Art by Peau Porotesano
I can’t remember which episode was playing on the TV when I received my acceptance to Pepperdine. I just remember the banter between the girls mingling with the excited screeches of my mom, sister and I as we celebrated. It wasn’t strange that the Gilmore’s bore witness that day, because as family, it was just right.
Since I was young, watching my “family” on T.V. shows a-bit-more-than-semi-religiously has given me a space to glean knowledge unabashedly. The value of knowledge was always placed on me from a young age with art history flashcards, Schoolhouse Rock CD’s and heavily edited essays, and though high marks were expected, creativity was encouraged. Besides ballet, T.V. shows became my reprieve from everyday monotony.
Which, surprisingly, isn’t a bad thing. “TV is … starting a dialogue, introducing a wider audience of viewers to social issues they might not otherwise be exposed to and allowing for an automatic forum for them to be discussed,” wrote Lauren Duca’s in her article “Watching TV is Good For You,” published July 8, 2015 by the Huffington Post.
In T.V. shows, such as “Chuck,” “Smallville,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Gilmore Girls,” I was exposed to real life problems and applied them to my own.
I saw Chuck Bartowski use his technical skills to help others, even when he didn’t believe in himself. I saw a young Clarke Kent navigate high school and then a newsroom while becoming Superman. I saw Christina Yang and Meredith Grey boldly accept each other’s faults. I saw Rory Gilmore’s relationship with her mother grow stronger with age.
I love the worlds each character inhabits. Haley Mlotek discusses why so many people including myself, find themselves so enamored with the world of Stars Hollow: “[‘Gilmore Girls’] creates a world that resembles our own, but everyone is just a little quicker, a little livelier and a little more real than real life,” according to her article “Why the ‘Gilmore Girls’ Fandom Lives On,” published Mltotek July 15, 2015 by the New York Times Magazine.
I have learned how to live and love from these characters. But I don’t know if I feel comfortable saying that I have learned all that I can from them.
Each time I rewatch an episode for the umpteenth time, I see my world just a bit differently. I find the things that I missed, for wisdom and knowledge change, shift and pulsate with life as I do. I’ve realized that views which I held were naive at best and seeing that only comes with growth.
For example, in high school, I naively but passionately proclaimed #teamJess to any fellow GG lover. As a college educated, humanities-majoring feminist, I know that Rory should “end up” being comfortable in her own skin, and can make her own choices as an independent woman who doesn’t need a man (although if she did it should be Jess).
Minorly problematic, I know. But I am still learning, and I know it’s a continuous process.
So whenever re-runs of my shows pop up late at night, I smile, feeling the comfort of old family friends. We have shared experiences. We have shared tears of frustration at friends, laughter at my college acceptance, coughs from my months-with-mono and cappuccinos as I curled up abroad in Italy. I have shared life with my family, both on-screen and off, and I am happy to continue sharing it with them.
So when “Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life,” premieres on Nov. 25, you can find me curled up on the couch, eating a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich and learning life-lessons from family that I haven’t seen in too long. Welcome back Gilmore’s; We’ve missed you.
Follow Lauren Davila on Twitter: @laurengilmore03