As I said in my last post I’ve never had strong feelings for or against Jess. He is an interesting character, but I’ve seen the trope of wounded bad boy done many times before and done better. Jess was a great character, but because the show is called Gilmore Girls, we always saw Jess though their lens. So in many ways his complicated personality was never explored fully. He was the second boyfriend and so different from Dean, while he also connected with Rory on many levels, but his past and motivations was never looked at in a way that made me able to understand him.
Much of my lack of understanding is probably because I’ve never been a teenage boy, but that is just life. So to me he quickly became a cliche. And any strong feelings for the character didn’t come until the end when he was leaving and I was mad, because he didn’t tell anyone. He was very much a dumb boy who didn’t care about anything but himself. Which just isn’t good enough for our Rory – yes, Rory is also flawed, but she is still our Rory.
But as much as I’m mad at Jess for leaving like he did, I do think he served a purpose. Dean and Rory broke up because of Rory’s feelings for Jess and it was totally needed. I like Dean so far, but he really wasn’t supposed to be a forever boyfriend. Like Lorelai says Dean was the perfect first boyfriend and little Rory needed that. But Rory is evolving and finding her personality and it turns out that Rory was not challenged enough by Dean, so I’m grateful for Jess for being there to change things up. I’m glad that Rory has had a boyfriend that isn’t perfect, because that made her a little less perfect and we needed that. Perfect protagonists are super boring and never anyone’s favourite characters – just look at Ted Mosby.
Jess was also important the development of many other characters – especially Luke – but I mainly see him as Rory’s boyfriend and thus have not written a lot about those other relationships.
With the first real trailer for A Year in the Life dropping yesterday, I have been thinking and a grown up Jess and grown up Rory could totally make sense. They already had a lot in common when they dated, but a more mature Rory and a Jess who got his issues sorted out would be totally okay with me.
But now back to the marathon. I caught up with Diana yesterday, and while I was visiting my parents we both watched the last two episodes of season three together. I have all the texts to prove how much fun we had being mad at Jess and crying over Rory’s valedictorian speech. We are also both very happy that the Jess in California spin-off never happened, because those scenes were dumb and made Jess look even more annoying than he was. Also who wears that many layers of black clothing while on the beach in Los Angles? Dumb, dumb boy.
This weekend will be super busy as we are hanging with friends, but we’ll try to squeeze as much Gilmore Girls out of it as possible. We’re still on track since we had til Thursday to finish season 3. Season 4, bring it on.
Also I still love Emily Gilmore and I’m really looking forward to her arc in the new mini series!