Make room at the TV-table folks, cousin Oliver is in town.
You know Oliver, right?
Precocious, pre-pube designed to instantly youth-ify an aging show and its characters?
Yes, you must know him. He’s an evasive chameleon but that little bugger has been around for years.
Remember when Full House stopped being about family antics and more about annoying-as-hell Michelle? How about when Denise, oldest of the Cosby-clan, dragged step-daughter Olivia into the mix? Wasn’t So Raven.
These may be age-old examples for some, but be not mislead my dear readers. Oliver is still live and kicking and the proof lies no further away then last night’s episode of Gilmore Girls. Yesterday on the show, Luke’s supposed daughter-he-never-knew flew into Stars Hollow like an extra-terrestrial from outer-space (really, you should have seen the helmet she was wearing). Apparently Mr. Danes boinked a Nardini back in the day and omnipotent Oliver was born.
It makes sense though–Gilmore, now in its sixth season, was due for a little dose of O. College-aged Rory is no longer pulling in the pre-teen contingent like she did in high-school and even fun-filled Lorelai is ready to settle down.
What head-honchos on prime-time don’t realize is that Oliver is like a quick shot of Botox. He’s a temporary liven-up for limp storylines but ultimately becomes a means through which plots are stunted and thrown off balance. After the drama unfolds, our Oliver just roams aimlessly, without any real purpose.
Take Dawn Summers of Buffy fame, for example.
The show was aware of Dawn’s shark-jumping existence–even went so far as to explain her miraculous appearance at the onset of season five as nothing short of other-wordly. Dawn was the centre of protection-attention for sister slayer throughout the year, but after that became utterly disposable as a character. As seasons passed Dawn, like so many Olivers before her, seemed to take away from some of the show’s core relationships and left viewers feeling like the neglected child in the family.
I fear Gilmore may have fallen into a similar trap. The symptoms are strangely similarÃ¢â‚¬”both shows were in and around season five-ish when Oliver came to life and the Palladinos, brain-children to the great Gilmores have admitted to being huge Buffy fans.
This kiddie from Luke’s past is sure to smooth viewers’ laugh-lines for a while, but the wrinkly aftermath has yet to unfold and has me rushing out to Olay like you’d never imagine.
Please scribes, next time little Oliver wants some more…screen time that is, kick him in the shins and hit the ground running. I hear he has weak knees.