I remember the first time I stumbled across Gilmore Girls.
It was an episode from Season One showing on E4, circa 2002. There was a character with my favourite name – who, intriguingly, was a girl. And they were referencing the Foo Fighters.
Rory is my age. Born in ‘86, I watched in real time as everything she went through, I went through.
When Rory went to Yale, I also went to uni. Her adjustment from moving out of home, taking a while to find her feet and adjust to the demands of academic life was my adjustment.
The way she unabashedly loved books and academia, but wasn’t stereotypically geeky, spoke to me.
At 21, during one of my first ever proper job interviews, my confidence was knocked when I was told that I “just wasn’t entrepreneurial”. But, I could take comfort in an on-screen experience I’d watched a few years earlier – When Rory had her journalistic aspirations dashed by a similarly well-connected, well-educated man in a similarly unkind way. “You lack that certain something, but you’ll make someone a nice assistant one day”.
I could find endless parallels to my own life, but then I think that’s a result of good writing – you’d be hard pressed to find nothing to relate to as you watch Rory throughout the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. Hers is the story of growing up as a woman in my generation.
By the time of the seventh and final season, I had caught up with the US and watched those final episodes the day after they aired, or whenever I could find them online. That was 2007. My final year of uni.
Since then, I have re-watched random episodes here or there when I’ve caught them on TV, but with the four feature length new episodes about to be released on Netflix, I thought it was time for a full seven season re-watch.
And I’ve fallen in love all over again.
8 Observations I’ve made in watching Gilmore Girls for the millionth time
1. When I first watched Gilmore Girls, being at the same life stage as Rory, I could only really relate to the daughter perspective of the mother / daughter relationship. Now, watching as a mother, there is a whole new emotional layer to certain plot developments. I find more ways to identify with Lorelai, and even Emily.
2. Now we are well and truly in the digital age, there are even podcasts dedicated to Gilmore Girls. Yep, I have gone full geek with this latest re-watch. Have you heard of the Gilmore Guys? They watch and discuss the episodes, one as a new viewer and one having seen it all before. There is a wealth of content there, and some of it can be pretty longwinded – you need a fair bit of time on your hands – but the interviews with the cast and crew are an interesting listen.
3. I have a new appreciation forthe immersive world and characters of Stars Hollow. It’s a rare thing to get that in any teen shows these days. It’s got to be cool, it’s got to be supernatural, it’s got to have a USP. But, I guess Gilmore Girls was always a bit different. It was never a teen show, really. It’s about every day life. It’s about being a woman. If you are a woman, you should watch this show.
4. I find Emily’s painfully desperate urge to reconnect with her daughter and granddaughter a little more poignant with each re-watch. She may seriously step over the line at points, but I still stand by the opinion that comparing a list of people who shouldn’t have had children (Hitler… and Richard and Emily) was WAY harsh, Lorelai.
5. I have more patience for Lorelai’s perpetual childlike mindset.. Back in the day, it was grating, but now, as a mother, I can better appreciate the impact that having a child at 16 and being estranged from your own parents and support system might have. Some of my favourite and most touching Gilmore Girls moments are when the three generations of women are together, but particularly the moments between Lorelai and Emily.
6. The nostalgic use of technology is cute. In Gilmore Girls we see the rise of mobiles instead of pagers (who had those in the UK anyway?), the beginnings of the internet as a research tool, and the birth of wifi. Watching Lorelai awkwardly stretch the fax cable over the counter at Luke’s in order to get her laptop online takes me RIGHT back to the dial up days.
7. Best TV show, WORST theme song. Why has Netflix not created an option where you can skip the theme tune if you are having a binge watch?? I REALLY don’t need to hear “Where You Lead” more than once.
8. It’s shows like Gilmore Girls that make me think, in another life, if I had grown up in California, I would be very happy being a screenwriter for TV shows. I’ve written before about how TV is my absolute favourite thing due to the time allowed for story arcs – there’s nothing better than delving into a world knowing you have a heap of episodes to digest and dissect. Amy Sherman-Palladino gives a real treat for the TV lover with her writing on Gilmore Girls. From Lorelai’s ever frequent TV-referencing, to her love of binge-watching her favourite shows, from the rise and fall of the emotional arcs and the fully-realised character development, Gilmore Girls is a show for people who are passionate about television.
God, I hope the new episodes will be decent.
Do you have any predictions for Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life?
Rory will sleep with Jess. But I’m not sure she’ll end up with any of her previous boyfriends. Luke will give the Twickham house to Emily or possibly Rory – basically, someone ends up in the Twickham house. Oh, and their metabolisms will finally catch up with them.