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Rewatching Gilmore Girls in 2020

image credit: the guardian

The Gilmore Girls is a comforting, witty and somewhat outdated (it’s a very white cast) sitcom that aired between 2000 and 2007. I watched it after school, rewatched it after uni classes, and have binged through it on Netflix at least twice.

And what better time to rewatch it again than during a pandemic.

There are many things about it that hit different though. I used to watch this show with blurry rose-tinted glasses, and maybe I still do a little bit because that’s the danger of nostalgia, but there were a few things about the show that I wanted to comment on.

both Gilmore Girls are blind to their privilege.

I am privileged, I am a white woman living in the UK, who has lived in nice suburban houses in well-off towns and when I’ve needed to, I’ve been able to ask for financial support.

Rory and Lorelai were very similar except they had a comfort blanket in the form of Richard and Emily Gilmore (Lorelai’s parents), people who can afford to hire household service staff, live in a mansion and hand out large loans of money without stressing about it (they were happy to pay for Rory’s tuition at Yale university, which after a quick Google was over $200,000 in 2018).

Lorelai did have a hard time of it at age 16, when she left her family home with her newborn baby Rory, lived in a large shed at the back of an Inn that she worked for as a maid. That in a way is fairy-tale like, I can’t imagine many humans would hire some random 16 year old mother with no prior work experience and no home address. And it’s worth noting that she wasn’t thrown out of the Gilmore residence – she left of her own accord. She had that financial security simmering underneath her, something that many, many people never have to rely on.

In Season 7, Rory’s boyfriend Logan (multi-millionaire trust-fund baby, a reckless wild card that Rory seemed to tame) criticised Rory for judging all his rich friends as if she wasn’t one of them, which is probably the only time I rooted for Logan. Rory, babe, you went to private school, your grandparents and your dad pay for your tuition, you will finish university with no loan repayments! You have a trust-fund waiting for you when you turn 25! Acknowledge your privilege!

most of the men SUCK

(Hands up if you are not surprised).

I made a quick list of the worst of them on Twitter, whilst suffering from a blind rage induced by the man who ranks at no.1:

It would take me a long, long time to properly describe to you exactly why each man in this list deserves his spot, so instead I will use three words per person:

Luke: lying about April
Max Madina: Ross Gellar hair
Jess: silent but deadly
Zach: idiotic giant man
Tristan: privileged, cringey smoulder
Richard Gilmore: old-fashioned, demanding, judgemental
Taylor Doose: old-fashioned, demanding, judgemental
Logan: giant rich baby
Dean: misogynistic, cheater, violent
Christopher: barf bag walking

noteworthy scenes I might have cried to

Season 3, Episode 22: Those Are Strings, Pinocchio

Rory graduates from Chilton (private school) and makes an amazing speech as Valedictorian (because of course she is Valedictorian). Something also worth noting about this is that I always thought the word was valed-victorian as in you were a ‘valid, victorious person’, but anyway here is the speech:

Season 4, Episode 22: Raincoats and Recipes

Probably one of the most satisfying episodes ever because Luke and Lorelai finally kiss, the Dragonfly Inn finally opens, and Rory has sex with Dean. As a teenager, I thought the Rory and Dean bit was romantic – like wow they really love each other, they finally get to have sex etc. etc. But now I’m like ew, Dean you have been yucky for the majority of these 4 seasons, and now you are married and sleeping with your first girlfriend? You dickhead.

Anyway, I cried about this one because Rory cries. She is so chuffed to have shagged Dean, but with help from her mom Lorelai, she realises how shit it is to be the other woman, to have let things get carried away – the moment is ruined and she breaks down in tears on her porch steps.

Season 7, Episode 18: Hay Bale Maze

After the sad break-up and all the embarrassment (embarrassment of me having to watch Lorelai and Christopher together, because eww yucky), Lorelai and Luke have a heartfelt moment talking about the mistakes made that caused the end of their relationship.

This is in no shape or form a full opinion piece about Gilmore Girls, there is a lot more to comment on about many T.V shows that first aired 20 years ago. There are many ‘oh-yuck’ and ‘oh-no’ things within the 7 seasons; lack of LGBTQIA+ representation, ‘jokes’ about being gay, severe lack of people of colour; and when they created the miniseries Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life in 2016, I think they tried to rectify a few of these problems.

I like Lorelai. I like her love story, I like her independence (kinda, I mean we cannot forget the outrageously rich parents factor). I like the quick conversations and the wit. The hometown of Stars Hollow is so damn cute. And well, I am grateful for the scenes that made me cry.

I’d love to know any thoughts you have on the show. Have you rewatched it recently? Did you enjoy Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life?

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