Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten: Gilmore Girls

It's post number two in this awesome theme, which is a good thing for me because it means that I am actually sticking to something. Yay for me.

It's not secret that I am partial to Sci-Fi and Fantasy programming but there is another kind of television show that I am particularly fond of, the quirky small town drama and in this category I don't think you can get much better than, Gilmore Girls.

What's it all about?

Gilmore Girls tells the story of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) and their life in the small Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. Lorelai, from the wealthy Gilmore family, got pregnant when she was sixteen to her irresponsible boyfriend Christopher. Instead of following her parents wishes and getting married Lorelai chose to run away from home and make her own way, finding a job in a small hotel she worked her way to management and raised an amazing child all without her parents help. Sixteen years pass and Lorelai and Rory have made a life for themselves in the quirky little village Stars Hollow, a magical place filled to the brim with intriguing and humorous personalities not to mention an array of town events. The problem is that Rory's dream is attend Harvard, and while her grades are perfect and she works hard she really needs to attend the prestigious Chilton Academy. In order to pay the prep school fees, Lorelai has to do something she swore she never would, ask her parents for money. The elder Gilmore's (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann) are all to happy to oblige but there's a catch, they want in on their daughter and granddaughter's lives, so they instigate compulsory Friday night dinners in return for the loan. Suddenly Lorelai is thrust back into the world she ran away from all those years ago.

It's a drama about the lives and loves of a mother and daughter in an American small town, but there are a few things that make Gilmore Girls stand out from the rest...

What's so good about it?

It's all about the characters in this program, there are no special effects or complicated plot lines, it's just people and how they deal with life. I love the characters in Gilmore Girls, even the ones I don't like. Yes they are exaggerated but there are not extreme, there is an element of reality that makes them believable and familiar. These people are your friends and your family and that is what makes Gilmore Girls so satisfying to watch.

Lorelai, is a funny, fasting-taking, junk food filled BAMF; sure she managed to find a job and raise her child at the age of sixteen without any help from her parents but that doesn't mean she's perfect.

Rory is ever so slightly annoying in her perfection, but you know what she's got issues just like you and me and if someone as amazing as her is just as screwed up as me, it makes me feel better about myself.

But really, it's the supporting cast that make this show...

Rory's best friend Lane Kim (Keiko Agena) is adorable. Her mother is a deeply religious, traditional Korean woman and all she wants to do is be in an indie band, as you can imagine hilarity ensues.

Michel Gerard (Yanic Truesdale) is Lorelai's bitchy coworker, some of his remarks, although amusing as hell, make you wonder why anyone would stay at the Independence Inn.

Paris Geller (Liza Weil), Rory's Chilton rival turned best friend takes the word driven to the extreme, and if you think that the Gilmore women talk fast then you have not heard Paris when she gets going. That girl can talk, and be a major pain in the ass, but you know what part of me wants to be her.

Kirk Gleason (Sean Gunn) is, well I guess you would call him the village idiot. He has a new job every week and is always getting himself into some kind of trouble, watch out for when he gets a cat, also called Kirk, it's amazing.

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) and Jackson Belleville (Jackson Douglas) and their adorable (there is no other way to describe it) romance are one of the highlights of this program, they may be happy but they still have their fair share of angst.

And finally Taylor Doose (Michael Winters) seems to be the leader of the town, which means he's in charge of the must-see town meetings and generally gets in the way whenever possible.

There many other great characters I could mention, like the dance teacher Miss Patty, as well as Lorelai and Rory's neighbour Babette and her giant Jazz playing husband but you really have to see them to get the full experience.

If the characters haven't convinced you then I know what will – a healthy dose of sexual tension. The will-they-won't-they romance between Lorelai and Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) is one of the best I've seen. They clearly love each other, the only thing keeping them apart is themselves. Both of them have romances over the years but we know (well I know, I leave it up to you to decide for yourself) they are meant to be. Trust me you are not going to need all that much convincing. The fireworks between these two keep you coming back even after they've gotten together. 

Rory has a fair share of romances herself, and it captures the turbulence of young love perfectly - warning you may have to pick a team, but there are quite a few to chose from and they are all legitimate. I'm just kidding you have to pick Rory and Jess or you can no longer read this blog. * shakes fist *

No no, I didn't mean that (well mostly didn't) please please please don't stop reading my blog, if you stop then there will be no one reading it.

Where to start...

With the Pilot of course. I am always going to advocate starting at the beginning and working your way through, and the fact that DVD box sets are so cheap (not to mention there less reputable means of watching) makes it it easy to do this. The whole point of these programs is that you grow you care about these characters... but I do understand that sometimes people just want to be wowed, and that a lot of you are only going to give it one episode to prove itself. So if you're going to watch one episode (that's not the Pilot because as far as pilots go it's pretty awesome) then I am going to suggest:

The Deer Hunters” (1.04) – Rory gets hit by a deer, Lorelai makes out with a teacher at parents day... really it sums up what you going to see for the next 6 season's perfectly.

Why you should watch it?

I think I've given you far too many reasons already, I mean what are you doing still reading this go out and get yourself a copy of season 1 right now. But in case you need any more persuading...

Gilmore Girls is one of those programs I can watch over and over again. I know I just said that you should really watch it from the beginning but the good thing about this show is that you can tune and out as you please. Both Lorelai and Rory make for pretty good role models if that's what you're looking for and there is plenty of eye candy floating around stars hollow as well. There are so many pop-culture references in this program that even I can't get them all, so don't feel stupid if you don't understand everything that comes out of these girls mouths. The best part is that Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that networks tend to replay every year, so even if you're not committed enough to rent or buy the DVD's check your TV schedule and tune in when you have the time.

Now that we have reached the end of this post I feel the need to warn you that towards the end of it's run, Gilmore Girls did “jump the shark” pretty badly. I find most people are too committed by then to give up but I would find it understandable if you did. I'm not going to tell you when this moment is because even you non TV folk should be able to guess. If/when you reach this point, feel free to come back here and rant to your hearts content... I will very understanding and may even join in said rant.

That said, the first 4 seasons of this show are amazing, fun and easy to watch. It's suitable for the whole family... Meaning there isn't very much dirty stuff or violence (there is a rather angry swan, but you will have to watch to find out about that) and there is something for every generation. Good after work/school viewing because it doesn't demand too much concentration – once you get used to the speed that they speak. All in all, good wholesome fun, with a fair amount of innuendo for those that want it (namely me, I can't control my hormones, they're crazy).

Anyway, I am sorry this post is so long – don't dismiss Gilmore Girls because I am boring. Please watch, enjoy and then come back and tell me what you think. I am very insecure and I need constant reassurance that you love me.

It's been lovely as always, xx