I’ve recently finished re-watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and I love it just as much now as I always did before. Damn, that is a really excellent show.
Most of my TV Top Fives are all about the action and intrigue (Buffy, Alias, Veronica Mars, etc), but this quirky family comedy-drama ranks right up there with the excellent writing, acting, and storytelling on any of those shows.
Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are both extremely lovely and talented, and the huge case of supporting characters is full of talent, too. Let us not forget that this is where one of my favorite TV boyfriends, Milo Ventimiglia, got his start.
And isn’t it adorable to think of him and Alexis Bledel dating in real life? Let’s all issue a collective awwwww.
The best on-screen couple, of course, was always Luke and Lorelai. In this case, though, audiences have to try to forget the unpleasant rumors that Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson actually couldn’t stand each other in real life. I’ll never believe it!
While everyone always mentions the faced-paced, razor-sharp dialogue peppered with witty cultural references from Howl, Dinosaur Jr, and Tom Waits to Kafka, P.G. Wodehouse, and Proust, the success of the show doesn’t depend on it’s being literate and clever. It is, as all things must inevitably be, about family, relationships, and community.
Emily and Richard, Lorelai’s parents, are one of the best parts of the show. She’s constantly at odds with them, and their weekly Friday Night Dinners provide some of the best scenes on the show. Tension, comedy, and outrageously bad but perfectly polite behavior — and let’s not forget the food! Remember the quail Mazatlan? or the time Emily actually seved pudding?
The show is the perfect blend of comedy and drama. Stars Hollow is populated by an unusually witty group of citizens, to be sure, but the connections between/among them all are what probably had people tuning in every week — and what have me reaching for a tissue at least once an episode.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the episode “Lorelai? Lorelai?” from the seventh season. Toward the end, Lauren Graham sings a classic Dolly Parton tune in a karaoke scene. In addition to believably dialing back her singing talent enough to sound like a regular-but-tuneful person singing in a bar, she executes an incredible acting performance. The series of emotions Lorelai goes through as she sings and the way Graham brings them to life — it’s amazing. I’ve seen that episode several times by now, and I cry like a baby every time. If you can bear to watch that scene without shedding a tear, you may as well give up on being human.
If you missed this show the first time around, Netflix up those DVDs with a quickness. Highly recommended.