Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - Winter
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
December 6, 2016
Winter makes for an uneven but delightful first chapter of the Gilmore Girls return.
Although it wasn't a smashing success when it debuted on October 5, 2000, Gilmore Girls had a large, lasting cultural impact that its solid but unspectacular ratings didn't accurately convey. The show's original run lasted seven seasons, debuting on the now defunct WB and then moving to the CW in 2006.
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show focused on the lives and relationships of a mother and daughter who were more like best friends. Palladino originally got inspiration for the show's setting, the fictional Stars Hollow, Connecticut, after making a trip to Washington Depot, Connecticut. The small-town charm had a big impact on Palladino and is a significant part of what made Gilmore Girls so special.
The titular Gilmore girls are made up of Lorelai, (Lauren Graham) who left her parents' home at the age of 16 when she got pregnant. The daughter is also named Lorelai but goes by Rory. (Alexis Bledel) She makes up the second part of the Gilmore equation. Lorelai's family wants her to marry the father but she instead decides to move out and raise her daughter on her own. Fortunately, she and Rory are taken in by Mia, the owner of the (aptly titled) Independence Inn. There, Lorelai worked her way up from a maid to executive manager.
The show begins 15 years later when Rory is about to turn 16; the same age Lorelai was when she had her. Now a high school sophomore, Rory has grown to be a child prodigy and was accepted into a prestigious prep school, Chilton. Unfortunately, aside from being prestigious, Chilton is also very expensive. And after exhausting all other options, Lorelai turns to her parents to help her pay for Rory's prep school tuition. They agree to pay but under the condition that the girls visit them for dinner every Friday. This brings Lorelai's estranged parents back into her life, whether she likes it or not.
It also introduces one of the main conflicts of the show as Lorelai and her parents have years of issues to work through. And it adds Emily (Kelly Bishop) as a very important part of the Gilmore girls.
From the beginning, the show was critically acclaimed. It was nominated for and won numerous awards. And throughout its seven-season run, the show dealt with issues such as relationships, social class, growing up, small-town life, family and many others. It was anchored by very strong performances from the Gilmore girls. But it also boasted a very strong supporting cast.
The dialogue-heavy show was funny but also moving. It was quirky while still remaining grounded and relatable. Its whimsical, stuck-in-a-bubble nature held a special allure that kept viewers coming back to the weekly town meetings and longing to stop by Luke's for a cup of coffee. Stars Hollow felt like it existed in a bygone era and offered a ready-made dose of prepackaged nostalgia every episode.