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Meet the Gilmores

Analise Lipari | Tuesday, October 4, 2005

“Luke, will you marry me?”

This short, shock-inspiring last sentence of the fifth season of the popular WB series “Gilmore Girls” left fans begging for more of the series’ signature witty repartee and emotional range. At this moment, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), one of the series’ two main characters, had made up her mind as to where her romance with local diner owner Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) would be headed in the near future. Luke’s reply, however, was left unanswered for the three months preceding this latest season’s opener, which aired just three weeks ago.

This is but one of a plethora of complicated and endearing plotlines for which “Gilmore Girls” has become famous over its multiple-season run. Despite its unfortunate presence on the often critically-ignored WB network, the show has developed both a faithful, growing audience and critical support and praise.

“Gilmore Girls” focuses on the mother and daughter pair of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Where Lorelai is fun, goofy and astronomically well-versed in cultural minutiae, Rory is rational, studious and often the more responsible of the two. The show derives its core from their relationship, and the often 80- to 90-page scripts reflect their (and the show’s) fun, gab-heavy nature. The two Gilmores live in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, a haven for the series’ multitude of quirky and fun supporting cast members. It’s in these kinds of details that the show truly shines.

The basic premise of “Gilmore Girls” lies in the close bond between these two women. This can be attributed to their closeness in age, as a central pillar of the plotline lies in Lorelai’s becoming pregnant with Rory at sixteen and doing so as an unwed teenage girl with a rich background and a somewhat rebellious nature.

Lorelai’s choice to run away from her childhood home after Rory’s birth, baby in tow, led inevitably to a major rupture in her relationship with her parents, the wealthy and domineering Richard and Emily Gilmore. Throughout the show’s six seasons, the three generations of Gilmores have run the gamut of emotions, from distrust and anger to love and reconciliation.

The sixth season’s opener proved no exception to the show’s reputation for excellence in acting and writing. Luckily for anxious fans, the first scene immediately picked up where the previous season finale had concluded. Luke, to the relief of all, unquestioningly accepted Lorelai’s spur of the moment proposal.

The writers of the show, Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel Palladino, have since hit the pair’s relationship with several challenges. From an icy town-wide reception of the unorthodox manner of their engagement, to the couple’s dealings with their home’s new contractor, Luke’s brother-in-law, TJ, Luke and Lorelai have successfully overcome these obstacles.

Despite this happiness, Lorelai’s relationship with Rory has suffered what could be a permanent blow. During the previous season’s final episode, twenty-year-old Rory, after being rejected from her dream job as a journalist for an up-and-coming newspaper, threw her previous senses to the wind and attempted to steal a yacht from a nearby marina.

Her story opened this season with a Hartford court judge sentencing her to 300 hours of community service. This coincided with her decision to drop out of Yale University, where she had spent the past two years as a successful undergrad.

This choice has been something of a source of turmoil for both Lorelai and the show’s fan base. However, it’s these and other creative and complex storylines that keep the Gilmores’ faithful fans coming back each Tuesday night.