What Makes Gilmore Girls the Best Show on TV

When I read Michael Ausiello’s recent interview with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, two things impressed me. Not what’s going to happen to Gilmore Girls now that the show’s creators have left. Not who fans will blame. Not what will happen in the show’s storyline.

What I noticed was about Dan and Amy:

  1. They’re passionate.
  2. They’re story geeks!

Of course, we could always tell they were story geeks, from the early seasons of the series. We could tell they were weaving a deep, intricate, character-based story. Still, we need look no further back than the latest episode, “Super Cool Party People” to see how deep, how intricate.

Lorelai and Luke

Lorelai and Luke don’t trust each other to stay even when the going gets tough. Whether their doubts are founded, two people need this trust in order to make a marriage work. Lorelai loves Luke, as Luke loves Lorelai. Just from this episode, Luke goes shopping for Lorelai, something he usually hates, but he does it and enjoys it, just because she’s there. Lorelai buys and wears clothes that Luke likes, just because it pleases him. This is after almost two years of dating. They are so into each other. They are even ready to commit. But the other side of commitment is trust, and we can see so clearly that they do not trust each other.

Lorelai doesn’t tell Luke about her drunken toast at Lane and Zach’s wedding. Even though Miss Patty covered up for Lorelai, Lorelai should have come clean. She should have told Luke the truth and used it as a way to tell him how she felt. She should have told him she wanted to meet his daughter April. She should have told him she felt excluded from his life. She should have told him she was afraid they would never make it to the altar.

It took Luke months to tell Lorelai after he found out he even had a daughter. Then he doesn’t want April to meet Lorelai, because he fears Lorelai will take April away from him— just as her mother Anna fears, but we’ll get to that in a moment. It takes April’s birthday party, which Luke tries to throw without Lorelai’s help. It takes this birthday-party disaster to push him to letting Lorelai in, despite his fears.

Lorelai and Rory

These fears are strangely reasonable. That is, Lorelai misses the relationship she had with Rory. Their relationship has changed, has been ever since Rory went off to college. Rory’s been making her own decisions. She’s no longer Lorelai’s little girl, no longer Lorelai’s best friend. April’s birthday party, for Lorelai, was a throwback to this relationship she had with her own daughter. I wonder how Lorelai felt when April told her, “You remind me of my Mom. I think you’d like her.”

And I wonder how she felt when Luke told her that Anna was mad about her being at the party. She looked like she was about to cry. Lauren Graham is so cool.

Of course, Anna is with April just like Lorelai was with Rory, trying to protect her daughter from turmoil, from disappointment, from getting too attached to the guys dating her, trying to provide stability in an unstable existence, afraid to get attached herself. And like Lorelai, Anna also doesn’t trust Luke:

“He’s not a kid guy, never has been. And [April] she’s getting very attached. I need to know he’s sticking around first.”

No, that’s not Lorelai talking about Christopher, but it could have been.

Rory and Logan

Now Rory is her own woman. Remember when she moved in with Logan without even telling her mother?

Rory loves Logan. Yes, we hate him. But she really is in love with him. We know because she races to the hospital to see him, even though she hates hospitals. Then this usually timid, waifish girl proceeds to chew out Colin and Fin for acting insensitive. And what she said to Mitchem! I wonder what he thought. She must have broken all his conceptions about her.

But Logan is still a little boy. He has not undergone the right of manhood. He hasn’t taken responsibility for his choices. He has two alternatives. He can take on the family business as his father Mitchem wants him to. Or he can forgo his family’s wealth, blaze his own path. Either alternative would make him a man. Instead, he avoids choices, because he doesn’t want to think about the consequences. He needs to grow up, stop trying to weasel his way out of his choices and their consequences.

But now, in a hospital bed after parachuting drunk off a cliff, in “serious but stable condition,” his choices are staring him in the face. Maybe he’s growing up after all. He tells Rory, “No, it is not okay” that he almost got himself killed. And he tells her there was nothing she could have done to stop him. “I was goin’ no matter what. It’s my fault… I’m the one screwing things up with us here, not you! I’m sorry you’re in the hospital right now. I’m sorry about all of this. I don’t know what’s going on with me…”

What did Mitchem say to Logan? Or was it just staring death in the face?

Passionate about stories

This only touches upon the complexity in the epic tale that is Gilmore Girls. What motivated this story? In Michael Ausiello’s interview, Amy Sherman-Palladino tells us:

… when you see stuff happening, and when scenes and moments happen that you didn’t think could happen before, and when you add a kid like Matt Czuchry to the show and all of a sudden it brings in different layers and different stories and different textures, it’s like, it doesn’t have to end…

It’s horrifying… if we can’t ensure the quality… every year we’ve tried to push the bar higher. For better or worse, whether people like it or don’t like it, we tried to make our stories more complex. We try and push the quality higher…

They’re passionate about stories and passionate about Gilmore Girls. Everytime they saw an opportunity to make the story better, it energized them. It energized them until it burned them out.

Well, Dan and Amy, we’re sorry to see you go. I pray that your successors will at least be able to finish off the current storyline with the same passion you’ve shown. And wherever you go, whatever you end up doing, I’ll be looking forward to your next project.

-TimK

About J. Timothy King
J. Timothy King

I'm the eldest of three siblings, a stay-at-home father of two daughters, the husband of a wonderful wife, and an indie author of life-expanding character fiction. When not writing, I read, watch old TV and movies, play bass guitar, and tend to my family in our Boston-area apartment.

Catch me on:  my web site Facebook Twitter 

Comments

Don’t Jinx the Passion

When I read Michael Ausiello’s recent interview with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, two things impressed me. Not what’s going to happen to Gilmore Girls now that the show’s creators have left. Not who fans will blame. Not w…

Hey, I really like the Gilmore Girls and the music in the TV show also. Would you tell me that where I can get those songs played inside?

J. Timothy King

Hi, Carol. I know you can get a lot of the music from the TV show on the TV show soundtrack: here. Is that what you meant?

-TimK

What Made Gilmore Girls the Best Show on TV…

What made Gilmore Girls special, in one word: Vision. Amy Sherman-Palladino has a vision for the stories she weaves, and it shows. Then she pours her passion into making this vision a reality. Then her passion pours over into the fans she creates for h…

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