Once in a while, everybody needs the calm embrace of Stars Hollow
Gilmore Girls review by Jennifer AJ
These days we get so many twist-heavy, dark character study shows that drain the brain. Don’t you just miss the days of small-town shows about small-town problems? This sweet, witty show chronicling the lives of a single mother and her teen daughter is exactly that. It’s a remnant of early aughts shows in the vein of Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. Nostalgia of bygone-era Americana.
The premise is really simple: Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) is a single mother raising her teenage daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) in the fictional Connecticut town named Stars Hollow. Despite coming from old money, Lorelai insists on supporting Rory all by herself… until her smart daughter needs money to attend a private school that will increase her chance of entering Harvard. Thus the Gilmore Girls start reconnecting with the family they’re estranged from, despite their disapproval of Lorelai’s life choices.
The show is the embodiment of a warm cup of coffee on a chilly morning. Stars Hollow is the epitome of classic New England towns so prevalent in books about idyllic small-town lives. It’s filled with warm townsfolk who all know each other on a first-name basis, a lively town square always bustling with a different quaint festival or celebration every week, and cozy homes surrounded by leafy nature. Rory has a book in her hand all the time and no one ever labels her a nerd. It’s pretty much modern-day cottage-core fantasy and builds the world around the Gilmores as a character on its own.
The characters are also a huge part of what made Gilmore Girls resonate so much. The central mother-daughter duo has an enviable bond. Rory and Lorelai are pretty much inseparable, sharing hobbies – movie nights, coffee runs, hanging out on their cute porch – and talking about everything like best friends. Rory and Lorelai’s closeness is really the biggest reason to watch this show. They’re surrounded by quirky townspeople who are always there for them, come rain or shine. There’s Sookie (pre-fame Melissa McCarthy), Lorelai’s co-worker slash best friend who’s like a second mom to Rory. There’s Luke (Scott Patterson) the gruff coffee shop owner with whom Lorelai has a will-they-won’t-they romance the entire series through. Even Lorelai’s grumpy parents increasingly show their endearing sides as the fractured family begins coming together. And of course, there are Rory’s revolving door of love interests: before they found fame in their subsequent projects, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Chad Michael Murray, and Matt Czuchry once played Rory’s boyfriends – each story unfortunately ended prematurely when these promising young actors moved on to do bigger things.
The series is also famous for its a mile-a-minute dialogue. A signature of its creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino (who would go on to refine the style with The Marvelous Mrs Maisel), the characters would always spout sassy dialogues abound with references popular or obscure. Nobody talks like that in real life, so it’s become kind of a signature of the show, along with its charming New England beauty.
A comforting show like Gilmore Girls will indeed feel all too predictable in today’s landscape, but once in a while, everybody needs the calm embrace of Stars Hollow and its eclectic inhabitants.
Published on July 25th, 2023. Written by Jennifer Ariesta for Television Heaven.