The Secret Life of the American Male ‘Gilmore Girls' Fan

It was the summer of 2006; the Mets had just won the Stanley Cup, Barack Obama was still getting up the courage to ask out Joe Biden (or something like that – I don’t remember. Come on, it was 2006!) and I had a secret. It was the summer vacation betwixt my junior and senior years of high school, and I was bored. No job, no camp, no summer lovin’, no nothing. But there was one thing I could do.

Every morning my Mom would leave for work and I’d shutter the windows, lock the doors, unplug the phone, set my AIM away message to “chillin’,” sequester myself in my room and do something shameful.

I would watch Gilmore Girls.

At 10AM on ABC Family, right after The 700 Club (sometimes I’d catch the last 5 minutes of The 700 Club and learn about why people loving the “wrong” people causes tsunamis or something. It’s my favorite comedy show on TV), I’d  watch a rerun of The Gilmore Girls. I started watching years after it first premiered, so the daily morning screenings were reruns, but played sequentially, so I got to see Rory’s entire teen-life in a few weeks. Watching Gilmore Girls every morning was my deepest, darkest secret.

Of course I’m being facetious. If watching Gilmore Girls was my darkest secret I’d be literally the most boring person in the world.

But I was still embarrassed and ashamed. I was one of the lazier teenagers out there, but I still put a lot of work into making sure people didn’t know I watched The Gilmore Girls. One morning I was watching an episode where Rory and Paris were trying to do a scene from Romeo and Juliet, and the phone rang. It was a friend of mine,

“Hey man, what are you up to?”

“Oh nothing, just watching The Gilmore Girls (oh no! How can I get out of this one?)… Gone Wild? Gilmore Girls Gone Wild, yeah.”

“Girls Gone Wild? Seriously? Those things are so demeaning, that’s gross dude.”

“Nah man, there’s like boobs and stuff, it’s awesome.”

“Alright, whatever. Do you want to go get some burritos or something?”

“Where at?”

“Well I like Taco Loco.”

“No way man, Burrito Heaven is way better.”

Editor’s note: We cut out a long dialogue here about the best taco place in the town the writer grew up in. Sean, please avoid these irrelevant asides and diatribes in future articles. 

Editor’s note 2: Sean, please stop making up fake editorial notes for comic effect. 

Editor’s note 3: You made that one up, too!

“Wait, Tristan is getting kicked out of school! I gotta go.”

“What are you talking about? Are we going out for–”

Things like that happened daily. I lived in a state of perpetual fear, constant terror that my secret would be found out and spread among my high school. I constantly worried that I’d be walking down the hall and hear someone whisper, “That’s the dude that watches Gilmore Girls,” instead of the usual “That’s that weird guy who looks kind of like Harry Potter.”

I could not have people knowing that I watched a show so feminine, how I held my breath waiting to see if Rory got into Harvard,  wanted desperately for Luke and Lorelei to finally make it work, hoped that Emily would finally chill the hell out.

But why was it so shameful? Is there really something wrong with liking something intended for the other gender? Specifically, why is it embarrassing for guys to like girly things? The average person of any intelligence will tell you that there’s nothing “wrong” with liking things intended for the other gender–that’s just the common sense answer – but try telling that to a 16-year-old.

Eventually I had to come out of the Gilmore closet. I’d run out of reruns, caught up with the current run of the show. I had nowhere left to go, I had to watch the show on live TV. I could no longer hide my shame in the desolation of summer mornings. The first ones to learn were my parents, they found my secret stash on the TiVo.

“Sean you’ve been watching Gilmore Girls?”

“Oh uh, maybe, yeah I guess. Like by accident or whatever.”

“Oh, how is it? I hear it’s good.”

“It’s alright.”

End of conversation. That’s it? They didn’t care? I thought I’d be disowned, kicked out of the house for good. But it went fine.

One morning after a night Gilmore Girls had aired, I was in math class sitting next to a girl I had a crush on at the time–one of those crushes you’re obsessed with, but years later you forgot they existed completely until you’re writing a HelloGiggles article that’s tangentially related–and I asked what she’d done the night before,

“Oh, I watched Gilmore Girls.” 

Oh no. Where do I go here? Do I admit my fandom to make conversation, or hide it to appear “manly”? I had to think fast, and take note of this decision for my theoretical Choose Your Own Adventure auto-biography.

I thought quick on my feet: “Heh, Rory should have stayed with Jess, Logan is such a weenie. But my favorite was that naked guy in the hall.”

“You watch it too! Oh my God, I’m so excited Lane is getting married!”

Whoa. It worked! We talked about Gilmore Girls every math class after that.  Sure, I eventually  bungled the whole thing and only saw her outside of school once, but the moment was pretty cool.

Was all my shame and hiding it a waste of time? Could I have been open about it this whole time?

Sure, when I “came out” to my dude friends they made fun of me about it for like fifteen minutes, but I got over it.

It was worth it. Gilmore Girls was always a smart, sharply written show. It was funny, it was quotable, it was fun and had just the right amount of drama.

Gilmore Girls was quality television.

And I think it helped me learn a little bit about the female experience. I watched Rory grow up, and I watched Lorelei mature. Having watched the Gilmore Girls helped me empathize with women more because I had a little bit of a view into growing up girl. I was with Rory for her evolution from girl to woman, and I watched the whole thing in one summer.

I always tried to think of what the boy version of Gilmore Girls was, like a thoughtful comedy drama about the male experience. But why does it have to be about the male experience?

Guys can enjoy a show about women. Why not? I think it would be easy to adapt Gilmore Girls to make it more appealing for guys to watch.

Maybe just change the title. Give Rory a few more low-cut blouses. Give Kirk a few superpowers too. And also just have one episode that was entirely fight scenes between Jess and Dean, but Jess wins every time.

Actually just a lot more Jess in general.

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  • Jessy Dolensky

    I wouldn’t complain aboout more Jess either.
    I think it’s kinda stupid to think cause you0re a boy/girl you can’t watch… I’m glad you were able to get out of the GG’s closet :)

  • Holly Little

    Marry me. Also, definitely more Jess, he’s just the best.

    • Sean Morrow

      Yeah, I always wanted to like sit around with Jess and talk about books so badly.

    • Sean Morrow

      I identified him because in high school my hobbies were sulking and reading Bukowski.

      • Holly Little

        You respond to my Jess comment but ignore my blatant marriage proposal?! What up?!
        But seriously, I would love to sit and talk to Jess about books. He always got Rory’s obscure references. He also mentioned West Side Story more than once. For these things I love him.

  • Melody Christine Losier

    Hear, hear! More Jess!!

    • Sean Morrow

      Yeah, I identified with him a lot!

  • Chelsea Jonkman

    Especially Jess “The Later Years”. And I would have loved to have a guy friend to talk Gilmore with :)

  • Caty Henderson

    “Mets had just won the Stanley Cup”
    I’m pretty sure that’s never happened.

    • Tiffany Beverley

      @Caty Henderson I’m pretty sure he was joking…

  • Nathalie Wlostowski

    You shoud’ve come out sooner, all the girls you would’ve scored with this secret….

  • Sarah Heyward

    This makes me so happy

  • Tiffany Beverley

    Great article! Nice to know there are guys who like Gilmore Girls. :)

  • Brooke Brown Sexton

    I love Gilmore girls and so does my husband. We watch it all the time we own all the seasons. Love it! :) I liked the naked guy most too. wish she had dated him. :)

  • Kimberly Block

    Jess is the man. and yes, Logan is a weanie. well said.

    • Sean Morrow

      I sometimes worry I’m a little too liberal with calling people weenies. I call people weenies a lot.

  • Josh Lemay

    Welcome Brother. Out and Proud since twenty aught five. And yes, more Jess, quite obviously.

    • Sean Morrow

      Support group meetings are at 9pm on Wednesdays. You bring the sandwiches, I’ll bring the beer.

  • Kelly Cumbers

    You’re not alone. Let’s just say that my dad and brothers have been known to “accidentally” quote my favorite show from time to time. 😀 And Jess was hands down the best. 😀

  • Naomi Prale

    ahaha i laughed out loud like five times. brilliant!

  • Ana Lugo

    In my head Rory and Jess run into each other a few years later at Lorelai and Luke’s wedding, him-a published author and her-a writer at some big newspaper… btw they still play those reruns after the 700 club, I watch whenever I

    • Sean Morrow

      Maybe she has to write a profile on him for a magazine!

  • David Celis

    “Guys can enjoy a show about women. Why not? I think it would be easy to adapt Gilmore Girls to make it more appealing for guys to watch.”

    Dude, seriously? You just spent an entire article talking about how ashamed you were as a young boy to have been watching Gilmore Girls. I expected the article to end with the realization that there’s nothing to be ashamed about, but then you brought the shame right back. Why does the show need to be “adapted” for men? Why can’t men enjoy the show for exactly what it is? Oh, wait, because:

    “Maybe just change the title. Give Rory a few more low-cut blouses. Give Kirk a few superpowers too. And also just have one episode that was entirely fight scenes between Jess and Dean, but Jess wins every time.”

    I’m super glad to have you representing male Gilmore Girls fans, because low cut blouses and fight scenes are what the male gender is all about. ಠ_ಠ

    • Sean Morrow

      That’s the joke.

  • Valery Pozo

    Love this and LOVE Jess! If you ever watched Scrubs, JD and Turk always joked about the awesomeness of Gilmore Girls and I liked them more because of it..

  • Mara Page

    Brilliant. Made my day.

    • Sean Morrow

      Your comment made my day!

  • Dâmaris Sbrizza Costa Curta

    Loved this! So funny. The only guy I know who watched GG, only did so because he thought Rory was attractive, he didn’t pay much attention to the story or anything else. Well, so he says, anyway. At first, I didn’t like Jess AT ALL. I was cheering when Luke pushed him into that lake. I felt Lorelei’s pain when Rory told her she had decided to lose *it* to him, to the point of nearly passing out with disgust. He grew on me, though, and became my favorite.

  • Hailey Case

    Naked guy’s name was Marty:)

  • Rachel Jackson

    I need to show this piece to every single male who has ever hated on GG, especially my boyfriend. This show is quality, and I will not hear otherwise. I have to admit something, though…I kind of like Logan. And I do have a soft spot for Marty; he’s a pretty handsome dude. Jess is my favorite, though. I wish to name my daughter Lorelai someday (with an “a”, not an “e”). I have so many thoughts. I love this show.

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