Aired for seven straight years from 2000 to 2007, Gilmore Girls is one of the most dearly beloved shows of all time. Despite its premiere on a small and undervalued network, in a time slot that placed them neck-and-neck with the then unbeatable series Friends (source), Gilmore Girls fared well through the years. And although creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left the show in 2006 due to issues with the studio, Gilmore Girls still ranked 16 out of the 50 Best TV Shows On Netflix and 51 out of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite TV Shows. And with its sought-after revival fast approaching after nine long years, what could be a greater time for a review than now? So, in this post, I share five attributes that make this series a treasure that it is:
1. The memories of the good old days
One of the first things I adore about Gilmore Girls is its overall feel and atmosphere of simplicity and modesty, manifested through the small, whimsical town of Stars Hollow, the polite and tightknit folk, cozy homes, quaint inns and diners, as well as the conservative vintage fashion. Premiered as part of a push for more family-friendly fare on television (source), the show promotes the good old times when streets are safer, people are kinder, and life is simpler. A reminder that once upon a time, people were not consumed by social media and smartphones that they actually lived their lives participating in community activities, getting out of their way to help their neighbors, reading daily postal mails and magazines, having regular phone calls and meaningful face-to-face conversations, and enjoying quality time together. Add to that are laid-back Sunday morning theme songs “Where You Lead” by Carole King and all the la-la’s by Sam Phillips playing in the background!
2. The value of education, learning, and dreaming big
I love Rory. She is smart, disciplined, goal-oriented, gifted (really now, who else remains that skinny with all those fast food? =p ), and the ultimate academic role model (next to Rancho, of course). At an early age, she knew that she wants to be an outstanding journalist and she worked hard to pass in the top three Ivy League schools. She values education so much and I find it deeply admirable that the show spotlights this young girl’s pursuit of such a noble passion. Throughout the seven seasons, she was seen reading 339 books on screen, studying diligently for exams, working on various papers, doing exceptionally well in her classes, and eventually graduating with flying colors (who can forget her heartwarming speech!). Of course she is not perfect and has committed her fair share of wrong decisions, but her complex imperfections make her truly human and a multi-dimensional personality, rather than a mere goody two-shoes stock character. Apart from Rory, other characters who value learning are Paris, Lane, and April Nardini.
3. The awesome characters, cast, and lines
Gilmore Girls‘s strongest suits lie in good character-building, choice of actors, and witty, pop-culture-rich, fast-paced dialogues. Lauren Graham is perfect for the role of the cool, humorous, and sassy mother Lorelai Gilmore while Alexis Bledel did a superb job in portraying the smart and classy Rory Gilmore. “Best Actor” awards also go to Melissa McCarthy for the bubbly and quirky Sookie St. James, Scott Patterson for the cynical and uptight but kind-hearted Luke Danes, Kelly Bishop for the high-bred society matron Emily Gilmore, and Keiko Agena as the geeky musician Lane Kim. Liza Weil is also a spot-on Paris Geller. A pivotal character in the show, Paris not only played the part of Rory’s academic rival, but also served as the show’s mouthpiece (being brutally honest that she is) for the social class struggle against the elite background of the Gilmores. During the high-profile DAR bash, she exclaimed in her usual agitated tone how Karl Marx was right about capitalism and the working class (Season 6, Episode 5 “We’ve Got Magic To Do”). Another fine aspect of the show is that the story does not only revolve around Lorelai and Rory. Each of the colorful characters has a tale to tell, such as Emily and Richard, Luke, Sookie, Lane, Paris, Dean, Jess, Logan, Taylor, Mrs. Patty, Michel, and who can ever forget Kurt?
4. The wonderful relationships with family, friends, and lovers
Despite Lorelai’s deeply-rooted and long-standing conflict with her parents, the show underscores the power of blood ties in fostering love amidst the intricacies of war and hatred. Gilmore Girls is a proof that families should and would stand the test of time. Moreover, Lorelai and Rory’s healthy friendships with their best friends, Sookie and Lane, respectively, make it all worthwhile. Probably the most disputed subject in the series is Lorelai and Rory’s love life, especially because fans are divided on this one (at least for Rory because everyone ships Luke and Lorelai since day one!), not to mention some moral dilemmas. At any rate, even though the show tackles romance on a secular perspective, it reveals much about moving on and solving tricky predicaments.
5. The unbreakable mother-and-daughter bond
What I love the most about Gilmore Girls is the mother-and-daughter tandem of Lorelai and Rory. Their relationship, though never perfect, is nothing short of beautiful: from their coffee addiction, junk food habits, movie marathons, and witty banters; to boy dramas, honest confrontations, and Friday night dinner connivance. I’ve mentioned earlier that their best friends are Sookie and Lane, but, actually, they have found their ultimate best friend (and soul sister!) in each other. Their bond is so touching and real that it inspired me to take my relationship with my mom a notch higher, too! ❤
Indeed, Gilmore Girls is a gem. As online news and culture platform UPROXX puts it, it’s a “great show to watch with a new generation of television viewers, it’s a great show to watch while bingeing on food, and it’s a great show to re-watch many times. The relationship between single mother Lorelai and her daughter, Rory, never gets old.” 🙂
(All photos are from Google Images)
In response to Daily Prompt: “Saga“
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