Netflix’s ‘Gilmore Girls’ revival promises heart, family & community spirit

What makes the new Gilmore Girls trailer such a phenomenon? There’s a deeper message of support and strength behind Lorelai and Rory’s relationships.

Saeed Adyani | Netflix

On Tuesday, the trailer for the upcoming Gilmore Girls revival was released, and the Internet lost its collective mind. There was laughing and crying. Fans jumped on social media to share their reactions (Sookie’s back! Emily looks great! Kirk is at Friday night dinner! Wait, Kirk is at Friday night dinner??). The revival will be only four episodes, but I can’t remember the last time four new episodes of anything were met with such fervor.

MORE TO READ: The 8 best mom-daughter moments on Gilmore Girls

It’s been more than nine years since the show went off the air, but its faithful fans are just as faithful as ever. Gilmore Girls holds a special place in many hearts, as I was reminded last month when I visited a local coffee shop that had transformed into the show’s Luke’s Diner as a promotional event—along with what looked like every other woman in northern Virginia, and even a few guys. Waiting in an interminable line, strangers instantly bonded through discussions of evergreen topics, like ranking the various Gilmore boyfriends. (The lady behind me shared my love for Logan, but found Jason less appealing than I did.)

How did the story of coffee-addicted single mother Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her gifted, book-loving daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), create such strong attachments that welcoming it back is like welcoming an old friend?

The quirky little Connecticut town where the Gilmore girls lived acted as a sort of spiritual oasis for many of us.”

Some reasons are obvious: The quirky little Connecticut town where the Gilmore girls lived, with its extremely quirky characters, acted as a sort of spiritual oasis for many of us. It wasn’t a lazy, somnolent sort of comfort—the show’s witty rapid-fire dialogue made you sit up and pay attention. And it rarely wallowed in nostalgia, like some small-town stories do; it was very much of its time, having fun with all kinds of current topics. The scene in the new trailer of Lorelai’s mother, Emily, jumping headfirst into the new “decluttering” trend a la Marie Kondo is a perfect example.

But it was comforting nonetheless. As Lorelai once said, “It was comforting like deep-fried ham-and-cheese soup.” (Only less disgusting.)

It wasn’t just the town that was full of the odd and unexpected. Its very premise was the story of Lorelai, who got pregnant at 16, creating a good home and a good life for the surprise child who had derailed all her plans. Their strong mother-daughter bond, at the heart of the show, was a testament to the joys of embracing the unexpected. And the unwavering support of their family and their community showed that even when a road is hard and painful, like the road of single motherhood can be, we don’t have to walk it alone. The various characters weren’t just quirky, they were also fiercely loyal, supportive, and generous under all their quirks. And that won our hearts.

One moment from season two that sticks in my mind is Lorelai talking to old friend (and future love interest) Luke, listing the people in her life whom she can always rely on: “There’s Rory, and Sookie, and this town, and you.” Lorelai doesn’t seem to think that’s very much, but I think a lot of us heard that and thought, “Wow . . . a whole town. Imagine being able to rely on a whole town!” That level of trust and faith in a community is something so few of us experience anymore, it’s no wonder that the idea of it reached out and grabbed us, and has stayed with us ever since.

Gilmore Girls taught us that with love, perseverance, and friendship, we’ll get through whatever life can throw at us.”

We followed the twists and turns of that road for seven seasons. To quote Lorelai again, “It was not all warm and it was definitely not all fuzzy.” The Gilmore girls and those around them were far from perfect; sometimes they made bad or downright stupid decisions. At the same time, they reminded us of how wonderful life can be, even when it’s messy, or unplanned, and taught us that with love, perseverance, and friendship, we’ll get through whatever life can throw at us.

As “Gilmore” fans learned over seven seasons, and as new fans will discover, sometimes all you need to help keep you going is someone to care about, talk to, and work for. And a good cup of coffee.

Gina Dalfonzo
Gina Dalfonzo
Gina Dalfonzo is editor of BreakPoint.org and Dickensblog, and is working on a book about faith and singleness. She lives in northern Virginia.

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