Those of you who have been reading Taking Up Room for any amount of time all know I do at least one Gilmore Girls post every November, and this has been going on for about as long as the blog has been around. Why November? I don’t know. I’m thinking it’s because that’s the month when A Year In the Life made its debut on Netflix, and our November trips to Stars Hollow became a thing after that.
For those who aren’t familiar with the show, it follows single mom Lorelai and her teenaged daughter, Rory, who are very close in age and more like best friends than mother and daughter, as they share life with their town of colorful characters. Writer Amy Sherman-Palladino made up the show’s premise basically on the spot at a pitch meeting at Warner Bros. and based Lorelai and Rory’s town of Stars Hollow on the real-life town of Washington Depot, Connecticut.
This is one show I never get tired of and go through constantly, even Season Seven, which is probably most fans’ least favorite. I like how fast the series moves, as well as Gilmore Girls’ intelligence–nothing was ever dumbed down throughout the show’s run, which I really appreciate and wish more shows were like.
Ergo, it’s really, really hard to just pick a few episodes, so this list has at least one from every season. Enjoy…
Pilot (Season One, originally aired on October 5, 2000)
Pilots often have a rough, unfinished look to them, but Gilmore Girls’ pilot is unusually well-formed except for the sets. Even before the intro starts we find out so much about Lorelai and Rory–Lorelai is addicted to coffee, she and diner owner Luke engage in witty banter, and she has a sixteen-year old daughter. While Rory is the more practical and pragmatic of the two, she and her mother have similar taste in music and a sisterly-best friend rapport. All of this is shown in five minutes or less.
Concert Interruptus (Season One, originally aired on February 15, 2001)
This episode not only gets some of the major characters out of Stars Hollow for a Bangles concert in New York City, but it adds a new dynamic to Rory’s relationship with schoolmates Paris, Madeline, and Louise. She’s no longer the new kid from the small town; suddenly, these three girls owe her. Literally–Lorelai has to rescue Madeline and Louise from doing something really stupid while they’re all in New York.
Road Trip To Harvard (Season Two, originally aired on October 23, 2001)
After Lorelai calls off her wedding to Max Medina, she and Rory go on a road trip. They start out with no real plan, but end up staying at a super-cheesy bed and breakfast called the Cheshire Cat, where they do their darndest to avoid interacting with the other guests as much as possible, especially when they hear them belting out “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” at the tops of their lungs. They also visit Harvard, which makes Rory giddy and excited about her future college plans.
The Bracebridge Dinner (Season Two, originally aired on December 11, 2001)
When an investors’ group gets snowed in, Lorelai and everyone at the Independence Inn are left with a fancy Renaissance party to throw but no guests, so they host a giant sleepover for the town. It’s a ton of fun, especially seeing Sookie’s boyfriend, Jackson as Squire Bracebridge in a big feathery hat. The only thing that bugs me about this episode is that what they call “old English” isn’t actually old English but archaic modern English. Real old English sounds more like German. Oh well.
A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving (Season Three, originally aired on November 26, 2002)
It’s Thanksgiving times four for Lorelai and Rory, who divide the day between the Kims’ house, Luke’s, Sookie and Jackson, and Emily and Richard. It gets crazy and fun and the food is tantalizingly diverse, with everything from Tofurky to deep-fried turkey. Oh, and we can’t forget poor Kirk and the cat from Hades, who also just happens to be named Kirk. This beast is so fearsome that not even water deters him when he’s on a rampage.
A Tale Of Poes and Fire (Season Three, originally aired on April 15, 2003)
This episode starts out with an Edgar Allen Poe convention that has come to Stars Hollow and ends with the Independence Inn catching fire, which pushes everyone out of their comfort zones (and beds) while all the guests wait to go home. There are lots and lots of “Nevermores” and sock puppets (don’t ask, just watch) while everyone rides out the upheaval. Meanwhile, Kirk is there to offer commentary with humorous topical T-shirts that say such memorable things as “Faux Poes foes,” and “Babbette ate oatmeal.”
Scene In A Mall (Season Four, originally aired on February 24, 2004)
The Dragonfly Inn is nearing completion and money’s really tight for Lorelai and Rory, so they decide to go window shopping at the mall. Their plans go awry when they meet Emily, who’s taking out her anger at Richard on her credit card and running around buying everything in sight. It all pretty much ends when Lorelai and Rory splurge on victuals at the food court and Emily consumes a Big Mac with a knife and fork.
Last Week Fights, This Week Tights (Season Four, originally aired on May 11, 2004)
Luke’s sister, Liz is marrying her boyfriend, TJ and Lorelai is Luke’s date to their Renaissance wedding. This episode made a lot of people giddy because so many of us wanted Luke and Lorelai to date and the time was finally right. It also sets up a new storyline for Rory, who’s hanging out with her married ex-boyfriend Dean and fending off newly attentive ex-boyfriend Jess, who’s suddenly decided he’s ready for a new start with Rory.
Jews and Chinese Food (Season Five, originally aired on February 22, 2005)
Stars Hollow Elementary School is putting on Fiddler On the Roof, and Lorelai is making the costumes and Luke is the carpenter. Kirk is playing Tevye, but we don’t need to go into that. Anyway, there are lots of awkward moments backstage because Lorelai and Luke are (temporarily) broken up, and hearing Kirk and the fifth-grader playing Golde warble “Do You Love Me?” doesn’t help. Rory hosts her friend, Marty for a Marx Brothers movie night and then they get really expensive Chinese food with Rory’s crush, Logan and his rich friends.
We’ve Got Magic To Do (Season Six, originally aired on October 11, 2005)
Rory’s mounting a Daughters of the American Revolution fundraiser for the USO and the Hollywood Canteen is the theme, so she’s knee-deep in old Hollywood and wartime spirit, complete with an Andrews Sisters tribute group and a steak and mac and cheese dinner. Meanwhile, back in Stars Hollow, Lorelai and Sookie take in Miss Patty’s dance studio’s annual recital, where they dodge flying glitter and sigh at the “Dance of the Four Swans.” My one beef with this episode is Rory’s hair when she’s dressed as a WAC officer–women in service always wore their hair up off their collars, not long and flowing. Other than that, it’s a great episode.
Friday Night’s Alright For Fighting (Season Six, originally aired on January 31, 2006)
Lorelai, Rory, Emily and Richard lay all their stuff bare in this episode. I won’t spoil anything, but each one of these characters are mad at each other for whatever reason and fireworks are inevitable. It’s glorious. They go between arguing and yelling offscreen to enjoying sorbet and laughing at the zingers Emily threw at some deserving personage at one of Rory’s fundraisers. In the end everyone is frazzled, exhausted, and ready to be friends again.
Farewell, My Pet (Season Seven, originally aired on February 13, 2007)
In some ways this episode is kinda sad, because it’s right after Richard has a heart attack, Lorelai and Christopher’s marriage is on the rocks, and Michel has a funeral for one of his beloved chows. On the other hand, though, I like this episode because the TA who takes over Richard’s class looks just like my husband and Rory has a really cute scene with Logan, who reassures her that puppy love happens, even in stable relationships like theirs.
Yep, Gilmore Girls rocks and I can’t recommend it enough–this list only scratches the surface of all the good stuff about this show and I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to say about it.
For more TV goodness, please see Sally at 18 Cinema Lane. Thanks so much for hosting this blogathon, Sally–it was a blast! Thanks, as usual, for reading, all, and I’ll see you next week with another post…
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