Reviews Television

Re-discovering “Gilmore Girls” with my family

From the official "Gilmore Girls" Facebook page.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. – What would you do with 465 hours? I spent it watching every episode of “Gilmore Girls” three times. I don’t regret any of it.

I first discovered “Gilmore Girls” – the heartwarming sitcom centered around a mother, her teenage daughter and their life in a small town – through a friend when I was 12. I was immediately hooked by the quick-witted, fast-paced conversations between a mother and daughter, the cozy town and a main character (Rory Gilmore) who reminded me of myself.

It was a comforting blanket of a show. It was something I could rely on. It was company during hard times, and good ones, too.

Rory provided a lot of the motivation I used to start high school and study. And she also partially inspired a lot of my actions, like running for student body president and being a student journalist.

Looking to her as a role model assured me that it was okay to read at lunch, and nothing to be ashamed of.

It took me almost three years – and a pandemic – to convince my mom to watch it with me. The show’s main focus, a mother-daughter pair, seemed like an ideal thing to share with her, but she was first annoyed and tired by their fast-talking.

But after a few episodes, she was in. After a few more episodes, so was my little brother. In season two, my dad joined us at our living room watch sessions.

The evening ritual of “Gilmore Girls” became so addictive that we found ourselves eating dinner in front of the TV so we could have time for two episodes. During the school year, my only free time has been watching “Gilmore Girls” with my family.

Now that a crazy pandemic upended all sense of routine, our cozy evenings reliably spent with the Gilmore girls provided comfort.

Watching the characters gather at cafes, blissfully unaware of social distancing, felt like watching a utopian film. Rory’s in-person classes brought a warm tingling of remembrance and fond memories, and a little sadness too.

As a seasoned watcher, it has taken all of my self-control not to scream out a spoiler – or at least make a very telling face. But watching the show for the third time, I noticed new things and developed a greater understanding of the show’s story and messaging. I also got to debate my views and theories.

If you’ve watched “Gilmore Girls,” you know that much of the debate on the show centers on Rory’s love interests.

I am staunchly Team Jess, favoring her literature-loving bad boy over her first love, the do-gooder Dean, but it was fun to study interactions with my family. It felt less like the show was in my head and more like it was a family inside joke and a bonding experience.

We are getting near to the end of “Gilmore Girls,” and while I am ready to have my evenings back, I fear what may happen. I’m prepared to mourn the end of the seasons as an end of inside jokes and carved-out family time.

But maybe we’ll find a new show. I’ve heard good things about “The Crown.”

Lucy Tobier is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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