I have this perfect routine with one of my friends. She comes over and cooks lunch, we go in the Jacuzzi and aerobic-dance to ‘Sex On Fire’, then we settle in front of Gilmore Girls with popcorn and carrot sticks. Those days don’t come often now I’m at uni, but they’re a right treat.
Yesterday, after our latest sesh, I ordered GG Series 2 to celebrate. Hitherto my mate has always brought the discs round, but after a think about why I love this show so much, I’ve decided I need my own copies. I mean, it finished in 2007 and people are STILL TALKING ABOUT IT!—surely it’s got to be worth it.
In short, this post is an excuse for a fangirl splurge. With GIFs.
If you haven’t seen GG, here’s a basic description:
Sixteen years ago, Lorelai Gilmore ran away from her privileged/’suffocating’ home with her infant daughter, Rory. Now aged thirty-two, Lorelai is struggling to pay Rory’s fees to a better school. With no other option, she accepts her parents’ financial help in return for Friday night family dinners. The show explores how best friends Lorelai and Rory juggle the small town where they live, the posh new school in the city, and old wounds reopened when Emily Gilmore, Lorelai’s mum, comes back into their lives.
HUMOUR AND POP CULTURE
Unlike so many sitcoms where small problems are blown out of proportion, GG deals with them in this beautifully rich, sensitive and light-hearted way. Everything is delighting and believable and delightfully fresh. The Sherman-Palladinos are fabulous screenwriters.
One of the most mentioned things is the dialogue pace. Most TV show scripts are sixty pages, one page per minute. A GG script, for a forty-minute show, is eighty pages long. They speak twice as fast!
I can’t say I catch all the jokes—or even many of them. On a good episode I’d snag maybe 80% of the jokes and wordplay and 25% of the pop culture references. But I’m glad to say that every time I rewatch an episode I pick new things up. But there’s something for every smarty pants: the GG Online Reading List is comprised of a 339 titles—and those are just the ones Rory is spotted reading onscreen.
GG is, fundamentally, a family story between grandmother, mother and daughter. Its intergenerational accessibility must, I feel, be a key factor in its popularity. At any rate, I’m confident I’ll never outgrow it. The characters are intelligent, quirky and lovable, and played by a fabulous cast—it can’t be just me who finds it hard to take my eyes off the screen for fear of missing one of Lorelai’s facial expressions or Rory’s hand gestures.
Me, I’m a sucker for family stories. The key relationship in most of my books (both reading favourites and writing) is a parent-child one. Perhaps that’s a product of my age—though making my own decisions much of the time, I’m still dependent on my parents for ways and means. I don’t resent that, but it affects me.
Series 1 Episode 6: ‘Rory’s Birthday Parties’. Isn’t this cute.
LORELAI: And it’s so hard to believe that at exactly this time many moons ago, I was lying in exactly the same position —
RORY: Oh, boy. Here we go.
LORELAI: Only I had a huge, fat stomach and big fat ankles and I was swearing like a sailor —
RORY: On leave.
LORELAI: On leave — right! And there I was —
RORY: In labor.
LORELAI: And while some have called it the most meaningful experience of your life, to me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.
RORY: I wonder if the Waltons ever did this.
LORELAI: And I was screaming and swearing and being surrounded as I was by a hundred prominent doctors, I just assumed there was an actual use for the cup of ice chips they gave me.
RORY: There wasn’t.
LORELAI: But pelting the nurses sure was fun.
RORY: I love you, Mom.
LORELAI: Shh. I’m getting to the part where he sees your head. So there I was…
You can’t talk about Gilmore Girls without acknowledging it as an encyclopaedia of strong female characters. Rory: academic intelligence and common sense. Lorelai: quick-witted, competent as the manager of a local business, not to mention building a life for her sixteen-year-old self from the ground. Emily: assertive, manipulative, party-throwing goddess and maybe even smarter than her offspring. Just like Maggie’s Smith Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, Emily gets some of the best lines.
I love that Rory chooses the job rather than the guy at the end. As for Lorelai, she still wants her happily ever after with the perfect guy. But she’s not prepared to settle for less than the best. Go Lorelai!
Rory introduces herself in the pilot as ‘Lorelai Gilmore’:
“It’s my mother’s name too. She named me after herself. She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, you know, so why couldn’t women. She says her feminism just kind of took over. Though personally I think a lot of Demerol also went into that decision.”
I always hesitate to describe Lorelai as a ‘single mother’, simply because the whole town of Stars Hollow is equally as protective and caring over Rory and her Harvard dream. The producers nail the small town feel, the idiosyncratic characters, but most importantly their diverse roots. It’s not hard to find someone to relate to.
What really steals the show is its heartwarming attitude towards humanity. The Gilmore girls might poke fun at everyone they come across (as well as themselves, their questionable clothes, coffee addiction and eating habits), but their deep compassion is so beautifully affecting. Everyone has redeeming features, scenes where they show another side. There are so many dimensions to every face in the Gilmore world, there could easily be a spin-off for every character you see.
Dean, Jess or Logan?
Ugh, hard one. Dean is lovely at the start, but he gets gradually more childish. Jess begins as the misunderstood bad boy, and I felt mostly for Dean during that break-up. Logan was a bit slimy and entitled, though he had his moments. Still, all in all, I’m with Jess. By the end of the show he’d sorted out his life. Shame Dean and Logan had messed with Rory so much she didn’t want to begin anything. I have high hopes for the new series…
Favourite character? Don’t make me…
- I love the Town Troubadour—he only makes, like, one episode into the script, but he’s always there with a coincidentally sympathetic tune. (Did I mention Carole King’s amazing soundtrack? It’s amazing. I feel fuzzy inside just humming along.)
- I love Lane—I get her obscure rock music references more often than the film ones. Her conflicts with her mum are so very real, but a perfect foil to Lorelai and Rory.
- I love Michel—“I will be French, but I will not be happy”; Lorelai: “then you’ll be yourself”
But Luke really takes the biscuit. I never tire of the banter between him and Lorelai. Favourite TV kiss ever—even just because they waited FOUR SEASONS for it. That must be the slowest burning perfect TV romance of all time. They WILL marry and have twins. Please. (Even though she’s like forty by Season 7.) There’s still time…
I am soooo excited. I think it might be worth finally using my free one-month Netflix trial to watch it. (I’ve been waiting years for the perfect opportunity.) High hopes much.
Cybersphere, geek out with me. Why do you love GG? (If you don’t, go watch it.) Who’s your favourite character?