Gilmore Girls
A Vineyard Valentine

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: C+ | 2 USERS: D-
YOU GRADE IT
Valentine, The Destroyer

All right, we come back from commercial and...now, listen. I am not oversensitive, and I am all about creative license. I like a good off-color joke, and I think it's great when people can take it easy and know the difference between something that's meant in fun and something that's intentionally offensive. And, I'm not saying that this next scene is intentionally offensive to gay people. No. What I'm saying is, it's intentionally offensive to...well, English-speaking people who possess the ability to hear and understand words, and have perhaps a thimbleful of wit. Even Lauren Graham goes through it like she's in a high-school production of Showboat and is self-consciously trying to show the crowd that she, the actress, is not personally a racist but is being forced to say these words by the writers. Lorelai and Luke come down the stairs of her house. He's carrying several pieces of luggage while she reads him off a list of activities to be found at Martha's Vineyard, such as canoeing, snorkeling, and sailing. "That's mostly summer stuff," Luke grumps. "It's the dead of winter." He busts on Lorelai for bringing too many bags, but she has a perfectly good explanation: "It is the dead of winter. The question is, do you have enough stuff?" He says yes, he has packed enough. Lorelai consults her fact sheet again, saying that the big-time Vineyard thing is whaling. "They have whaling?" asks Luke, incredulous. "Not anymore," Lorelai says. "It's just a fun fact." She reads on, saying that, indeed, Martha's Vineyard was once one of the world's largest whaling ports, and that people used to use every part of the whale, one of the most important parts being spermaceti, which was used to make candles. "Ugh," she says. "Couldn't think of a less gross substance to use for candles?" Luke is ignoring her, still messing with all the luggage. She goes on, saying that Herman Melville once shipped out of the Vineyard. Her fact sheet even has a quote from Moby Dick: "Oars! Oars! Grip your oars, and clutch your souls now. My God, pull, men!" She pauses: "It isn't the pulling that they had to do to get the spermaceti, is it?" Luke says he doesn't think so, and grouches that they need to go. "Coming," she says, in a beautiful throwaway line, which I didn't even get until I had watched this five times. Unfortunately, and I hate to be nitpicky, but the joke doesn't even work. Spermaceti is apparently taken from a whale's actual head. Damn, you know? How did anybody every figure that out? Let's take this goo from a whale noggin and heat it up or freeze it or whatever and then stick a wick in it and light it. Voilà! The mysteries of the sea are many, and each one is more gross than the last.

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Gilmore Girls

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