasperated-sounding sigh that doesn’t fit the moment at all. I’ve noticed this same sigh in other places and it seems to be a reflexive nervous habit of his. He makes so many moments awkward, and his performance consistently pulls me out of the narrative.
  • The character of Dean and his inconsistency is, of course, another related-yet-separate problem. The writers go over the top showing him as a good boyfriend with the grand gestures he makes for their “anniversary” (I’m using quotes because the root of that word means year.) but then they undermine it by having him blow up when she doesn’t say “I love you.” On the surface, this plotline seems like a good one, the idea that Rory isn’t ready to say I love you and that it but it would be better if it were played with more subtlety. 
  • While I appreciate the mention of Max in an episode that isn’t primarily about him, I do think that the way the writers introduce the subject is a bit awkward. The show just hasn’t fully figured out how to organically incorporate any plotline regarding Max.
Favorite Moment:
Richard lets Lorelai climb out the window

The Bottom Line:
One of the best episodes so far this season

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