I credit the Gilmore Girls with many things. A strong belief that drinking five cups of coffee before work, watching TV in your pyjamas for hours on end and ordering more takeaway food than you can eat in one sitting is all acceptable behavior. I know it inside out – its silliness, its running jokes, its two funny, fast-talking protagonists. For me, this show is akin to that downy duvet you crawl under when life gets a bit too much.
I first fell in love with the Gilmores as a teenager when it ran and ran and ran on E4. I felt like Rory: quiet, shy, nose in a book. Rory was studying to get into her dream college while I prepared to leave home and head off to mine. The first-love dramas, the dangerous boys, the close mother-daughter bond (and the struggles that come with it), they all spoke to me as I tried to navigate that strange adolescent time when you’re attempting to step out on your own.
With Netflix poised to release new episodes, I’ve recently rekindled my love affair. I’ve started again from the beginning, just casually (read: obsessively) watching while I get ready in the morning/work out/do the washing up.
But this time around, something’s changed. The characters are the same, the jokes are the same, but I’m different.
This time around I identify with Lorelei.
I’m not a 32-year-old hotel manager with a 16-year-old daughter, but I am much closer in age to Rory’s mum than I am to Rory. I have more in common with her, from the men she’s dating and her grown-up relationships to her career, her financial struggles, her determination to make it on her own and her dream to own a business that’s hers.
She’s who I’m paying attention to now when I watch Gilmore Girls. Feeling like Rory, in her plaid skirt and school blazer, is a distant memory.
Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying my current Gilmore Girls binge just as much as I did the first time around. It just feels like I’m watching a different series. That’s the eternal joy of this beloved TV show, I guess.
Perhaps I’ll watch it again in 25 years time and realise I’ve become Emily…
Gilmore Girls seasons 1 – 7 are available on Netflix