Well, if you got the reference in the title then you are probably well aware of what today is. If you didn’t get the reference, then one; you are not a true Gilmore Girls fan, and two; you probably didn’t know nor possibly care that the long awaited reunion…season?…mini-series?…whatever, of Gilmore Girls is now available on Netflix today. It’s a big deal. And if you don’t understand why, then you should make yourself sit down, get a big ol’ bowl of popcorn and start watching this show from episode one, season one, so that you can get to know the fabulous folks from Stars Hollow.
Now I know what you’re thinking. This writer’s a guy, right? Yes, I’m a guy. And probably like most other guys who have watched this show, I was drug into the experience somewhat grudgingly. But boy, was I surprised how much I enjoyed it and how much of a fan I would become. So thanks, Amy Rapier. I only hope you enjoyed keeping up your end of our bargain by watching Lost as much as I enjoyed keeping up mine.
Anyway, in honor of the four new episodes now available for streaming (which I have not yet seen) I wanted to provide my Top 5 List of Best Things About Gilmore Girls and my Top 5 List of Worst Things About Gilmore Girls. And since it is amazing how much the two lists intersect, I will present them simultaneously starting with number 5 from each list and proceeding upwards in the same manner. So, without further ado…
Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #5: The Eccentric Secondary Characters
Whether it was the insanely devout Korean Christian, Mrs. Kim, who ran an antique store and was mother to Rory’s best friend, Lane; or the control freak Mayor, Taylor Doose, Stars Hollow had simply the best rogue’s gallery of kooky, off-the-wall townspeople that made this show special. And while I loved Sally Struthers channeling her former television mother, Edith Bunker, and I adored the nymphomaniac dance instructor, Miss Patty, I have to admit that my favorite side story involved the town troubadour who felt threatened when a second troubadour showed up and tried to claim his territory. The fact that this issue had to be resolved at a town meeting is quintessential Stars Hollow and a big reason why I loved this show. In fact, I can only think of one misfire during the show’s entire run and it was…
Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #5: Kirk
Maybe I’m alone on this, but I DESPISE Kirk. And the longer the show went and the more they tried to create storylines for him, the more I hated him. I never found him funny in the way I did Taylor, or Michelle, or…anyone else on the show. He was basically Mater in Cars 2. Way too much and excessively unfunny.
Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #4: Luke and Lorelai
The WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY device has been used in hundreds of shows to a varying degree of success. But when a show gets it right, they can drag it out for several seasons without having the audience either lose interest altogether or show up on the studio lot with pitchforks and torches. Gilmore Girls got it right…for the most part. Let’s just say they got the Luke and Lorelai part right, but in the process they did get one thing incredibly wrong…
Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #4: The Emasculation of Max Medina
If you are going to have a show centered on the WILL THEY OR WON’T THEY device, you can’t have one of the foils be as likable, if not more likable, than the dude he’s supposed to be foiling. Max Medina was absolutely one of the best guys. And in a lot of ways probably would have been better for Lorelai than Luke. I watched this show for the first time like three years ago and I’m STILL mad about what they did to Max. The show’s creators figured it out after Max when it came to any other romantic interest for Lorelai, but still…what you did to Max was NOT COOL!!!
Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #3: The Villain
Seriously, how many villains have there been over the history of television who have been as effective as Paris Geller at making you utterly hate them while also eliciting true pity? Liza Weil played her perfectly, but the character was written about as well as any villain I can remember save…
Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #3: The Fate of Lane Kim
Lane deserved Dave! And no one deserves Zack! Saying anything further on this matter will only serve to infuriate me to the point of madness.
Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #2: Friday Night Dinners
The great thing about Gilmore Girls was that it was not just a show about one central theme. You had the Luke and Lorelai thing, you had the fish out of water thing with Rory at her new school, but the best was the often hilarious/often heartbreaking dramedy of an estranged family coming back together after years of separation. And the show’s construct of having a majority of that relationship rebuilding play out during a required weekly dinner was brilliant. And without fail, the best lines of the show always came over appetizers as mother, daughter and granddaughter put on an amazingly truthful display of what is meant by the generational divide. In truth, if I had any issue with this family it would be…
Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #2: Christopher
Okay, I’m not a great judge of looks when it comes to men, but I guess I can see the physical allure of Christopher…I guess. But seriously. This guy is such a weenie. How on earth are we supposed to believe that this is the guy Lorelai seriously has trouble moving past. There is almost nothing redeeming about him. And if there is, it is totally wiped out due to the role he played in the whole ending the engagement to Max fiasco. Boo, Christopher!!! You don’t deserve Stars Hollow and frankly, even your motorcycle is wimpy. Please don’t darken our door again.
Best Thing About Gilmore Girls #1: The Writing
I can think of only one other show that had dialogue as effective as Gilmore Girls, and Frasier won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series five times. The genius way in which the Palladinos (the wife and husband duo who created and oversaw the show for six seasons) intermixed pop-culture references, coffee addiction diatribes, sheer goofiness and soul-melting emotion into each rapid-fire interaction between characters was incredible. I didn’t always enjoy the twists and turns the show took, but I always enjoyed the poetic journey along the way. That is up until…
Worst Thing About Gilmore Girls #1: Season 7
Due to a bizarre contract dispute between the network and show creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, something or other Palladino, the Palladinos were unceremoniously removed from their own show for the last season.
And BOY was it noticeable!
The new writers tried to recreate the rapid-fire dialogue and quirkiness that defined the show, but they failed miserably. It was so bad, that I will admit I never finished watching the last season. Nor do I care to. I read on-line how it ends, and that’s good enough for me. Watching the episodes of season 7 that I did was akin to watching a beloved pet be euthanized right before my eyes…or watching Indiana Jones 4. Basically to me, one and the same!
Which brings me to my final thoughts on this blessed day. The new four episode…whatever, that became available on Netflix today is once again in the hands of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Which is great, because she had always stated that she knew exactly how her show was supposed to end. Unfortunately, for many years it appeared we the audience would never get to see that ending. Now, based on some interviews I’ve read, those fears can be laid to rest. The show will end the way it should have and we can all pretend that season 7 was a bad dream. Now if we could just do the same with Kirk.
Anyway, fans of Gilmore Girls rejoice. Your prodigal show has come home. Very few fan bases get this opportunity, so get your blankets, get your odd mixture of Chinese food and bizarre pizza and settle in this weekend for what promises to be one of the best binge watching sessions of your adult life.
If you aren’t a fan? Well, all I can say is suck it up and watch the show from the beginning. It’s worth it. I mean, if nothing else, you’ll be lucky enough to have one of television’s best theme songs ever stuck in your head for weeks. And for that you can thank me later.