So this past week the internet has been a buzz with the Netflix exclusive Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life. A four episode revival after a 9 year break. Before I start I just want to say I have watched the show and the revival, I’m not hating on a show I haven’t seen. So for that reason, here is a little back story;
I didn’t watch the show in it’s hay day, I chalked it up there with things like the OC, One Tree Hill and at that time in my life I wasn’t into American teen drama because I couldn’t really relate. I was a gawky geeky English girl with no friends except the ones that lived in my computer. I didn’t need to watch shows of the beautiful elite falling in and out of love with each other in amazing places in the States, my life was depressing enough. Anyway, over the summer, 9 years after the show ended I thought I’d give it ago, knowing that of my friends adored the show and of course the announcement of the revival. I was sure I was going to love it, after all I loved a lot of the other TV shows my friends like, why wouldn’t I?
But I didn’t.
I shared on social media that I was finally watching Gilmore Girls and so many people felt they needed to tell me that Lorelai and Rory reminded them of Little Miss and I.. and this offended me. I know with having such a public Instagram account I do open myself up to comments like this and thankfully it was no one who really knew LM and I well enough that I’d really feel their opinion mattered but it still hurt. Why?
The reason I dislike Gilmore Girls so much is Lorelai and Rory.
After season 1 I struggled through the rest. And I mean struggled. I wanted it to get better. I wanted to even see Lorelai and Rory like LM and I, because I wanted the comfort to know that it would work out in the end for us but the more I watched it the more I hated the idea of being anything like Lorelai. Beware there are spoilers below.
Lorelai is selfish, immature and even at her age.. a complete brat. For someone who had to raise a child alone on very little income she’s like a child. Because she drinks coffee, dates and runs a hotel (and later a business) she’s supposed to be considered an adult but very little what she does is adult like. In fact she seems to enjoy actively taking the role as the child in her relationship with Rory.. and sadly I feel that is why I dislike Rory so much, the way she behaves is a direct result of her upbringing.
For me, Lorelai is no hero, she’s not someone I want to aspire to be as a single parent. The fact she ran away to Stars Hollow when she was pregnant just proves she’s a spoilt little rich girl. She didn’t want Rory to have the childhood she had? Well she wouldn’t. She could have still lived in Stars Hollow and let her parents be part of Rory’s life. She doesn’t let them in properly until she needs the tuition for school.. Well who came full circle then? It still came back to money. Although we don’t see that much of Rory’s early childhood it sounds very much like Lorelai spent so long denying where she came from instead of accepting it. As a grown woman Lorelai should have been able to balance her need to be independent and live her own life and having her parents in her life. I know so many people with overbearing parents who can balance the two. Instead she deprived her daughter and her parents for having a relationship in Rory’s early years.
In case you hadn’t realised it yet, I am 100% team Richard and Emily though. Even after she accepts having them in life in the exchange for Rory’s tuition she still acts ungrateful. She sulks at most of the dinners, makes no real effort with either of her parents and often feels jealous when Rory starts to build a close relationship with them, especially her grandfather. Oh Richard, my heart aches. I hated the flashback of Richard’s wake and the way Lorelai acts. My Nanny lost my Grandfather coming up two years ago after being married for almost 60 years and none of us would ever have dreamed of going on like that. Loosing your soul mate after that long is going to destroy you. Lorelai should have been supporting her mother’s every whim regardless of what she says or does. I was horrified at what she says when asked for a memory of her father. If it was my family, she would have got a slap in the face. Then mocking the portrait? So cruel. It always has to come back to Lorelai and really cements the fact that at heart she’s the spoilt rich girl she’s always denied being.
Next up, her relationships. Anyone who aspires to be like Lorelai in a relationship needs a reality check. A common theme is when things get tough or confusing, she runs.. even after the bloody revival when she’s in her 40s! It’s depressing seeing her at this age still behaving this way, she doesn’t deserve someone like Luke and lets not get me started on everything with Max Medina (who was probably my favourite guy ever in Gilmore Girls, aside from Richard). Honestly, no wonder Rory is so messed up when it comes to men after watching her mother date for years. When Logan proposed to Rory and she rejected him what came out her mouth could have been what Lorelai said to Christopher, the sentiment is the same. I’m sorry but as a parent you always want a better life for your children and for them to avoid making the mistakes you did. Although I think Lorelai did the right thing because Christopher is a jerk and they were too young. Rory wasn’t though and hey, she’s still messing around with Logan 10 years later! This is just one of the many “lead by examples” mirroring Rory and Lorelai’s relationships with men. It brings a new meaning to the theme song “where you lead, I will follow” right? Lorelai still ends up marrying Christopher, I remember watching and I was like “why?! why marry him when you couldn’t even marry Max!”
Maybe the only redeeming factor for Lorelai is the fact she’s a hard worker. From someone who came from money she does roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. She has her head screwed on when it comes to business and knows how important work is to live. WHICH (despite her bitching and moaning about it) is probably something she learned from her father’s work ethic. He might never have been there when she was growing up but he worked hard and made money. My dad works away from home 5 days a week, I would never dream of saying at his funeral “oh my dad was never there” he did what he did to make money. And the thing is, Lorelai did the same, she just had the luxury of being able to have Rory at work with her. She likes shopping and spending money but at least you see her working hard to earn that money. Not only that but when it comes to money she does like to put Rory first, like when she has the money for her own inn but is going to funnel it into Rory’s tuition instead. I do genuinely believe that when Rory was younger she probably did put her first in the financial sense, if not in any other.
Now onto the second reason I don’t like Gilmore Girls, Rory. Unfortunately Rory is a direct result of her mother’s choices in raising her. Isn’t that always the way? She’s in a way a casualty of the fact her mother cannot behave like the adult in their relationship. Although I do know this, it doesn’t make her any more likeable to me. In the beginning she has this perfect girl performance down to a T. She’s pretty but quiet and very academic. It’s irritating but of course we all knew the pressures of real life were going to cause her to crack. I could deal with the perfect over-achiever act. It’s maybe why I enjoyed season 1 so much, she was a nice contrast to Lorelai. But as she grew up she changed, again, this didn’t surprise me. People do grow up and change. But what made me sad is she became more like Lorelai. If not worse. Her fights with her mum echo the fights between Emily and Lorelai. Again, I reiterate that I understand that children learn by example so ultimately this is natural but it’s not enjoyable to watch. She runs away and moves into her Grandparent’s pool house, sound familiar? Maybe because her mother ran away and moved into a potting shed. The older she gets her decision making in regards to people she loves become more selfish and reckless. It made me miss Little Miss Perfect from the first few seasons. She has no idea of boundaries. She does what she wants and when she wants to get what she wants but then 9 times out of 10 she throws it all away!
Her selfishness is magnified in what appears to be her need to sleep with guys who are taken! Dean in the original seasons and ultimately she causes the breakdown of his marriage (although I am aware it’s a two way street and it wasn’t all on her) and then Logan in the revival. Why Rory? You’re pretty, smart, witty why go for men who are taken? You clearly can easily get a man of your own, why choose to help wreck another relationship rather than staying away? And now she’s pregnant with Logan’s kid? Way to go Rory. I don’t see this as being full circle at all and in fact I rolled my eyes at the last four words. At least Christopher was Lorelai’s boyfriend. What’s Logan? Yes, it’s believable, yes it happens all the time, I just don’t understand how people can see Rory as a person to aspire to be..
It’s funny how Lorelai’s most redeemable feature is one of the things that makes me dislike Rory so much. Work ethic. Prior to the show it seems like Rory is an incredibly hard working student, always studying and getting As. Even in the first few seasons she keeps up this, until she enters college life and then the world of work. She works her butt off to get to Yale to then get some negative feedback (which lets face it, we all do when pursuing our dream career) SO SHE DROPS OUT! All that to drop out (and lets not forget how much her grandparents did for her to get her there in the first place). From then on she doesn’t even try. She sees everything as a set back and by the revival she has no idea what the fuck she’s doing. She freelances and lives on people’s sofas rather than getting a temp job to support herself and do her writing on the side until she gets established LIKE A NORMAL PERSON WOULD DO. It’s tragic that this is one good example Lorelai set that Rory doesn’t bother following.
I would go on to say more but this article in Vice entitled Rory from Gilmore Girls is Actually the Worst sums up my feeling on her perfectly. It’s a good read and what inspired this piece although I had been thinking about writing it since the revival aired last week.
Over all, it’s sad that Rory grows up to be the epitome of white privilege which is exactly what Lorelai didn’t want for her. She grew up this way because throughout the whole of the show Lorelai still acted like a spoilt rich girl instead of taking control setting boundaries and taking on the role as the mother.
As a single mother I wanted to like Gilmore Girls, I wanted Lorelai to be a hero for us women raising strong independent girls ourselves but instead she ended up being someone to dislike and aspire to be anything but as a parent. It would be nice to think this was the writers intent but I doubt that. I’m sure both Lorelai and Rory can be real people but for me their flaws made the show a complete drag for me to watch. I hope my daughter never grows up to be like Rory and I hope I continue to only share a love of coffee with Lorelai Gilmore.