It’s coming, and with all the media hype, you’d be hard-pressed not to know it. Some don’t care, others don’t know (Rory who?), and I’m sure some loyal fans are more excited for the Gilmore Girls revival than Thanksgiving. (Update: Read what I thought about the revival here) I’m excited, maybe all the more so because the show hasn’t aired for nine years, a long time to remember what happened in Stars Hollow, and so it means I get to binge-watch Gilmore Girls. Re-watching the show two kids later and after so very long highlights how much has changed in my life, primarily that binge-watching, sadly, is a thing of the past. But in the episodes I’ve watched one thing is clear: Gilmore Girls is a perfect binge-worthy show.
All That Food! Lorelei and Rory spend so much time eating and watching movies that joining them in sloth can make you feel better. In solidarity with them, it also means you get to eat a bucket-load(or more!) of takeout and junk food. In their world there’s no mention of gluten-free, watching calories, or living a carb-free life (though Luke tries to assert himself as the voice of health). At times it’s horrifying to watch them pack away the food, but it’s also refreshing to see them eat and not be consumed by the act. Between the fancy Friday night meals, Sookie’s cooking at the Inn, meals at the diner, and their binge-fests, the show begs you to eat. Whether it inspires you to make cassoulet or osso buco or you start jonesing for take-out pizza or Chinese food (remember when they order every kind of chicken entree), food should be an essential part of watching the show. So go ahead and stuff your face with some pizza, moon pies, and an obscene amount of candy. Better yet, watch the show while you’re prepping for Thanksgiving (did you see the episode where they fry the turkey and everything under the sun?). The show just might inspire you to try something new or give you some pointers on how to stuff your face for holiday dining.
Mother-Daughter Relationship: Now that I have two daughters, I’m seeing the show with new eyes. Watching the close bond between Rory and her mother inspires me to do everything I can to ensure my daughters that they are loved and that I’m there for them. I’m not trying to emulate the witty, fast-talking banter and sister bond. Parents are there to be parents. But as a single parent, especially a 16-year-old mother, Lorelei had a lot to overcome, and she does an admirable job creating a fun and loving world for her daughter. Seeing her conquer the world and raise a daughter to do the same highlights the importance of parents as role models shaping their kids’ lives, giving children worthy goals to emulate and endowing them with the courage to forge their own way. Quite frankly, Lorelei has a lot of growing up to do herself and she’s certainly not the best parent, but who is? The show also has several poor mother-daughter relationships that teach a lot about how not to act as a parent, though it’s certainly not so black-and-white, and in my older state, I find myself empathizing more with Lorelei’s mother and see fault on both sides of their relationship. In the end, communication is key, though it wouldn’t hurt to lay off the coffee and slow that convo down.
Neighborhood: Having recently settled into a permanent home (wow, sounds so…permanent), my experience with neighbors and community is fresh. I know for a fact that I could never live in a small town (all that gossip and people in your business!), but it’s nice to see the neighborly acts of kindness and sense of community that Stars Hollow fosters. Personally, I could do without some of the wack-a-doos on the show; there’s too much quirkiness for me. I’m sure small-town America is a hot-bed for cuckoos, and I’ve seen plenty firsthand living as an expat, but the zaniness gets old. At times, it’s not comic relief so much as a total departure from sanity, and it takes me out of the world that I’m trying to enter. Is there something in the water in Stars Hollow? Is that why Rory and Lorelei drink bottled water? Despite the crazies, Stars Hollow reveals the benefits of looking beyond your immediate family to the larger family of your community. We all need neighbors who have our backs and a home and community where we’re comfortable being ourselves.