Gilmore Girls – Where you lead, I will follow…

Posted January 25, 2014 by Brin in Discussion Posts / 0 Comments

gilmore-rorySo…I just took another  character quiz. One of my favourite shows from the noughties was Gilmore Girls so I thought I would try a quiz and see which character I was most like. Here are my results from an online quiz at buddytv.com: apparently I am Rory Gilmore. Well, I would have preferred to be Lorelai but I guess being Rory isn’t too bad (she is a bookworm after all!) even if she is a bit of a goody-goody which I have never really considered myself to be.

It got me thinking about this show again, which I have not watched in a number of years. Gilmore Girls was a quirky little show that I really enjoyed. The series was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and starred Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory Gilmore. It had a little angst, but it was not the drama-fest that shows like One Tree Hill or The O.C. were (not that there was anything wrong with these particular shows – although I do think both of them did get a little mired down by all the excessive dramatic shenanigans which became more prominent in later seasons). Interesting little tidbit – both Chad Michael Murray and Adam Brody guest-starred in Season 1 of Gilmore Girls but were absent from Season 2 onwards due to being leads in their own shows, One Tree Hill and The O.C. respectively!

I have been thinking a lot lately of shows I watched in the past and at some point I think a re-watch of Gilmore Girls is in order (I own all 7 seasons on DVD). It is not my all-time favourite show by any means but I did enjoy the slower-paced plots juxtaposed with the quick back-and-forth between the characters, especially Lorelai and Rory, Lorelai and Luke, Lorelai and her parents…you get the idea! The show was renowned for its fast-paced dialogue and pop-culture laden references. I particularly loved this show because I found great comfort in watching it – it is the very definition of a feel-good show. Everytime the main theme started to play, I would be sucked into this show about small-town life, and big dreams…

Gilmore Girls (season 1)
Gilmore Girls (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gilmore Girls was equal parts warm and fuzzy but also really sharp and witty at the same time.  It was a show with a very simple premise…but one that worked exceedingly well. It mainly centred around Lorelai and her daughter Rory and the very close bond that they shared. Their relationship went through its up and downs but overall it was a very positive one – unusual for prime-time television. They were portrayed as the best of friends and although they definitely had their arguments (including one summer of not speaking to each other!) for the most part they got along really well. Lorelai was a young, single mother (she got pregnant with Rory when she was 16 – and refused to do the so-called ‘right’ thing and marry the father to downplay the scandal!) who pretty much put her life on hold to raise her daughter. Rory was the centre of her world.

Lorelai’s relationship with her mother (and father) was a little more contentious and provided most of the tension for the series. She ran away from home whilst she was pregnant with Rory and relations have been strained ever since. When Lorelai has to turn to her estranged parents for help to pay for Rory’s tuition at a prestigious prep school, they agree on one condition – Lorelai and Rory must attend a family dinner at their house every Friday night (no exceptions). Some of the funniest scenes happened at these family dinners – and this was a major plot point for the run of the series.

The series focused primarily on its characters and their interactions rather than moving from plot to plot. Lorelai and Rory are the key characters but there were many other characters that played a huge role. From the endearing (and somewhat odd) inhabitants of Stars Hollow, to  Lorelai’s blue-blooded parents in Hartford, the series had a varied cast, all of which got significant screen-time. One of my favourite characters was Luke, the grumpy diner owner, and I loved the will-they/won’t-they aspect of his and Lorelai’s relationship. I also loved Sookie, Lorelai’s kooky best friend (played by Melissa McCarthy of Bridesmaids fame!).

I felt that the show was more charming in its earlier years, even though later seasons had some great moments too. I loved how focused Rory was on her academics and how she was unashamedly a nerdy bookworm. I loved how supportive Lorelai was with her daughter and just how much she had sacrificed for Rory to achieve her goals. I loved it when Lorelai and Luke finally got together. I was not as invested in Rory’s romantic relationships (and hated Logan – her boyfriend in later seasons – with a blazing passion). Still, the main romantic relationship for me was Lorelai and Luke (so Season 6 and the beginning of Season 7 was pretty painful viewing for me!).

Rory’s college years were not as entertaining as her school years (though I still adored the socially awkward Paris – and she became even funnier in later seasons!) but the latter seasons did have more focus on Lorelai and Luke so that made up for it. I HATED the April storyline though – whoever thought giving Luke a 12 year-old daughter he previously had no knowledge of was a good idea should feel shame – it was a lazy way to introduce angst into the Lorelai-Luke connection and that it ultimately broke them up (even if they did eventually get back together) still irritates me to this day!

Another thing that used to bother me was the fact that nearly everyone seemed to jump on the ‘I love Rory’ bandwagon – everyone in the town seemed to think it was a crime not to adore Rory Gilmore which did become a bit tiresome as the series wore on and Rory started making some really bad decisions. She never really seemed to get called on them except maybe her later liaison with Dean when he was still married or when Logan’s father basically called her on her self-entitlement and told her she didn’t have what it takes to be a journalist. Don’t get me wrong he was perhaps excessively harsh to her but Rory had been used to getting just about everything given to her on a silver platter so Mitchum Huntzberger wasn’t exactly wrong in his assessment.

When this proclamation causes her to give up on school and her dreams of becoming a journalist for awhile, I must admit I was particularly irritated with Rory and how everyone seemed to go along with her pity parade. I would have preferred her to show some more backbone. Still, it was a very realistic portrayal in that some people cannot seem to handle rejection once they leave the safe confines of their relatively privileged upbringing. Interestingly, Lorelai never displayed any signs of this when she left everything behind to live her own life, which made her pandering to Rory on this occasion a little bit annoying. Still, even this did not affect my enjoyment of the series too much.

Gilmore Girls was a very entertaining and heartwarming series. It did end somewhat somewhat abruptly though – I would have preferred a bit more of Lorelai and Luke’s reconciliation and although I was glad of where Rory’s love life eventually ended up, the break-up between her and Logan did happen all-too-quickly. Fans have been clamouring for a spin-off movie, and while I would LOVE that (hey it worked for Veronica Mars!) I am still fairly happy with the resolution of the show, even if I had a few niggles.

Gilmore Girls was a show that I thoroughly enjoyed watching but I am a little bit surprised that I decided to write a wholly unexpected blog post on it (bit of a spur of the moment thing!) – not that it is not deserving of a blog post, more that I thought one of my other favourite shows would have been the topic of discussion for my first non-book related blog post. Although this post is not entirely non-book related – another little interesting fact is that Lauren Graham has quite recently written a book herself! This looks like a really interesting read which I might just have to check out!

maybeSomeday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

A charming and laugh-out-loud novel by Lauren Graham, beloved star of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls, about an aspiring actress trying to make it in mid-nineties New York City.

Synopsis from Goodreads

>>>

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the show:

Lorelai: My mother — she was here. I can feel it. Smell that? The room smells like guilt and Chanel No. 5.

Rory: You set my alarm for 5:15 a.m.
Lorelai: I know, and I did it for purely practical reasons.
Rory: Which are?
Lorelai: My alarm is just not as reliable as your scream.

Lorelai: You have to sleep. It’s what keeps you pretty.
Rory: Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?
Lorelai: O-kay. You’ve got this so completely backwards.

Lorelai: My life stinks. Hey, let’s look into each other’s eyes and say “I wish I were you” at exactly the same time — maybe we’ll pull a Freaky Friday.
Rory: Or we can just pretend that we did and you can go around acting really immature. Oh, wait.

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Brin

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