Guilty As Charged

The Gilmore Girls

By Ivan Sian
June 24, 2002

I’m back. Like a bad penny, I keep turning up. Your friendly neighborhood crank and surly old man (in attitude, if not in age–Hey you, get off my lawn!) of the Internet is back with a whole new column. This column is all about Guilty Pleasures–mostly mine, but if properly goaded (in small, non-sequentially numbered bills), I might consider one of yours.

What is a Guilty Pleasure, you might ask? Well, a Guilty Pleasure is anything that might tickle your fancy, but would cause extreme embarrassment if anyone else found out about it. And, no, THAT’S not what I’m talking about, Slick. Everyone does that. Next topic.

I’ll be revealing to the world things that most rational people might find crap-tastic, but I find I can’t live without. In the meantime, let me hear from all of you. What’s your Guilty Pleasure? It doesn’t have to be TV, movie, or geek-related at all. Let me know and I might use up a couple seconds of your 15 minutes of fame.

Now on with the show…

It was a Thursday night sometime in the Fall season of 2000. As had unknowingly, almost subliminally, become my habit, I was planted on my couch bean burrito in one hand, remote control in the other. Gilmore Girls was on TV.

I started watching Gilmore Girls 1) out of curiosity and 2) out of necessity. Curiosity because I remembered the star, Lauren Graham, from the show NewsRadio, and she’s a babe. Necessity because, at the time, I had no cable.

The phone rang. “Hello?” It was Kevin, of the Doc Martens and the industrial music. I remain his one Yuppie friend, a “co-conspirator in the vast military-industrial complex” as he puts it. My affinity for dark suits only serves to underscore my role in The Oppressive Regime as it were. My fondness for clothes from the, aptly named in my case, Banana Republic contributes irony to that fact. However, our shared history of malt liquor and Star Trek continues to bind Kevin and me together. “Whaddya doin’?”

“Watching Gilmore Girls.” The words were out before I realized I had spoken them.

“Say again?”

“Watching TV. I said I was watching TV.”

“No, you said you were watching Gilmore Girls. Isn’t that that show about a single mother living with her daughter?”

“Hey, how ’bout them Gators?”

“Isn’t that a chick show?”

The words were said, I was outted, the jig was up, the cat was let out of the bag, the meta was phor-ed–I was caught and there was no denying it. But deny it? Why deny it?

Gilmore Girls is entering its third season in the Fall, so it’s no longer a big secret to the Jane set, but it takes a lot for a grown man to come to grips with this show. Yes, I’m a big fan of The Gilmore Girls. I’ll admit; it took me a long time to say that, but I’m sayin’ it now. But really, it’s filled with snappy screwball comedy patter ala Cary Grant and nobody ever called him a girly man. I’ve talked about this before both in person and in print. But for you Wrestlemaniacs and ESPeoNs unfamilar with the show, here’s the background.

Lorelei had a baby, Rory, when she was 16. Fastfoward another 16 years and Rory has grown up to be a precocious, well-read teenager and Lorelei is still, well, hot. Mother and daughter both live in an idealized small town Stars Hollow, CT. Stars Hollow is filled with eccentric characters and other people who, if you met them in real-life you’d want to run them down in your car, but on TV they come across as adorable.

The conflicts on this show don’t run too deep — they already had their “very special episode” 16 years before the pilot when Lorelei got knocked up and ran away from home. As a result, nothing too dramatic happens. Rory’s rebellious streak was characterized by the episode when she skipped school to visit someone in New York. Hell, if skipping school amounts to teenaged rebellion in Stars Hollow, then I was frickin’ Patrick Henry, William Wallace, and Spartacus all rolled into one when I was that age. (Then again, for those of you who watch the show, considering Rory was visiting that punk-ass Jesse, maybe she should be locked away. Don’t let me get on a rant here, but Jesse wants to make me want to shove a copy of Franny and Zooey so far up his smug, disaffected ass that it’d give the phrase “Catcher in the Rye” a whole new meaning. Punk. And the dude who plays him…Milo, m’man, if you’re trying to make Jesse sympathetic then you need to start rethinking your career choice. Might I suggest something in either the food services or housekeeping industries?)

Gilmore Girls — yes, it’s opposite Buffy (damn you, network weasels!), but it’s well worth your time. And if not, it’ll still give me something to talk to your girlfriend about. Over drinks.

Ivan Sian thinks Jess should be repeatedly beaten with a hardcover copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.