Thursday, May 16, 2013

Six Years After "Bon Voyage"

Yesterday marked six years since Gilmore Girls aired it's final episode (I have mixed feelings on how that was written, for the record). I admit it took me a few years to get interested in the show, mostly due to the fact that I had other shows I was invested in at the time, but once I did I absolutely LOVED it. Most of the time. There were a few episodes that still make me cringe when I watch them, and a few plot decisions I disagree with. But overall, definitely on my favorites list.

As I sit here thinking about what to share, things I liked about the show, I'm realizing there isn't much I didn't like! Especially the variety of characters. Like the Gilmore's (Richard and Emily), who you want to hate but can't quite let yourself when they go and do something admirable or compassionate. Babbette and Maury, the crazy, cat-loving neighbors with a gnome colony in their yard and a nose in everyone's business. Miss Patty, the sensual, occasionally crude busy body, best friend of Babbette, who teaches dance and reminisces about her days on (and off) Broadway. Taylor Doose who owns the local market and basically runs the town, driving everyone crazy with his rules and crazy schemes. Rory's best friend Lane Kim, an American rockstar trapped in a church-going Korean girl's body, who joins a band and marries the lead singer Zach, having twin boys and finally making Mrs. Kim proud. And Mrs. Kim - owner of an antique store and devoted member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

There was Paris, who in so many ways was the opposite of Rory, entering her life at Chilton Academy and never quite going away. Madeline and Louise, forever faithful to Paris, added a little color and culture to Rory's otherwise, up to that point, rather sheltered existence. And who could forget Kirk? I mean, Kirk....enough said.

Of course we were introduced, starting early on, to the "men" in Rory's life - she had a "relationship" with the town "good guy" (Dean), then another "relationship" with the requisite "bad boy" (Jess) before graduating high school. We traveled with her along this path, from holding hands and a first kiss, to saying "Because I love you, you idiot!" to Dean. We hoped for the best as she made a connection thru literature and intellect with Jess, and tried to warn her to get away as he slowly gave up and began to show his inability to let himself love another human being. She started at Yale heartbroken and naive, staying single her freshman year, watching Dean marry Lindsay and move on with his life, being ambushed by Jess saying "I love you" before running away (literally). I was glad to see him return and make amends later on.

Being a mainstream show popular with teens and young adults, I knew Rory having sex had to come up eventually. I was glad they waited, at least, until she had finished her first year of college, but didn't like how it played out - how she returned for the summer to become "the other woman" with Dean one night, and finally put personal experience to "all those Trojan man jokes" that were never part of the script but flippantly referenced in her defense of the act. Once that bridge had been crossed, however, it became a background aspect, only brought up occasionally thru her brief return to Dean, and final relationship with Logan. I admit I found it interesting (yet not surprising) that in the end, Rory decided to pursue her journalism career alone, refusing Logan's proposal of marriage.

Of course my two favorite characters were Lorelai and Rory, the namesakes of the show, the actual "Gilmore girls"; I admit I kind of miss them each time I finish the series again. Lorelai, a single mom who gave birth at sixteen, ran away from home, and never looked back, isn't exactly the best role model. But the way she rises from housekeeper at the Independence Inn to owning and managing her own, The Dragonfly, shows a great deal of strength and determination. Her drive to become independent of her parents and everything about "their world", the suffocating rules and order of the upperclass in Connecticut, is a great backdrop for all kinds of problems and adventures! Not to mention her desire to finally find her Prince, and the many suitors who came and went trying to prove their worth.

I would love to have just a few more chapters, to finally see Lorelai happily married with a few more kids (all Luke's, of course). And to see where Rory ended up both as a journalist and in terms of a family. There have been rumors of a follow-up movie....we shall see.

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