Written by: Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
I was heading home on Amtrak after visiting friends back in the Bay Area. I was catching up on Facebook when something came up on my newsfeed: Gilmore Girls was coming back.
I figured the story must have been coming from Inquistor or Starbuzz, who make up stories when they’re bored.
The news was verified by Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Faire, and Slate. I wanted to yell Gilmore Girls is coming back! at the top of my lungs.
I didn’t, however, want to get kicked off the train.
For those of you who haven’t binged watched the show on ABC Family or Netflix (And what’s with you? Do it now!), here’s a quick synopsis: In 1984, Lorelai Gilmore found out she was pregnant. She was sixteen. Her upper crust blue blooded parents were horrified, insisting she marry the father, the happy-go-lucky but undependable Christopher. When her daughter was born, she broke off the engagement. Months afterwards, she ran away to a small town called Stars Hollow with the baby who was also named Lorelai, but was called Rory by everyone. She got a job as a maid, and then took business classes on the side. When the show began, she was manager of the hotel. She was also best friends with Rory, a straight-A student at Stars Hollow High.
It was becoming clear that Rory (who had dreams of going to Harvard) was incredibly smart, and needed to be challenged. She wanted to go to Chilton (named for Alex Chilton) a prep school in nearby Hartford. She got in, but there was a catch: the tuition was more than Lorelai could afford. She had to swallow her pride and go back to her upper crust parents. They agreed to pay, but the girls had to come every Friday for dinner. Lorelai agreed.
And, ladies and gentlemen, a classic was born.
I cannot tell you how much I loved Gilmore Girls. They reminded me of myself: Lorelai was down to earth, funny, and loved coffee, while Rory was incredibly smart, shy, and loved to read. (She also loved coffee.) It was great to see Rory reading; you never saw characters actually read and enjoy books. In my favorite exchange between the girls, they discussed Rory’s reading habits
LORELAI: ..That backpack is not too small.
RORY: It’s miniscule.
LORELAI: Just take your schoolbooks and leave some of the other books.
RORY: I need all of my other books.
LORELAI: You don’t need all of these.
RORY: I think I do.
LORELAI: Edna St. Vincent Milay?
RORY: That’s my bus book.
LORELAI: Uh huh. What’s the Faulkner?
RORY: My other bus book.
LORELAI: So just take one bus book.
RORY: No, the Milay is a biography, and sometimes if I’m on the bus and I pull out a biography and I think to myself, ‘Well, I don’t really feel like reading about a person’s life right now’ then I’ll switch to the novel, and then sometimes if I’m not into the novel, I’ll switch back.
LORELAI: Hmm…Hold on. What is the Gore Vidal?
RORY: Oh, that’s my lunch book.
LORELAI: Uh huh. So lose the Vidal or the Faulkner. You don’t need two novels.
RORY: Vidal’s essays.
LORELAI: Uh huh. But the Eudora Welty’s not essays or a biography.
LORELAI: So it’s another novel, lose it!
RORY: Unh uh. It’s short stories.
LORELAI: Ugh. This is a sickness…
RORY: Ha! I made it all fit. Edna, Bill, Gore and Eudora, all safe and sound.
LORELAI: Cool. That’s your French book.
RORY: Hmm? Oh, I know. I’m carrying my French book.
LORELAI: Mm hmm. You so thought that French book was already in there.
RORY: I did not.
LORELAI: You have a problem.
RORY: No I don’t.
LORELAI: You’re gonna tip over from the weight of that backpack.
RORY: No I’m not.
LORELAI: I’m gonna have to buy you a forklift. Bye.
There are several things I love about this scene: first, it’s revealing that Rory not only has a bus book, she has two bus books! And a lunch book! Of course! Let’s face it: Eudora Welty, Edna St. Vincent Milay, William Faulkner, and Gore Vidal aren’t typical reading for a seventeen year old. But it was for Rory and that was both refreshing and very, very cool. (It’s worth pointing out that now thanks to the Kindle, Rory has less to carry.)
I watched the show all through its seven seasons. I was excited when Lorelai opened an inn of her own, but was disappointed when Rory slept with her married ex-boyfriend, Dean. I was incredibly upset when, due to a fight that lasted half the sixth season, the girls didn’t speak to each other. One almost wanted Jimmy Carter to fly to Stars Hollow and make peace. By the seventh season, the creator/show runner Amy Sherman-Palladino had left and it wasn’t the same. No snappy dialogue. No book mentions. It was just dull. I still watched, but was grateful when the show was canceled; I didn’t want to prolong the mediocrity.
But with the reboot, Amy Sherman-Palladino is back. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel (Lorelai and Rory) have signed on. No doubt Kelly Bishop (Grandma Gilmore) will be back as well. But will Lorelai’s love interest Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) be there with his backwards baseball cap? Or Rory’s high strung but endearing Chilton/Yale bestie, Paris (Liza Weil) I’m doubting Melissa McCarthy (Sookie) will be able to come back, which is sad. Sookie was a wonderful sweet character. Sadly, the show will be missing the patriarch of the Gilmore family: the debonair Richard Gilmore played by Edward Hermann. Hermann died of cancer late last year. I’m guessing it’s Richard’s death that will bring the family together.
As the train headed towards my newish home, I wondered what the girls will be like now. Do they Skype each other? Does Stars Hollow have a Facebook page? Do they have iPhones? No matter what, this is what you can count on: They will talk fast. They will mention obscure movies people will Google while watching. They will be drinking coffee.
And they will be together again, as it should be.