Summertime television programming has changed in the last few decades in ways I never expected. As I kid, I lived for the TV Guide to arrive, analyzing it like a textbook that required a report each week. I loved the articles and the back page crossword puzzle. Mostly, I loved seeing what shows were not airing as a repeat; ah, the life of a twelve-year-old. As I recently sipped on my ice tea, floating in the pool in this east coast heat, my friend’s thirteen-year-old said, “what should I binge watch next?” Keeping her age in mind, I couldn’t blurt out what I really wanted. I posed a question to her, “what did you just finish watching?” “Grey’s Anatomy,” she replied. I was please since I personally love the show. My answer was simple and well thought out, Gilmore Girls.
For anyone who missed it, well, it’s truly a lovely show. In a post 9/11 world, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore created a sweet coming of age tale experienced by both of these Gilmore Girls. Lauren Graham, more recently Parenthood fame, portrays Lorelai Gilmore, a thirty-two-year-old mom of a teenage daughter, living in a suburban town in Connecticut. She’s witty, quirky and freakishly loveable on screen. We judge her for the choices she already made and the ones she continues to live by. As Lorelai navigates the unconventional world of bringing up a daughter at such a young age, she gets a little help from her parents. As polar opposites go, her relationship with her mother could not be more different than the one she has with her own daughter. She feels deeply judged and less than loved by her mother, therefore treating her daughter more like a best friend than anything else. Emily and Richard Gilmore, portrayed by Kelly Bishop and Edward Hermann respectively are well to do socialites that vacation in Paris but only in the fall. I mean, what else is there to do at that time of year?
Lorelei was only 16 when she gave birth to her daughter, Rory, who is now that age. Rory, played by Alexis Bledel, is silly and smart at the same time, with a sharp tongue and a bright smile. She compliments everything that Lorelai is and isn’t. We watch her struggle with boundaries, entering adulthood and staying true to herself, with her mother being her true best friend. Rory and Lorelai apologize to one another more than any two people I have ever seen, but then again, it’s good to acknowledge fault whenever possible, I guess.
The breakout star in all this is Lorelai’s friend; the lovingly clumsy, Sookie St. James, portrayed by non-other than Melissa McCarthy. It’s wonderful too witness the much younger version of such a comedic genius. The cast hits a cloyingly sweet note and is definitely rated G, safe for all ages. Despite this show’s sugary nature, it still made us feel warm and fuzzy for a successful seven seasons.
Gilmore Girls can bow be streamed and binge watched on Netflix. I hope my friend’s daughter takes my advice and indulges in this lovable story. Netflix recently announced that fans receive another installment of this highly popular show. The cast has committed to another, albeit shorter season, streaming this November, post election day of course. The gang is back, nearly ten years later. In an act of sheer humility, Melissa McCarthy has also signed on to recreate her supporting role. Thanks, Melissa, for showing Hollywood how it’s done, despite your the level of popularity and fame! Hat’s off to you Sookie!!
Start watching past episodes now and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, you will all be ready for Gilmore Girls, circa 2016.
Photos courtesy of Netflix