When I first saw that Gilmore Girls was on Netflix, I ignored it. I loved the show when I was in my early teens but I kind of didn’t want to revisit it in case I didn’t like it anymore, or it was just unwatchable as an adult. Obviously, I was wrong about both of those thoughts, because after taking the plunge a couple of months later, I’m addicted and ploughing through about three episodes an evening while my boyfriend sighs but secretly enjoys it.
I like mindless TV. I like being able to stick something on and mostly zone out and not have to think about it or get really nervous or upset or feel any kind of emotion. This is pretty much what I thought I would get out of re-watching Gilmore Girls. A bit of nostalgia, a bit of ‘ohhh Stars Hollow looks like the dream I bet it’s so safe and clean and a good place to have kids’ and a bit of light relief from stress and tiring stuff happening in my life.
But actually it’s made me think quite a lot, which probably isn’t for the best most of the time, but hear me out.
The main theme of this show is complicated relationships. You’ve got Rory and Lorelai who are best friends, two peas in a pod and also mother and daughter. Then there’s Lorelai and Emily, who roll through season after season with tension and rows and bitterness- the kind of relationship you might have had with your mum when you were really young and thought you knew much better/didn’t remotely understand each other- and maybe even now too. Oh and of course there’s Luke. Loveable Luke, with the backwards baseball cap and the dream breakfast location as an office. The whole love affair between him and Lorelai is pretty much every crush you’ve ever had that you feel you can’t act upon, played out over black coffee and looks that last a bit too long.
I can actually resonate so much with a lot of this now I’m older and dare I say it, slightly wiser and more emotionally together. Balancing a relationship with your parents is hard and can be even harder when you have different views, grow to live very different lives and want very different things. Moving away from home and shutting the door on all the things you don’t like about home is easy, but it’s not a good resolution as many people learn. It’s also the foundation of this TV show.
Watching Emily and Lorelai struggle through TV life with practically nothing in common and utterly different outlooks is really interesting, because while it’s an extreme example, it’s hardly uncommon.
Surprisingly when I was 12 I didn’t realise how well this show does at picking out the bad, hard and grizzly bits of family life. It’s definitely all a bit too glossy on the surface, but there are times when I really feel like I’m a reliving an awkward meal time at home. You know the kind you realise most people have but at the time made you want to smash all the plates and break things?
It’s much easier to sit and realise how complicated the whole family dynamic really is once you’ve turned into an adult yourself.
I didn’t expect to watch and reflect on family and relationships or how much family life and feelings change as you grow older. I just expected to roll my eyes at Lorelai and Luke’s refusal to admit they luuurve each other and wonder how I can end up living in a Pinterest town like Stars Hollow. So thanks Netflix for the chance to reflect and feel like I’ve actually emotionally developed in the past 10 years.
If you want a Luke’s mug like mine you can get one from Etsy here.