I rewatched ‘Gilmore Girls’ with my fiance—here’s what I learned

I know what you might be thinking: There must’ve been some kind of trade-off between my partner and I with television shows, like when Rory agreed to watch BattleBots if Dean took dance lessons with Miss Patty. But no. My fiancé wanted to watch Gilmore Girls. Maybe because I reference it nonstop. Maybe because Lauren Graham is a mega-babe. Who cares? I wasn’t going to pull a Paris and over-analyze the situation. I was just going to lean into it and rewatch one of my favorite shows.

What’s interesting about watching Gilmore Girls with your fiancé is that you learn a lot about each other by your reactions to the show. Not everything is a given. Here’s what I found out.

The way you watch things isn’t the way everyone does

And I’m not talking about a classic Dean vs. Jess showdown (though who likes Dean? Honestly?!). Instead, two eps in, my betrothed informed me he didn’t like Rory. Rory! I could almost hear Lorelai incredulously retorting “How could you not like Rory!” as he told me.

His reasoning? She’s too boring. And as I reflected on the first few episodes, I had to admit that he was kind of right. As a fellow bookworm and fan of school, I warmed to Rory from the start. But she doesn’t really do much in the beginning of the series beyond walk around Chilton wide-eyed and demurely accept all of Star’s Hollows compliments. Still, a little soul crushing.

A different perspective can totally crack you up

My fiancé, who thinks Emily Gilmore is impossibly mean (she’s my favorite) and can barely stomach the cattiness of Real Housewives, LOVES Paris. He laughs at her every line and could barely handle the recording of her Harvard interview (“this dovetails nicely to my feelings about population control”). As someone who rolled her eyes when Paris conveniently (a) joined Rory at Yale and (b) roomed with Rory at Yale, this time around I cheered at the fact that my boo’s favorite character would be back. And there’s a lot to love about the plot explanation that Paris’s life coach, Terrence, told her that her “journey” with Rory wasn’t over yet.

It will be hard to stop from spoiling things

I tried really, really hard to not sway how my fiancé felt about certain characters because I didn’t want to ruin any plotlines. When I first watched the show, I personally liked Dean until Rory and Dean’s unwatchable attempt to rekindle their romance post–high school. And I didn’t want my present-day disdain for him to ruin his Perfect Boyfriend arc of the early seasons. But, like Lorelai, I just could not keep my mouth shut. I protested as he whined about Rory’s whereabouts and pushed his overly gelled hair out of his eyes. Luckily Dean’s personal style (read: ribbed turtleneck sweaters) does not hold up, so my S.O. was never really a fan of him anyway.

Though I totally ruined the entire Jason plotline when I yelled “NOOOOO” as he was unceremoniously introduced in the credits.

You’ll be surprised by what holds up

A lot of time has passed since high school me watched Gilmore Girls and present day, post-college me tuned in, and I was nervous that he’d think the show was too dated. Beyond Dean’s sweaters, the fashion is a real throwback (I can’t even tell you how many times I exclaimed “I HAD THAT!” as Lorelai donned a fuzzy bracelet or Rory threw on a zip-up sweater.) But, to my relief, nearly all of Rory and Lorelai’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it references remain relevant — including Rory’s frequent nods to Hillary Clinton.

You can make a game of the credits

No matter what your loved one thinks of the show, one of the unquestionable delights of re-watching Gilmore Girls is discovering how many famous actors have this WB darling listed way down on their IMDB page. I would’ve spotted Seth McFarlane as a bratty community college kid and Nick Offerman as Jackson’s grouchy brother from a mile away, but thanks to my fiancé I was delighted to discover a very young Max Greenfield hootin’ and hollerin’ among Dean’s inebriated friends at his bachelor party.

It was good for our relationship

I’m not sure who of the many Gilmore beaus you personally rooted for, but I loved the Jess season. I always spoke out in defense of Logan. But now that I am very happy in a relationship, so happy that I’m willing to share my whole life and my most beloved show with another, I realized that those bratty boys are just the worst. Every time Jess skipped school and went M.I.A. on Rory, I thanked my lucky stars that my fiancé has always responded to my Gchats.  Rewatching with someone I love a lot made me so, so glad I held out for my sans–April plotline Luke — and, come to think of it, he is scruffy, unfailingly nice, and fond of flannel too.

And maybe that’s not your experience. Maybe you watch with your boyfriend or girlfriend or Tinder date and he/she hates Rory and won’t apologize for it, or maybe he/she sullenly watches for two seconds, throws his leather jacket over his shoulder, and curtly says “I’m going” (classic Jess!). Be a Gilmore and don’t settle. Maybe really go out in Lorelai style and drunk dial your ex before you call things off. Or do whatever you want. I’m no Terrance.

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