Friday, November 4, 2016

Fangirl Fridays - Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

One of my all-time favorite television series is Gilmore Girls, a show about the relationship between a thirty-something single mother and her brilliant teenage daughter. Gilmore Girls had a seven-year long run from 2000 to 2007.






I still remember the first time I heard about the show. I was reading a magazine article, which featured Gilmore Girls as one of the highly anticipated new shows for the upcoming Fall 2007 season. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel were cast as the mother and daughter. Both were beautiful, but, at first, I had trouble identifying who was the mother and who was the daughter. The mother, Lorelei, was fun-loving and easy going. Rory, the daughter, seemed a little more serious and reserved. It was obvious from the start that the two shared a very close, loving relationship. In many ways, they were more like BFF's than mother and daughter.





I was fascinated from the start. Years before, a pregnant sixteen-year old Lorelei had left her affluent family, unwilling to let her parents plan the lives of both her and her unborn child. Lorelei is now the manager of a quaint country inn in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Sixteen-year old Rory excels at school and has been accepted to Chilton, the preparatory school Lorelei herself had once attended. Rory's dream is to attend Harvard, and attendance at a prestigious school like Chilton could help her achieve her goals. Unable to afford the tuition costs, she reluctantly reaches out to her parents for help.



Swallowing her pride, her request is granted, but with strings attached. Her parents will pay for Chilton, but Lorelei and Rory must come to Friday night dinners every week. Lorelei's parents, Emily and Richard, are determined to make the most of the opportunity to forge a new relationship with Rory, and to bring Lorelei back into the fold, to take her rightful place as a Gilmore.



Over the seven years Gilmore Girls was on the air, there were an assortment of quirky Stars Hallow residents that were featured on a regular basis. Lorelei's and Rory's love of coffee centered around Luke's Diner. Luke, the baseball-capped, plaid-shirt-wearing diner owner, was secretly in love with Lorelei. Well, it was a secret to Lorelei - unlike most of the other residents of Stars Hallow. The slightly clutzy Sookie St. James was Lorelei's best friend and later business partner. It was a running gag what job the off-beat Kirk was going to have each episode. Taylor was both the shop owner and town mayor, and he frequently butt heads with Luke. Snobby and sarcastic Michel was Lorelei's assistant at the Inn. Lane was Rory's best friend, and secretly rebelled against her ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Christian mother. Rory also had a complicated relationship with Paris, first as a competitor, than as a friend and roommate.



There were an assortment of boyfriends and fiances as well. Lorelei's beauty, charm and humor attracted the attentions of quite a few men. Putting Luke firmly in the friend category, she moved from relationship to relationship, each one failing due to commitment issues. I think everyone knew Luke was end game, but I appreciate a good slow burn. From Rory's attractive English teacher to Lorelei's father's business partner to Rory's immature father, each relationship seemed to start out well, but was ultimately doomed. Only Luke really "got" Lorelei. After Luke declaring "I'm in. I am all in." in Season Five, I swooned along with millions of other fans. Seriously, one of the best lines ever! Happiness was fleeting, however, as Luke gets a big surprise when he finds out he has a teenaged daughter of his own. Over the final two seasons of the show, Lorelei and Luke gradually found their way back to each other.






Rory had lots of attention from the guys as well. Dean was her first boyfriend, who she met just before leaving Stars Hallow High for Chilton Academy. Dean was sweet, uncomplicated but kind of boring. His jealousy first made an appearance when Rory's Chilton schoolmate, Tristin, showed interest in her. Once he left town, there was Luke's brooding, rebellious nephew, Jess, to contend with. Jess was well-read and seemed to see Rory in a different light. He was considered "trouble" by the townsfolk, and Rory couldn't resist him. Dean finally had enough and broke up with her quite publicly. Rory and Jess had an up and down relationship, but eventually Jess left town. He made an effort to win her back once she was in college, but it was too late. I'm still not over it. Logan was her boyfriend for the remainder of the series. He was a Huntzberger, part of an even snobbier family than the Gilmores. Although the Huntzbergers didn't consider Rory a suitable mate, Logan eventually proposed to her.










Lorelai: I understand. You know, I'm still learning this stuff, too, and since I'm still learning, I think I haven't thought enough about what I'm supposed to be teaching you. 
Rory: What are you talking about? 
Lorelai: I'm talking about my own personal lack of commitment skills. I mean, look, I love that you have my eyes and my coffee addiction and my taste in music and movies, but when it comes to love and relationships, I don't necessarily want you to be like me. I would hate to think that I raised a kid who couldn't say "I love you."




In the end, Rory decided to follow her own path. Her studies and interest in journalism was a key theme throughout the series. She was unwilling to compromise her goals and dreams for wealth and marriage. When the series ended, she was joining the journalism team following Barack Obama on the campaign trail.




Last year, Netflix announced they were bringing back Gilmore Girls for four special episodes. On November 25, 2016, expect the internet to crash as Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, the aptly named episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are released.


Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah
You've got a friend



There has been very little information released about what's to come. We know that three of Rory's former loves will make appearances: Dean, Jess and Logan. Does she have a future with any of them? Has she had success in her career? Are Loralei and Luke still happy together? Lorelei's mother is now a widow, since her father has recently died. How has that impacted the Gilmore family dynamic? The Gilmore Girls is very much the story of the three generations of Gilmore women.



I've missed them, and I can't wait to spend some more time in Stars Hallow.

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