A Big Problem
I am addicted to Gilmore Girls. It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem, a big problem. Let me start at the sad beginning.
In 2001, when the show was in its second season, I was a recent college graduate, doing a tour in Korea. I caught the show in re-runs on the Armed Forces Network. It was an exciting time, but scary too. Throughout midnight drills that took us to the Demilitarized Zone of North Korea, my new job as an Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader, Gilmore Girls (GG) was there. A little slice of normal America for a lonely soldier, far from home.
Lorelai Gilmore, a sexy single-mom, raises her witty teenage daughter Rory in the postcard-pretty town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The town is a half-hour’s drive from Hartford. Stars Hollow is a tiny village with a cast of colorful characters, including its own official troubadour.
Lorelai had conviction, pluck and an incredible work ethic. She was raising her daughter on her own. Lorelai had gotten pregnant so young (16 years old), and got her life together with grace and grit. Yes, Lorelai struggled, but she and her daughter Rory had a deep bond that made them more like sisters than mother and daughter.
Rory was a good, reliable, dogged girl. I loved watching the mother-daughter take on life’s difficulties and beat them together. GG with its fast-talking, peculiar, pretend world of the small-town of Star’s Hollow, helped teach me new life lessons each week.
The classic title sequence featured songwriter Carole King and her daughter, Louise Groffin, singing a duet called “Where You Lead.” The song is a tribute to the mother-daughter connection at the heart of GG. The song was not only irresistibly catchy (a fun sing-along), but also set the tone for each episode. It reminded me each week about the unique nature of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s oath to take on the world together.
Reading Like Rory
Rory was a bookworm, and the show featured 300+ books! I loved how GG leaned on the intellectual side by throwing out references to literary works and classic and contemporary pop culture fads. Every time I watch an episode, even if it’s for the 12th time, I pick up something new. It’s like going to a fun college for free!
I rediscovered Gilmore Girls on Netflix last year. I got my TV ready with coffee and pop-tarts (a GG favorite snack) I knew this was going to be a bumpy ride. I binged watched all seven seasons in two weeks. One episode would end, and before I knew I would be knee deep in the next episode. I already know how the seasons play out, it doesn’t matter. I know I’m going to be exhausted the following day, again, it doesn’t matter. I am a GG addict, and I love it.
I tried to quit cold turkey. I might as well as tried to fly. It was impossible. So strong was the grip of the addiction that I canceled rare evening plans of wonderful dinner plans with old friends. Luckily, my wife is not a GG enabler.
I tried to come up with plausible excuses for dodging these outings to get another fix. I would procrastinate, telling myself one more episode was all I needed. In reality, I passed up a chance to right a grave wrong by watching another fantastic episode.
I’d sneak downstairs after my wife went to bed for thirty minutes of wonderful of another GG adventure. I had to know what was going to happen in Stars Hollow, you know?
Then last year the most wonderful thing that could happen to an addict, I got a new drug, a return trip to beloved Stars Hollow. I cranked up the first episode of the recent bonus season of a Netflix reboot – “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Two days later it was over, and I’m left a bereft man. I feel like I lost a limb or a close friend. Yes, I have a Gilmore Girl’s addiction.
By the time I finished A Year in the Life, I had refused to believe the characters in GG were not real people. Stars Hollow, Connecticut was a real place, full of wonderful people whose lives centered on the delightful dynamic duo of a sexy, single mom and her wonderful, witty daughter.
“We can swing by Stars Hollow and get breakfast at Luke’s,” I mused to Muna, she only shook her head. Of course, she had no idea what I was talking about. Lucky for me because she’d probably have had me put on some kind of scary GG detox program.