Monday, December 19, 2016

16 Years Late to Gilmore Girls, or: Why I Stopped Reading Books in November

On October 28, my longtime friend Katharine, who I had just invited to spend Thanksgiving with my family, asked me if we were bingeing the Gilmore Girls revival on Black Friday. Because my parents had made some pretty strict rules about TV-watching while I was in middle school, I missed the boat on a lot of shows that most people have seen, and Gilmore Girls was one of them. I knew everyone was excited about the revival, and several of my friends told me they thought I would like the show, so I told Katharine that I had never seen it, but maybe I would watch it before Thanksgiving. She said, "it's 7 seasons though!" and I said "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED."

I had watched the first episode a year or so earlier and didn't love it, but I committed to at least giving it an honest chance. During the whole first season I still wasn't sold, but when my roommates Kelly and Jared told me the second season was the best, I continued on. At some point I stopped noticing whether or not I actually enjoyed watching the show and just fully dove into the task of finishing it by Thanksgiving.

Each season of the 7 has 22 episodes, and at 45 minutes each, that adds up to 6,930 minutes of television, or 115 hours. I had about one month to complete them, which means 4 hours of Gilmore Girls each day. That was a huge feat for me, since I normally am not a huge TV watcher. I teach all day, I have a regular workout schedule, I like to cook, and read, and I teach Sunday School for church, and I really like to hang out with my friends a lot, plus my boyfriend. After taking a sick day in that first week and watching ALL DAY without any real progress, I realized just how much 115 hours of TV is.

But I never give up on challenges. So I dug deep. I not only watched while I was doing cardio at the gym, but also while I was walking there and back. If I had to wait for appts or in long lines, I'd turn it on. During my prep periods at school, if I was doing a mindless task like entering grades, I'd have an episode on (and I'd always watch at lunch). I fell asleep to an episode a lot of nights, and if I woke up earlier than I had to, I'd watch in the morning. One night Dinesh and I sat next to each other with headphones in, him watching Before the Flood while I watched Gilmore. Eventually, I convinced him to watch it with me, and GG replaced everything we used to watch (How I Met Your Mother, Chopped, movies, etc.). Sundays after church were almost entirely devoted to episode after episode after episode with Kelly. I kicked myself when an entire day would go by without watching, since I knew it would cost a lot in makeup time.

I also completely gave up reading during this time, except for audiobooks while I was driving. On several occasions I wanted to pick up a book, but that November 25 deadline was looming, so I pressed on, promising myself I would read again when I was done.

Thanksgiving came, and I still had about half of the last season to watch. While prepping pies on Wednesday night, Gilmore was playing on the TV at my parents' house (thank goodness for their open floor plan). Thanksgiving Day was the same--cook, watch, repeat. Friday, November 25 dawned, and we finished up season 7 while celebrating my dad's birthday and avoiding social media references to the revival. At last on Friday night, after this arduous process,  I reached the last episode of season 7 and was so, so content with how it ended.

But unlike fans of Gilmore Girls around the world, I did not have to wait 9 years to find out what was happening to the girls. We started right in on the revival, watching Winter on Friday night and Spring, Summer, and Fall on Saturday.

What did I think of the show, you ask? (Revival spoilers below, but seriously, if you haven't watched it yet, you're not that big of a fan so it can't really matter anyway.)

  • I was strongly Team Logan through the first 7 seasons. Yes, he was an entitled playboy, but he cared about Rory so much (and it was obvious he still did in the revival too). I'm fine with her ending up with Jess eventually, but Logan will always be my fave.
  • Sookie is everything. I loved her and Lorelai's relationship and it was devastating that she was only in the revival for a brief moment. The show needs her.
  • Worst character in the whole show is Taylor. I HATE that man.
  • Rory kept disappointing me over and over again through everything, and I guess that's true to life. Everyone you ever love will disappoint you at some point. Just a fact.
  • Emily's revival story was SO SATISFYING. She was the worst so many times throughout the series and I loved seeing her chill out a little bit.
  • Hated the musical (duh) and hated Lorelai's Wild story. Running away is definitely something she would do, but copying someone else's experience does not seem realistic for her.
  • Kirk was soooooo heart-eyes-emoji in the revival. Thank goodness they didn't show his bare chest because I would not have been able to stomach that again.
  • I'm not sad at all about the ending. I actually think the last four words thing was a great way to end it. Maybe it's a little depressing to realize that escaping the cycle of our family is not always realistic, but I also think Rory has the opportunity to do things very differently than how Lorelai did and I'm hopeful for everyone.


My life felt a little empty after finishing it all, but I am relieved to be spending time on other things these days. Dinesh and I have been watching all the Disney movies, and I have been working my way through the Anne of Green Gables and Chronicles of Narnia series. Plus, I can go full days without TV of any kind and it's totally okay. Looking forward to a lot more of that.

3 comments:

  1. haha I feel so proud of your commitment to challenges. You are one dedicated gf!

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  2. I watched all seven seasons during Feb-March 2015. I was Team Dean for a long time. Jess grew on me and I hated every single thing about Logan from the second I saw him through the revival. I was also bummed about the lack of Sookie in the revival, thought Lorelei's Wild story was stupid, and was annoyed at the midnight wedding thing. Emily was always the best and I love how her story turned out, though I do wonder how it would have been different if they'd have done this 9 years ago before Edward Herrmann (Richard) died in real life. I also like Taylor more than Kirk, Rory got progressively insufferable, and I liked the end of season 7 better than the end of the revival.

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  3. Also, in contrast to every friend I have, I never liked Paris and thought her revival story was ridiculous and not actually all that true to her character.

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