Gilmore Girls is a cultural touchstone, a staple of all ’90s kids… and somehow, I’ve never watched a single episode.
In my Buffy-loving teen years, I managed to catch most of the fringe teen dramas, yet somehow completely avoid both Felicity and Gilmore Girls. As a result, the two shows have become totally interchangeable in my mind. But the latter is apparently the most beloved ’90s family drama of all time, if the reactions to the reboot news are anything to go by!?
To celebrate the joyous occasion of Gilmore Girls‘ return, Hypable’s Hype Podcast is doing a series of Special Episodes about the original series! Wanting to be in the loop, I guess I’ll finally have to watch it now.
But before I do, let me share with you what I do know about the series — which, it turns out, is very little.
1. Rory and Lorelai drink lots of coffee and speak super fast
One of the things Gilmore Girls is famed for, even in the uninitiated circles, is its fast-paced and quirky dialogue. The very young Alexis Bledel apparently was some kind of child actor prodigy because she managed to learn it all very quickly, though Lauren Graham had to guide her around the set cause she hadn’t learned how to land on her marks yet. (See? I have trivia!)
There’s also something about a coffee house. I’m not totally clear on the details so bear with me: EITHER Lorelai owns a coffee house, OR Luke owns a coffee house, OR they run competing coffee houses, OR they all hang out in the same unrelated coffee house, Friends-style. Anyway, a lot of coffee is consumed, leading the characters to be on a constant caffeine high, and this is probably why they speak so quickly.
2. Team Jess and/or Dean and/or, uh… Luke?
So, Luke/Lorelai is A Thing, I know that much. I think Luke owns the coffee house where Lorelai and her way-too-young-to-drink-coffee daughter get their daily boost, and there’s some forbidden romance going on (because obviously competing café owners cannot date each other, it goes against the code). I’m also assuming that Luke is not Rory’s father.
As for Rory, based on all the many “teams” people keep throwing at me, it would seem like she’s got a new boyfriend every week… but I’m getting the vibe that Rory is actually super shy and career-oriented, so maybe not?
Anyway. There’s a few main contenders for her heart: Jess, Dean, and Logan. Dean is in fact Sam from Sam and Dean, while Logan is not Logan from Logan and Veronica, so I’m already confused.
Whatever you ship, Rory definitely belongs with Jess.
…Marama Whyte, get out of my post. Just to spite you, I think I’ll be Team Dean now.
3. Melissa McCarthy is in this!
That’s pretty much all I know about her. And she’s a chef, maybe? Just a wild guess based on the fact that in all the stills and GIFs I’ve seen, she always seems to be in a kitchen wearing a chef’s uniform.
Oh, and her name is Snookie or something? Awkward.
4. Both Gilmore Girls are named Lorelai
Alright, confession time. This is going to sound totally insane, but Lorelai naming her kid after herself is actually the main reason I have never watched Gilmore Girls.
And okay, maybe giving her daughter the ‘family name’ is actually a feminist statement. After all, men name their sons after themselves all the time and that’s considered totally normal. However, I’m not a fan of it no matter which gender is involved. Not only is it majorly confusing, but also, names are about identity! Do you WANT a carbon copy of yourself?
So, as random as this sounds, the fact that Lorelai named her child Lorelai has always been a major show turn-off for me. I’m sure the older Lorelai is not actually a big narcissist, but have some imagination. Especially cause she was like 16 or something when she had Rory right? So what compelled her to look at her infant daughter and go, “you shall be ME reincarnate?”
And look, I’m sure once I actually start watching it won’t bother me at all. But as a non-fan (who has always prided herself on being the only Selina around, damn it Veep), I don’t know. It just bugs me, sorry.
5. Names aside, I’ll probably really like this show
As far as I understand it, watching Gilmore Girls is a really feel-good, enjoyable experience. It’s sitcom-esque without the canned laughter, the color palette is very pastel, and the worst thing that ever happens is something about stealing a boat.
Growing up with my mother, as an only child (ish), I’m sure the show will really speak to me. Despite the fact that there are plenty of men in these girls’ lives, they really have to make their own way and work as a team. They like TV shows, they make lots of pop culture references, their hair is brown, Rory is a total nerd… we’re practically the same family.
The plot of ‘Gilmore Girls’, according to me
Alright, here goes. I think I’m pretty spot on with this.
Lorelai, a former teen mom, is intent on making it on her own despite her rich parents’ constant offers to help her out. She’s doing a great job so far, raising an intelligent teenage daughter named Lorelai Jr., and running a small business with her BFF Melissa McCarthy. A cafe? A restaurant? A bookshop? Who knows.
Over the next seven years, Rory and Lorelai keep up a running commentary of pop culture events and their daily endeavors. They’re more like sisters than mother/daughter, which most of the time means they get to gossip about boys, but sometimes means that Lorelai has trouble asserting her authority when Rory is less than perfect.
Rory goes through high school and college, I assume, based on a random picture I once saw of her in a graduation gown (or wait, was that from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?). She has zero female friends — in fact, she only hangs out with her mother, Melissa McCarthy (who wouldn’t?!), her many boyfriends, and her books. At some point there’s a time jump, after which Rory gets bangs (because bangs is a serious, adult hairstyle choice).
Early on in the show, Lorelai meets Luke — a competing café owner with a mean streak — who first tries to run her out of business, and later falls in love with her. But because true love never runs smooth in Gilmore Town, The Café Owners’ Society (and/or Lorelai’s posh parents) is not happy about this, and it’s a whole Romeo & Juliet type situation.
Luke was in an accident once that left him with a baseball cap permanently stuck to the top of his head. This also serves as a visual clue that he is immature and has a rogue, boyish charm, but Lorelai is into it, so it’s all good.
At some point, Rory’s wayward dad comes back into their lives. At another point, she and Lorelai have a falling-out and she moves in with her grandparents. At yet another point, she misses her chance of going to Yale or Harvard or something, possibly because she burns and/or steals the aforementioned boat.
Finally I’ve also gathered that, as great as Gilmore Girls was, the show had a very unsatisfactory final season because showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino left in season 6. This is why the reboot news is extra exciting: We’ll finally get to see Sherman-Palladino wrap the show up properly. Yay for Netflix!
And that’s it. That is literally all I (think I) know. Now it’s time to actually watch this thing… wish me luck! And follow along on Hype Podcast to see if Marama and Pam can suffer through my ignorance.