Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Where you lead, I will follow

A television show is just a television show.  It is the product of talented writers who create the story as they go, letting the characters take them wherever they may, designed for bored people who crave escapism, such as ourselves, to binge watch over a nice fat bowl of yellow popcorn.  Yet, Gilmore Girls feels like so much more than just a television show.  This show has been with me for around six months now.  The adventures of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore have taken a constant place in my brain for half a year.  How can a simple script and a few actors have such a considerable impact on a person?

Set in Stars Hollow, Gilmore Girls was always the best feel-good show.  Rory Gilmore had exactly what any sixteen year old girl could want.  She had a mother who may as well have been her best friend; she had a best friend who, in today's time, would've been the coolest, most hipster friend a girl could have; she had a whole town of people who absolutely loved her; she had wealthy grandparents willing to pay for her education, as well as adding some spice to her life in the form of family drama; she had perfect grades at a perfectly elitist school, giving her such a bright future; and she had the hottest boyfriends.  Who wouldn't want to watch this show as a form of escapism?

But at the same time, Gilmore Girls was so much more than that.  There were countless occasions where I would think very seriously about how much I wanted to be more like Rory, or Lorelai.  Rory was always so genuinely nice.  While always succeeding in every way possible, she was still so matter-of-fact about it all.  Unlike Paris, she didn't feel the need to act superior, or prove her achievements to everybody.  She was never one for trying to seek approval, or sharing her personal life when unnecessary.  She was always so... perfect.  And I think that in some ways, Rory made me want to be more humble and private.  She made me consider the fact that success and relationships are a personal thing, and it is possible to thrive in happiness without everybody else needing to know.

Then there was Lorelai.  She was independent and always carried herself with a kind of aura that made everybody want to talk to her.  She was never awkward.  She sparkled.  In the way that she conducted herself, I realised that it was possible to get what you want by simply saying exactly what you feel.  Always be nice, always be respectful, and always be too honest - that is the key to being a charming, genuine person - as taught by Lorelai Gilmore.

As Rory grew up and her life was no longer so seemingly perfect, Gilmore Girls became less of a feel-good show.  Rory dropped out of Yale just as I was beginning to study for my own testing week, and this may be a coincidence, or I may be reading a lot into this, but this was around the same time that my own grades began to fluctuate downwards.  I'm not saying that Gilmore Girls caused this, but I'm saying that I was finding her predicament somewhat relatable.  "You don't have it."  That's what Michum Huntzberger told Rory that sent her crashing down.  "You don't have it."  All those things you thought you were great at, what if you're not?  What if you're not as smart as you think you are?  What happens when one thing that makes up a huge part of you is simply taken away?

Then, as Rory is about to graduate from Yale, she has no idea what the future holds.  At some points she drives herself crazy, having mini meltdowns and receiving setbacks.  It is a stressful time, not receiving what you would like to receive to make your dream possible.  An internship was her gateway into the New York Times, a scholarship is my ticket out of this city.  The fact that everybody was working so hard for what they wanted, unless they were like Paris and taking the safe route through grad school after school after school, made me realise that life is not about always receiving what you apply for.  It is possible to thrive with a rejection.  There are other pathways.

Rory described her future as open.  She was excited.  She wasn't pinned down to one plan.  There were so many opportunities out in the world for her to seek.  Sometimes knowing exactly where you are going is not what is right, no matter how completely stable it may sound.  Sometimes it is nice to leave your options open, to work towards something while also allowing that something to have many possibilities.  To know exactly where you want to be, with all its little details and avocado trees, is not important, and once that is realised this huge weight is lifted off your chest.  You can be 16 or 20, and the future is just as exciting as it was before.

So back when I spoiled the ending of Gilmore Girls for myself, back when I was upset that Rory does not end up with Logan, I was wrong.  Bon Voyage is the perfect goodbye.  Rory is being sent off to conquer the world, Lorelai has finally found love, and the whole town is celebrating in the quirky way they always have.  The final shot pans out from Luke's diner on the morning of Rory's departure, exactly like the pilot in a classic come-full-circle, so full of hope and and possibilities

At this point, we can imagine Rory crossing paths with Logan again.  We can imagine her becoming the editor of a famous newspaper, writing articles that change the opinions of the world.

Well, we could imagine until they decided to release the Revival, which I am frankly too scared to watch.  I know how it ends, and I know how everyone's lives turn out, and it honestly ruins everything.

So here I am, sitting on a high of one beautifully written tv show.  Maybe I'll give it some time before watching a few hours of footage that could ruin everything.  Maybe I'll never end up watching it at all.  Maybe I will finish with Rory's future open and leave it at that, because if her dreams are crushed, I think mine may as well be too.



  1. I grew up with the Gilmore Girls too, me and my mom used to watch it all the time since we have the same girlfriend-relationship rather than parent-kid.
    I love all the babbling, all the cosiness in the town, all the friendship in the series. It's really a world on its own to watch.
    I've watched the first episode of the revival, and I can guarantee you you won't be disappointed.

    Happy week for you
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    Kisses, Isabelle

  2. I get way to attached to shows like this!! I loved reading this post though.

  3. This makes me want to watch Gilmore Girls. :') But I think you're right, I think I'd get attached to the lives of the girls, and hold Rory as a standard, and things would hit home even more when she failed at something. I can see why they call fantasy-reading 'escapism'. Maybe realistic shows can be more painful for us?

  4. I watched it, and by the time I finished it, I was not disappointed.

  5. Girl!!! ME!! I have followed Gilmore Girls for so many years. I know that a tv show is just that, but to me Gilmore Girls has been so much more. The connection I have had with these characters will last for so much longer. I love that you wrote a post about it. I think I've written like 3. I'm not crying, you're crying lol.