I have been watching Gilmore Girls since I was 14 and instantly fell in love with the small towns of Stars Hallow and the wonderful dialogue created by Amy Schumer Palladino which brought some of my favourite TV characters to life. I just finished watching all seven seasons, followed by the A year in the life revival series and it reminded me about the lessons I learned from watching the show.
Family is what you make it
The show is based on the relationship between a mother and daughter but it also centres around building relationships with Rory’s grandparents, her father and the people of Stars Hallow who became both Lorelai’s and Rory’s family. It demonstrates how fragile family relationships can be but how integral they are to our existence. You also learn family comes in all shapes and sizes and however it forms, it is precious.
No one has it 100% together
In the earlier series, Rory is depicted as the “Perfect child” whom everyone loves. As time goes on, we see Rory, as a clever articulate girl, who turns in to a clever articulate woman. The type of woman who loves organisation, learning, being the best at everything she puts her mind too and if you met her on the street, you would think she had her life together. During the seven series of the show and the revival, you see her go through highs but also some big lows such as her start at Chilton, her break from Yale and her career crisis during the revival. It is a stark reminder that life can happen and nothing is set in stone, no matter how intelligent and capable you are.
Women can be their own superheroes
The women in the show are fierce, independent, articulate and multifaceted, exactly how I like my female protagonists to be written. In fact, I have Amy Sherman Palladino to thank for writing one of my all-time favourite characters in Lorelai Gilmore. Amy created all the women in the show to stand on their own two feet. For example, Gypsy was a mechanic, Sookie was a headstrong lovable chef who was a mother and able to control the kitchen equally. We also see Emily Gilmore who from the get-go is someone who commands the household and is a strong presence but we also see that she learns to find herself outside of this role and comes up triumphant without the help of any male counterparts. The romantic relationships these women hold (including Lorelai and Rory) comes from a place of equality and the understanding, both people bring something to the relationship.
It is ok to have flaws
Let’s not beat around the bush. As much as I love and adore Rory and can often find myself in her, she has selfish qualities. She is stubborn and not always the best friend to those around her. Adding this to the positive qualities she holds shows that people are not perfect. This doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them human and it is ok to have flaws.
Communication is key to any relationships
Over the seven seasons, we see relationships develop and change over time. Be it relationships between Lorelai and her parents or Rory’s relationships through the years you find the one thing flowing through all them is the importance of conversation. You learn that sitting down and talking things through no matter how painful is the only way your relationship to grow. There is this particular episode where Lorelai and Rory are visiting the Gilmore Household and they need to clear the air but it is obvious Emily and Richard do not want to discuss anything and then suddenly you see Lorelai demanding everyone airs their feelings and talk about the situation bothering them otherwise no one was leaving the room. The following scenes are some of my favourites on-screen.
The cursed writer syndrome is universal
Rory has dreams of being a Journalist which as someone who had the same aspirations is very hard to get into. There are many waves you experience while on a career trajectory as a writer and journalist especially after the recession which the shows showcase beautifully. You see how difficult it is to get a job and the different paths many end up having to take. Doyle, for example, moves into scriptwriting and Rory is offered a teaching position at Chilton which she doesn’t really want to take. (The show leads us to believe she doesn’t accept the position but it was not firmly shut) You see the transition a creative person has to face when they enter the real world and how even in your thirties it is something you still have to navigate. I won’t lie, it gave me a little bit of comfort.
Embrace your weirdness
We all have qualities which people deem to be quirky or weird. If Stars Hallow teaches you anything it is to embrace these qualities. They are exactly the reason the people who matter love you.
The evidence of Privilege
The show looks at class and privilege and the role which this plays in our lives. For instance, due to her grandparents, Rory is tied to a certain amount of Privilege but had a different start in life compared to someone like Paris who comes from a wealthy background. Their childhoods could not have been more different. Rory is surrounded by love whereas Paris is shown affection via her Nanny who holds a special place in her heart. As the show goes on, you see how the wealth of her grandparents helps Rory get to where she wants to be. This combined with the start she had in life gave her a unique view on how the system worked. She battles with asking for help and introductions to corporations such as Conde Nast. You see characters like Finn and Colin who comes from privilege backgrounds seemingly doing well regardless of showing lack of ambition. Logan who while intelligent in his own right is the heir of the Huntzberger fortune has connections and doors open to him so even when he deviates from his father plans he is able to establish himself in a career. Contrast this to Jess who has to build his life from scratch, it very clear to see the impact of the family you are born into can have on your life.
Needless to say, there is something special about such a pivotal show and these are just a few of the reasons why.
Now, be right back, season one is calling my name again.
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