I feel like I’m being trolled.
Over a decade ago, everyone I knew was obsessed with Gilmore Girls. Being the young, insecure person I was, I assumed I was missing something. Maybe I didn’t ‘get’ the humour. Maybe I hadn’t watched enough to really ‘appreciate’ the relationship between Rory and Lorelai. Maybe it was one of those shows where you need to watch seasons and seasons to build a rapport with the characters.
But now I’m in my mid twenties, I have a university degree, and I’ve fallen in love with countless other TV shows. I’m not missing something. The show is missing something; namely, everything.
Gilmore Girls is a really, really, very, very bad TV show. And given the recent hype over the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival on Netflix, I feel like there’s some conspiracy around the show and I’m the only one not in on it.
...Are people serious? Do they actually find this show funny/entertaining/clever? I feel like maybe I'm watching another show entirely - one very different from the one Wikipedia categorises as a 'comedy.'
As an aside, I completely understand people watching a show in spite of its badness. I've watched entire seasons of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, knowing full well that it's potentially the worst television of our generation. I'm not against people watching bad television - but I am against people refusing to acknowledge that it's bad.
Because here are the things I noticed while
hatewatching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
It's legitimately stressful to watch.
And not in a House of Cards way.
Gilmore Girls isn't stressful because anything intense is happening on screen - it's stressful because all the characters speak so fast and over the top of each other and no one communicates properly and the interactions are so contrived and everyone has weird quirks and it seems to be widely accepted that all the characters have anxiety disorders but it's just funny because they're Gilmore girls.
HAHA how funny is speaking fast.
Which brings me to my next observation...
It's not funny.
Other people swear by the comedic genius of this show, but I don't get it. At all.
There's nothing funny about really skinny people talking about how much they like food, or Rory 'forgetting' she has a boyfriend, or incessant jokes about Hispanic people (which are told the whole way through the latest four episodes).
Jesus. Surely women are capable of better humour than just 'MY LIFE IS SUCH A MESS I'M CRAZY HAHA BUT THAT PERSON OVER THERE IS CRAZIER.'
Listen to Rosie Waterland and Laura Brodnik dissect Gilmore Girls on The Binge. (Post continues after audio.)
In the revival, one male character starts a business called Ooober and refuses to acknowledge that it sounds like Uber. I don't... I don't find that funny. Is there something wrong with me?
The acting is... not great.
Within seconds of watching an episode I'm twitching with frustration at two well-known actresses pretending to drink 'coffee' out of EMPTY CUPS. Surely you can make it look like you're really drinking coffee? Surely?
It's like watching a Year 9 drama production with sub-par props and out-of-place costumes.
Rory and Lorelai are caricatures not characters - I'm yet to see contradictions or depth. Their conversations with each other and with other characters don't seem to go anywhere, because they're constantly interrupted.
They're both bad people.
I know this isn't unique to Gilmore Girls but Rory and Lorelai are not only highly unlikable, but they're really not good people.
They don't do anything for anyone else. They're immature, self-absorbed, short-sighted and entitled.
At the same time, I'm very aware that most of the characters we watch on TV are bad. Walter White, Cersei Lannister, Claire Underwood, Don Draper - but all these characters exist in worlds far away from what we do. The alarming thing about Gilmore Girls is that I think the appeal of it is that girls and women want to be like Lorelai and Rory. They want their mother/daughter relationships to resemble theirs, and they want to be quirky and smart and quick witted like the pair they see on screen.
So I don't see why they have to be so one-dimensional and childish. Can't women be interesting on screen without being entirely self-involved and dysfunctional?
In the process of writing this, a very disappointed colleague approached me. For her, Gilmore Girls was, and still is, revolutionary. She wanted to remind me that the characters and the small town they live in were created 17 years ago. So yes, it's white-washed and there's hardly any diversity and it's all about first world problems, but that's what television was then.
She also argued that I wasn't allowed to hold my unfavourable opinion about Gilmore Girls without going back and watching all seven seasons.
Women are smarter and funnier than this. Women are more creative than this. So I'm calling out the conspiracy - I understand loving Gilmore Girls because it feels nostalgic or it's family friendly or it's generally nice on the eyes, but I just don't think it's good television.
And as women, we deserve to see better characters on our screens.