Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

Gilmore Girls effectively ended two years ago. However, thanks to the fact that it doesn’t seem to air in India (except for a while at an abysmal hour on Zee Café) and erratic Abu Dhabi visits (when a season would never be on air) I only got to catch up with the last two seasons now.

It was heartrending, all the memories that show brought up. Ive been watching Gilmore Girls since I was in High School, back in the good old days, when Wednesday nights were primetime viewing because Thursday/Friday still constituted a weekend. It was a mommy and me tradition and we never missed an episode.

Rory: What's with the carrots?
Lorelai: I was afraid you weren't eating well at school.
Rory: Ohhh.
Lorelai: Marshmallow?

I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a mother-daughter (those that get along as well as those who don’t) who don’t fall hook, line and sinker for this show. Yes, the characters talk too fast, yes, Stars Hollow doesn’t even exist (and a town as awesome as that really should), but a show as warm and as intelligent as that deserved to run for years and years and years.

One of the main reasons I loved this show was an inherent theme that ran throughout the show from episode 1 to the Bon Voyage episode in Season 7 – Books. The writers of Gilmore Girls (the Palladino’s are GODS) made sure that every other sentence had a cultural/literary reference. They understood, how underrated books were in American teenage television. In the O.C, in 90210 – it’s all about sex, breaking up and hooking up. In the Gilmore Girls however, a book is a symbol of your identity, an understanding of whom you are as a person as well as whom you want to be. “ I live in a world of books. I’ve been a resident of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, hunted the white whale aboard the Pequod, fought alongside Napoleon, sailed a raft with Huck and Jim, committed absurdities with Ignatius J. Reilly, rode a sad train with Anna Karenina, and strolled down Swann’s Way” – Rory’s High School Graduation Speech. There have been at least a dozen books Rory Gilmore has introduced me to, that will remain favorites forever.

Lorelai: Rory never even shoplifted. Not a candy bar, not a lipstick. She forgot to return a library book once. And she was so guilty about it that she grounded herself. I mean, can you imagine? She's just sitting there in her bedroom yelling at me, "Now no one else got to read the Iliad this week because of me!"

For the Gilmore Girls, unlike the characters of The O.C/90210 etc, high heels and handbags aren’t the ultimate accessory. Books are. In the first episode, Rory meets her first boyfriend, Dean (Jared Padalecki), when he spots her reading Madame Bovary and later Moby Dick under a tree: "I thought, 'I have never seen someone read so intensely before in my life. I have to meet that girl.' " In a later season, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) borrows Rory's copy of Allen Ginsberg's* Howl and returns it with notes scribbled in the margins. The two soon embark on a typically angst-ridden romance, where the exchange of books plays a large role.

Season 7, the final season of Gilmore Girls plainly showed the absence of the Palladino’s. As soon as I watched the first episode of the season, I knew something was wrong. The dialogue was as wordy as ever, but no longer witty. Overall, it was a disappointing season – made up for by the last episode. I didn’t just cry, I blubbered. I wept and wept till I ran out of tissues. Once I got another box of tissues, I wept some more. It was beautiful, because the Gilmore Girls themselves, didn’t cry once, despite the fact that they would be separated for months, if not years. They ironed tshirts, they shopped, they didn’t talk, they talked, and the show ended the same way the show began 7 years ago – at Luke’s diner, in the early hours of the morning, just before Rory Gilmore takes off to be a political reporter on the trail of Obama’s presidential campaign.

Rory: Who are the rosary beads for?
Lorelai: They're mine.
Rory: What do you need rosary beads for?
Lorelai: They're cute.
Rory: They're for prayer.
Lorelai: Well, pray they match my blue suit.
Rory: They've just upgraded you to a queen-size bed, jacuzzi tub, junior suite in hell

Cliché, though it may seem, I always felt prettier, and wittier and wiser after watching Gilmore Girls. Not only do I talk (much) faster than normal, I’m chirpier and wiser. Ask Harry. He has spoken to me pre-Gilmore Girls viewing and post-Gilmore Girls viewing and can tell the difference by now. It wasn’t just about the books, or the addiction to coffee, or the compulsive eating, or even the witty dialogues. It was them. You fell in love with the Gilmore Girls, because they were awesome. End of story. They were funny, and smart and brave and had pretty much no-one else but each other. And I, for one, am a better person for knowing them intimately for seven years.

Lorelai: Tell me a joke.
Rory: Knock knock.
Lorelai: [giggles] That was a good one.

4 responses to "Gilmore Girls : Life's Short, Talk Fast."

  1. I've never actually finished watching an entire series of any show. I've done it twice and both times have been halted and paused and very very forced. I lack the discipline for TV.
    But there are only two shows that I have always, always been loyal to, to the most of my ability. One has been friends, the other Gilmore Girls.
    House is awesome and 24 is thrilling, but I can't curl up when I'm sick and honestly enjoy either.
    Entourage, too is a show I've seen every episode of, but the sheer comfort and warmth a Gilmore Girls will yeild will always outdo any other show.
    I feel guilty for not following it better, but I also feel pretty awesome that I got a chance to know and love the characters.
    Great post.


  2. thanks to zees awesome post, i can now watch gilmore girls, and not go: "should i really be watching this?". at least in my eyes, this is quite an achievement on your part. well done.


  3. Harry - you DO know the characters. you know you love Luke and that you hate logan. you just need to you a little more. Take advantage of the fact that they're finally showing it regularly in India. YOU luke and his diner. And his baseball cap also.

    Ishaan - thank you very much so. that is the most satisfying compliment Ive recieved in a longish time. You'll like Gilmore Girls. Lots of obscure music references that will make perfect sense to a someone like you.


  4. I'm fully impressed with your post title. Life's short, talk fast... hey buddy i think you need to watch Gilmore Girls last two seasons. just click here to watch it..

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