Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that exists in the periphery of everyone’s pop culture knowledge. Despite never having seen a full episode I knew, somehow, through second-hand information and osmosis, that the main characters Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) drank a lot of coffee, spoke at the speed of light and were simultaneously mother, daughter and best friends.
What writer and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino seamlessly tapped into is that a mother-daughter household is both an unpredictable and intriguing thing. In a living situation identical to Rory’s, I surely should have been the target audience. Yet, even when the show enjoyed a second lease of life on Netflix in 2016, nothing had quite nudged me to press play. I was intimidated by the 153 episodes.
That is, until I left the very comfy and nurturing environment that the show was based on. More than a plane ride away from my mother’s house, as the sun set on summer and an autumnal chill entered the air, I looked for the TV equivalent of a warm jumper and an affectionate greeting: suddenly Gilmore Girls, with its sepia tones and happy endings seemed perfect.
Fairy lights, pumpkin patches and hayrides aplenty, the quaint and enchanting setting of Stars Hollow is the perfect place to hibernate during the cold seasons. Here, on the 20th anniversary of the very first episode, are six reasons why Gilmore Girls is still the best show to marathon watch this autumn.
It’s comforting in a way that just feels cosy
The opening credits are the audio-visual equivalent of an eiderdown duvet. Auburn leaves backdrop the title as Carole King’s 'Where You Lead' blasts out over the top in a combination that is decidedly snuggly. Characterised by the familial love exchanged between Rory and Lorelai, patience and empathy are displayed by the bucketload until you feel warm and bolstered by association.
Nobody is playing it cool
Despite whip smart dialogue, pretentious this is not. Peppered with pop culture references, the pace and humour of the script is perfect. Killer quips ping pong between characters and never halt or hide in the presence of potential boyfriends. The show was ahead of its time in its portrayal of multifaceted female characters: Rory was constantly reading and doing homework but not pigeonholed into a nerd stereotype. The Gilmore Girls are always unapologetically themselves and people like them because of it.
It stood the test of time
Other classic box sets, like Friends, have become somewhat problematic for modern day viewers thanks to scenes that teeter on transphobia and sexism. But Gilmore Girls remains a kooky and good-natured dramedy free from tragedy, trauma or controversy.
Comfort food is king
Pizza, burgers, pudding and pie. The biggest decisions in the Gilmore galaxy are always made over a plate of food. Many Hollywood blockbusters still portray women eating only if the act is sexualised, but the women in Stars Hollow stuff their faces with glee. Sookie the chef has a joy for flavour that radiates through the programme. So, make sure to watch the show with snacks.
There is some serious privilege and improbability but that's not the point
While Lorelai may not have brought Rory up with money, she is still an incredibly privileged child. With the safety net of her grandparent’s wealth behind her, Rory’s success falls in her lap with sheer luck, a sprinkling of hard graft and natural intelligence. But half the charm of Gilmore Girls is the low stakes, safe space, free from danger or disaster setting, where dreams come true and kindness is key.
There are SO many episodes to get through
Seven seasons. 153 episodes. The sheer volume of Gilmore Girls content allows for a real affinity, familiarity and love to form for its characters. And there’s no need to feel guilty for watching 20 episode a day when there are still 133 more. With a wholesome script that is both slow paced and smart, Gilmore Girls will effortlessly coddle you through the suddenly shorter days and Netflix binging nights.
Watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix now.
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