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Emily is the Superior Gilmore Girl: A Think Piece

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As much as I pride myself on being a vinyl record in a world of streaming services, I too love Fall and all the traditionally ‘basic’ festivities it entails. Among my indulgence of pumpkin-based drinks, an annual rewatch of, “Gilmore Girls,” is one way I prefer to immerse myself in the joys of Autumn.

I think we can all acknowledge that nothing screams Fall like foliage-decorated, Connecticut-based suburbia, Taylor’s town meetings, and of course, breakfast at Luke’s. For the next three months, Stars Hollow is my cinematic home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. While rewatching the series invokes some seriously inexplicable feelings of nostalgia for somebody who made their existential debut the same year that the show debuted on the CW, this time around, I’m ingesting each episode in ways I haven’t before; and consequently, developing new stances. 

Some of my newly formed opinions align with those of the longtime fans I see on Twitter and aren’t too controversial; positions such as Christopher was the spawn of satan, Rory wasn’t as innocent as we used to praise her for being, and Lorelai needed to heal her inner child are all quite valid when you rewatch the show with an evolved, adult perspective. 

However, the most significant, most controversial of my new takes on “Gilmore Girls, the one that would probably get me booed with a shower of popcorn and rotten tomatoes is that Emily Gilmore is, without a doubt, the superior Gilmore girl. 

I know I will get serious backlash from the Lorelai and Rory fanatics, but before you refuse to proceed, hear me out. 

For those who’ve yet to enter the cinematic universe of Stars Hollow and the dreaded but oh-so-entertaining Friday night dinners, Emily Gilmore, portrayed by the talented Kelly Bishop, is the highly opinionated, blatantly classist, two-piece suit-wearing, charity event throwing mother to Lorelai, wife to Richard, and grandmother to Rory. 

Emily bumps head with her daughter every episode, shamelessly. I mean, this woman really holds nothing back. When she fears Lorelai is selling herself short by dating Luke, she takes it upon herself to send Christopher, Rory’s father, to get her back. 

When Emily wants Yale-bound Rory to be with somebody of a higher caliber than Dean the Doose’s Market cashier, she throws her a dinner party full of eligible bachelors. 


And when Emily and Richard go through a rough patch in their marriage, what does she do? She packs up and vacations in Europe…for an entire summer. Despite being able to see the Chanel No. 5 on this woman, I admire Emily Gilmore for being authentically who she is at all times. 

Not to mention, this woman is impeccably fluent in the dialect of nice nasty; using words such as ‘rustic’ to describe Luke’s Diner and offering him a beer when she has a plethora of fine wines and scotches on hand. Emily’s digs sound like compliments and often produce ‘thank you’s’ in response rather than the deserved protests and pushback that only her daughter Lorelai has the energy to deliver on a consistent basis.

Do you know the respect and esteem one’s presence has to demand, that those around them are thankful for their insults?

Simply put, Emily Gilmore is a force to be reckoned with.

Is she problematic? Absolutely. Could she have been a better mother? Without a doubt. However, with Emily, what you see is what you get.

I have endless respect for flawed characters and people alike who bear their flaws proudly. It’s the plaid-skirt-wearing, puppy-dog-eyed, book-reading Rorys of the world with the tendency to throw stones and subsequently prefer to sever their hands off at the wrist before admitting guilt and taking accountability that I have an issue with. 

As a “Gilmore Girls, enthusiast, I highly recommend rewatching or beginning the series if you’ve yet to indulge in the series and all its clever, quirky glory. I truly cannot think of a better way to tap into all the Fall feels than by consuming the beloved series in its entirety. I’m fully aware this is not a popular opinion, and it is in full Emily fashion that I write, edit, and subsequently publish this for the world to see.

We’re not put on Earth to be agreeable, but rather to learn strength by being firm in our isolated opinions and behaviors. And what, if nothing else, is Emily Gilmore if not the epitome of Devil’s advocate?

Cheyenne Paterson is a senior English major, Strategic Communications minor studying at Hampton University from Boston, MA. She aspires to combine storytelling and an editorial style of writing to increase audience engagement and advocate for brands and corporations. Cheyenne is the Editor-In-Chief for Hampton University's Chapter of Her Campus, a regular contributor to Impressions of Beauty, and the President of the Peer Counselor's organization on campus. In her free time, Cheyenne enjoys dabbling in interior design, perfecting her homemade coffee, and baking new recipes!
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