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Posts Tagged ‘Gilmore Girls’

1. I could hang out with Lorelai (and maybe get fashion advice).
2. Sookie’s cooking. Delicious. (And I’d love to cook in Lorelai’s pretty kitchen.)
3. Eating (and drinking tea) at Luke’s Diner.
4. Browsing at Andrew’s bookshop.
5. Walking everywhere.
6. Lush foliage any time of the year.
7. All the crazy little festivals that Luke hates, Taylor loves, and I think are hilarious.
8. SNOW! (I have the same relationship with snow that Lorelai has.)
9. Getting to watch Miss Patty and her dancers.
10. I’m sure Rory comes back to visit once in a while. We could talk about books all DAY.
11. Playing with Lane’s babies.
12. Hearing Zach’s band.
13. Michel’s clever insults.
14. The gazebo in the center of town. Love it.
15. The utterly captivating, quirky charm of the whole place.

For some reason, as the mercury shoots up here in West Texas, I’m really jonesing for crisp, cool Connecticut with my beloved cast of characters. (Read more about my Gilmore love here.) Where do you wish you lived today?

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I’ll be there for you*

I always seem to get addicted to TV shows after they go off the air.

Saved By the Bell was in syndication when my sister and I watched it, from about 1995 to 1999 (it ran from 1989-1993). We saw every single episode at least two or three times – plus the College Years episodes and the Wedding in Las Vegas TV movie. We loved those characters and all their drama. I still consider myself a fan.

Similarly, my more recent, well-documented addiction to Gilmore Girls began a year after the show went off the air (though this was more about my being stubborn than anything). I’ve watched all seven seasons’ worth, but I still came to it after the fact. And The House of Eliott aired in another country when I was in grade school – so of course I didn’t know it existed then – but again, it follows the trend. I’m always a latecomer to shows.

My most recent TV addiction is to a show that I wasn’t allowed to watch when it began airing, in 1994. (I was 11, to be fair.) I didn’t even like it for a while when I started watching it – I thought the characters were too flip and that there were too many awkward jokes. (I stand by that last assertion, actually.) However, over the last few years, I’ve become quite a fan. And now, Jeremiah and I are working our way through all 10 seasons of Friends. And loving it.

We’ve been borrowing one season at a time from my parents, and laughing (sometimes hooting) our way through the show’s early history. I’ve mostly seen episodes in the middle seasons (3 through 7), so there were a lot of early ones I hadn’t seen, and thus a lot of stuff I didn’t know. We’ve recently reached more familiar ground for me, and the cast is really starting to hit its stride as an ensemble. (Last week, we watched my favourite episode EVER – “The One Where No One’s Ready,” early in season 3 – and we laughed so much we had to watch it again this week.)

Unusually for me, I love this show even though I don’t identify with one particular character. None of the girls – or even the guys – are that much like me, though I sympathize with some of Monica’s neuroses and, like Rachel, once worked at a coffee house. However, they are completely hilarious together; their catchphrases still fill the brains and mouths of my generation; and they provide a real look at what young adult life is like, in terms of uncertainty and crazy relationships and starting your career and relying on your friends like they’re your family.

We had more of a Friends-style hangout in college, when Val, Dani, Julie and Kisha lived at House 9 Abilene and we were all still single, than we do now. I never did have the big-city lifestyle, the strings of one-night stands (thank goodness) or the embarrassing moments on the scale that the characters do. However, I still have friends I can call when “no one told me life was gonna be this way.” And I can still pop in a DVD and enjoy (and shake my head at) the exploits of Phoebe, Rachel, Monica, Ross, Joey and Chandler. And pretend I’m hanging out with them at Central Perk.

*title taken from the Friends theme song

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I’m starting to miss Gilmore Girls.

It’s been a month since I finished the seventh season of that charming show, which included all sorts of heart-pounding events that gave us clues to Rory’s (and everyone’s) life after college graduation. I’ve been savouring the show episode by episode since September, laughing frequently and welling up at the more tender moments. And the complete set is now on my Amazon wish list – though I know I’ll never spend the money to buy it for myself. (Maybe I’ll buy the seasons one at a time.)

I was a late convert, a skeptic. Several of my girlfriends used to get together to watch new episodes on Tuesday nights, and I only went once and didn’t enjoy it much. I didn’t know the characters, or their stories, and I didn’t much care. I didn’t like the idea of hanging out just to watch a TV show together. And I thought the Gilmores were impossibly, unrealistically witty, and they talked too fast.

Well. I stand by those two assertions – no mere mortal is that witty all the time, and they do talk incredibly fast – all the characters, not just Rory and Lorelai. But now those things are endearing instead of irritating, and Stars Hollow is one of my favourite fictional places to visit.

Why do I love it so much? There are numerous reasons, not all of which I can quite explain. For one, I so enjoyed watching the relationship between Rory and Lorelai unfold, deepen and change. Rory is much more like me – bookish, serious and quietly ambitious – and she’s my age – but by the end of the show I identified much more with Lorelai. She’s so much more honest and raw with her emotions, and she’s hilarious, and I wanted so badly for her to settle down with Luke for good, and also to make her peace with both her parents and her past.

I adored the small-town charm of Stars Hollow, and the zany, colorful cast of supporting characters. Miss Patty and Babette, with their inappropriate jokes and loud voices, made me laugh; Lane was a fantastic best friend and her relationship with her mom was an intriguing counterpoint to Rory’s relationship with Lorelai. I hated Michel and Paris at first but eventually grew to love them, and I adored Sookie from the start. I loved Gypsy and Andrew and Jackson and Kirk and the other, smaller characters; Taylor irritated me, but he was part of the fabric of Stars Hollow. And, of course, I adore Luke Danes. Behind that solid, gruff exterior is a great sense of humor and such a steadfast heart. He was always perfect for Lorelai, even when he was “just” her coffee man.

Richard and Emily Gilmore, Rory’s grandparents and Lorelai’s parents, also surprised me. There are few TV shows that feature such complex and interesting older characters. My mouth dropped open in shock at so many things Emily said, but after a while I began to understand and even sympathize with her, sometimes. I saw echoes of my relationship with my parents in the connections between all three generations of Gilmores: the misunderstandings, the laughter, the fights and the making up. And the love.

I loved the way Gilmore provided a fresh take on so many issues that, seemingly, have been done to death. Teenage romance, jealousy and friendship; academic competition; parenting and being parented; even, at times, drinking and sex and open rebellion. (Jess Mariano, anyone?) There are more, but this isn’t really an issues-driven show. It’s a character-driven show, and the main reason I love it is because its two main characters are my friends.

I often remarked to Jeremiah this winter that Gilmore felt more like a book to me than a TV show. There were so many words, for one, and for another, the show is all about story. It didn’t need flashy special effects or exotic locations or even earth-shattering events to make it real and funny and completely compelling. It was simply the stories of all these people, intertwined, who care deeply about one another, trying to live in a way that matters and that makes them happy.

Months after first watching some of them, lines and scenes from episodes linger in my head. I half believe that somewhere, Sookie is chopping vegetables in the Dragonfly Inn’s kitchen, and Miss Patty is encouraging her latest class of dancers to “be leaves” or float like butterflies, and Lane is tending to her babies and Luke is pouring Lorelai a bowl-like mug of coffee. I’d love to hop a plane to Hartford and drive to Luke’s from there, and meet Lorelai for breakfast – coffee for her, tea for me, and some of Luke’s famous pancakes.

I’m sad that there isn’t any more Gilmore to watch, in a sense – I’ve watched every episode, and most of the bonus features, too. But I’m glad they live on in my heart and mind, and glad that I can rent the seasons or buy them, and they’ll be there for me to watch again.

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