Finding comfort in a childhood tv show
One of my earliest childhood memories is of me sitting on the couch, engulfed in blankets, waiting for the first notes of Carole King’s “Where You Lead” to begin. In 2004, waiting for the next episode of Gilmore Girls season four to air on tv was, at six-years-old, the highlight of my week.
As Rory Gilmore grew, so did I, and this perhaps is what made it so special. In fact, my relationship with my mother shares many similar characteristics to that of Rory and Lorelai, and I am convinced my grandmother is Emily Gilmore’s long lost twin. The plot reflects my home life in an almost eerie way; a mother and daughter duo who have been mostly on our own for some time, we often struggle with the boundaries between friendship and parenthood.
I made my first friend in high school after discovering that we both watched Gilmore Girls. Having both seen the series in its entirety, multiple times, sleepovers would consist of us using a randomizer app to decide which season and episode we would watch.
I was disappointed, to say the least, to find out that Rory had not become Stars Hollow’s very own Christiane Amanpour in the 2016 revival. However, I found comfort in this detail and reassurance where my own career goals are concerned. Watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life serves as a reminder that things will most definitely not pan out as planned.
Rewatching the series, as an adult, brings back a lot of memories and raises a lot of questions in my mind. For one, while it brings me joy to recite passages by heart, it has also made me recognize the endearingly bad acting in season one (I forgive them, look how young Rory was!) I’ve contemplated the impact of the characters on my own life and choices. Leading me to wonder if subconsciously I decided to pursue journalism because of Rory Gilmore, if I dreamed of going to a private school because of Chilton, or if my first solo trip included a three-day stop in Fes because of Rory and Richard’s ongoing banter about the appeal of the Moroccan city.
Gilmore Girls remains my feel-good show. Perhaps a little obsessively, I have seen it in full 11 times, making it very difficult to keep a straight face whenever I serve Yanic Truesdale (the beloved Michel) at work. I have grown-up so closely to the characters that I find myself getting upset at times when I am not even watching the show. The synopsis is even a topic frequently discussed with my mom, over coffee. “Remember that time Rory…” and “It’s like when Luke and Lorelai…” are conversation starters in my household.
I have found comfort in the familiarity of Gilmore Girls, and have grown well-acquainted with the characters. The show has served as a starting point for some of my most important friendships, a means of navigating my relationships with my parents and grandparents and a source of reassurance throughout the ups-and-downs of my education and career.
Through the bad bouts that accompany mental illness, heartbreak and good times alike, the series has been there for me, and has no doubt served as an important pillar in my own character development. Like comfort food, a safety blanket or a childhood pet, I know that wherever I am, watching an episode of Gilmore Girls will always feel like home.