Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gilmore Girls: The perfect mother/daughter relationship?

Last night, we finished watching the last episodes of the seventh and final season of Gilmore Girls, including the season finale from May 14. Yes, we are a little behind. We always are, as we Tivo everything. But we like doing that, as it allows us to watch the shows in the way we would enjoy the most, and sometimes that means waiting and watching a whole chunk of episodes at once.

I loved the ending of GG - by the end, when Lorelei and Luke kissed, I felt as though I had actually been living in Stars Hollow for the last 7 years, watching their lives unfold. When Rory graduated from Yale, I felt as though we had been there with her the whole time, watching as she went through a private high school, struggling with the relationship with her grandparents and mostly absent father, getting into Yale and the excitement and challenges that faced her there, and the drama created by her relationships with her peers, including Paris and Logan. I liked how Paris became her best friend and her quirkiness at the end of the show was really refreshing. I loved how she decided to ditch Logan in the end, to find out what her life was going to be about. And my husband and I both got a chuckle from all the Palo Alto references, explained by Logan as he tried to sell Rory on the idea of marrying him and moving to the Bay Area. Who actually has an avocado tree in their back yard?

The aspect that I loved most about this show was Lorelei's relationship with Rory. While many of Lorelei's relationships on the show sucked, the one with her daughter made me forget that it was TV and hope that their bond could be an example for my daughter and me. How I would love it if Alice and I were such great friends when she hits her teen years. Shopping together, Friday movie nights, big orders of take out and fried food. Will Alice be the kind of daughter who calls me from college everyday, just to check in? Is it possible that a relationship between mother and daughter could actually exist like theirs, or is it total TV fantasy?

One thing I did notice was that Lorelei was very present in Rory's life, she was not a bystander and even managed to find a career that allowed her to spend time with her daughter on her daughter's schedule (although, any job that allows you to check in with your head chef, grab a bit from the kitchen, and then be absent for the better part of the day has got to be only on TV fantasy land!). It was clear that Rory was her first priority, with other parts of her life in distinct second place. I don't think Lorelei had any hobbies and it did seem like most nights she was at home by 8pm. Occasional Town Meetings were her way to connect to the city, but I don't recall any additional volunteer work. Can you imagine living a life like that in Silicon Valley, where everyone seems to be graded on their impact in their communities. It would feel like stepping back and allowing my kids to become the center of my world. Oh wait, that is the way it should be, right?

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