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Gilmore Girls walking through Fall Festival
Gilmore Girls walking through Fall Festival
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Culture > Entertainment

Hot Take: ‘Gilmore Girls’ is the Best TV Show Of All Time

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

There are few things in life more comforting than a cup of coffee and an episode of Gilmore Girls. I have consumed a lot of media in my life and the cozy sitcom keeps rising above all the rest. I have mousy brown hair, go to journalism school in Connecticut, and am slightly annoying— I am Rory Gilmore. Year after year, when the first autumn leaf falls I long to revisit my friends in Stars Hollow. The show is not just cozy, it truly has it all. Here’s why I think Gilmore Girls is top-tier television.

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1. Stars Hollow, Connecticut

A TV show’s setting is an integral part of what makes it so special. Friends has New York City, Parks and Rec has Pawnee, and Gilmore Girls has Stars Hollow. Gilmore Girls’ creators, Amy and Dan Palladino, cite the inspiration for Stars Hollow as being Washington Depot, Connecticut, alongside other quaint New England towns. Stars Hollow has that small-town charm I’ve always envied. The close-knit community, the wacky small businesses, and the iconic town events make Stars Hollow the perfect setting. We may have Huskython here at UConn, but it’s no dance marathon like in season 3’s “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?

I’ve always wanted to visit Stars Hollow— and I tried. Stars Hollow, which actually doubles as Pretty Little Liars’ Rosewood, can be visited during the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Burbank, California. I visited this attraction in July 2022 only to be told that USC had booked the area for a sports workshop (sigh).

So maybe I’ll never visit Doose’s Market or eat at Al’s Pancake World (which does not sell pancakes BTW), but at least I have 7 seasons + a reboot to live vicariously through the residents of Stars Hollow.  

2. The Townies

Some of my favorite Gilmore Girls moments occur between the niche, hilarious, and odd members of the Stars Hollow community. Kirk, Miss Patty, Babette, Andrew the Bookseller, Taylor Doose, the Town Troubadour, the list goes on and on. Having an ensemble cast allows for some comedic relief and running gags that don’t interfere with the main plot line. The townies also come with some interesting lore. What could Kirk’s resume possibly look like? Where the hell was Mr. Kim for 7 seasons?

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3. Intergenerational Relationships

Gilmore Girls features 3 main generations. Emily was born around the early 1940s, which makes her a part of the Silent Generation. Lorelai is presumably a member of Gen X, while Rory is a Millennial. These distinctions are somewhat important in understanding the character’s relationships with one another. What does an older mother look like as opposed to a younger mother? What does a grandmother-granddaughter relationship look like? 

I love this aspect of the show because it allows for a wider reach and appeal. I can watch an episode with my friend and then watch it again with my mom and get different reactions and opinions. 

4. Character Growth

With so many fun characters and situations, we inevitably get to see these characters grow and change. On the one hand, it’s fun to watch this happen from a television production perspective. Kirk, for example, takes a while to get settled into his character, but by the end, he is one of the most entertaining, predictably inconsistent people on screen. Paris’ arc is similar as she grows from academic rival into one of Rory’s best friends. 

We see this growth even more when we envision the characters as real people. We, as viewers, get to witness dreams become reality (aka the Dragonfly Inn). We get to romantic relationships blossom or fall apart. One of my favorite examples of this is Rory’s “breakdown” at the end of season 5. This plotline used to give me the worst secondhand embarrassment possible. I mean, she joins the Daughters of the American Revolution of all groups. But as a college student, I now understand. Gifted kid burnout is very real and it would almost be too unrealistic if all of Rory’s academic career was smooth sailing. We get to watch Rory (and every single character) make mistakes and learn from them. 

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5. “ I love you, you idiot!”

Whether you love relationships that slow-burn or crash and burn, Gilmore Girls has got it all. From the long-term marriage of Babette and Morey to the many love affairs of Lorelai Gilmore, there’s a romantic arc for everyone. 

Debating about Rory Gilmore’s relationships is one of the central draws to the show. Just like Twilight, whatever “team” you’re on is crucial information and I will judge you based on your answer. And let’s be honest there really isn’t any wrong answer in this case, unless of course if your answer is team Dean. 

6. “Life’s Short, Talk Fast”

Me and my short attention span love the iconic Gilmore Girls dialogue. The fast, pop-culture reference-filled speech is a hallmark of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s work. The fast-talking keeps the show engaging, witty, and fun. I’m bound to notice a new joke or side comment during every re-watch. 

7. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

The Gilmore girlies are nothing if not caffeinated. From Luke’s Diner to Weston’s Bakery to the Yale coffee cart, our girls are always laying down cash for some caffeine. According to Forbes Lorelai and Rory consume over 500 cups of coffee throughout the show’s 153 episodes. Good TV has some element that remains a constant throughout and for the Gilmores, it’s coffee.

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8. Cameos Galore

Celebrity cameos can be a hit or miss on television. Oftentimes they take you out of the story and can only serve comedic purposes. Gilmore Girls, however, does it right…well sort of. The reason a lot of the cameos in Gilmore Girls feel natural is that the stars appeared before their “big break.” Actors such as Jane Lynch, Max Greenfield, Danny Pudi, Victoria Justice, and Rami Malek all played small roles in the show. 

Gilmore Girls also managed to score some big-name guest stars as well. Paul Anka, Christiane Amanpour, Norman Mailer, and singer of the theme song Carole King all appeared on episodes of the show. 

9. A Thriving Fandom

The fact that I’m even writing about a show that ended in 2016 (or in 2006, if you’re a purist) is due in part to the fandom. Good TV doesn’t just fade into the shadows when the final episode airs. While we largely have Netflix to thank for the increase in Gilmore Girls fans, the fandom goes beyond just the streaming. It’s the over-analysis of each episode, the fighting over which relationship should have been endgame, and the fun references that make being a fan of the show so fun. One of my current favorite podcasts, Gilmore to Say, proves just how much there is to discuss. 

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To some, Gilmore Girls might feel a bit cringey, awkward, or juvenile. For me, watching Gilmore Girls is like coming home again. So sure, I might be 100% biased but I still believe that Gilmore Girls is one of television’s best.

I hope you have an amazing autumn and if you need me— I’ll be in Stars Hollow.

Emily is an Associate Editor for Her Campus UConn. She is a junior at the University of Connecticut studying journalism and communication. Emily enjoys writing about pop culture, lifestyle, film, and TV. Emily is a Copy Editor for The Daily Campus and the Social Media Chair for UConn Creative Writing Club. She also co-hosts and edits a pop culture podcast called ‘Girl Talk.’ Passionate about all things creative, Emily is often writing poetry, reading a book, or trying to teach herself a new skill. In her spare time, you can find Emily sipping on a coffee, crafting a new Spotify playlist, or obsessing over her dog.