Matt Grant

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Friday Night Dinners: A Gilmore Girls Digest

We are now just 15 weeks away from when Gilmore Girls: A Day in the Life drops on Netflix Thanksgiving weekend, and the time will fly, friends, the time will fly. There are 154 episodes across Gilmore Girls' seven seasons, so if you're hoping to revisit all of the witticisms, quips, one-liners, barbs and pop culture references contained within the Lorelai/Rory/Emily drama, you better get started soon. 

Of course, if you don't have time for all of that, you could always let me do it for you. Each Friday night from until Thanksgiving, join me here for a recap of all of GG's episodes. 

Episode 101: Pilot

And we're off...

"Boys don't like funny girls." -Mrs. Kim
"Noted." -Rory  

Mrs. Kim is wrong about a lot of things, but this may be her biggest wrong of all: guys loves funny girls. This guy, does anyway. Especially if their last name is Gilmore. I've seen a lot of TV pilots in my day, and the vast majority of them are pretty terrible. It usually takes some time for a brand new TV show to find its footing and become secure in its characters. But not this pilot. The Gilmore Girls pilot is one pretty solid piece of storytelling. In it, we are introduced to all of our major players: Lorelai, Rory, Sookie, Michel, Luke, Emily, Richard, Ms. Patty, Dean....

Ugh. Dean. I hate Dean. But we'll have plenty of time to get into that. 

The pilot also does an incredible job of setting up the backstory methodically, without over-explaining. The set-up, which will last the rest of the series, is thus: Rory gets into Chilton, the elite private prep school which she sees as her one-way ticket to Harvard, the school of her dreams. Lorelai has to front a lot of money in order to save her daughter's spot, and so she is reluctantly forced to ask her parents, Emily and Richard, for a loan. To say that Lorelai and her parents are estranged would be unfair, but they certainly aren't close. At first, Emily is confused when she sees Lorelai on her doorstep, as it's not Thanksgiving. Emily and Richard agree to help Lorelai, with one caveat: the Gilmore Girls must come over for dinner every Friday night. Lorelai would not let her mother be a part of her life after she ran away from home when she got pregnant with Rory at sixteen, but Emily does not want to be shielded from her only granddaughter. 

So the stage is set, loaded with all of the small-Connecticut-town hilarity and drama that will ensue just waiting in the wings. This is not just a show about Lorelai and Rory, as the many press materials may lead you to believe, and as I thought the first time around. There are three generations of Gilmore Girls here, and the Emily/Lorelai dynamic is just as crucial, and often just as hilarious and heartrending, as the Lorelai/Rory one. Because above all else, behind all of the stories about relationships, friendships, and adolescence, Gilmore Girls is really about one thing: the bond between mothers and their daughters.  I can't wait to dive in, ya'll. 

Episode 102: The Lorelai's First Day at Chilton

enter paris. also, chad michael murray. ANd jackson, yay!

"You can make an appointment to see your guidance counselor, Mr. Winters, he handles everything but bulimia or pregnancy. For that, you'd have to go to the nurse or Coach Ruebens. Welcome to Chilton"  - School Secretary

Ahhh, school. That magical place where education is always taking place, and nice boys and girls treat one another with nothing but respect and dignity as they strive to achieve the common goal of bettering themselves for the good of the world community....

Oh, that's the complete opposite of what really happens? Sorry. 

Look: Chilton is a terrible place. We knew it would be. All the girls are required to wear plaid skirts and Chad Michael Murray goes there. Why does Chad Michael Murray always play terrible guys? I'm sure he's really nice in real life. 

Anyway, Rory's first day at Chilton is the worst, second only to Lorelai's first day of Chilton. Why is Lorelai going to Chilton? Well, she drives there at Rory's insistence after waking up late and realizing all of her clothes are at the dry cleaner's. After throwing on a pair of cut-off jean shorts and a floral-print top, Lorelai is ushered into Headmaster "Il Dulce" Charleston's office where she finds...ba ba baaaaaa...Emily! And that's not the only way Emily tries to insert herself back into Lorelai's life. Lorelai also has to turn away some DSL internet installation (remember DSL internet?) that Emily pays for so Rory can access better internet for school. She also wants to buy Rory more school uniforms and a Chilton blanket, all of which Lorelai denies.

While Lorelai fights with her mother, Rory fights to make it through her first day at Chilton unscathed. But it doesn't go exactly as planned. The headmaster makes it clear to her that not everyone will succeed, and she is already very far behind. An unfortunate accident with her locker and Paris' history project puts Rory on Paris' bad side (and Paris' bad side is a very bad side). Tristan meanwhile won't stop calling Rory  "Mary," which Lorelai tells her when she picks Rory up is his way of saying she looks like a goody-goody. First days at new schools are always hard, but this one may take the cake. 

On the brighter side of things, we get our first glimpse here of possible sparks between Luke and Lorelai, and the first glimpse at the over-the-fruit flirtationship between Sookie and Jackson. And Dean is nowhere to be found, which is always a plus. 

See you next Friday for more Gilmore Girls recaps!

 

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