Some 15 years ago I had a big fight with my mother. I was in high school (yes, I am that old) and we were watching the latest episode of Gilmore Girls. This was before Netflix, before binge TV. This was in the world of Napster – when it took hours to download a single song. This was a world in which, after a weeks’ worth of downloading you had an album to burn on a CD (a round disc with a hole in the middle which went into that slot in your computer, you know – the cup holder). Back then you could use your mobile phone for five things: call, text, calculate, wake up and play the snake.
In that world, in that particular episode Rory gets hurt after going for a drive (to get ice-cream) with Jess in a car that Dean had built for her. Lorelai, being a Jess-hater that she was, freaks out at Jess’s role in the accident. I don’t remember the particulars, but basically she blames everything on the irresponsible, token bad-boy of the show. She’s presenting her frantic case to Luke when I remark she’s overreacting and that she’s being a bitch about it just because she doesn’t like Jess.
At that point my mother says, calmly, that I shouldn’t comment because I don’t have any children. Today, my mum and I have a relationship akin to Rory and Lorelai. Back then we were Lorelai and Emily. So I freaked out, of course, because I believed (and I still do) that just because I have not experienced something first hand doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have an opinion about it.
All hell broke loose because the fight transcended into a fight about my right to have an opinion, to voice it and to have my opinion acknowledged. Note, it was a MASSIVE fight.
This is, I think, why people care about Gilmore Girls. Female people, that is. I think every mother wanted to be Lorelai to her daughter and every daughter wanted Lorelai to be her mother. With all its ups and downs, it was a relationship we wanted. Some of us wanted to go to a fancy private school and live in a fairy-tale little town. Most wanted Dean, Jess or Logan. But I think it all boiled down to that mother-daughter relationship.
It was hard not to get excited about A Year in Life, because it reminded me of how much I wanted to see how everyone was doing. It might sound sad, but fictional characters make out a significant part of my life and, often, they don’t give you closure. Closure rarely happens in fiction, because you don’t want the fiction to end.
Yes, A Year in Life did not show me what I wanted to see. There are some things that I consider stupid and unnecessary, but it didn’t diminish anything about it. Because I always thought what happens in Gilmore Girls just has to happen that way. It’s how it’s supposed to be, because that’s how life goes. Silly, I know, but I have always accepted the plot as a fact of life. Sure, I believe that some (most) plot choices in A Year in Life were made due to the availability of the actors, but I don’t care because it’s Gilmore Girls. It’s the way it should be.
2016 has been one of the lousiest years in my life. Made me question pretty much everything. Everything but my family. And that’s what Gilmore Girls is essentially about. It’s about family, and people you consider to be your family. Frankly, I think that family can get you through everything, even 2016.
In case you were wondering…