I just binge-watched this television series on Netflix.
No chase scenes or shootouts or grisly autopsies in the morgue or exploding rockets here, just hands down the best written family drama I’ve ever seen on television, with absolutely the best last scene ever. Nothing feels contrived, and all of the characters stay in character throughout all seven years. The relationship between Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) is wonderful to watch (and listen to), and while Lorelai calls Rory her best friend, she never abrogates her role as Rory’s mother. When Rory screws up, Lorelai says so in no uncertain terms.
Lorelai: There are many paths in life. There’s the “Hey, you’re cute, sure, I’ll marry you after graduation and med school” and the “Can you drive Susie to soccer today, ’cause I’ve got a pediure?” path. And then there’s my path, where I found myself 16 and pregnant and I realized “I have to get a job, I have to raise a kid and being me, I have to do it all by myself.” Not easy. But the thing with my path was, when I reached the end, I turned around and realized I’d ended up someplace really good.
Other standout characters include Emily Gilmore, played by the incomparable Kelly Bishop, and Luke Danes as played by Scott Patterson. Sometimes I thought Emily was nothing but a bitch on wheels and wanted to scream at Lorelei to get as far away as she could get from the most toxic person in her life. Other times Bishop lets the vulnerability of a mother abandoned by her only child show through and your heart aches for her. Luke is so stoic and closed off, he really is a guy who can’t talk about his feelings, he can only show them, and it’s a given that a relationship with someone as verbal as Lorelai is going to be problematic. The line that finally gets the girl? “I just like to see you happy.” Perfect.
And Sookie, and Kirk, and Lane, and Paris, and Babette and Patty, and the fabulous Marion Ross as Lorelai 1.0, and the whole cast, really. Funny, smart, poignant, you feel like a resident of the quirky little town of Stars Hollow well before the end of the series. Highly, highly recommended.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.