gilmore girls
Favorite Things, Friends, Motherhood

How Gilmore Girls Saved My Life

I can’t believe this show turned 20 on October 5th but I am celebrating because it feels like we need to. 

If you’ve never watched Gilmore Girls, 2020 is the year to break your GG cherry because you need Stars Hollow, Connecticut more than ever. 


 

First published on March 28th, 2016


I have so many things that I can thank my friend Rebecca for bringing into my life: CK One perfume, Tim Tam cookies, Filipino egg rolls, world peace.
But the one thing I am eternally grateful to my friend for bringing into my existence is the television show Gilmore Girls.

In January of 2008, I was at home with my then-newborn Ella and I wanted a television show to watch during the endless days and nights of feedings.

Something to give me a boost, to get me through my post-partum blues, my husband’s long hours, and the general Midwestern winter funk.
My friend sensed that I needed something to keep me from shuffling down the streets of my neighborhood in my pink fuzzy bathrobe with a flask in hand.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
That “something” was Gilmore Girls on a complete DVD set; way before Netflix was anything more than a monthly mail subscription service.

 

 

At first, I was skeptical.
I mean, if it was such a great show how was I not on this bandwagon already?
Its timing would have been something that fit perfectly with my single mom life which I would’ve been going through as it was originally airing.
Sure I was busy back then, going to school, working, being a mom blah blah blah.
You know, being a much less fabulous Lorelai Gilmore.
Let’s just say I was Lorelai Gilmore without the snooty parents, cool wardrobe, way fun hometown, and coffee addiction.

So nothing like Lorelai. 

 

 

Anyhoo, at the time I wasn’t really watching a lot of television other than Bob the Builder, The Wiggles, or American Idol because apparently, I had loads of time for crap television but no time for anything of substance.

So a year after the last episode aired, Rebecca convinced me I needed the Gilmore Girls in my life.
Soon after watching, I would eventually eat up each episode like it was a mental Mounds bar.
Pause then rewind when their blazing fast dialogue got to be, well, a little too fast at times.
Which was the beauty of a complete DVD set.
I would sit there with my warm, soft, snuggly newborn baby in my lap and let her linger just a little while longer so I could watch Lorelai try to get along with her unbending mother or cheer along when Rory got into Harvard and Yale.

I wiped tears from my face when Rory made the valedictorian speech that she dedicated to her mom.

I got the uncontrollable shivers whenever Jason bantered with Lorelai because gah that annoying voice and just…Jason.

I ugly cry, snot-everywhere sobbed when Rory and Lorelai showed up to the surprise Bon Voyage party, and the entire town was there under the tent in the rain waiting for them to say goodbye to Rory.

 

I would tear through each DVD set within a week and call Rebecca to tell her I needed another one and fast!
I felt like I was calling my dealer for a fix.
Hook me up, I need it. I NEED IT BAD.
To which she would reply, “GOOD GOD WOMAN YOU CAN’T BE DONE ALREADY?”

It was the medicine that got me through that winter.
Gilmore Girls saved me in 2008.
It was the visual food that comforted my weary soul.

I felt so less alone that winter. I felt like I was surrounded by the cast of characters who lived in Stars Hollow that winter of 2008.

 

 

 

Since getting hooked on Gilmore Girls, I have paid it forward.
My husband, children, several friends, and my mom and dad are now Gilmore Girls fans as well.
I do love to tell my now eight-year-old Ella about our little Gilmore Girl sessions at the beginning of her life.
She now adores the show and will actually ask to watch it whenever she is feeling sad, sick, or wants some comfort.

I like to think she subliminally remembers those early binge-watching sessions of which I now fondly recall because of course they are long behind me and I am not sleep deprived as I write this.
Those winter nights, snuggled on the couch just her and I, bottle in hand, her little fingers wrapped around mine, watching Gilmore Girls in the dark.

 

Stars Hollow

That town, man.
I think I am not alone in wanting to re-create it.
In fact, there is an entire website dedicated to finding a town just like Stars Hollow, called interestingly enough, Finding Stars Hollow.

How do I describe this little town to someone who’s never seen the show? Small town? Big hearts? Quirky characters? It is magical in the best possible way and even introverts think so. It just makes you feel warm and happy and loved and welcomed. It fills a void. If you are missing something or someone in your life, I recommend watching this show.

2020 update- People who love the show flock to Connecticut for a really cool festival held every year called Gilmore Girls Fan Fest and it is pretty cool but it’s not being held this year because fun was canceled for 2020. You can, however, go virtually for a lot less than the usual price of admission (thanks to my friend Ani for the info). $35 for the virtual event, head here to get your ticket.

But the town of Kent, Connecticut where the festival is held is pretty much Stars Hollow-ish if you ask me.  

 

I graduated from Yale too, dammit

The people of Stars Hollow are something special, too.
My favorites, besides the main characters of Rory and Lorelai, are Mrs. Kim, Kirk, and Paris but yours might be different and that is what makes this show so much fun.
THERE ARE SO MANY CHARACTERS IN THIS SHOW. I love that.

This show is really funny but it has a lot of cerebral humor, the kind of humor that makes you think.
So really when you think about it, you are learning as you go.
I am going to go as far as to suggest that you could even earn your degree from Yale simply by watching Gilmore Girls alone.
Wonder if that will float on a resume?

 

Speaking of characters,  I really need people in my town to get on board and be like the characters in Stars Hollow.
Maybe I can hold a “town hall meeting” and convince my entire neighborhood to be more like Kirk, Babette, Miss Patty, Taylor, and Gypsy.
Taylor would not put up with my neighbor up the street who seems to think that it’s okay to have a flea market seven days a week in his driveway.
And I want festivals every damn month too.
EVEN IN THE WINTER.

 

 

 

Comfort food for the eyes and soul. Did someone say food?

I have said it since I started watching the show but if a television show could be consumed, this show is the only one I would consume fully.
It is truly comfort food for my soul.
Oh, and by the way, you will be hungry simply by watching this show.
So maybe don’t watch it while you are on a diet.
For some reason, I always crave Chinese food when I watch this show.
Or a hamburger and steak fries!
YES!
Oooh, or a cherry danish!

POP TARTS!
And coffee.
AND I DON’T EVEN DRINK FRIGGIN’ COFFEE.

2020 note- I do now. I blame Gilmore Girls. 
Did someone say gas station burritos?
Ooh, tacos.

SHRIMP FROM AL’S PANCAKE WORLD!

 

Luke

Some people love Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling, take a seat boys, let me introduce you to a real man.
I have loved Luke from the first episode.
His gruff personality, his I don’t give a shit attitude.
And he was really, REALLY hot in the beginning.

But then he gets bitter and gruff and becomes less hot.
But then he gets hot again.
But only when he dates Lorelai the first time.
The second time around he isn’t as hot again.
Then he gets really hot again when they break up
Steaming hot in the last episode when he is sewing raincoats together to make a giant tent.

 

 

Superfast dialogue

Some people get super annoyed by it.
You know who gets super annoyed by it?
Stupid people.
That is why they get super annoyed.
Oh, they aren’t actually “stupid”, just socially “stupid”.
I also like to call these “people with no personality”.
They don’t like that people can be happy and goofy and smart all at once.
So they poo-poo it instead of rejoicing in it.
You know what?
I don’t know what in the hell some of the cultural and historical references they are referring to are but I don’t poo-poo it either.
Does that make me stupid?
Nope.
There is a difference between being socially stupid and just being a poop.
So don’t be a poop.

By the way, since I now have my “Yale degree”, I know what all of the cultural and historical references are. That and I have seen the show like a gagillion times.

And gagillion is a total Yale term.

And I would know because, hello, “Yale degree”.

 

Man problems

 

You will want to throw one of Rory’s many books at the television during your viewing binges because Lorelai needs to get her crap together when it comes to men.

I am in no way a “man expert”, whatever the hell that is but seriously:

 

Max

Was it his sweater vests that attracted you, Lorelai?
Because I am confused.

 

Jason

Did she never listen to him talk?
Or look at him when he talked?
Or just, look at him in general?

Christopher

Don’t even get me started.

Luke

I can’t.
I just.
Can’t.

When Luke shows up with the truck and ready to elope?
I WAS READY TO RUN OFF WITH HIM.
AND I AM MARRIED.

 

Then Christopher

Yet again.

Don’t. Get. Me. Started.

 

Then Luke again

And the “they leave us hanging with a kiss because it wasn’t supposed to be the last episode”.

If Lorelai ended up marrying Jess, I was gonna go to California NOT in search of Stars Hollow, but in search of Amy Sherman Palladino’s house to give her a piece of my mind.

Also, why does Lorelei have to end up with a man?

WHY CAN’T SHE BE A SINGLE WOMAN BY HER SINGLE WOMAN SELF AND BE INDEPENDENTLY ALONE AND OKAY?

How far have we REALLY come?

 

2020 note- this caption was created in 2016 I SWEAR TO GOD (I mean, it is a direct quote FROM Gilmore Girls from the early 2000s!). But it sure has aged well. 🙂

 

WHERE IN THE HELL IS SHE GETTING ALL THAT MONEY?

You will ponder this at times.
I mean I do remember her struggling a little bit at times and I know she got money from her rich parents but for a single mom, Lorelai sure didn’t live like a single mom.
Take out food all the time, cute clothes, going to the diner for coffee, breakfast, cheeseburgers, donuts every single day?

Listen, I am all for female empowerment but a single mom living in a small town in Connecticut working in an inn? Do you know how expensive it is to live in Connecticut? Do you know how much she must pay in taxes on that big farmhouse? Do you know how little inn workers make without a college degree?

Amy Sherman-Palladino doesn’t because she lives in California and is a director and has a college degree, I am sure.
Just for once, it would be nice to see realistic representations of real-life on the screen. Rant over.

 

 

Do not judge the Pilot episode

When I start the series over for the 100th time again, I am always amazed I even watched the second episode and beyond, to begin with just based on the pilot episode alone.
But then I watch the Pilot episode of Friends and feel the exact same way.
How in any alternate planet or universe did these shows ever become a hit, to begin with?
Were we high?
Were they high?
Were the writers high?
In the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls alone:
– Lorelai isn’t even that funny and has like a New York accent or is trying to be tough. Why do single moms have to be “tough” like that? I was a single mom for four years and in that time I never had a New York accent.
Or did I?
Now I am starting to question myself…

– Sookie keeps dropping things, is really, really clumsy, and even catches the kitchen on fire. What the hell is up with that? Is that supposed to be her “thing”? Then in the second episode, gone. She must have gone to a class or therapy or something and it is never explained. Even her bandages, poof. Gone in the night. I NEED CLOSURE.

– Emily’s hair is having a Steel Magnolia’s brown football helmet moment and she looks stoned the entire episode.
– Richard looks like he has the flu. Or maybe he was stoned too.
So don’t ever judge a pilot episode, especially this particular one.

 

 

It’s like I don’t know who you are

I don’t know about you but Gilmore Girls ruined anything else that Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were in for me after the end of the show in 2007.
While everyone I knew was completely obsessed with Parenthood, I just could not get into it and I tried, I really did.
But I just wasn’t feelin’ it and I couldn’t really put my finger on it until recently because it was a great show.
So why wasn’t I falling in love with it like everyone I knew?
Lorelai, that’s why.


She wasn’t “Lorelai”.
Lauren Graham was playing a character so far away from Lorelai BUT every time I looked at her, I still saw Lorelai.
Then I would wait for Rory to come into the room but she didn’t have Rory, she had TWO kids and they weren’t anything like Rory and I started to get really homesick.
It totally ruined the Parenthood experience for me.
I KNOW THESE PEOPLE AREN’T REAL.


Same with Alexis Bledel.
I can’t even fully enjoy the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants experience because I SEE RORY.
WAIT! IS SHE CHEATING ON JESS?????
I have issues.
I know.

And it is only the two of them.
For example, Melissa McCarthy I absolutely adore and is one of my favorite actresses.

I loved her in Bridesmaids and in the television show Mike and Molly; I never see “Sookie” in her when she plays other characters but the lead actors I just can’t get past.
Maybe because they were so much a part of Gilmore Girls for me, I just can’t get past them being in other things.

Holy crap, I sound like one of those fans.
With a shrine in my bedroom to Lauren Graham’s armpit hair.
Maybe I need to step away from the GG for a while.
SEE WHAT YOU DID TO ME REBECCA?
Thanks a lot.
Time to stalk the Netflix feed and find out when the revival is coming out again.

2020 note-I wrote about that revival here

10 thoughts on “How Gilmore Girls Saved My Life”

  1. Kari I just binge watched this show for the first time in my life a few months ago with my daughters. What a tour de force it was. So much fast talking, so much wit, so many men, so much snow! And the parents!! After it was over we were so desperate we had to watch parenthood so we wouldn’t go through withdrawal.

    Like

  2. I got into watching Gilmore Girls in 2004 when I was nursing my son.. it was a great show to keep me awake and I loved the fast talking quirky characters. Being from CT there are lots of towns that remind me of Stars Hollow (and if you hop from town to town there are tons of festivals to enjoy). I read Lauren Graham’s book Talking As Fast As I Can and that seemed to help me transition from Gilmore Girls to Parenthood (a show I had never bothered trying to watch before & have now binged and loved).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So I couldn’t get into her book! Which was weird because I loved her so much in the show. Which made me wonder if I didn’t really like the actress? Then that made me feel kind of horrible because I’m sure she’s a really nice person. Maybe I just didn’t click with the book. Also? I literally have ADD and reading is hard for me at times. I think that’s why I like Lorelai so much. I can relate to the talk so fast, think so fast mentality. That IS my brain. 😂

      Like

  3. I can’t explain why I haven’t binged this show yet. Emphasis on YET. Because in 2012 I got hooked on a show called “Bunheads” and because it’s also created by Amy Sherman Palladino and has sharp, fast, witty dialogue and and delightful weirdness and it got cancelled much too soon.
    I’ve also binged “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Twice. For the same reason.
    Maybe it’s my name—Christopher. I won’t get you started.
    Thank you for the reminder that good shows are like good friends: you eat both like a mental Mounds bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard so many people talk about Bunheads! I need to watch that one too. There is another show that isn’t related to all of this but was canceled way too soon, My So-Called Life with Clare Danes. It was from the mid-nineties. SO good and so underrated.
      I also binged Mrs. Maisel! LOVED that show and can’t believe I didn’t mention that one either!

      You are a good Christopher, I can tell. Amy did your name wrong in Gilmore Girls, that’s for sure. I would write her a letter. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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