Sept. 21 marks the beginning of the fall season. Though it certainly does not feel like it is in our corner of the world, we can still pretend while we wait for the next cold front to roll through.
One of my favorite shows to revisit every fall is “Gilmore Girls,” where mother and daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are crowned as the season’s queens.
You may have noticed memes shared about this strong opinion and wonder why so many people are obsessed with a show that came out over 20 years ago and are committed to rewatching it every year.
First, I think the season in general brings up feelings of nostalgia, comfort and a sublime sense of familiarity. There’s a certain pumpkin-spiced scent in the air — an intoxicating feeling of the crisp air cooling off our bodies that are far too used to oppressive heat by now. There’s a feeling that you’re home when it’s fall.
Second, “Gilmore Girls” takes all of those feelings and bundles them into seven whole seasons of laughter, drama, fast-talking and coffee addictions — all things that every UD student can relate to.
Is it sort of aggravating to watch Rory have the same conversations with Dean over and over again? Absolutely. But even in that frustration, the feelings of comfort overcome any kind of ill-feeling towards the show.
Another reason why I love watching it now is that it’s fun to see that I can relate to Rory in so many different seasons — literally and figuratively.
Last year, I watched a season four episode in which Rory starts college at the prestigious Yale University, which is also the alma mater of her maternal grandparents — the timelessly classy Richard and Emily Gilmore. I watched the episode titled “The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale” and found myself relating to Rory’s fears and over-the-top excitement at times as she moved into her new dorm with girls she didn’t know — minus one Paris Geller, Rory’s frenemy from high school.
The experience was beyond cathartic as I felt myself at ease with the fact that even perfect Rory Gilmore can fall apart sometimes.
This year, I rewatched the season five episode titled “But Not As Cute As Pushkin” where Rory tours a prospective high school student named Anna from her alma mater during her sophomore year. She quickly learns that the girl is not as fascinated by Rory’s extensive library tour and personal Yale Encyclopedia of fun facts, odd traditions and quirkiness that we all love about Rory Gilmore. Instead, Anna is more interested in the fun parties and freedom that she has away from her parents and her rigorous high school experience.
I noticed how much Rory had grown — and in some sense, had not grown — from the past season, and paralleled it with my own. While I don’t believe her entire life should be used as a perfect model, I find her messy growth to be relatable and endearing. It was refreshing to hear her say that she was adjusting to her new dorm, workload and writing position for the newspaper when I have been trying to do just that.
It is not a show where everyone makes all the right decisions — reality is not that pretty. The characters are stubborn, frustrating, confusing, compassionate, hilarious and awful all at the same time. So are real human beings.
I love the way that “Gilmore Girls” blends our reality with the fantasy world of Stars Hollow, Connecticut where everyone knows your name, address, business and love life. Though it should be a nightmare, I find myself still visiting the town every year and falling for the same romance stories and cliché plot lines.
I’m looking forward to watching the season three Thanksgiving episode “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” this year where Lorelai and Rory attend four Thanksgiving dinners and progressively regret it. In an effort to hype up her daughter for the arduous journey, Lorelai famously says: “It’s not too much food. This is what we have been training for our whole lives. This is our destiny. This is our finest hour.”
My hope is that you also enjoy this fall season like a true Gilmore girl — with lots of coffee, books, food and laughter.