Movies & TV

Confessions of a Gilmore Guy

There's no shame in getting hooked on a TV show meant for chicks (and making alternate storylines).
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I did not even know "Gilmore Guy" was a coined term until recently. In the midst of blowing through all seven seasons in time for the 2016 revival, I found myself sitting on the living room floor teaching a song to the two-year-old daughter of my officemate. Where you lead, I will follow, any anywhere...Her mother popped out of the kitchen and interrogated in gasping disbelief, “Are you singing the theme from Gilmore Girls?” It had been cast into the open. I did not just watch Gilmore Girls. I had become a Gilmore Guy.

In an age of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and an endless array of streaming services that cater with incredible specificity to individual viewing habits, TV is no longer a shared family activity. In fact, I do not even have an appliance remotely analogous to a traditional television set. In a household with only myself and my wife, and a lifestyle where we spend most of our time together, I began to feel odd about sitting side by side but watching different TV programs. I yearned to share TV time. Unfortunately, between my NBA League Pass and her Gilmore Girls, it was less likely that my wife would muster the interest to sit through interminable basketball content. At least Gilmore Girls was only for 40 minutes at a time.

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Lorelai in bootcuts was so essential that I altogether ignored the storyline of Rory Gilmore, the other star of the show. I don’t even remember Rory growing up.

It did not take long to get hooked on it, but for reasons starkly different from those of my wife. We agreed that Lorelai Gilmore is gorgeous. Of course, to me, she was downright hot especially throughout Season 1. And while wifey loved Lorelai’s layered clothing ensembles, for me, the daily clincher was her in boot-cut lowrise jeans—remnants of glorious '90s college fashion. Lorelai in bootcuts was so essential that I altogether ignored the storyline of Rory Gilmore, the other star of the show. I don’t even remember Rory growing up.

Women often ask me what “team” I’m on, referring to the love interests of Rory Gilmore. Apparently among fans during the pre-Netflix broadcast run of Gilmore Girls, there had always been a Team Logan, for Logan Huntzberger, or Team Jess, for Jess Mariano. There was this other team, negligible in most respects, Team Dean, for Dean Forester. Between Teams Logan and Jess, the confrontational collision of opposing female fandom discourses rages on 15 years since Jess first appeared on the show in Season 2. Since I have never been interested in Rory’s growth and self-actualization, a matter essential to my wife’s post-episode ruminations, this debate never really mattered to me. Nevertheless, when forced to cough up an answer, I always chose Jess Mariano. While Logan and Jess were both massive pricks, Logan was fictitiously rich in a way that most pricks cannot identify with; Jess, meanwhile, was the everyman’s prick. Hip hip hooray!

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Of course, there was the matter of Lorelai’s love interests. Wifey loved Christopher, the father of Rory. My favorite by far was that whack job Jason “Digger” Stiles, mostly because he always asked Lorelai to sleep in the next room. It is an awesome display of relationship power asymmetry, almost parental in the literal employ of the phrase, “Go to your room!” Digger, however, was not my favorite among the gentlemen in the show - it was still wisecrack Jess Mariano. In fact secretly, at least since I first blurted it out to my horrified wife, I wished that Lorelai’s love life came to a taboo resolution by pairing up with Jess. Anticipating the 2016 revival, I thought it was a perfect twist. Jess would be grown up, beefed up, and responsible, as he currently appears as Jack Pearson in This is Us (with Mandy Moore). More importantly, he could ably stand in for his lame duck uncle, Luke Danes, who stumbled to the finish line in Season 7, just barely being able to win Lorelai back, and flubbed his relationship with her yet again throughout the four-episode revival. We desperately needed someone to man up for Lorelai, and literally NO ONE on the show, not even Jess, displayed the capacity to do so. Enter Jack Pearson, incarnated as the adult Jess Mariano. To this day, my wife cannot look me in the eye when I whisper this alternate storyline. Conveniently, she forgets I ever mention this, so we still agree that we both love the show and she loves me for it.

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Nick Tobia
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