Kate Rice


I’ve said it before, but it’s worth another declaration. I love Gilmore Girls, and it hits really well during the holidays. (Or anytime, really…)

Gilmore Girls’ rapid-fire dialogue, quirky characters and pop culture references are choice! Paul Anka, Offspring, Monty Python…the mentions, some obvious, some obscure, just keep comin’ in all seven seasons plus the follow-up miniseries.

Lorelei and Rory Gilmore are the titular mother–daughter duo whose modest life in fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, is rather Pleasantville-esque. That is, until intellectual Rory gets into Chilton, a pricey, private school. Swallowing her pride, Lorelei turns to her wealthy parents for financial assistance, which they gladly render…in exchange for Friday Night Dinners with the mother and daughter. Lorelei, who fled her privileged Hartford upbringing shortly after giving birth to Rory at just 16, reluctantly agrees. 

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Whether in zany Stars Hollow or stuffy Hartford, the quips are fast and furious. Grandparents Emily and Richard are, by turns, judgmental, adoring, and amusing. The Stars Hollow denizens are loveable and eccentric. There’s Sookie, played by a fresh-faced Melissa McCarthy, the accident-prone chef extraordinaire and Lorelei’s best friend. Kirk, who still lives with his mother and has worked nearly every odd job available (emphasis on the odd) in town. Luke, the faithful, sometimes grouchy but always caring diner owner who, against his better judgement, serves Lorelei and Rory an endless supply of coffee. Miss Patty, Babette — the list goes on. 

One of my favorite oddball characters is Mrs. Kim, mother to Rory’s best friend Lane. She cracks me up, but rarely cracks a smile. Mrs. Kim is a woman of God, thinks French Fries are “the devil’s starchy fingers,” and is definitely not a fan of rock-n-roll. However, when Lane confesses that her rock band Hep Alien (she’s a kick-ass drummer) is prob’ly gonna break up, Mrs. Kim organizes a months-long tour in no time. Sure, the venues are all Seventh Day Adventist Churches, but a tour’s a tour, right?

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Then there’s Gil, the oldest member of Hep Alien, played by Sebastian Bach. Yeah, that Sebastian Bach — the Skid Row guy. He’s a sandwich shop owner by day, rock-n-roll dude by night, and a character I never get tired of watching. Here’s him rockin’ “Hollaback Girl”…

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I also love Jess Mariano, Luke’s ne’er-do-well nephew whose only redeeming qualities (at first, anyway) are a sarcastic wit, a love of literature, and a fondness for Rory. During the series, Jess develops more than any other character, evolving from smart-assed delinquent into a solid, self-sufficient man. Here’s a taste of how he started out…

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The main characters undergo a lot of growth over seven seasons, too — Rory graduates from Chilton to an Ivy League college; Lorelei morphs from inn manager to owner. The women fall in love, break a few hearts, and deal with a few broken hearts of their own. And Richard and Emily…well, it’s one step forward, a few steps back — but what fun would Friday night dinners be otherwise?

Unlike many other shows, you’ll know by the end of the first episode (or likely before) if Gilmore Girls is for you. Watch it on Netflix, or, if you’re old school, buy all seven seasons plus the bonus mini-series “A Year in the Life” on DVD or Blu-Ray and let the pop culture extravaganza begin!