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Are the Gilmore Girls Actually Likable?

With the revival of the beloved show "Gilmore Girls," watchers get another chance to see what their favorite people of Stars Hollow have been up to. It’s no question that those who loved the show before still love the show after watching it over again. However, and with much regret, after enjoying the seven seasons once again, along with "A Year in the Life," some viewers can’t help but question some of the choices the Gilmores make. From homewrecking, to bullying, to cheating, to using, being rude, and somewhat cruel at times, they still somehow manage to make audiences love them. What distracts us from these events? What makes watching it so enjoyable? What qualities redeem them? Why do we love them?

  • Focusing on the original series versus the revival might be helpful in keeping the essay focused. – mazzamura 5 years ago
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  • I was actually thinking about this recently and I was a fan of the series when it originally aired on The WB back in the early 2000s. I also own every season on DVD and tuned in for A Year in the Life on Netfilx with much anticipation. However, in watching AYIAL, I found myself really hating the Gilmores. They were bossy, self-righteous, and made selfish decisions that dragged others into their messy lives. I wanted to smack Rory and shake Lorelai. Emily, I just wanted her to open her eyes and ears to really hear herself and the racist and classist things that she would say to her hired help. Then I realized, I never loved the Gilmores -- it was always the characters around them that redeemed them. It was Stars Hollow, Paris, Lane and Hep Alien, Jess, Liz, TJ, everyone else (even Logan) that made the girls the magnet of my attention and appreciation. The pop-cultural references and wit were great, but the girls alone just didn't sit well with me. I felt it growing up with the series, but now I can more effectively express this feeling. Maybe the revival was too shady for me, but I think looking back at the series, I had more eye rolls towards Rory and Lorelai than I liked to admit. At least Rory got me psyched about applying to college and making something of myself...but how unnerving it is to see where she actually ended up... – khunt12 5 years ago
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  • I really enjoy this idea and you can do the same for other shows as well such as Friends or One Tree Hill. – boyerj 5 years ago
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  • I really like this topic as someone who was never a Gilmore Girls fan. I watched part of A Year in the Life recently and I just couldn't understand the appeal. My main issue was I couldn't understand why they spoke in monologues but that's mostly irrelevant. But I do think the issue isn't so much likability but maybe a bit of subconscious envy. It's appealing to see someone do or say whatever they want with no repercussions and remain the protagonist of the story. Even in something as trivial as eating, the Gilmore Girls live a fantasy idea. They eat junk food in large amounts at all hours of the day but remain attractively slim. Meanwhile the average person subsisting on pizza, ice cream, and pop tarts for 20 years would certainly not look like that. Many people love villains because they do whatever they want; in a way I think shows like Gilmore Girls (and Friends as another commentator mentioned) give viewers similar satisfaction whilst still rooting for the 'good guy'. – LC Morisset 5 years ago
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  • I've never understood the appeal of Gilmore Girls, and I've seen a few thinkpieces since AYITL came out posing this exact question. This could make for a good article, but whoever takes this on should be cautious to not repeat points made elsewhere, or to at least find new evidence for them. – Sadie 5 years ago
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  • Early in the show yes - the snappy dialogue makes them particularly attractive. As the show progresses, however, they slide into boy-obsessed women, often at the risk of other aspects of their personalities, which makes them unlikeable, or two-dimensional. – queeniesukhadia 4 years ago
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  • Many people love villains because they do whatever they want; in a way I think shows like Gilmore Girls (and Friends as another commentator mentioned) give viewers similar satisfaction whilst still rooting for the 'good guy'. – Clay Cain 4 years ago
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  • I have a very hard time enjoying this show because the rhetoric is nauseating. I like the characters, and the premise, but no one talks like that. I am on English Major at UW-Madison and I have never even heard extremely nuanced peers who have an immense capacity for vocabulary and language converse in the way the dialogue is written for that show. – kraussndhouse 4 years ago
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  • I think the vulnerability of the characters aids their likability. We can recognise some of our own mistakes and flaws alongside virtues and aspirations that many women share. I agree with previous notes, however, that later seasons are heavily boy-focused and make the plot/characters two-dimensional. After you've watched a show for 3-4 seasons though, it can be difficult not to follow through to the end! – bethlauren 4 years ago
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  • I think many of this show's characters are deeply flawed and often very unlikable. But I would argue this makes them more human. Every single person is occasionally unlikable, so is it good or bad to replicate that in fictional people? – Samantha Leersen 1 year ago
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