Who: “Gilmore Girls,” a comedy-drama series that aired on the WB, and later the CW, from 2000 to 2007.
What: Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show follows single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) while living in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The series explores issues of family, friendship, and romance, as well as generational divides and social class. The show’s social commentary manifests most clearly in Lorelai’s difficult relationship with her wealthy, appearance-obsessed parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann), and in Rory’s interactions with the students at private school Chilton Academy and, later, Yale University.
Lorelai Gilmore (Graham) grew up with her old money parents, Richard and Emily (Herrmann and Bishop), in Hartford, Connecticut, but always felt stifled by this environment. At age sixteen, she accidentally became pregnant and, a year later, left home to raise her daughter Rory (Bledel) in the close-knit town of Stars Hollow. Lorelai and Rory are “best friends,” and Lorelai is proud of the independent life she has formed away from her parents.
The contrasting mother–daughter relationships of Emily–Lorelai and Lorelai–Rory become a defining theme of the show. The series also focuses on both girls’ ambitions: Rory to become a journalist and Lorelai to open an inn with her best friend Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). The romantic relationships of the protagonists are another key feature: throughout the series, Lorelai has a “will-they-or-won’t-they” dynamic with both Rory’s father, Christopher Hayden, and her friend, local diner owner Luke Danes (Scott Patterson). In addition, Rory famously has three primary boyfriends during the run of the show: local boy Dean Forrester (Jared Padalecki), bad boy Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia), and wealthy Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry), prompting many fans to vehemently declare their allegiance to whichever handsome partner is their favorite. The quirky townspeople of Stars Hollow are a constant presence in the show and form a comedic backdrop for the larger dramatic events of the story.
When: The show aired for seven seasons, from 2000 to 2007, on the WB and later, in its seventh season, on the newly formed CW.
Where: The show is primarily set in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, though the story frequently drifts to Hartford, Connecticut, where Lorelai’s parents live, and to New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University.
Why: Listen to the podcast episode for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Gilmore Girls.
How – as in How Much Do We Love this Show?!
Frequent CPU! contributors and panelists often suggest shows for CPU! to cover in our podcast episodes – loyal listeners should have picked up on this particular trend by now. Well, when streaming service Netflix (they owe us free subscriptions, we think!) decided to rev up the passionate fandom of romantic dramedy Gilmore Girls by producing a revival miniseries for its service featuring every member of the original cast, some of the CPU!ers became decidedly atwitter and began encouraging a Gilmore podcast series in short order. The trouble was, Chief CP Kylie had never partaken of this particular fan favorite before, and as is my wont, I decided (and needed) to review the show for possible format and addition to our delightfully full schedule of podcast discussions.
As it turns out, I find the show pleasant, like a good cup of warm coffee from Luke’s, but I think I lack passion for it, whereas our most frequent contributor and panelist Kristen abounds in said passion. In fact, it was Kristen, specifically, who saw an opportunity for a new CPU! podcast series in which CPU! panelists could look back at the program that started it all while looking forward “around the water cooler” as new season(s) of the revival are and/or may be released. Thus, herein we offer the first episode of our own miniseries covering the various versions of this popular, fast-talking, pop-culture-referencing program, which we at CPU! are calling our “Gilmore Girls Life” series.
This time, the Chief CP steps aside from the moderating microphone, so that Kristen may serve as main moderator with the kind of passion this quirky corner of Connecticut deserves, while instead participating as a regular old panelist to remark upon the pleasantness of the whole affair. Kristen and I are, in turn, joined by a familiar panelist – Krista – and two new CPU! panelists, Chelsea (L.) and Samantha. In this first episode of our “Gilmore Girls Life” series, we discuss our favorite and least favorite moments from the original seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, covering the lives of all of the Lorelais, their friends, their neighbors, their family, and their romantic partners.
This podcast was recorded in March 2017 and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points throughout the Gilmore Girls series. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we’ll return to our “Gilmore Girls Life” series “Around the Water Cooler” for part two when our panel covers the four movie-length episodes of the Netflix revival/reboot miniseries, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Stay tuned!
Gilmore Girls is recommended by the entire panel, though each panelist offers different reason(s) for her recommendation. The panelists generally describe this series as easy to which to relate; accessible to anyone in terms of ease of finding the series mid-run or watching isolated episodes; offering high re-watch value given the fast-paced, intelligent, somewhat screwball dialogue; and a pleasant, “light” presentation that is generally sweet and tender without being too emotionally exhausting from the dramatic side of the story. Because the focus within this series centers on mother-daughter relationships over multiple generations, the panel feels that Gilmore Girls could be appreciated by most anyone of most any age. In fact, the variation in enjoyment between members of the panel, to the extent it exists, is directly related to how amenable to romantic comedies as a genre each panelist is – for Gilmore Girls is still, ultimately, a romantic comedy at heart, preoccupied by the love lives of its main characters, before it is anything else. Thus, this panel encourages rom-com lovers who have not watched the series to give it a try; others will likely find something they enjoy, even if it takes slightly longer for such viewers to find it. All original seasons of Gilmore Girls are currently available to stream on Netflix.