Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Oy with the poodles already... " ~ Lorelai Gilmore

When I was 17, a senior in high school, I started watching a TV show called “Gilmore girls.”  You might be familiar with it. It's become pretty popular thanks to Netflix and the revival that came out on November 25, 2016. I remember the day I started watching it. I remember the very first episode I ever watched.

It was October 9, 2001. I had just turned 17 eleven days prior, and I was determined to do good in school that year. But that's how every school year started for me--a fresh start, not failing, or barley passing, anything, and I had the chance to start off with good grades. So, one Tuesday morning, a friend of mine asked me if she could come over that night to watch "Dawson's Creek" on my TV since she lived with her Dad, and he only had satellite TV, and for some reason, they didn't get the WB (which is now the CW). Or maybe it was "One Tree Hill", I can't remember, but I said, “Sure, that's fine. I have to write a paper for PIG (Participation In Government) tonight, but you can hang out in my room and watch it.” 

So, around 7:45 that night, she showed up at my door, and I showed her to my room so she could watch her show, and I went back into my moms room, because that's where the computer was so I could type and print my paper.

Not long after, my friend peered into my moms bedroom and said, “I was wrong. Tonight was "Gilmore girls", not Dawson's Creek (or One Tree Hill).”

I said, “Oh, okay. Well, you can still watch it.”

And she was like, “No, I'm going to get going. I'll see you tomorrow.”

I said, “Okay. Later.”

She'd left the TV in my bedroom on, so once I finished my paper and printed it out, I went back into my bedroom, stuffed my paper into a folder and into my backpack, and plopped down on my bed, super proud of myself that I actually did my homework. 

Because I seriously never did homework. Like, ever.

The scene on my screen was of a woman with dark hair and blue eyes drinking a martini, with some guy with dark hair, at a restaurant having dinner, and the woman said something about the man being “eye candy,” and I thought, 'hey that's kinda funny.' So, I kept on watching.

At first, I thought the woman, whom I learned to be named Lorelai, was kind of a bitch. Granted, this was my opinion with no other background history in my head except for her complaining about her parents and how she was jealous of the guy's (who I learned to be Max) parents, and how much they cared about the fact that they were getting married.

The episode was almost over, there were maybe fifteen minutes left, but I learned quickly that her mother was Emily, and she could never keep a maid in the house in the 32 years Lorelai had been alive, and I found out that Lorelai had had a baby when she was sixteen. 

For some reason, maybe being a 17 year old myself, the idea of watching a TV show about a mother who had a child around my age was super appealing. Not because I wanted to have a baby that young, but I did have a super strong desire to have a baby in general. I always wanted to be a mother. Not at 17, but eventually. 
So, I continued watching “Gilmore girls,” and I remember thinking, this show isn't like any other show I've ever seen. The dialogue was super quick, and witty, and just fucking brilliant, and Lorelai and Rory (whose name I hated at first, and to this day, I cannot figure out how “Rory” is a nickname for “Lorelai”...) until I realized her name was actually Lorelai. I was torn on that—being a name snob myself, I liked that Lorelai named Rory after herself, because men do it all the time and I could see the feminist side to it, but also kind of disappointed that she had no originality and didn't name her something super awesome like Skye or Storm or Khaleesi.
I started watching "Gilmore girls" right at the beginning of season two. I had never seen season one until the DVD's were released on box-set a few years later, when I actually was pregnant with my son. It's been a staple in my life, something I watch when I'm sick or sad to help me feel better, something that taught me how to be, and how not to be, a mother, and something that my son and I have come to bond over, now that he is almost 12. 
These two fictional woman who drink massive amounts of coffee and talk faster than Donald Trump on cocaine, have played a major role in my life, in who has shaped me into the person I am today—the mother I am today. My relationship with my mother is similar to Lorelai's relationship with Emily, and my relationship with my son is a lot like Lorelai and Rory. I hope one day when he's older, we can be friends. I like him. He's a great, cool, smart, funny, sweet boy, who I hope one day will turn out to be a great, cool, smart, funny sweet man. People tell me I am a good mother. My mother tells me I am a way better mother than she ever was, and I love my mother, I really do, but she's right. My mother taught me how not to be a mother. And Lorelai Gilmore taught me how to be a mother. 
I was only 19 when I got pregnant. I was in college. I was young, not as young as Lorelai, but still pretty young. I was 20 when Dylan was born. 
I remember his father and I discussing baby names when I was pregnant, before we knew it was a boy. At the time, I wanted Skyelar Mackenzie for a girl, and Blake Alexander if it were a boy. My ex hated both names. He hated 'Blake' because he knew a Blake when he was a kid who gave him bad associations, and he hated 'Skyelar' because he thought it sounded too much like “snake”, which was weird and completely untrue, but whatever. So, he suggested, “Why not Lorelai?” And I did consider it for a while... even though my whole family was like, “NO! Skyelar is a gorgeous name for a girl, and Lorelai is stupid!” 

While I didn't think 'Lorelai' was a stupid name, I was still madly in love with the name 'Skyelar.' But, we found out it was a boy (which was my gut instinct the whole time, but I couldn't admit it in case I was wrong... because that would make me a bad mother, duh) and we eventually, after days of debating, agreed on “Dylan.” {The second time I suggested it. He said 'no' the first time.} 

I always thought 'Dylan' was the cool kid name, like Dylan McKay from the original “90210” played by Luke Perry. I used to sneak watching it sometimes, even though I was only 10 years old, but Dylan from 90210 was SO COOL. So, whenever I thought of a person named "Dylan", I automatically believe them to be "cool". 

I told Dylan this story, and I said, “If you were a girl, there's a good chance your name would have been Lorelai.”

And he said, “Cool.”

In 2007, when "Gilmore girls" ended, it was like my life came to an abrupt halt, because we didn't get the right ending. While finishing up Season 6, Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Dan Palladino, the creators and head writers of the show, went to the Network and said they wanted two more seasons of "Gilmore girls", because they were sick of living on a one-season-at-a-time contract, and if the Network didn't agree, Amy and Dan would leave the show. The problem was, this was at the time when the WB and UPN were merging into one network; the CW. So, for whatever reason this new network had, they told Amy and Dan, "No. You have one more season." 

So, ASP and DP left the show. And season seven was a failed attempt at making a show seem like the show it was before without success. The writers tried, they really did, but NO ONE can write like Amy Sherman-Palladino. No One. Every episode of season seven, we all watched with a cringe and a universal feeling of, "It's just not the same." 

It was like in season one, when Rachel came to Stars Hollow for Luke and she decided to stay, and Luke didn't believe her at first, but Lorelai talked to him and he came around, and at the end of the episode, Rachel poured Lorelai and Rory a cup of coffee, and Rory was like, "Huh... does it taste different to you?" And Lorelai was like, "Yeah. It does." 

Season seven tastes like a really bad cup of coffee. And WE LOVE COFFEE! 

So, I began a vicious cycle. I'd watch my DVD's of "Gilmore girls" (I own all 7 seasons) all the time, on repeat, and when season 6 ended (I've only watched season 7 3 times... because I just can't do it.) I'd start over again with season one, and everything was good in the world again. And I did this for 9 years. Not non stop, there were times, I'd go weeks, even months, without watching it, but whenever there was nothing good on TV, or if we didn't currently have TV to watch because we were too broke to pay for cable, I came back to watching my "Gilmore girls" DVD. 

And then it came on Netflix. Even though I owned all of them, I was so excited for them to be on Netflix because that meant I didn't have to change the disc every 4 episodes! And I could watch it on my laptop and screen shot certain quotes (like above) with the captions on. It made my life easier. I could watch it anywhere, anytime, even on my iPhone! 

And because of Netflix, and all the beautiful millennials who started to watch the show for the first time, we got what we'd been dreaming of for 9 fucking years. We got a revival. 

When the news first leaked online, I didn't believe it at first because the internet has punked me before about a Gilmore revival. So, I waited until other people confirmed it, like ET or Netflix or Lauren Graham herself... and lo and behold, it wasn't a hoax. It was real.

"Gilmore girls" was coming back. And I fucking cried. I jumped up and down and squealed like a fifteen year old at a One Direction concert. I had never been more excited for anything in my entire life--and I had FRONT ROW tickets to John Mayer (for my 19th birthday) AND Backstreet Boys (my mother actually won them on the radio right before my 21st birthday). 

The woman who taught me how to be a mother was returning to, possibly, the greatest fictional small town ever created, Stars Hollow, and with it was the genius mastermind behind it all--Amy Sherman-Palladino. After all these years, we were finally getting the ending we were promised. We were finally getting the "last 4 words" Amy had planned from the very beginning. We were finally getting the CLOSURE we never got with season 7!  

The reason I am writing this ridiculously long blog post is because I've recently come to a big realization about why I couldn't ever stop watching the show. I'd watch it on repeat for years and never got sick of it, but I also never got any closure. But now that the revival has happened, and I've watched it a good 4 times, I have closure. And I haven't watched the show since. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love "Gilmore girls" and I'll always come around to watching it again. It's had such a positive impact on my life, and never fails to cheer me up when I'm sad or sick or having a bad day. But the almost obsessive need to watch it is gone. I'm finally able to move on! It's a weird feeling, and maybe I'm just completely insane for everything in this post, but that's who I am. I'm a Gilmore junkie, and I finally got the dose I've been jonesing for for 9 years.  So, thank you millennials and Netflix for making this dream of mine come true. I honestly never thought it would happen. How many TV shows get a second chance? All we ever hoped for was one movie, and we ended up with four. Even if the show doesn't come back for more in a few years (which I've heard talks of it being a possibility) I will still be content with what we got. It's a lot more than most, and I am forever grateful to finally know the last four words that dangled over my head for 16 years. 

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