In the months following the addition of Gilmore Girls to the Netflix catalogue, as well as their explosive four-part comeback series, the many many facets of one of the most fiercely loyal fanbases have come out of the woodwork, and thousands have joined the force. I could not love Gilmore Girls more- it is a safe haven of a TV show amidst a generation that is obsessed with massive silver screen drama. In a climate of film and television where people can’t get enough of crime and guns and murder, Gilmore Girls offers a warmth and familiarity that simply cannot be found elsewhere.
The two Lorelai Gilmore’s- Rory and her mother- are two of the most deeply loveable characters in television history. Their relationship is enviable and adorable, and they are, it would seem, essentially kind and good. One of the wonderful things about Gilmore Girls is it explores the nuances of life and of people, never accepting that a person might be just one thing. It offers, for the most part, a refreshing female perspective- one that isn’t solely centred around male love interests, but based on truthful experience.
There are, however (and the new series made this even more obvious) a few things about them that really, truly, suck. The Lorelai Gilmore Complex – if you will- is the embodied paradox between the funny, cutesie, caring side of the Lorelai’s and the times where they’re downright selfish and annoying. They choose the wrong guys, treat the right ones wrongly and self-indulge to the point where it’s almost medically worrying. So, in the spirit of finally finishing one of my favourite ever TV shows, I’m going to write about everything that annoyed me about it and it’s two main characters.
The bad boy that wasn’t
Ever since Jess moved to Stars Hollow people have been picking teams, Team Dean, Team Jess, Team Logan and maybe even a few people were Team Paul for a while (we’ll come back to that later),
Perhaps it is because Jess is one of the most interesting characters on the show- flashing the audience with a surprising new dimension every time we think we have him figured out. He’s the bad boy that wasn’t, and literally all signs point to him being the perfect guy for Rory but somehow the resolution is never met (despite a pretty unsubtle, longing gaze through a window in A Year in The Life). I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a parental swelling of pride in watching Jess soar above everyone’s expectations of him, writing a book and setting up his own business, simultaneously acting as the perfect foil to Rory- the perfect child who grew up to fall ever so slightly short of her potential. AND, he’s the ONLY one who has the guts to tell Rory she is being dumb when she quits Yale and starts doing all that ridiculous and un-Rory Grandma stuff.
Lazy, entitled, pretty-boy get’s everything he wants
If you haven’t met a tall, handsome blondie who charms his way into and out of impossible situations, you will. Logan is the guy every parent wants their daughter to stay away from- he resists against his billionaire family, playing the part of an independent and unwilling heir, yet basks in, and takes for granted, every opportunity his name bestows upon him. The Huntzberger name guarantees him his seat at the prestigious Yale Daily News, which is always empty until Rory shows up and he finally sees something in it for him.
He cheats on Rory with all of his sisters bridesmaids and a bouquet of flowers, some borderline-harassment level persistence and manipulation disguised as charm earn her back in like a day. He is remembered for his grand romantic, Life and Death Brigade-esque, gestures, which somehow forgive his day-to-day less than impressive behaviour. He ends up in the job he says he never wanted, but revels in, earning a ton of cash and making poor choices before taking out his disappointment in said poor choices out on Rory. Oh, and then in A Year in The Life him and Rory engage in the WORST affair in TV history.
The Paul (“Paul who?”) thing
For some bizarre reason, everyone in Rory’s life seems perfectly happy with the fact that she has a doting boyfriend who she barely remembers exists. Rory’s affair with Logan was presented to us as funny and cute, and the mysterious boyfriend Paul was consistently an afterthought. She strings along poor, forgettable Paul, willingly keeps things going with Logan and then feels oh-so wronged when Logan decides that actually, he is going to marry his fiance. If season 1 Rory could see this she’d be weeping.
The family thing
Some of the best moments on the show are the rare and fleeting glimpses of potential familial harmony, where Amy freaking Sherman-Palladino lures us into believing that Lorelai just might be able to work out her issues with her parents. Instead, Lorelai takes the crown for the Queen of overreactions and self righteousness, apparently never having mentally progressed from the 16 year old runaway she once was. There is no doubt that she inherits this stubbornness from her parents, who can undoubtedly be awful as well, but you can’t help but sympathise with the couple who reach out to their daughter in the only ways they know how, yet remain iced out.
The Paris thing
The Paris-Rory dynamic is an interesting one, growing from a mean competition to an almost sisterly bond. Somehow, though, Rory always comes across as Paris’ better- she gets into Harvard and Paris doesn’t, Tristan likes her and not Paris, and she is generally the more loved of the pair. But Paris is so great! Aside from the fact that she is a funny character, she is also unapologetically ambitious, dedicated beyond words, and unafraid of anything that might stand in her way. Surely this can’t a bad thing? Would Paris quit school and steal a yacht if someone told her she didn’t have what it takes a-la Rory? No, she’d probably use that set-back to propel her further, instead of taking almost a whole season of infuriatingly selfish episodes to sort herself out.
Anyway, a thousand words later and I still have more to say, which probably says more about how good this TV show is than bad. At the end of the day, the characters aren’t perfect, and for the most part, that it what makes them all the easier to love.