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My secret love affair.   —   Television

I'd never given much mind to the Gilmore Girls despite its rather high critical acclaim. For years it aired coinciding with Buffy the Vampire Slayer so that alone put it off my radar, not to mention the cutesy-wootsey mother-daughter advertising for the show, way too pastel and fluffy bunnies for my taste.

One Friday night, about a year ago, I had the apartment to myself. The evening was to be spent cleaning so that I'd have my weekend free from the chores, and in anticipation for the hours of scrubbing and dusting ahead I channel surfed to see what on television could brighten my rather dull evening of events. I flipped through the Guide and nothing of any interest presented itself, no Star Trek marathons or fun movies, nothing. Just when I was about to abandon all hope and pop in Spider-Man on DVD I spotted a four hour marathon of the Gilmore Girls. I thought, what the hell, and turned it on. I went about my way, cleaning this, scrubbing that, and ever so often I would catch something clever on the show that would pull me into the living room to see what was going on. Throughout the course of the first hour this kept happening, and each time it happened I stayed in the living room watching in longer increments. During the second hour there were times that I'd come in and have myself a sit on the couch, letting five, ten minutes roll past, suddenly engrossed in this charming and clever show. By the third hour I'd abandoned all cleaning and had settled myself in for the duration of the Gilmore Girl marathon, a silly smile plastered to my face, the dusting rag still at my side. After the fourth hour I was completely head-over-heels for the Gilmores. The very next day I went out and bought the complete first season on DVD and from there, over the next year, I would come to watch all five seasons on DVD, not once, but twice. Every day for the next year I would make room in my life for a 45 minute trip to the world of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the world of the Gilmore Girls.

The show's main draw for me is its clever dialog and its sense of humor. The two main characters, Lorelai and Rory (mother and daughter), are both intelligent, well cultured, and funny women. They are both down to earth, thoughtful, sensitive, good-natured, and optimistic. The bond that they share is inspiring and the relationships they have built with the rest of the small town are all honest and familial. What works for this seemingly sappy show is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. With frequent references to modern pop culture the dialog is always snappy and quick, the ideas are clever, and these people are just funny. Yet, despite these factors the characters still come off as believable.

For the most part the show focuses on the lives of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. From the very beginning these characters pull you in and make you feel at home. Over the course of time you eventually discover all of the details of these two women's lives. The books they read, the music they like, what movies are their favorites and why. You come to know what kind of food they eat, the last time they wore a particular outfit, you start to understand all of their inside jokes and become familiar with their daily routines. Perhaps this sounds mundane but somehow the writers of the show instead make these things fascinating. These are people you absolutely want to know and it almost pisses you off that you can't get in your car, drive to Stars Hollow, and have lunch at Luke's Diner.

Also within the course of the show you will witness small peeks into the lives of everyone with which the Gilmores are associated. It rounds itself out with a wonderfully talented supporting cast two of which are Edward Herrmann and Kelly Bishop. I suppose another draw to this show for me is its small town aspect. It's no ho-dunk small town mind you, it's sophisticated and respectable, quirky and bizarre, quiet and safe. The sun is always shining in Stars Hollow and its laid back and slow paced attitude is something this tired New Yorker absolutely covets. Another wonderful part of the show is the lives of Lorelai's parents, Richard and Emily Gilmore. Richard and Emily are wealthy blue-blooded Connecticutites who are somewhat snobbish and under the strict belief that appearance is everything. They attend countless functions and charity events and they are the cream of the crop when it comes to social importance and status. The relationship Lorelai shares with her parents is complex at best, built with bricks of miscommunication, guilt, and obligation, it always seems they are one step away from complete destruction. But over the years you watch them grow and slowly start to understand that despite their major lifestyle differences, that family is family, and they're always there for one another in time of crisis. Some of the very best scenes are the ones which occur during the weekly Friday night dinners. In the beginning of the series Lorelai goes to her mother for a loan to send Rory to an upscale private school to better her education. Emily agrees to the loan on one condition, that Lorelai and Rory attend dinner at their house every Friday night. And so the series continues with Friday night dinners where you witness the awkward nature of these relationships unfold, become twisted, smoothed, and twisted once again. The chemistry between these actors is electric and their ability to play the scenes flawlessly adds to the absolute quality of the show.

The back-story is this: Free-spirited and rebellious Lorelai got pregnant at the age of 16 and in effect proceeded to be The Disappointment of her parent's lives. She fled her parent's house after giving birth to daughter Rory and found refuge in the nearby town of Stars Hollow, working as a maid at the local Inn which she would eventually come to manage, and raising Rory. The story begins when Rory is a sophomore in High School and from there we see the next five years of their lives unfold.

Another thing that works for this show is that they don't dumb-down for fear of alienating viewers. Other than a few standard TV-typical plot points, this show continues to be smart and interesting, and for once in television, they expect their viewers to be the same.

Posted 4.5.2006 11:29:26 PM

Bastid wrote:
HAH! Finally, another one crumbles to the tag team assault off the top rope that is Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Amy used to watch this show, and I used to retreat to my computer until it was over, but i couldn't close my ears to the shows rapid fire quick wit- and i got sucked right in. I went out and purchased the 1st season on DVD. We only watch the show together and are currently on season 4. So shhh - don't tell me anymore.
Posted 4/5/2006 12:05:19 PM
Doll wrote:
It's amazing, you never know who is a closet Gilmore fan. I have a girlfriend who says that her father is obsessed with the show. And now you, bad-ass Bastid. This show's fan-base cannot be pigeonholed.
Posted 4/5/2006 12:26:36 PM
Bastid wrote:
You have no idea how much ridicule I face for loving this show. After watching 4 episodes straight, I went to work with them on mind and began yapping about the Dean/Jess situation while at work a few months ago - yea, i'm never going to live that down.
Posted 4/5/2006 2:47:42 PM
Botch wrote:
I don't love the show so much that I would watch an episode by myself, but I never mind it when Doll has it on. Definitely a smart and witty piece of television. It deserves to be more popular than it is.
Posted 4/6/2006 1:35:20 PM
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