In general, I am passionate about the things that I enjoy. I’m fairly certain that there isn’t a single part of my personality that is capable of being a “casual fan” of anything. Marvel, Hamilton: An American Musical…the Jonas Brothers… every single thing I enjoy, I throw myself full force into every part of it. Last summer, I sat down and started watching the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and the magical, small-town charm of Stars Hollow, coupled with the sparkly, fast-paced dialogue between Rory and Lorelai drew me in. Since then, I’ve watched the whole series twice (I’m currently writing this having switched between tabs after tearing up over Zack and Gil singing to Lane at her baby shower – Season 7, episode 16 if you’re wondering) and I’ve fallen more in love with it with every episode. This post, I suppose, is my ode to my my favourite female-led, gem of a TV show.
In the year 2000, I was 7 years old, and not at all old enough to care about more than Barbie dolls and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. However, that same year, the first episodes of what would become my favourite TV show were shown to the world. Based around the small-town lives of Lorelai Gilmore, a 32-year-old single mother, and her outrageously intelligent 16-year-old daughter, Rory. Throughout the next 7 years, these two wonderfully written women would shape girls around the world, encouraging them to become successful, book-smart women with sharp wit and very 2000’s style. They encouraged their female audience to be business women, with Lorelai owning her own business with her best friend, Sookie St. James, by season 4; gave teenage girls high educational aspirations, as Rory attends the prestigious Yale University after graduating as her class valedictorian; and beautifully portrayed the importance, and complexities, of female friendships and familial relationships.
Relationships sit at the forefront of the plot, be it romantic, family, friendships, or the relationships between the citizens of Stars Hollow. Its these relationships that drive the story, many of which are relatable in some way to the audience. Its hard not to find a relationship that reminds you of one in your own life. Rory and Lane’s friendship reminds me of my own, while the dynamic between Lorelai, Rory and Emily reminds me of my own relationship with my mother and grandmother (the good bits, anyway).
Stars Hollow, Connecticut, depicts a magical caricature of small town life with its cooky, colourful residents and festivals for any and every occasion. Just watching the show makes me think “I wish this was where I lived”. Really, the only major town drama came from the installation of the town’s only traffic light; the overturning of a train filled with pickles; and the arrival of Stars Hollow’s very own Bad Boy, Jess Mariano (#TeamJess, by the way). It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s everything I want my life to be. Who doesn’t want a hilarious character like Kirk to brighten up the most dull moments of their day?
Although the show ended in 2007, we were lucky enough to revisit the residents of Stars Hollow, in 2016, in a 4-part Netflix revival. These episodes tell the story of Rory, now unemployed and underwear-less (she still hasn’t found that box yet), and her return to her beloved Stars Hollow. While the revival was met with mixed reviews (personally, I enjoyed it), it should be noted that many millennials can most likely relate to Rory’s situation. Plus, it’s always nice to know what everyone is up to these days. All of the much loved characters, including Kirk, Miss Patty and the fantastically brutal Paris Gellar returned to the SH with their own stories and problems. Eventually the series culminates in Luke and Lorelai finally tying the knot, and the reveal of the famous last 4 words. Still a little salty that Jess and Rory didn’t end up together, but that’s just me.
Gilmore Girls has well and truly planted itself into my day-to-day life, whether it be re-binge-watching it on Netflix, or reading Lauren Graham’s “Talking as Fast as I Can” (highly recommend). It’s perfect in many ways – although it is not without its faults, it was the early 2000’s, people weren’t as politically correct – and has paved the way for a new generation of driven, ambitious women. I only wish I’d watched it sooner.
Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are available to watch on Netflix UK.