Dee Discusses: Gilmore Girls Season 1

Posted: December 15, 2014 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Gilmore Girls, Television
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So here’s a funny story: I own the entire series of Gilmore Girls on DVD, but I hadn’t committed to a rewatch until it came on Netflix. It’s the power of Netflix, what can I say? I loved this show so much. Like Buffy, I was around the same age as the characters when it was on, and I grew up with it. What I found interesting about the rewatch is now I’m around the age of Lorelai. She was 32 in the first season, and I’m 30, so now I’m looking at the show with adult eyes. And it’s completely different, in a wonderful way, I appreciate how much work they did on having both Lorelai and Rory have complete arcs together and separately. I was impressed with the variety of characters on the show, and how diverse it actually was, I didn’t notice that the first time around. I loved all the characters again, and Stars Hollow, that perfect bizarre little town. So I thought I’d summarize by season and spill out feels on here, because it’s my blog and I do what I want.

Gilmore Girls was on the WB and started in 2000, running for seven seasons until the CW spawned itself and canceled a bunch of shows. It’s about a mother and daughter – Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) – who navigate the world with their friends and family. They are extremely close because Lorelai was only sixteen when she had Rory, fleeing from her oppressive rich household to become a teen mother and working as a maid at an inn in Stars Hollow. She worked her way up until now she runs the place, and her daughter Rory is sixteen and a bookworm at school. But Rory’s too ambitious and smart for her school, and gets into a prestigious prep school called Chilton. Lorelai cannot afford the school’s hefty tuition on her own, so she is forced to reach out to her parents Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (Edward Herrmann), and agrees to have Friday night dinner with them every week. This sets up the major plot and tension of the show that goes through the end of the series.

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There are several story arcs that go on during season one. Rory leaves her school, but meets a boy Dean (Jared Padalecki) on her last day. She nearly pulls out of going to Chilton because of it, but she agrees to go after learning about her mother’s sacrifice. Rory struggles at Chilton at first because she’s behind and the students there are very snooty. She has a rivalry with Paris Geller (Liza Weil), my personal favorite character, but keeps grounded with her BFF Lane (Keiko Agena). Meanwhile Lorelai struggles with allowing her parents back into her life considering their difficult past, and with the fact that she wants to be Rory’s friend, but also her mother. Lorelai has a close connection with diner owner Luke (Scott Patterson), but she starts dating Rory’s teacher Max Medina (Scott Cohen). Because they had to ship tease for years, that’s just how it goes. Over the course of the season, Luke’s ex comes back into town, and Lorelai goes back and forth with Max. Rory and Dean briefly break up because he says I love you, and she isn’t ready to say it back. By the finale, Dean and Rory get back together, Max proposes, and Luke’s girlfriend dumps him because of his residual feelings for Lorelai.

I think it’s interesting how much I related to Rory when I was the same age, but now I just shake my head at her storylines. The school one is really painful, and I’m so glad she gets it together, because the poor thing was really frazzled for awhile there. I was never a huge fan of any of Rory’s love interests, and maybe it was the back and forth that bothered me. I will say now looking back it irritates me that people seem to be in Dean’s corner about the break up. Yes, it sucks saying that and not hearing it back, and he’s a teenager so of course he’s going to be upset. But she’s under no obligation to use words she’s not ready for. I never really warmed to Max, he’s sweet, but ehhhh. I did appreciate the show embraced the problems inherent in Lorelai dating Rory’s teacher. Obviously I was always a big Luke/Lorelai fan so I was just waiting for that to happen. So many years left, Dee, so many years.

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For me, I always found the storyline with Lorelai and her parents the most fascinating. Emily and Richard are very difficult characters, and definitely as time went on I warmed to them. I have a little more sympathy toward them as an adult, and I like that while the show was on Lorelai’s side absolutely, it allowed her to eventually have sympathy for them too. Stars Hollow is a wonderful place, and they started that setting right off as bizarre and fantastic. A cute little weirdo town with quirky people that went along with our quirky fast talking leading ladies. I liked the dichotomy of Rory and Lorelai being best friends, but also there were times Lorelai had to be the mom. And I like that it wasn’t easy for them, it’s a question of whether that was appropriate, and what is appropriate for that relationship. The side characters are charming. I love Lane’s rebellion of her strict household, Michel’s snootiness, Sookie’s ditziness followed by her wonderful relationship with Jackson, and my bb of course Luke Danes. Grump extraordinaire. Miss Patty with her dance studio, Babette next door. These are old friends, close to my heart.

I really don’t have any criticisms of the show. It was a really solid first season. All of the characters are fleshed out, they’re interesting, the dialogue is the stuff of legends, with apparently the scripts being twice as long as most due to how fast they talked. It’s a good setting with plenty of comedy and drama. Pure gold. I’m so glad I did a rewatch. It’s like discovering a lost love.

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  1. […] Dee Discusses: Gilmore Girls Season 1 […]

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