Confessions of a TV Addict: When Jon Hamm Showed Up & Other 'Gilmore Girls' Memories

Anyone who was in my fifth grade English class can attest to the fact that I have a bit of a Gilmore Girls obsession. Having binged the entire series up to that point before that was even the hip thing to do, the bright-eyed and still-brunette young Gabby felt a carnal attraction to the show riddled with charm, townies, and popular culture I was too young and ill informed to understand. I became the 10-year-old walking around referencing Stalin as a punchline because of this show. 

Much to the chagrin of my teacher and my loudly groaning fellow classmates, I would go out of my way to relate whatever we were discussing to Gilmore Girls by raising my Claire’s bangle-laden arm (Sue me, tt was the early aughts.) and prompting in my shrill, nasally voice, “This one time on Gilmore Girls [insert reference to the show that barely has anything to do with that story about Rosa Parks we read].”

So yes. I love this show with every fiber of my being. When I heard about the Netflix revival, I recoiled in fear. I am someone who feels reboots are weird and gross, and many are done for nostalgia's sake and I hate nostalgia. Deeply cynical as it may be, I find it is a waste of energy (I am so not on-board with the new Beauty and the Beast, despite Ewan McGregor’s involvement. That opinion may get me some harassment. Come at me.)

However, Gilmore Girls never had a proper ending. In a deeply complicated turn of events, the original showrunners and creators, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, left the show before its seventh and final season. The final vision of the show was never properly executed, and the seventh season lives on in the minds of many as the gas-leak season, with the writing and tone of the show totally lacking from the previous six (I think season six is kind of not so good, either, but whatevs.)

I was thinking about doing a recap or review of the new episodes, as opposed to rehashing a show that ended ten years ago. That would require me to take notes and just not really be able to enjoy and immerse myself in the new episodes. So, for my own sanity, I vetoed that idea pretty quickly. I thought instead, I would reminisce about my most cherished Gilmore moments, good and bad, and share my varied opinions before the new episodes drop. 

*Political/preachy moment before I spew nonsense* Particularly in times as uneasy as these, I find it is so important to seek out escapism amongst something as safe, delightful, and happy as Stars Hollow. 

That time that Jess finally got his sh*t together.

I am ride-or-die #TeamJess. Don’t @ me.

To quote voice of wisdom and reason Jason Mantzoukas from one of his many appearance on the Gilmore Guys podcast (which I elucidated about a year ago here): “Hard pass on Dean. […] Logan can straight-up go f**k himself.” I could not agree more with Mr. Mantzoukas’ impassioned sentiment.

Dean is okay, until he gets mad at Rory for not saying “I love you” back and cheats on his wife with her. And his hair in those first couple seasons is horrendously awful.

Logan is the human equivalent of a BMW 3-series filled with J. Crew catalogues being doused in bourbon, lit on fire, then driven off a cliff. Matty Czuchry is hella handsome, but Logan was a rich, privileged white guy who thought he could get away with whatever he wanted because his daddy was important. Team Logan people, remember how Logan slept with, like, a hundred girls when him and Rory were not even broken up? What was that? And he called her "Ace" all the time. That wasn't cute. That was weird. If you are currently dating a Logan, dump him. I can, without hesitation, promise you that you will be better off.

Jess was a problematic, troubled bad boy, who did try to force himself on Rory at a party, but he ended up great. He moved to Philadelphia, wrote his own novel, and he is a Hemingway! He yelled at Rory in an iconic scene: “Why did you drop out of Yale?!”

Plus Milo Ventimiglia is just a flawless human specimen. Now, I am Team Jess more for myself than for Rory. I think Rory would be better off with someone much less complicated, but if I have to choose one for her, Jess it is.

That time Lorelai Gilmore wore insanely whacky winter wear.

She was the queen of the festive hat and scarf. Bless her.

That time Stars Hollow had a totally random event.

One of the most delightful things about this show was all of the pointless festivals and events the town was somehow able to afford to put on. The dance marathon is a personal favourite of mine, but there’s the Twickham museum, various seasonally themed festivities, the opening of Taylor’s soda shop, Miss Patty’s dance recital, the Festival of Living Art, etc. etc. etc.

Thinking about the logistics of these events is enough to give any logical person a headache, but Stars Hollow is no place for logic. It is a place for this:

That time Miss Patty was overtly sexual (always).

Queen.

That time Emily Gilmore got drunk. And also the time she took off her skirt and climbed out a window. And the time she freaked out at a mall.

We do not deserve Kelly Bishop. She is a jewel in our world and I worship the ground she walks on. She is incredible at playing the biting, mostly disapproving mother of Lorelai, the loving wife of Richard, but she is also amazing when she is losing her everloving mind. She is a character who is always portrayed as composed and put together, and after the death of her mother-in-law, whom she was not pals with, she gets super drunk and starts chain-smoking cigarettes like she’s a character from a Tennessee Williams play. It is spectacular.

There is another moment when she is fighting with Richard in which she delivers this iconic gem of a line:

Then, she proceeds to take her skirt off and escape out the basement window. 

She also storms through the department store in a scene so iconic it would impress Joanne the Scammer.

This woman is a Tony-Award winner, dammit, and she is going to prove it.

That time Kirk sang “Do You Love Me?” with a child. And the time he reenacted being born on stage. And the time he did the "Howard Dean" scream.

This is so insanely cringe-worthy and wonderful.

Oh, Kirk.

Remember when making a slightly unsettling noise made someone appear unfit to hold the office of the President of the United States of America with dignity? *insert awkward laughing that is masking the eternal screaming that is actually occuring on the inside*

That time when a bunch of actors who are now super famous showed up for one episode.

Guys, I get to talk about Jon Hamm. It's practically Christmas for me anytime I get to talk about him. He was a guest star as Peyton Sanders, this guy who was so boring that she wouldn’t even go on a second date with him. And the second date was a Bowie concert! And it was Jon Hamm! Why am I yelling?! I have morphed into Billy Eichner, apparently. 

Rami Malek showed up as Andy, one of Lane’s college classmates:

Max Greenfield played a really drunk guy named Luke at Dean’s bachelor party:

Leslie Odom Jr. was this snotty guy from Princeton before he was Aaron Burr (Taking a second to plug Leslie’s holiday album that just dropped because it is a dream wrapped in tinsel sprinkled with crushed up candy canes and it is exactly what you need to get in the spirit of the season!):

Nick Offerman was Jackson’s brother who was weirdly sexual with Lorelai:

Victoria Justice was the little kid who licked a carrot at a Lord of the Rings birthday party: 

And so many more! Gilmore created stars!

That time Paris Geller had sex and didn’t get into Harvard.

Liza Weil is one of our most underappreciated actresses. She is cranking out incredible work, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine work, at such a consistent level it is a major disappointment she has not been properly awarded for it. She is great on How to Get Away with Murder (so I hear, anyways. Gabby gave up on that Shonda nonsense a long time ago), but her portrayal of Paris is one of my favourite television performances ever. 

That time Rory bought a “study tree,” and solidified that the overarching theme of Gilmore Girls is class and privilege.

What the hell, Rory? Who pays for a tree? What is the matter with you?

Those times when the show got poignant and real.

As fun as this show was, and it is fun most of the time, when it got “real,” it was heart-wrenching. When Lorelai is pleading to Luke that she is ready to get married, or when Emily is standing alone in her foyer crying after having just gone on a date with another man after separating from Richard, or anytime things got raw between Emily and Lorelai, I was ripped apart.

Some of the most dramatic moments on the show were these real adult, family issues. It was sort of ironic that it was on such a “teen” station (the WB), and there were episodes that ended with an old many sitting alone in his study, feeling as though his family didn’t want him around. That is totally something that every 13-year-old goes into middle school to discuss with their friends!

That time (anytime… er, most of the time) that Luke got really beset upon by everyone around him, and started yelling and freaking out.

Iconic.

That time when the show broke its typical visual language and solidified "Friday Night's Alright For Fighting" as one of the best Gilmore Girls episodes in the entire canon. 

Any avid fan of the show will know that this episode is an incredible testement to the writing and creative abilities of the Palladinos, as well as the acting of Edward Herrmann, Lauren Graham, Kelly Bishop, and I suppose, by default since she was there, Alexis Bledel (who is the queen of mumble acting). 

This scene is super memorable for the way it changes its typical directing style, single-cam with long shots, to a jumping sporadic movement that feels like you're watching an incredibly intelligent episode of the Real Housewives of [random city here]. 

That time Mrs. Kim was savage AF.

The over-bearing mother of Rory's best friend, Lane, Mrs. Kim is not appreciated enough for her ability to throw some intense shade.

That time Richard Gilmore was the unsung hero of the entire show.

Time to get sentimental. (Sorry!) Edward Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore, Lorelai's father, unfortunately passed away in late 2014. The character of Richard will have also passed away in the revival, and many of the plot points of the new episodes will revolve around that. Richard was an anchor to the three "Gilmore girls," and his death will upturn their lives quite a bit, especially that of his wife Emily. 

Richard had so many wonderful moments in the first 7-seasons of the show. 

Like when he was in no mood for Lorelai's music references:

Or when he was super ecstatic that Rory was going to his alma mater, Yale:

Or when he helped Rory punk that smug-faced heathen, Logan:

Or when he was all of us discovering the magic of wifi:

Or when he did this for Emily at their renewal ceremony:

You will be missed, Richard.

This article could honestly become an infinite black hole of nonsense, though I think we have already passed that point, so I shall wrap it up. This show is probably the most important show of my life. It was something I watched with my mother, just as I was peeking into my awkward adolescence. It was something I continued to rewatch, and rewatch, and rewatch, and am in fact rewatching as I type this. It shaped the way I talk, which is somewhat troubling that a TV show has had that much influence on me as a person, but here we are. I wanted to be a "Gilmore girl;" someone who constantly riddled conversation with references and talked at the speed of light. Anyone who has met me could probably attest to the fact that that is grotesquely true. I have removed any and all cynicism I previously held and am genuinely getting excited for the new episodes to drop, as I am so excited to have new Gilmore Girls to devour and to have an excuse to take a trip to Stars Hollow once again.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life drops Friday November 25 on Netflix. 

Happy watching, friends. xx