The Very Entertaining Gilmore Girls
We don't get much television reception out here in the country, and I absolutely refuse to spring for cable, so in my house, if we want to watch TV, it's mostly DVDs. That means that in the case of television series, we either know we like them before we buy the DVDs, or we never watch them at all.
I have the complete series of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and my daughter and I go through whole periods when we watch an episode almost every night, until we go through the entire series once more.
My daughter is nine and I am forty-eight, and yet we both really enjoy watching Gilmore Girls. It's fun, it's entertaining, but it's not mindless! The dialogue is witty and sometimes it even deals with some fairly sophisticated questions.
WB Musical Promotion of Gimore Girls
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Gilmore Girls was created by the husband and wife team of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino and stars Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Alexis Bledel as her daughter Rory.
Lorelai is fun loving and always joking. Rory is serious and has her nose in a book most of the time. Both of them have a series of recurring boyfriends, but the focus of the series is not on their romantic lives.
Rory is often the straight man to Lorelai's jokes. Lorelai is messy and never cooks. Rory likes to sort her laundry into a various shades of each hue. They both eat a lot of junk food but never get fat. Their favorite pastime is watching really bad movies together and mocking the dialogue.
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore
Dialogue from the Pilot
[Lorelai sits on the runner of her Jeep outside a large, imposing house] [Cut to the door opening from the inside of the house. Lorelai is standing on the porch.]
LORELAI: Hi, Mom.
EMILY: Lorelai, my goodness, this is a surprise. Is it Easter already?
LORELAI: [laughs nervously] No, I just, uh, finished up my business class and I thought I would stop by.
EMILY: To see me?
EMILY: Well, isn't that nice. Come in.
LORELAI: Thanks. [She walks inside and they walk to the living room] LORELAI: The place looks great.
EMILY: It hasn't changed.
LORELAI: Well, there you go. How are the girls at the bridge club?
LORELAI: Well...good. [Emily and Lorelai take seats opposite each other.]
EMILY: You said you were taking a business class?
LORELAI: Yeah, mmhmm, yeah. I'm taking a business class at the college twice a week. I'm sure I told you.
EMILY: Well, if you're sure then you must have. [long silence] Would you like some tea?
LORELAI: I would love some coffee.
RICHARD: [calls from another room] Emily? I'm home.
EMILY: We're in here. [Richard enters the room]
LORELAI: Hi, Dad.
RICHARD: What is it, Christmas already?
EMILY: Lorelai was taking a business class at the college today and decided to drop in to see us.
RICHARD: What business class?
EMILY: Well, she told us about it, dear, remember?
LORELAI: Well, actually, I came here for a reason. Dad, would you mind sitting down for a minute?
RICHARD: You need money.
LORELAI: I have a situation.
RICHARD: You need money.
LORELAI: Dad, will you just please let me get this out, okay? Um, Rory has been accepted to Chilton.
EMILY: Chilton? Oh, that's a wonderful school. It's only five minutes from here.
LORELAI: That's right, it is. She can start as early as Monday. Um, the problem is that they want me to put down an enrollment fee plus the first semester's tuition, and I have to do that immediately or she loses her spot.
RICHARD: So, you need money.
LORELAI: Yeah. But it's not for me, it's for Rory. And I fully intend to pay you back every cent. I don't ask for favors, you know that.
EMILY: Oh, yes, we know.
RICHARD: I'll get the checkbook.
LORELAI: Thank you. You have no idea. Thank you.
EMILY: On one condition.
LORELAI: [mumbles to herself] So close.
EMILY: Since we are now financially involved in your life, I want to be actively involved in your life.
LORELAI: What does that mean, Mother?
EMILY: I want a weekly dinner.
EMILY: Friday nights, you and Rory will have dinner here.
EMILY: And you have to call us once a week to give us an update on her schooling and your life. That's it. That's the condition. If you agree, you'll come to dinner tomorrow night and leave here with a check. Otherwise, I'm sorry, we can't help you.
LORELAI: I don't want her to know that I borrowed money from you. Can that just be between us?
EMILY: Does seven o'clock work for you?
LORELAI: [with a forced smile] Perfect.
The premise of the series is that Lorelai had to drop out of high school when she became pregnant with Rory at sixteen. She could have married Rory's father, Christopher, but she chose not to. When things became too difficult between Lorelai and her wealthy, conservative parents, Lorelai left home and took Rory, then an infant, with her. Lorelai worked as a maid at the Independence in and slowly made her way up the ladder, until at the beginning of the series, she is the manager of the Inn. Lorelai is fun loving, but hard working and very independent and has never asked for assistance from her parents, until Rory, at sixteen is accepted to the Chilton Academy, a very expensive prep school. At this point, Lorelai asks her parents to help with the tuition. The parents agree, in return for an obligatory Friday night dinner.
The tensions between Lorelai and her parents, and the relationship between Lorelai and Rory, are the main subjects of this dramedy.
Any Regrets? -- The Case for Teen Pregnancy
The dialogue is the best part of the show. The Gilmore Girls talk fast, and there are many cultural references. One of the issues the series tackles is that of teen pregnancy. Lorelai, though her pregnancy was unplanned, is a responsible mother whose lfe revolves around her relationship with her daughter.
On one occasion, (Season Three, Episode Four) the PTA leader at the local school asks Lorelai to come give a presentation on career day. Lorelai prepares a talk about her job managing the Independence Inn, but that's not what the students in the class want to hear about.(Dialogue is taken from the transcripts site, linked below.)
GIRL 1: You’re Rory Gilmore’s mom, aren’t you?
LORELAI: Yes I am, and proud of it.
GIRL 1: Oh.
LORELAI: Oh, is that it? Well, I hope all your questions are that easy. Okay, now, why is it necessary to inspire employees? Why can’t you just train ‘em and let ‘em do their jobs? Well. . .yes?
GIRL 2: Didn’t you get pregnant when you were sixteen?
LORELAI: Um, sixteen. . .it was around that age. Sixteen, that sounds right. Okay. Different people working for you will have different needs. . .yeah?
BOY: Well, what about school?
LORELAI: School? I’m sorry.
BOY: Did you drop out when you got pregnant with Rory?
LORELAI: No, technically, I didn’t drop out. I, uh, I kept going as long as I could while I got pregnant, which I would recommend to any girl. Not the getting pregnant part, obviously. Um, although, uh, if that happens, um, you know. . . it shouldn't. I mean, it could but you should try to avoid it. . . um, anyway, uh, I got my GED, yeah.
DEBBIE: Lorelai, why don’t we move this along?
LORELAI: Yes, oh, moving it along, moving it along. Okay, okay, okay. Boy, I should’ve been more organized here.
GIRL 1: Well, are you sorry you got pregnant?
LORELAI: No, it brought me Rory, but timing is everything. I mean, I could’ve. . .sixteen, you guys are sixteen, right . . .and hey, is that clock right?
GIRL 3: What do you mean by timing?
GIRL 1: Yeah, if you had waited and had a baby with another man at a different time. . .
GIRL 4: It wouldn’t have been Rory, right?
LORELAI: Hey, you know what’s fun to talk about? Late checkout.
GIRL 2: But it was good you got pregnant when you did because you got Rory.
LORELAI: Look, you guys, this is a very important subject, and I promise that another time I would love to take you all for a cup of coffee and, and talk about . . .if you should even be allowed to drink coffee because coffee is for older. . . [sighs] . . .Butch Danes, everybody.
Religion regularly comes up, but not so much in the Gilmore household. Lane Kim, Rory's best friend has a mother who is Seventh Day Adventist, and many of the religious issues spring from Lane's trying to convince her mother to allow her to lead a normal American lifestyle.
Religion came into the spotlight when Lorelai's best friend Sookie asked both Lorelai and Rory to serve as godmothers to her two children, Davie and Martha. That episode also had a catchy title: "Always a Godmother, Never a God." Here's what happened when the minister questioned the Gilmore Girls on their faith (Season Six, Episode Four):
REV.SKINNER: So, I always like to take a few minutes before my baptisms to get to know the godparents a little bit. Of course I already know you two, but I just want to touch base and make sure you understand the obligations of what you're getting into here today. Now, basically, godparents are responsible for the spiritual upbringing of their godchildren. I certainly hope the parents throw their two cents in, but the godparents are vitally important figures in a child's life. So, tell me, what are your religious affiliations?
LORELAI: Oh, well, Reverend, you've known us forever.
REV.SKINNER: Well, yes, I have, and I still have no idea what your religious affiliations are.
LORELAI: We're a bit lapsed.
REV.SKINNER: Yes. From...?
LORELAI: Well, um...religion. But, you know, I can't speak for Rory, but I have a strong belief in good...you know...over evil. I mean, if I was asked to choose a side...
RORY: I read "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe".
LORELAI: I have a bible. Although I may or may not have accidentally given it to goodwill, because I'm remodelling. But goodwill is a religious organization... I think. But even if it's not, good will. It's in the ballpark.
RORY: I buy tons of girl-scout cookies.
LORELAI: I have two "Mary is my homegirl" T-shirts.
REV.SKINNER: Well, these are all very positive if somewhat irrelevant things. And it seems like your hearts are in the right place.
REV.SKINNER: And it says something good about you both that when a friend calls you up and asks a favour, you come through like this.
They proceed with the baptisms, but just at the pivotal point when Lorelai is asked to renounce Satan, she becomes distracted, and this creates an awkward moment.
SOOKIE: (whispering) Lorelai!
SOOKIE: Why aren't you renouncing Satan?
LORELAI: (confused) Huh?
SOOKIE: He said, "Do you renounce Satan?", and you paused. That's not something you pause about.
LORELAI: Oh, I'm sorry. Uh, yes, I renounce Satan.
Education and Career Ambitions
Rory is studious and makes straight As in all her courses. She reads voraciously, but she seems to have no critical capacity. She likes all the Great Books equally. She has a similar problem choosing a favorite among her many boyfriends.
Rory graduates as the valedictorian of her class and is accepted to Harvard, Princeton and Yale. In the end, she chooses Yale, her grandparents' alma mater. Her major is journalism and her ambition is to become "Christiane Amanpour."
When Mitchum Huntzburger, a newspaper magnate and coincidentally the father of Rory's current boyfriend, offers her an internship at a paper he is buying, Rory jumps at the opportunity. She is crushed when he later tells her that while she makes a great assistant and is excellent at anticipating other people's needs, she doesn't have "it" -- whatever is required to be a great reporter.
Because we all like Rory, and Mitchum Huntzburger is so manipulative, at first it's easy to discount his assessment. Rory, however, takes the evaluation very seriously, gets in trouble by stealing a yacht, and then takes some time off from Yale. At the end of the final episode she takes a job on the road, following the Barack Obama campaign.She may or may not become a great journalist, but that isn't the point. The point is that she knows how to live a good life.
Conclusion: Live Life to the Fullest
In retrospect, it seems that being able to anticipate the needs of others is the strong point of both Gilmore girls. Lorelai is a great Innkeeper because she is a gracious hostess who anticipates the needs of others and offers unbeatable hospitality. Rory, on her time off from Yale, worked for the DAR, under her grandmother's eagle eye. And what was Rory good at? Organizing stunning events for charitable galas. Both women are really great at throwing a party!
My daughter and I are nothing like Rory and Lorelai. We are not as good at anticipating the needs of others. Our lives are very different: more original than the Gilmores, but less sociable. What we get, when we watch Gilmore Girls, is a glimpse into ordinary lives well-lived. It's never too late to have a little fun, even if it only consists of eating snacks, watching videos and mocking the dialogue!
Gilmore Girl Transcripts
- Misconceptions About Teenaged Mothers
Even as single motherhood has become commonplace in our society, and the stigma against out of wedlock births has disappeared, another prejudice has come to replace it: the bias against teenaged mothers. Here...
Another rendition of the Carole King song
(c) 2009 Aya Katz
Allusions to the Manson Family on Gilmore Girls
- The Manson Family - Girlmore Girls Connection
Of all the reruns, Gilmore Girls is right up at the top of my list for comfort viewing. Just as good as comfort food… only less filling. Though sometimes, the show can veer into the dark places of pop...
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