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Happy 10 Year Anniversary To GILMORE GIRLS!

Has it really been 10 years since GILMORE GIRLS premiered? Since Lorelai Gilmore demanded that first cup of coffee from Luke?  Since Rori got accepted at Chilton? Since Emily gave her first disappointed frown of disapproval? Since Suki and Jackson had their first argument about fruit? Since Lane made her first reference to hiding punk from her mother? Has it seriously been 10 years since Luke displayed those irresistible arms, puppy dog eyes, and sarcastic remark?

Yes, dear readers, it really has been a decade.  It made immediate headlines at the beginning of the 2000-01 season as a critical smash, and did decent numbers during its first few weeks on the WB network.  It eschewed any easy categories given it was not a traditional soap, nor a comedy, nor an episodic drama, though it maintained aspects of these genres throughout its seven year run.

So why the fuss?  In these past ten years I have learned that people get it, or they don't.  People love the fast paced banter, the rich characterization, the consistently witty dialogue, the abstract allusions to 19th century poets and bad 1980s films, the bizarre quirky rituals of the residents of Stars Hollow...or they don't.

I was drawn in from episode one, have all episodes on DVD, and am still amazed by the consistent quality of the show. I still notice psychological arcs that were played out over seven years that I did not register the first time.  For instance, Lorelai started as a 32-year-old single mother of a teenage daughter who was terrified of a having a relationship of her own, working an inn, avoiding her parents, and addicted to coffee.  She ended up a 39-year-old who could be an ally to her adult daughter, embrace relationships, accept her parents (somewhat), value her worth as a woman...and still drink too much coffee.  Rori began as a 16-year-old girl who looked at the world with wide-eyed bewilderment, shy around boys, afraid she would not make it to make in the trenches like her role model Christine Amanpour. She ended up graduating Yale, confident in her journalistic skills, rejecting a marriage proposal, and going on the road with Barack Obama's 2007 campaign (and we saw how THAT ended up!).

 Most interesting to me, however, was the evolution of Luke Danes.  This was a man the town described as a "hermit," the cranky diner owner who had hungry eyes for Lorelai.  He had a series of relationships with women who were independent, strong, and came to resent his non-communicative style of relating.  He took stock of his life, realized he wanted to be with Lorelai, and used these lessons to effectively communicate to her his desires. He made lots of mistakes when his teenage daughter came out of the woodwork, and slid dangerously into unforgivable territory for the way he treated Lorelai the rest of the year, similar to an annoying gnat.  However, by the end of the series he was able to comprehend his mistakes, take responsibility for his errors, and set forth to make things right again.  No, Luke, was never perfect.  And no, from the outside he didn't appear to have changed very much. But I would argue that his character changed the most internally, and watching his character take slow steps toward being vulnerable and loving others in those seven years remains compelling.

So take some time to slow down today, enjoy a cup of coffee, appreciate the quirkiness in your town, avoid phone calls from parents, and watch a bad 80s movie with lots of pizza and licorice (just try not to run a stop light, steal a boat, or impulsively get married).  Enjoy the memories and lessons from GILMORE GIRLS and then write those letters to get the reunion movie made!

For an added treat, enjoy this clip celebrating the GILMORE GIRLS religious connection to coffee:


What about you?  Please feel free to share your favorite GILMORE GIRLS memories in the comments below!

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist seeing individuals, couples, and families in New York City at Mental Health Counseling & Marriage And Family Therapy Of New York. He is also the author of "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve."

5 comments:

  1. The last season was really disappointing to me (The stories with Luke's daughter and Logan were just awful IMO). Overall though this is classic TV and I feel it's even gained in popularity with the ever-present reruns and the availability of the DVDs. I love Lauren Graham and what she was able to accomplish in this show, but a special shout-out to Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore, an incredibly acerbic but fascinating character. Happy anniversary!

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  2. GG is one of the few shows that I can enjoy watching the repeats of - again and again.

    There has been recent talk about a movie...but I am not sure if that is a good thing or not.

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  3. I didn't become a fan of this series until I watched the DVDs - and I now consider it one of the best shows ever. The performances were wonderful - from the leads to such supporting characters as Miss Patty and Babette - and the writing was deliciously addictive.

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  4. Loved Gilmore Girls. It was appointment tv. Great balance between adult story and teen/young adult story. They ended the series with Rory graduating college, which was the logical ending.

    Reunion movie? If they can get it made being a female centric, wordy, no explosions film then that's great.

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