I’ve reached the Gilmore Girl phase of quarantine. You know, that point when escaping to Stars Hollow becomes the highlight of your evening and you have the feeling that if you don’t watch at least one episode a day you may spontaneously combust (or, even worse, spontaneously develop a cough and a fever).
Let’s rewind five weeks. I came home from university to find my mum and my sister one and a half seasons deep into Gilmore Girls, an American teen drama from the early noughties which follows mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory as they navigate life in Stars Hollow, the small Connecticut town in which the series is set. With quite literally nothing else to do (apart from revision but let’s try to forget about that), I jumped on the bandwagon of what has proven to be the best form of Coronavirus escapism on Netflix.
A lover of late 90s and early noughties shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, I fell in love almost instantly. Although it may not have supernatural elements, Gilmore Girls possesses its own kind of magic (and adorably cheesy montage opening credits, of course). With meddling grandparents and student council conflicts amongst the protagonists’ biggest problems, it’s perhaps the gentlest teen drama I’ve ever watched. During more normal times, its lack of nail-biting tension and crazy twists may be a bad thing, but when you’re living through a global crisis, it’s just what the plague-doctor ordered.
Maybe Stars Hollow is part of the reason Gilmore Girls is the cosiest quarantine option. With seemingly no crime, an adorable town square which is home to frequent community gatherings and challenges (think snowman-building competitions and town picnics), an all-American diner where the Gilmore Girls breakfast every day (watching will definitely make you crave pancakes), this jolly fictional town provides easy escapism from lockdown life. Nothing bad happens in Stars Hollow; even Coronavirus wouldn’t dare touch it.
The wacky cast of characters is also something special. Firstly and secondly of course, there are the Gilmore Girls themselves, our beloved protagonists. With her quick-wit and sarcasm, mother Lorelai is perhaps the most quotable character in the history of television and her kind and studious daughter Rory is one of the most likeable teen characters ever. They’re beautiful and charming, but they’re also very real.
Their diet consists of Pop Tarts and Chinese takeaways (sounds like our eating habits during lockdown tbh), Lorelai has a serious addiction to coffee (“I can’t stop drinking the coffee, I stop drinking coffee, I stop doing the standing, and the walking, and the words-putting-into-sentences doing”), and Rory has enough books to rival Matilda. Their realness, warmth, and humour make them impossible not to love; they’re the sort of gals you’d want to have as friends and during lockdown, when your real friends feel a million miles away, having a couple of fictional friends there for you every evening is as comforting as one of their warm cups of diner coffee.
However, Gilmore Girls wouldn’t be the same without the curious mix of supporting characters including Luke, the grumpy (but weirdly hot) diner owner, his obnoxious (but also hot) bad boy nephew Jess, Lorelai’s bubbly best friend Sookie, Rory’s unhinged classmate Paris, and of course the Gilmore Grandparents, Lorelai’s snobbish and protective parents. The eccentric personalities of the lengthy list of supporting characters bring fun to each episode, and the friendships and blossoming romances that unfold provide the archetypally wholesome Gilmore Girls content that makes the series so warm and fuzzy.
Now entering my sixth week of lockdown (sob) and my fourth season of Gilmore Girls, my sentimental attachment to the series is growing; it’s become as much of a comfort as the blanket I wrap myself in whilst watching it every night. It’s managed to take my mind off the pandemic better than anything else, and the nightly Gilmore Girls ritual has provided my evenings with a crumb of routine.
I hope that in the future the sight of Stars Hollow on my screen won’t remind me of the Coronavirus crisis, but rather the moments I spent with my mum and sister when we all had to stay at home, and the sweet escapism that Gilmore Girls brought us. Now I just hope that we don’t run out of episodes before lockdown ends or there’ll be a whole new crisis in our household.
Images are taken from Gilmore Girls stills.