Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, November 25, 2016

On Paris Geller

I've watched the revival and I'm more or less done with it but one thing bugs me that it took a while to process. The revival HATES Paris Geller.  Geller is one of my favorite characters her slow defrosting is one of the few things I think the later seasons did right and the revival decided to completely undo it.

It shouldn't have taken me so long to figure out why because a character turns to the camera and says it.

"You rule the world what's your damage!"

Parts of Gilmore Girls very much plays out as a female version of  the boarding school drama. As originally envisioned Paris is Draco Malfoy.  She one of the primary mechanisms the show uses to criticize class and wealth.  The audience was never suppose to like her.

But partially by script and also by acting the character is a lot deeper than just snooty blueblood Rory has to prove wrong.

Geller herself dislikes her own status and subtly tries to subvert it in ways that don't automatically make her look like an ass.  I respect that. While she has the advantages of wealth she wants to use those advantages to prove to herself and all comers that she does indeed deserve said wealth.

She's still an antagonist to Rory but not strictly in the same way other school bullies are in these types of stories. Geller dislikes Rory because she is the first of her peers who actually gives enough of a damn to challenge her intellectual queen of the school status. She hates her because she does actually respect how damn smart she is rather than how in most of these stories the bluebloods underestimate the working class protagonist.

And that for the first three seasons was a very interesting dynamic as those two came to grips with the fact that despite personality and circumstantial differences they were more similar than different.

The problem is that Geller remained a fairly interesting character while the Gilmores themselves leaned more and more into the privilege of wealth in the later season undermining the original purpose Geller to criticize and show the flaws those systems.

Or to it put it another way, the roles of the two character slowly reversed with Geller more or less losing a lot of her parents' money and having to get by on her wits while Rory was able to sit on her ass for a year. And I can see how that could be considered a derailment both characters.

That said I also personally liked how direct and forceful Paris could be and liked that she added that to the character dynamics of the show. I liked how she was written in the later seasons showed how that "get shit done personality of hers" could actually be a positive thing.

I'm generally mild-mannered but life has taught me that sometimes you just need to use your big boy voice to get shit done. And that's something that as a character Rory Gilmore was seldom good at. I liked that there was a character who was good at it and wasn't doing it in small petty ways for small petty reasons... Emily.

Sometimes you just need an asshole to get shit done. And if well targeted Geller could be that asshole

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