What I realized re-watching 'Gilmore Girls' in my 20s
I’ve loved Gilmore Girls since it premiered 15 years ago today (that’s right today is GG’s 15th anniversary!). My mom and I never missed an episode. Gilmore Girls not only transitioned from The WB to The CW but also helped me transition from childhood into adolescence—and through reruns, into adulthood. Thanks to the sheer genius of Netflix, I can partake in my annual fall binge. In an attempt to bring an early fall to Texas (yeah right), I started my fall tradition a wee bit early, so I’m already knee deep in season five.
For the first time ever, I’m starting to view Gilmore Girls differently, and I’m beginning to realize how greatly my perspectives on the show have changed since I first watched as a teen. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it a thousand yellow daisies, but I have different opinions on the characters and their actions now that I’m in my 20s.
Let’s start out with the men of Stars Hollow and beyond. Growing up, I was 100% Team Dean. I thought young Jared Padalecki was as dreamy as they came. Now that I’ve gotten older, (with the exception of Marty who is totally my type) I honestly don’t care about Rory’s love interests. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Rory’s budding romances. I melt every time she proclaims, “I love you, you idiot!” I applaud every time she finally tells Jess off. I still don’t understand Logan.
But now, it is not Dean who warms my heart like Lorelai’s fifth cup of coffee; it’s the man, the myth, and the flannel that is Luke Danes. My 23 year has made me appreciate Luke more than ever. I don’t know if this is the first true sign of growing up, but if it is, I’ll take it. In my humble opinion, Luke Danes is the best love interest either one of our fast-talking, caffeine-guzzling, Pippi Longstocking-loving ladies has ever had in the series.
Next we have Rory’s decision to leave Yale and move away from Lorelai. When I first watched Gilmore Girls, I thought Lorelai was wrong for not letting Rory make her own decisions. I didn’t think it was fair of her to attempt an intervention with the help of Emily and Richard. I thought Rory did the right thing by going to her grandparents and breaking down.
Now, I agree with Lorelai. I realize why she didn’t want Rory to take a year off and didn’t like Logan. I get how silly it kind of sounds when Rory declares her adulthood at 19 and 20 because I was no way an adult at 19 or 20. I didn’t know what was best for me, and I’ll never forgive myself for the way I treated my mother at times. In retrospect, she absolutely knew what was best for me, and I should have listened. This doesn’t mean I agree with everything Lorelai says and does throughout the entire series, but I do think she was in the right by trying to keep Rory in school. I just wish it didn’t take almost half a season for Rory to figure that out.
The last part of Gilmore Girls reflection is one of self-reflection. At some point, you transition from a Rory to a Lorelai. You begin to identify with Lorelei when Miss Patty tries to set her up with numerous gentlemen callers at the picnic basket auction because you know what it’s like when people try to set you up. You understand why Lorelai needs all of that coffee because you understand what it’s like to balance work and friends and family. You even realize how Lorelei is trying to navigate adulthood while striving for stability just like you are; the best part is that you realize how fabulous the two of you look while doing it.
Gilmore Girls is timeless to me. Mutual love of the show has resulted in many a friendship (and many a great text providing commentary from my best friend). It’s my little piece of home when I’m missing my mother. It’s something I can always turn on to make me feel better when I’m having a rough day. No, it’s not perfect, but the memories I associate with watching it are. It’s like a preserved piece of my childhood I can always go back to, but it also shows me how far I’ve come into adulthood by how my perspectives and attitudes towards goings-on have changed. I love you more than Taylor loves his cable knit sweaters, Gilmore Girls. I raise my coffee mug to you.
(Photos via CW)