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Oh, Yeah, Now I Feel MUCH Better...

By RD Heldenfels Published: January 18, 2006

So I gave myself a nice wallow in two weeks of ''Gilmore Girls'' and, as is so often the case, I found myself laughing and trying to keep up with the cultural references. (Russ Tamblyn and Peter Brook on the Yale Daily News staff? Did someone have to explain the Frances Farmer line to Alexis Bledel?) Which was fun, with reservations. Yes, Keiko Agena is swell as Lane, and I liked seeing her briefly morph into an even scarier version of the angry Mrs. Kim, and I like as well what Emily Kuroda does as Mrs. Kim. And just the idea of Paris Geller in any scene makes me happy, so imagine my delight at seeing Liza Weil taking Paris through what looks like a prelude to her very own Caine Mutiny.

But Agena and Weil are both looking way too old for their parts. And while Bledel is still OK at the light stuff, she just shouldn't be given any heavy dramatic lifting at well. The scene with the therapist did not cut it. She just couldn't balance the drama and the comedy. And for those of us with long if selective TV memories, she was working opposite the guy who played Bubba on ''Frank's Place'' -- Robert Harper is his name -- and he does know how it's done.

And then there's Luke and Lorelai. Allow me an ''Oh, crap.'' Or two. Not only are they in a rocky spot, they're in one built on good intentions. Except that Luke is an idiot and Lorelai is once again doing that thing of hers -- that ''Oh, a horrible mistake is being made here yet I must do nothing except get that look that is breaking that Heldenfels guy's heart, because I assume (wrongly) that I am powerless to stop it.''

I may not be making sense at this point, but the show bothered me. I went to ''Gilmore Girls'' for comfort food and instead got a drinking cup full of tobacco-tasting maple syrup.

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