16 August 2002 | mercybell
Life (caffeinated, with some lemon juice please)
Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that people love because they're so adorable...and they simply don't know it. And not teen pop bunk adorable, but as in they're easy to love. I was surprised by the quality of the series, considering it's on the WB. It's intelligent, creative, and sophisticated in an everyday way. And even though this show has enough sarcasm to give you heartburn (it's fueled by sarcasm, in double digit gallons) the characters are fleshed out and live an alternate lifestyle that may be foreign, but is completely believable. These aren't people who live stereotyped mid class American TV lives, they live like the people next door, but like the strange people next door. They're those specially chosen eccentrics, small town hicks, artists, and snobs who are so full of quirks and idiosyncrasies they tend to make our lives colorful.
And this show is about characters and how they relate to each other. The crux of the show is the relationship between the close in age coffee addict mother (Loralai, played by the fantastic Lauren Graham) and daughter (Rory, beautifully played by Alexis Bledel) who have an unusually close knit, and witty, relationship. The two are an eccentric pair, they live for each other and pay no heed to those who sneer upon them and indulge in their wacky Bohemian-ness. They eat at Luke's Diner for breakfast and order economy size platters of Chinese food from Al's House of Pancakes. Rory likes chaperones, Loralai intrinsically trusts her daughter.
When Rory is accepted to a posh prep school (which she doesn't care for, but deals with because, quite simply, she has a higher IQ than most of the town and wants to get to Harvard) paid for by her incorrigible and borderline personality grandmother (another recurring character), her mother has to take a job she doesn't want at a first class hotel, and thus a whole passel of problems and dilemmas occur. Long term plot lines gracefully combine with town occurrences, scandals, gossip, etc, and create a show with as much flavor and pizzazz as Stars Hollow can take.
And where the sarcasm and one liners, bizarre scenarios and crazy happenings flow freely there's always an underlying riptide that surfaces quickly here and there, and the tensions that arise can become especially pungent because we're allowed to be close to the characters. For example, in one episode Rory accidentally falls asleep next to her boyfriend late one night while they were both reading a book together, and next morning they are found by Miss Patty (the fabulously fabulous Liz Torres who is also from "American Family"), nothing had happened, Rory is completely innocent, but Loralai is worried when she's alerted that she hadn't come home and receives the call that they had been found together. Rory's grandmother jumps to conclusions and starts harshly saying that Rory has ruined her life just the way Loralai had, but her mother adamantly sticks up for her. Yet when Rory comes in, they have an explosive fight, with Rory crushed that her mother didn't trust or believe her.
And yet situations with even a slight potential for sugaryness are resolved with lightning fast dialogue a la `Philadelphia Story'. The fact that they're close is already there, anything else feels wrong. This is the genius of the show's writing and acting. All said, whether during revealing moments of emotion or poignancy, or the standard rib cracking, fire crackling wit and sarcasm, this show gets under your skin and refuses to let go. It's more than a gem, and I hope that it lasts.