F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote “there are no second acts in American lives” but he obviously didn’t have rock bands and TV shows in mind. The Don Henleys, David Lee Roths and Stings of the world are more than happy to reunite with their old bandmates if the money is right, and shows like Futurama and Arrested Development can get a second or even third life, especially in a world with Netflix and Hulu.
Now there’s news that one of my favorite television shows from the early aughts is making a made-for-Netflix comeback: Gilmore Girls. Most folks regard GG as a chick show, and I’m not a chick (I just checked), but I loved it because the writing was brilliant – the quirky characters had charm and depth, and the smart, snappy, mile-a-minute dialogue was amazing.
Then there was the music – it was note-perfect for a guy like me who likes artists who play on the fringes. The marvelously talented but commercially ignored Sam Phillips (ex-wife of superstar producer T. Bone Burnett – they were still married when the show started) did the score, and Grant Lee Phillips (of the late, great Grant Lee Buffalo and a fantastic solo artist) often appeared as the town troubadour.
The Gilmore daughter character, Rory, and her friend Lane were indie rock lovers – Rory was playing The Shins before the movie Garden State even came out. (They later appeared on a show) and Thurston and Kim from Sonic Youth played Stars Hollow with their daughter Coco. (Read more about the Gilmore Girls hipster cred here.) Of course, there was also Sebastian Bach from Skid Row playing an aging rocker… and somehow it worked.
I don’t know if the new shows will live up to the old series, but I can’t wait to find out.
…when Oprah is on LinkedIn. Guess that OWN TV channel isn’t working out too well.
I really like Michael Franti and Spearhead. They’ve gotten a decent amount of airplay and notoriety over the past few years with songs that radiate a positive message. Songs about hugging people…
But I remember Michael Franti from back in the early 90’s, when he was part of a group called The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy. Back then, I still liked his music, but the message was a bit more strident. The song “Television, The Drug of the Nation” still rings true to me.
They even reworked the Dead Kennedys song “California Über Alles” with some caustic lyrics for then-California governor Pete Wilson
There’s part of me that still loves the anger and aggression of those songs. But I do like the fact that Michael Franti has evolved, and his positive message is more likely to win fans. It’s like the old saying “you catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar.”