You’re missing the point of Gilmore Girls
Awaiting the revival of “Gilmore Girls” last year proved stressful for most of the show’s fans. Now that “A Year in the Life” is over, critics are coming down hard on the famous mother-daughter duo. The debate focuses on two views — one, that Lorelai and Rory are two over-romanticized horrible characters, and two, that Lorelai and Rory are being reviewed too harshly for their charismatically unique ways. The truth, however, is neither of those views.
At a deeper look, the show is not about Lorelai and Rory’s, nor Lorelai and Emily’s relationship, but about how perfection is not a characteristic of success. This message is merely demonstrated through relationships, but viewers must discover it for themselves in the actions of the story, rather than the characters.
Understanding this message is seen through the three separate story lines of the Lorelai, Rory, and Emily, not the intertwining scenes of those characters, like the infamous Friday night dinner.
Every GG fan know that Emily and Richard had a beautiful home that one could only dream of owning. They were rich and they wanted the best that money could buy for Lorelai; the problem was Lorelai didn’t want the money. Lorelai wanted a stronger relationship with her parents and be allowed to express herself without putting on a show in the lavishly pristine culture her parents immersed her in. Her parents wanted perfection for her, but Lorelai insisted on allowing her flaws to shine.
Rory’s inappropriate relationships
Originally, Rory was the hero of the story; she was the one who brought redemption to her grandparents’ lives after they ‘failed’ with Lorelai. She pursued straight-A’s, high involvement, and difficult goals. On paper, it seems perfect, but knowing that the show is about the exact opposite, it’s no wonder she had such vindictive relationships with men. Some could say her multiple occurrences of being the ‘other woman’ is because of Lorelai’s poor model of healthy relationships, but if Lorelai was the cause, Rory would run away from relationships, not run toward taken men. Rory’s constant stride toward infidelity is a genuine flaw composed of the pressure for perfection. She’s addicted to success. Infidelity is her way of ‘sleeping with the editor’ to get there.
Emily’s rise to acceptance
Emily’s whole life is seemingly perfect — beautiful home, loving husband, and lavish clothes and products. But with those incredible things, she is still shown as mean, anxious, and unhappy. It isn’t until after Richard’s death in the revival that Emily finally seems to find herself. Once the house is gone, her clothes are trashed, and she moves to a life of simplicity, she finds herself happy and enjoying life. This drastic shift was Amy Sherman-Palladino’s way of showing that the visible perfection in Emily’s life was irrelevant to her success as an individual.
“Gilmore Girls” is a lot of things — witty, calming, and sometimes stressful, but the one thing it’s not is perfect. It’s clear Sherman-Palladino never wanted it to be perfect because the people in the show are supposed to be real. They’re all meant to be flawed and in need of serious life-changing events because that is what everyone needs at some point in their lives. This was never a story about a mother and daughter with terrible eating habits and a romanticized relationship; it was about three women demonstrating how imperfectly perfect it is to be a woman.
Whether you agree or not, one thing to agree with is that GG is a great binge watch. Happy Snow Day!