Welcome to my Binge Worthy blog post series. In these posts, I will be taking my favorite shows that have finished their run, and tell you why you should be watching them as well! And if you are already a fan of the show, there will also be a discussion section, where I will be giving my thoughts and opinions on the show as a whole. From season rankings, to favorite couples, this discussion section will look at the best and worst parts of each series. Today I'm going to be looking at Gilmore Girls.
When I was growing up, there were not a lot of shows at the time like Gilmore Girls. Shows with mainly female casts that told realistic stories about women. Being very close to my mom, it was a show that resonated with me greatly, and one that I can quote endlessly. There were so many funny and unique moments that this show had to offer, and is one I can re-watch again and again. So without further ado, lets get Gilmored!
Gilmore Girls premiered on October 5, 2000. It was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, and premiered on the WB for its first six seasons. It then made the move over to what is now known as The CW when UPN and the WB merged in 2006 for it's final season. It stars Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Keiko Agena, Yanic Truesdale, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Edward Herrmann, Liza Weil, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Sean Gunn, Chris Eigeman, and Matt Czuchry.
Gilmore Girls is centered around a single mom named Lorelai, and her daughter Rory, who are more like best friends rather than mother and daughter. Lorelai got pregnant when she was 16, which was not something her wealthy parents approved of. So, she decided to move out and raise Rory away from the high society life she was born into. Together, they make a home for themselves in the small town of Stars Hollow, filled with many wacky towns people who become like a second family. But when Rory gets accepted to an elite, and very expensive boarding school, Lorelai must re-establish her relationship with her estranged parents in order to get them to help her pay for Rory's education. The show follows the two as they reconnect with their family, and experience life and love.
Check out these really cute trailers Netflix made about the show below:
Why You Should Watch It
Gilmore Girls is a hard show to categorize because it is technically a drama, but it is also extremely funny (so I guess that makes it a dramedy?). It also focuses on two women at different points in their lives, so it can't be fully categorized as a teen drama or adult drama either. It really is in its own genre, which I think is one of the things that makes it so special. And while I believe the target demographic was teenage girls, I think that it is so intelligently written that people of any age could like and relate to it. And despite its subject matter, I think it is a show men could enjoy as well. There are many other reasons to love this show, which I will list below:
The show has one of the best mother/daughter relationships I have seen on a TV show. And not only between Rory and Lorelai, but also between Lorelai and Emily. Both are drastically different, and show honest depictions of both a mother and daughter who are very close, and a duo that could not be more opposite.
While this point may not appeal to everyone, one of the things I love about the show is the fast and witty dialogue. Gilmore Girls has some of the longest scripts in television, but it never feels like it when you are watching because of how fast the characters speak. It also has a great use of pop culture in it's dialogue, and makes references to pretty much all areas of entertainment.
The show also has a way of showing relatable and unique female story lines. Lorelai and Rory don't know how to cook, they aren't obsessed with their appearances, and are shown to have very relatable problems that don't constantly involve men. From money problems, to school and work, to mundane things such as finding out their house has termites, the show does an amazing job of showing women in an extremely relatable way, but still making it fun and entertaining.
Gilmore Girls has a way of showing female relationships that you don't often find on TV. Lorelai and Sookie are a very realistic depiction of female friends, who are also great business partners, and successful business women. Rory is shown to have two types of friends that I feel most women often have. There is Lane, who is one of her best friends from childhood, who understands her in ways not many people can. Then there is Paris, who begins the show as a bully to Rory, but eventually becomes a great friend that challenges and encourages her, instead of always being a foil in her way or a person she must constantly compete with. All of these are great types of friendships for young women to be able to see on screen.
The secondary characters are so much fun, and have such quirky characteristics, they make you wish Stars Hollow was a real place. And despite the fact that there are so many secondary characters in the town, they all manage to somewhat get their own backstories and individualism, which makes you feel like you truly know everyone that lives in the town. Because of this, the show is able to pull you in by making you care so much about the characters and their lives, that they don't need to have huge dramatic moments and plot twists. It has the ability to draw you in just because of your love for this little town and its residents.
The Essentials List
Since there is so much to watch on television these days, I often hear people say that they just like to watch the most important episodes of a show, so that they can get through them quickly and watch more things. I personally would never want to do this, if I'm going to get invested in a show, I'm in it for the long haul, even through the worst episodes. However, if this is your preferred form of television viewing, I have compiled what I believe to be the most important episodes from each season, to ensure you get the most essential information out of a shortened viewing.
Also, for people who have already seen the show and are fans, you could view this as a highlight reel to go back and watch the best episodes of each season!
-The Lorelais' First Day at Chilton
-Rory's Birthday Parties
-Kiss and Tell
-Forgiveness and Stuff
-Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers
-The Breakup, Part II
-Emily in Wonderland
-Love, Daisies, and Troubadours
-Red Light on the Wedding Night
-Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy
-Presenting Lorelai Gilmore
-It Should've Been Lorelai
-There's The Rub
-Teach Me Tonight
-Lorelai's Graduation Day
-I Can't Get Started
-Take the Deviled Eggs...
-They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?
-A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving
-That'll Do Pig
-Dear Emily and Richard
-A Tale of Poes and Fire
-Those Are Strings, Pinocchio
-The Lorelais' Fist Day at Yale
-Chicken or Beef?
-The Fundamental Things Apply
-Ted Koppel's Big Night Out
-A Family Matter
-Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels
-The Reigning Lorelai
-Las Week fights, This Week Tights
-Raincoats & Recipes
-Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller
-A Messenger, Nothing More
-We Got Us a Pippi Virgin
-You Jump, I Jump, Jack
-Emily Says 'Hello'
-Wedding Bell Blues
-To Live and Let Diorama
-But I'm a Gilmore
-Blame Booze and Melville
-A House is Not a Home
-We've Got Magic to Do
-Let Me Hear Your Balalakas Ringing Out
-The Prodigal Daughter Returns
-Just Like Gwen and Gavin
-Friday Night's Alright for Fighting
-The Real Paul Anka
-I Get a Sidekick out of You
-The Long Marrow
-'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous
-The Great Stink
-The French Twist
-Introducing Lorelai Planetarium
-Santa's Secret Stuff
-I'd Rather be in Philadelphia
-Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore?
Fellow Gilmore Girls fans, did I miss anything, or is there anything on here you don't think is necessary? Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below!
(Beware, if you have not seen the show in its entirety, there will be spoilers from this section onward. Only super cool party people allowed past this point.)
I was a little too young to be watching Gilmore Girls when it first aired. But I discovered it when it was only a few seasons in by watching re-runs on what was then known as ABC Family. I instantly fell in love with it, and would watch it every day when I came home from school. However, because of this, I saw it completely out of order, so I never watched the last episode, because I felt like I wanted to watch the whole thing start to finish before I did. That unfortunately did not happen until college, when the whole series was finally released on Netflix.
During my senior year, I watched the entire show while working on my senior projects. It was the perfect thing to keep me laughing and in a good mood while I worked. I then discovered that one of my friends (and now my lovely roommate Mackenzie) had done a similar thing to me, and she too had never seen the finale. So, we watched it together for the first time, in our school computer labs on my laptop, and yup, we both cried, a memory we still laugh about now.
Having such a loving connection with my own mother as Rory and Lorelai do in the show, I instantly identified with it. It is a rare drama that does not need dramatic cliff hangers and plot twists to keep you coming back for more. As I said above, I love it because it just simply makes you feel good, and relate to the characters, in way that makes you feel like you too live in Stars Hollow. Since I fully finished the series I have re-watched the show many times, and love it still so much. So without further ado, let's get into what I love and don't love so much about Gilmore Girls.
First Let's Get In the Gilmore Girls Mood...
The beloved Gilmore Girls theme song "Where You Lead" by Carole King in my opinion, perfectly captures the essence of the show. A fun fact though, the song its self is actually sung by King's daughter Louise Goffin, and is a re-write of the original song sung by King herself. In an essay written by Goffin (which you can read by clicking here), she says that in fact the song as originally written, was often interpreted as a woman singing to a man, and they were so happy when the perception around the song was changed to be about a mother and daughter through Gilmore Girls. Even as a graphic designer, I love the cheesy filter, and text treatment in the theme, as I think it reflects the show and the time it was made in such a genuine way, and the song was a perfect fit to go along with it.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to handle the revival, if I should do a separate post, or include it in this one as it's own season. But I came to the conclusion that I would just write a small section on my thoughts of it here before we begin just to get it out of the way. Let me start this by saying, as a major fan I'm glad they did the revival. I freaked out every time a beloved character appeared, and I cried at many points. However, there was quite a bit I did not like about it as well. I don't think that a lot of the characters (except for Emily) were served well by it, especially Rory. Most of them seemed to be stuck exactly where they were when the show ended 10 years prior, and their character development was almost non existent. It was as though Amy Sherman-Palladino just disregarded season seven, and kept going with the show as though season six just ended.
Rory did not come across well, as a stuck up freelance journalist who was her ex-boyfriend's mistress. I understand that the writers wanted to convey that life is not perfect, but they almost made her so un perfect I didn't like her anymore. And I get that they wanted us to see Luke and Lorelai's wedding, but I don't like how they handled that either. I would have preferred a wedding flashback and more time spent on seeing them presently married, rather than having us believe they waited all this time and still hadn't tied the knot. And while I get what Amy Sherman-Palladino was trying to do with the symmetry of Rory telling Lorelai she was pregnant as the ending to the series, at this point in Rory's life I just don't think it had the same effect that it would have had this been the original ending in season seven.
Lastly, I didn't appreciate how much the smaller characters were so under utilized. Yes, everyone made reappearances, but we didn't really get to find out much about any of the other characters like Lane, Paris, Jess, Dean, and Sookie, other than one or two lines of back story. I wish they could have given more scenes to these characters rather than say, the musical that took up half an episode... While I obviously loved the chance to return to Stars Hollow, and there were parts of the revival I did enjoy, overall it just didn't really live up to the expectations that I had for it, and I don't think they will be episodes that I revisit.
Seasons Ranking (from best to worst):
There are so many things I love about season three, as it contains the majority of my favorite episodes and story lines. There is the love triangle between Rory, Jesse, and Dean. There is also the twist of Rory deciding to attend Yale, after two seasons of watching her talk about nothing but Harvard, causing her to connect even more with her grandparents. I also love her amazing valedictorian speech when she graduates high school, which always makes me tear up. Both Lane and Paris start dating their first boyfriends, and fall in love. This is also the beginning of Lane's band Hep Alien. And while the younger girls are dealing with romance, Lorelai actually spends most of the season single, which is refreshing. Yes, she dates Alex for a few episodes, and has a few confusing moments with Max, but the majority of her journey this season is focused around her career, her relationship with her parents, and Rory's education. I also love the story line of Emily having to learn how to deal with Richard's mother moving back to the states. It really humanizes her more, and gives her something to connect with Loreali about. All in all, I don't think there was anything in this season I didn't enjoy.
Honestly I was torn between choosing between this season and season three as my favorite, as I love this one so much as well. One of things I love about it is watching Sookie and Jackson's relationship grow over the course of the season, which then leads up to their wedding. I also love the introduction of Jess, and that Paris and Rory start to become friends rather than competition. This is also the season Rory really begins to form her own opinions that differ from Lorelai, causing some interesting dynamics in their relationship. But I must say the one thing that edged season three out over this one was that Lorelai doesn't seem to have an over arching story line. I like all of the things she deals with during this season as their own events, but I just wish she had something a bit bigger story that carried over more episodes.
Rory goes to Yale! After spending three seasons watching Rory work so hard to be accepted to an Ivy League school, we finally get to see her dream realized. It is always so rewarding to watch a character struggle or work for something for so long, and finally achieve it. Of course, college isn't perfect, and I love Rory's journey throughout this season, as she must discover what it is like to be on her own. Another dream we see being realized this season is Lorelai and Sookie's dream of opening their own Inn. And after watching all they go through the whole season to get it up and running, it is so great to see the final product in the finale. I also really enjoyed Lorelai's romantic stories this season of both dating Jason, and beginning to fall for Luke. And lastly this is the season we see the beginning of Emily and Richard's separation, which while heartbreaking to watch, gave a new dimension to their characters and their place in the story.
While season one can drag a little bit in momentum, it is a great introduction to the world of Stars Hollow and to all it's colorful characters. So much is covered in just the pilot, that you can tell from the get go exactly what this show will be about. And that's what the first season sticks to, mothers and daughters and their lives. It is a great first season to a show, that sets up so much for it's amazing second season to come.
Okay, I love this season because I love the beginning of Luke and Lorelai's relationship. I also loved watching Emily and Richard reconcile. I can also get past Rory dating Dean again, even though it wasn't the greatest story line. But this one ranks lower on the list because it introduces so many story lines that I end up disliking down the road. I'm not a big fan of Logan, or his family, and watching Rory be humiliated by them at every opportunity is hard to watch. The love triangle between Luke, Lorelai, and Christopher is also started this season, which is one of my least favorite things on the show. So while there are episodes I love from this season, there is also a fair bit I'm not a big fan of as well, causing it's lower ranking.
I'm just going to say it. A majority of why this season is so low on my list is due to the April story line. I get that the writers were trying to cause some conflict between Luke and Loreali, but this was the wrong way to go about it (more of my thoughts about this under story lines). It bothers me so much that their relationship just falls apart over it, instead of using the fact that they now both had unusual parenting experiences to bring them closer as a couple. This is also the season that Rory takes a break from Yale and spends almost the first half of the season not even speaking to Lorelai. Yes mothers and daughters fight, and I see what the writers were trying to do. But we have seen Rory and Lorelai fight enough times to get the fact that their relationship is not always perfect. The length of this fight just made the show lag, and took away the special elements that make the show work so well, Rory and Lorelai's relationship. Honestly, other than a few special episodes, there wasn't a lot about this season I liked.
Let's just start by saying there is an obvious reason why the final season of the show is probably every fan's least favorite. If you didn't know, the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, had creative differences with the studio right before filming the last season, and was let go from the show, taking her vision for how it would end with her. Without their leader, the writing staff did the best they could, but the show just simply lost its spark. If you add that in with the fact that a majority of the season featured Lorelai being married to Christopher, and Luke spending it in a legal battle with Anna over April, and you are about as far away from the things that fans loved about the show as you can get.
Top Ten Episodes:
I Can't Get Started (Episode 2x22)
I have come back to this episode so many times I could probably recite it word for word at this point. But it just has so many good moments in it, it's hard not to love it. First of all, I love Sookie and Jackson as a couple, so naturally their wedding episode would be very high on my list. But what I think this episode did that was unique, was make it a very atypical wedding episode. We see more of the rehearsal dinner and preparation for the wedding, than we do the actual wedding, and so we see the more realistic moments rather than the fairytale ones. From Jackson freaking out over having to wear a kilt, to Sookie trying to fix her cake in wedding dress, the episode shows a more realistic depiction of a wedding than we normally see on TV. And in fact, Sookie and Jackson's love story is pushed to the wayside a bit as we see Lorelai re-connect with Christopher, and Rory kiss Jess when she finds out he has returned to Stars Hollow. It has so many heartwarming and hilarious moments, and is an amazing representation of a great Gilmore Girls episode.
Wedding Bell Blues (Episode 9x13)
Another wedding episode, this time though a vow renewal between Richard and Emily. A lot of the best Gilmore Girls episodes are ones that are focused around an event (which there are no shortage of in Stars Hollow). But unlike many of the silly town events, this one is a little more important to the story. I love Richard and Emily as a couple, and so it was nice to see them reconnect after their separation. And, just like with Sookie and Jackson's wedding, this episode focused more on the drama surrounding the vow renewal as opposed to the actual ceremony, which is in fact not even shown. From Emily's "bachelorette party", to Rory and Logan's first kiss, to the final blow up with Christopher and Luke, the episode manages to be an extremely important, yet entertaining episode in the Gilmore Girls run, and one that I think truly showed what the show could do.
They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They? (Episode 3x7)
Yup, another episode centered around a event, (noticing a theme here?), this is probably most well known as the episode where Dean breaks up with Rory because he realizes she has feelings for Jess. But there are so many great small moments in this episode besides that which makes me love it so much. The fierce competition between Kirk and Lorelai to win the Dance Marathon is hilarious, and Sookie and Jackson beginning to talk (and not quite agree) about having children is both funny and sweet. I also love the few subtle moments we get between Luke and Lorelai in this episode and their budding romance. This is also one of the first episodes where we see just how far Dave is willing to go for Lane, as he tries to impress Mrs. Kim by eating her egg salad sandwiches. Overall, while the episode is focused around the Dance Marathon, it is a great character driven episode that displays important moments for a majority of the main cast. It was also beautifully directed by Kenny Ortega (who also directed High School Musical). I loved that even though most of the episode only took place in one room, it was still so interesting to watch through his great camera direction.
Those Are Strings, Pinocchio (Episode 3x22)
I love this episode for a few reasons. One thing that I love is that it shows just how much of a family Lorelai has created in Stars Hollow for her and Rory. Everyone wants to come to her graduation, and in fact, Luke, Sookie, and Jackson all do attend. I also really enjoy getting to see Rory finish out her years at Chilton. The whole show's premise began with Lorelai needing money to pay for Rory to attend Chilton, and Rory never made her doubt her appreciation for that by working as hard as she could while she was there. It was also nice to see how far both Rory and Lorelai's relationship had come with Emily and Richard, and I love Rory's shoutout to them in her speech. Of course my favorite part though is the part of her speech about Lorelai. I makes me tear up when I watch it, and just shows how special their relationship is, and how lucky Rory realizes she is to have her.
Raincoats and Recipes (Episode 4x22)
This episode is pretty much required viewing for anyone who wants to understand Gilmore Girls as a show. It brings together so many of the show's strengths, and highlights them all in one amazing season finale. Everything seems to be going well for Lorelai, her practice run of the inn she has been working for years on finally takes place, and goes well. She also finally gets some closure with Jason, and shares her first kiss with Luke. However, the episode ends with a rift beginning in her relationship with Rory. All season we were seeing how the girls relationship was effected by Rory going away to school. Because of Lorelai's determination to get the Dragonfly opened, and all the drama surrounding her romantic relationships, she was clearly not in the loop about Rory beginning to develop feelings for Dean again, something she definitely would have caught onto in earlier seasons. So when Rory looses her virginity to Dean and Lorelai catches them, it is a complete shock to her. And while Lorelai feels hurt that her and Rory did not get to talk before this all happened, Rory also seems to feel betrayed that Loreali was not there for her to help in making this decision, and then judged her for it. The episode is a big one for many of the characters, including Rory who is finally shown to not always have it together, and not as perfect as everyone sees her.
That'll Do, Pig (Episode 3x10)
Not only is this episode just so much fun, but it is so well written. I love that we get to see Lorelai and Emily connect over Richard's mother driving Emily insane, and I think the situation finally opens Emily's eyes to how she may have been mistreating her own daughter. The scene where they go to dinner and Emily takes as long as possible to eat her meal is amazing, and I think starts to show a turning point in Emily's character. I also love the dynamic between Rory, Jess, and Dean in this episode. Watching Jess begin to understand what it would be like to loose Rory if he does not start to treat her the way she should be treated is so well done. And he is not the only one coming to a realization. Rory also begins to realize that her relationship with Jess can not be exactly how it was with Dean, and she needs to learn to let go of that if they are to move forward. This idea is then further explored in the episode "Face Off", but the seeds to that episode are clearly planted here.
Rory's Dance (Episode 1x9)
This was one of the first episodes in season one where I think the show really started to get into its groove. I love how even though the episode is focused around Rory attending her first dance with a date, it's main focus is not so much on romance as it is with the mother-daughter relationships. This is the first really big blow up we see take place between Rory and Lorelai when Rory accidentally falls asleep while out reading a book with Dean, and I like how it shows Lorelai's insecurities a little with her parenting style. Rory's feelings of betrayal by her mother are heartbreaking, and so well done, as she starts to see how their relationship has to begin to mature along with her growing up. Then there is Lorelai's relationship with Emily in the episode, in which we first get a true glimpse into how Emily feels realizing just how estranged she and her daughter are. They have such a nice evening together, with Emily helping take care of Loreali, which all gets completely erased when she essentially tells Lorelai she is making a mistake in the way she is raising Rory, despite Rory having far more respect for Lorelai than Lorelai does for Emily. It is such a great season one episode, that has everything we will come to expect from the show.
The Lorelais' First Day at Yale (Episode 4x2)
I watched this episode my first night away at college, because it reminded me so much of my own mom. I love that the show dedicated an entire episode to just moving Rory into her dorm, which was obviously a huge moment for the girls, as Rory was essentially moving out on her own. There are so many great moments in this episode, from Lorelai freaking out that she did not buy Rory enough stuff for her dorm, to buying her a new mattress and taking Luke's truck, to helping Rory and Paris figure out the best take out food nearby, it is such a sweet episode to introduce this new phase of both girl's lives.
Bon Voyage (Episode 7x22)
Despite not being a huge fan of the final season, I did love the finale. I think it was fitting that Rory did not end up needing a guy to be happy after graduating, and in fact began a relationship with her career by leaving on the Obama campaign. It was so realistic and relatable that Rory did not get her dream job of working at the New York Times right out of school, but still got a great job that she earned from all of her hard work. The town coming together to wish her good luck, and to celebrate Lorelai as well, was so heartwarming, and a perfect way to say goodbye to all our favorite characters. I especially loved the scene with Lorelai, Emily, and Richard in which they get to tell Lorelai how proud of her they are. And of course, Luke and Lorelai get back together, and she got the happy ending she always wanted. It was a great way to end such a beautiful show.
Keg! Max! (Episode 3x19)
A very under rated episode, Keg! Max! is in my opinion one of the most well written episodes in the show's run. It is not only a big turning point for many of the main characters, but a study of the consequences of choices we make. Rory and Jess go to their first under age party together, and it is there Rory first has to deal with her and Jess's differing views on how far they are willing to go in their relationship, and what those actions would mean for them. Jess also finds out he will not graduate, and so must face the consequences of his poor choices of the last two seasons. Lane finally comes clean about everything to her mother (after getting drunk for the first time) and so we get to see what happens when she is no longer the perfect daughter in her mother's eyes that she once was. And finally Lorelai must face the consequences of seeing Max again after leaving him right before their wedding, and the regret she feels for doing so. Even the minor character of Kyle must experience the consequence of throwing a house party while his parents are away, when Jess and Dean destroy the house in a fist fight. It is a great way to tie everyone's stories together even though they are all experiencing such different problems, while also having some funny and sweet moments.
Worst: French Twist (Episode 7x7)
This is the episode where Lorelai and Christopher go to Paris, and eventually elope. Not only is the episode kind of boring, but it is also the beginning of one of my least favorite story lines, so naturally I don't like it. This episode just doesn't seem to understand the characters at all, for example making Zach so dumb that when Lane announces they are having twins, he thinks that they will be conjoined. Lane is also too afraid to tell her mother she is pregnant, even though it happened after she was married which I still don't get. We also find out in this episode that Lucy is dating Marty, who pretends like he doesn't know Rory, which begins another one of the worst story lines of the season. Overall it is just a bad episode that I could do without.
Considering the fact that she created the show, and was the head writer on a majority of the episodes, I don't think there was any contest for top writer. Amy Sherman-Palladino has such a unique perspective on this world and it's characters, that comes across so clearly when she writes. She also produced, and directed several episodes, making her one of few females in the business to do so many things on one show.
If the episode wasn't written by Amy, it was most likely written by her husband Daniel. I love how supportive Daniel was of Amy and her vision for the show, and also how well he is able to write the female perspective. He wrote quite a few of my favorite episodes, and kept both the tone and character voices in tact.
Rebecca Rand Kirshner
One of the only other writers to write a larger number of episodes on the show's run, Rebecca wrote some of my favorites from the later seasons. She was the mind behind Hale Bale Maze, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia, Go, Bulldogs!, Santa's Secret Stuff, Bridesmaids Revisited, Always a Godmother, Never a God, and Emily Says Hello. All of these had some pretty big moments in them, that would come into play later on the show, and Rebecca did a great job of understanding the show's style and voice.
Favorite Story Lines:
Lorelai and Sookie get their own Inn (Seasons 1-4)
I love that Lorelai's main story line that stretches over the entire show is her dream to open her own Inn. One of my favorite things on TV shows is watching a character with a dream go through many obstacles and finally achieve it. But what makes those stories even better is when you also get to see the after math of getting the dream as well. Season four is such a great season because we see Lorelai and Sookie realize all of the things that go into opening their own business, and it is definitely not shown to be easy. They get into arguments, financial trouble, and other obstacles. But watching the season finale is so rewarding when you see all of their hard work pay off on their trial run of the Dragonfly. Especially after we have watched both of them work so hard in all of the seasons leading up to that point, such as Lorelai going back to school to get her business degree, and the two of them essentially taking over management of the Independence Inn. And of course, I love that it is a story about two women opening a business together, which not not something you often see on television.
Rory's journey to an Ivy League School (Seasons 1-4)
Just like it was so fulfilling to see Lorelai get her dream, it was also great to see Rory's hard work pay off to get into pretty much all of the Ivy League schools she applied for, especially Harvard. I kind of like that she ended up going to Yale though instead of Harvard, because sometimes the thing you think you want does not always turn out to be so. I had the same experience when I was choosing colleges, I ended up going to Drexel over Penn State, which I had dreamed of going to since I was young, and it ended up working out so much better than I could have imagined. So it was nice to see this scenario shown on screen through Rory. She ended up taking a different path, but one just as good, and deserving of all of her hard work.
Lorelai and her parents relationship (Whole Show)
For me the show has always been about the three Gilmore Girls, Emily, Lorelai, and Rory, not just only the main two. Lorelai's relationship with Emily and how it develops over the course of the show is an amazing arc. Especially because by the end, they still don't have the same relationship as Rory and Lorelai, but they have developed their own that works just as well. And while they have many fall outs over the show, they always manage to come back together in the end. I also love that even until the very end, Lorelai's relationship with Richard is still some what estranged, but they become much closer than they were at the beginning of the show through their love for Rory.
Worst: Luke has a secret daughter (Season 6)
I feel like I can speak for many Gilmore Girls fans when I say that this was by far my least favorite story line for a number of reasons. It wasn't the fact that Luke had a daughter he did not know about (although that seemed to come out of no where) but I feel like it could have worked if it had been handled differently. Especially how it effected his relationship with Lorelai. I can not believe that Luke, who watched Lorelai raise a daughter all on her own, would not want to go to her for advice, or have her get to know April. It just seemed like a far fetched way to cause a problem between the two, and it didn't work for me. This story line also presented us with April's mother, Anna, which was one of the worst characters introduced to the show. Not only did she not tell Luke he had a daughter in the first place causing him to miss the first 13 years of her life, but she also was a little crazy about what how much he was allowed to be involved with her. Overall, I could have done with out this one for sure.
There is so much to love and admire about Lorelai, and I can't imagine anyone but Lauren Graham pulling off such a complex character. She raised a daughter at 16 completely on her own, made a home and family for herself in Stars Hollow, and became a successful business woman with her own Inn. But she is not perfect. Lorelai is stubborn, has trouble keeping relationships, and is sometimes to proud to accept help. All of this makes her such a great well-rounded and relatable female character for young women to look up to.
Sookie St. James
It is so funny to go back and watch Melissa McCarthy play Sookie after seeing her in recent movies such as Bridesmaids. Sookie could not be more opposite than her current roles. She is sweet, caring, funny, smart, and such a talented hard-working chef. I love her relationship with Jackson, and how the show displays her struggles with balancing her career, her husband, and her kids. She is such a great female character, and one who always brightens up any scene she is in.
No I'm not choosing Jess because I love Milo (although I totally do), but honestly Jess is one of the most well rounded, and developed characters in the show's run. He shows up in Stars Hollow with no respect for the town or his uncle. He is disrespectful, does not treat people well, and slacks off in school despite being very intelligent. However, through dating Rory he begins to change, and this change carries with him as he grows up. He eventually reconnects with his mom, and tries to repay Luke for all that he did for him. He also becomes a successful author, and in fact ends up being able to give Rory some life advice in later seasons. Jess was definitely one of my favorite characters to follow, and I love how even though he and Rory did not end up together, he still became a man that was worthy of her.
Worst: Christopher Hayden
I was never fond of Christopher from the moment he entered the show late in season one. He missed the first half of Rory's life, was never good at accepting responsibility, and tried to sabotage Lorelai's happiness at every turn. He also constantly acted like a child when he did not get his way, and seemed to be the one character who did not grow as much as he should have throughout the series run.
Rory and Jess
So here it is, my answer to the biggest debate amongst Gilmore Girls fans: Which team am I on when it comes to Rory's boyfriends? And the winner is...Jess! I know that there are many reasons why Jess was not always the best boyfriend when he and Rory were dating, but let's be honest, all of her boyfriends had their low points and bad qualities. And while he may not have treated Rory with the appreciation she deserved when they were in high school, he eventually grew up to be a man that was worthy of her. And he credited that to her making him want to be better and believing in him. They also have the most in common of the three, and seem to understand each other better than Dean or Logan. Honestly what I think it comes down to is that each boyfriend was important for Rory at different points in her life, and it was interesting watching her grow with each relationship. But if I got to choose who she would end up with, it would have to be Jess.
Lorelai and Luke
So obviously Lorelai and Luke were going to make my list, who didn't want these two to end up together? They understood, appreciated, and respected each other in a way couples who are friends first often do. I also loved the slow burn build up to them getting together, as it paid off in an amazing way. Why are they number two on my list though? Jess and Rory may have fought, and not always made the right choices when it came to their relationship, but they didn't let it tear them apart like Luke and Lorelai did constantly. When they broke up, it was because Jess felt like he needed to find his dad and learn more about himself. When Luke and Lorelai broke up, it was over things they could have easily hashed out. Whether it was about Christopher or April, they always used other people as a means to push each other away, and quite honestly, it got to be exhausting. But, I do believe these two were right for each other, and I'm glad they were able to set aside their differences in the end and were able to just be happy together.
Richard and Emily
Even though there are many things Richard and Emily do that I don't agree with, I can't deny that they are a great couple. Even though they go through a rough patch in season five, they ultimately realized that they were better together, and that they missed each other. They have many of the same views on life, and they just work so well together. The first episode that I realized how much I like them was in season one when Richard has a heart attack, and the way that Emily reacts. She says that she has been his wife for so long that she can't imagine going on without him, and wouldn't know what she would do. I just love how they support each other, and respect each other, and they are a great example of an older couple that has been through so much but have learned and grown from it.
Worst: Lorelai and Christopher
Rory even states herself towards the end of the series, that she does not think that Lorelai and Christopher work well together, they end up being toxic instead. And it is true. Every time Christopher comes back into Lorelai's life, he causes her world to flip upside down and make her question her decisions. He ruins Sookie's wedding for her by telling her Sherry is pregnant. He tries to come between Luke and Lorelai, and in fact is the cause of one of their break ups. He causes rifts between Rory and Lorelai quite a few times. And of course, when Lorelai told him she did not want to get married, he chose to not be as active in Rory's life. I think it also showed just how much Christopher did not get Loreali and her relationship with Rory by pressuring her to elope in Paris, without Rory being there. I was glad that this marriage didn't last long, and it makes me upset that all Lorelai wanted was the total package, and her first real marriage was to a man who could never truly give her that.
Lorelai and Rory
I mean a huge draw of the show is this relationship, and how it either reminds people of their own mothers, or a relationship they wish they could have with them. I would be the first option. My mother and I are so close, she truly is one of my best friends, and I go to her for almost everything. Lorelai and Rory's relationship resonates with so many people because of both how idealistic yet realistic it is. And I love that it never goes too far in one direction. While yes, the two are super close, there are definitely times when the mother/daughter relationship must kick in over the friendship, and it makes their dynamic so interesting and heartwarming to watch.
Lorelai and Sookie
Lorelai and Sookie is such a great female relationship that I love watching. They act like such realistic friends, that never go through unnecessary drama to keep their friendship interesting. I feel like a lot of times on TV women best friends end up falling for the same guy, or get jealous of each other over petty things, but Lorelai and Sookie never seem to go through this. Sure they don't always get along or agree, especially when they are trying to get the Dragonfly off the ground, but they talk through it rationally and over come obstacles in their friendship by talking it out rather than having huge dramatic fights. I also just love how much they care for each other, and how involved in each other's lives they are, it is just such a heartwarming relationship to watch.
Rory and Paris
For all of the reasons I love Lorelai and Sookie's relationship, the opposite could be said for Rory and Paris. They begin the show as stereo-typical enemies, the mean girl and the nice girl. However despite this, their competition is usually over academics, not a guy, which is rare to see for women on screen. And eventually, their love of knowledge brings them together as friends. And even though they have their ups and downs, you know that they are always there for each other.
Worst: Luke and Anna
As I said above, the April story line was not so much a problem to me, as Anna was, and how her and Luke handled it. I think it is horrible that Anna never told, or had any intentions of telling Luke about April. And then once they had grown close, she wanted to move her away, and not allow Luke the opportunity to see her anymore. Not to mention she ruined Luke and Lorelai's relationship by confirming his fears that Lorelai did not need to be involved in April's life, which is absurd on so many levels. Over all, this relationship was very toxic for Luke, and ruined a lot of what I liked about his character.
Oy With the Poodles Already
I mean was there any other choice for number one? I honestly wish they would have carried this phrase throughout the series more, I think it would have been hilarious if the girls just randomly used it when talking to people. But in any case, just the scene of watching Lorelai come up with the phrase is funny enough for me!
I love this one because it is something my friends and I would do. Miss hear something someone said and then continue to say it over and over again in various contexts. If you don't remember this one, click here to see the scene where copper boom is born.
Super cool party people bid you super cool adieu!
The first time I watched this scene I was out of breath from laughing. Watching Sookie explain to Lorelai what she did the night before when she was drunk at Lane's wedding is funny enough. But the inclusion of Lorelai's new phrase for the super cool party people club was what put me over the edge.
Worst: Babette Ate Oatmeal
Okay, so I don't personally dislike this phrase, in fact I say it all the time completely out of context. But as far as the actual phrase its self, it was pretty lame. Even Lorelai and Rory were not on board with this one when Kirk printed it on the shirts he was trying to sell. But hey next to Lorelai, I'm sure it is hard to come up with quite as clever phrases!
Favorite Friday Night Dinners:
Friday Night's Alright for Fighting (Episode 9x13)
If you don't remember this epic Friday night dinner, please click here to watch it first. This is one of the best scenes in the show's run. Watching almost every combination of the four Gilmores air out their grievances with each other was a long time coming, and a great way to clear the air for the next slew of episode.
Pilot (Episode 1x1)
The first Friday night dinner had to make the list. It is the first time we see all four of them together, in what will be a staple of most Gilmore Girl episodes. This episode did a great job of introducing the dynamics between the four Gilmores, and how they would grow going forward.
Happy Birthday, Baby (Episode 3x18)
This is the Friday night dinner where Rory tells Richard and Emily that she has decided to attend Yale. I love how they first react like they don't care because they think it will make Lorelai upset, but once they realize she is fine with it, their reaction is so cute. You can watch it here.
Favorite Town Residents:
Kirk is just great. He starts the show as a pretty one-dimensional character. He is goofy, has many weird habits and sayings, has almost every job imaginable, and is often the butt of the joke. But he eventually gains some dimension when he begins dating Lulu, and I enjoyed getting to watch him grow up a little bit, but still be able to keep the fun spirit of the character in tact. Let's be honest, it wouldn't be Stars Hollow without him.
Babette is hilarious, quirky, kind, and the town gossip. I love her personality, and her relationship with Morey is so sweet. I also love how much she cares for and takes care of Lorelai and Rory (and of course her cats), and how you never know what she is going to do or say. I love any scenes with her, she always cracks me up with her strange bits of information.
Some people find Michelle annoying, but I love his dark humor. It differs so much from the humor of the rest of the show, that it always stands out, and makes me laugh. I also love that despite the fact he is one of the world's worst employees, Lorelai and Sookie keep him around, because underneath his sarcasm he clearly respects and cares for them.
Luke's reactions to Taylor is pretty much how I feel about him as well. I honestly just don't usually find him funny. And while I get the role he is supposed to be filling in the town, he most often just annoys me. I wouldn't miss him if he was not a part of the Stars Hollow family.
Love it, or hate it, Gilmore Girls definitely helped pave the way for a lot of the quality female driven stories we now have in TV. It is a show that is funny and clever, and can always put me in a good mood. It is intelligently written, heartwarming, and just an all around wholesome show, that never needs to resort to violence, be vulgar, or come up with crazy plot twists to stay interesting. It simply revolves around our love for its characters, something that I think is hard to find today in the ever growing world of television.
And now I'd love to hear your thoughts! Are you perhaps one of the few people who liked the Luke and April story line? Which of Rory's boyfriends was your favorite? What is your take on how well Lorelai and Rory's portrayal of a mother/daughter relationship is done? Let me know in the comments below!