I’ve been a Gilmore Girls fan for a long time. Not since the beginning, but at least since the re-runs started airing at 5pm daily on ABC Family. I’ve seen every episode at least twice and some of them even three or four times. And every time I watch I’m stricken by something new, something I’d never noticed before. It’s a show layered with witty banter and obscure references, all of which are tossed in with abandon, sometimes faster than viewers can keep up. Its dramatic, funny, and most importantly its real.
When I talk about Gilmore Girls I often bring up this one scene from season two to illustrate my point. It aired right at the start of the twelfth episode, just before the opening credits, as if it were tossed in there just to take up time. Except that it isn’t. That scene is there purposely to illustrate the normal, everyday-ness of the Gilmore family, something that would be easy to overlook in such a dramatic television show. I’ve included a clip to the scene below. Watch it and come back to me.
In this scene, Emily reminds me very much of my own grandmother. Not so much in her character, but in the way that she talks so completely seriously about the mausoleum. I’ve had that conversation with my family. Creepy as it may seem, it’s totally normal; eventually it does come up. Richard is playing the part of my dad here, too. He’s the guy who unknowingly walks into the middle of an argument and ends it by being so bluntly honest that you can’t help but to laugh. We all know a guy like that. And let’s not forget poor old Aunt Cecile. We all have an Aunt Cecile.
Dramatic television can be a bit overmuch sometimes and there’s a few things that you can definitely count on to become points of contention. Someone is going to get into a car accident, someone is going to have a crisis about their virginity, someone is going to cheat on someone else, and inevitably someone will get engaged if not actually married. Gilmore Girls has all of those moments, but it breaks out of the formula at times when you least expect it to. It happens in those few minutes just at the opening of the show, when you’re barely watching, but those moments are striking and memorable for the simple fact that they ground you back in what’s important: family.
It would be easy for viewers to get caught up in the romance and high school rivalry, but Gilmore Girls doesn’t ever really let you do that. Instead it brings you back again and again into the lives of the Gilmore family by reminding you in little ways of your own.
What other moments from Gilmore Girls do you find striking? Share them in the comments down below!