What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gilmore Girls features a single mother raising the daughter she had as a teenager. Family dynamics, romance, relationship problems, and coming of age issues are frequent themes. There are some mature topics, too, including under age drinking and divorce, as well as some strong language ("bitch," "ass," etc.) and innuendo. However, the strong, empowered women and the positive messages they offer outweigh the iffy episode-to-episode content. Parents may want to watch with their older tweens and teens, since many of the events can serve as a starting point for some important conversations.
What's the story?
Set in the fictional New England town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, GILMORE GIRLS (2000-2007) follows the relationship between a 32-year old single mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her teen daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel), who act more like best friends than mother and daughter. They live in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, where Lorelai runs an inn. When Rory is accepted to a prestigious private high school, Lorelai turns to her wealthy parents, Emily and Richard Gilmore (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann) for financial help despite years of estrangement. The loan marks the beginning of a new family dynamic, and the start of Rory's high school adventures. As she studies, hangs out with friends like Lane Kim (Keiko Agena), Lorelai's life revolves around her daughter, her job, and friends like Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy) and coffee shop owner, Luke Danes (Scott Patterson).
Is it any good?
The fun, quirky series mixes drama and comedy as it follows the mother-daughter duo negotiating friendship, romance, and family up until Rory graduates from college. Lorelai and Rory's glib conversations make their complex relationship seem more sister-like than parental, but the fiercely independent Lorelai never waivers in her commitment to her daughter regardless of her own romantic entanglements. While Rory is a typical teenager, her love of learning, lack of body issues, maturity, and overall decision-making process consistently makes her positive role model.
Part of what makes the seven seasons of the Gilmore Girls so successful is the clever writing, which mixes pop culture and literary references, and which results in some fast-talking conversations that are delivered with artful ease. Yes, it has its share of soap-opera like moments, but what it also delivers is a lot of insight about growing up and dealing with the complications of life without being preachy. It is a television show that doesn't shy away from difficult issues, but approaches them in ways that are both relatable and empowering to young women.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Rory's decisions in Gilmore Girls. Is she self-aware, or does she make choices based on the influence of others? Does Lorelai's relationship with her own parents impact Rory's relationship with her grandparents? Does this change over the years?
What positive aspects are there to the show's central mother-daughter relationship? Are there any negative aspects?
Gilmore Girls ran for seven seasons. What makes it such a popular series? Do you think new generations of viewers will find it entertaining? Are the themes presented still relevant today?