Feminism, Pop Culture

The Emotional Consequences of Binge Watching Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is a dangerous show, especially now that it is on Netflix and can go from episode to episode without requiring me to stand up and change DVDs.  In the last two weeks, I have watched four seasons of the show.  My obsession is just bad enough that I’m a little bit ashamed that I have not watched more.  Spending so much time in a fictional TV world has messed with my emotions, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. 

Jealousy

I’m a feminist, and I love men.  Although I love the relationships between Lorelai and Rory, I’m actually way more invested in their love lives (Team Christopher and Team Logan–fight me!).  This can wreak emotional devastation, however, because in every other facet of her life, I over-identify with Rory.  I’m awkward, shy, and a huge nerd.  I carry a book in my purse at all times, and never once has a guy made out with me because he thought that was endearing.  If I am not careful to remind myself that the show is made up, I can devolve into bitterly glaring at Rory and her endless parade of attractive boyfriends.

I am capable of more jealousy than that, however!  I’m jealous of a whole town!  Stars Hollow, despite being 1/100th of the size of Dallas, seems to have 100x the awesome events to attend.  Where is my city’s 24-hour dance marathon?  Where is my city’s snowman competition?  Life is cruel and unfair.

Inspiration

On the other hand, watching Gilmore Girls also inspires me.  Sticking with Rory’s love life for a minute, she reminds me that sometimes you have to shrug off the awkwardness and just kiss a guy.  Preferably not at someone else’s wedding before you leave for an entire summer, but….well, here again is where I over-identify with her.

More generally, I am super inspired by the wit and famous dialogue that made the show famous.  I need to talk faster!  I need to brush up on obscure musical and political references!  I am suddenly interested in reading novels about beatniks and watching horrible old television shows.  I will know everything about everything and be able to reference it at lightning speed!

Encouragement

The witty dialogue attracts people to the show, but I think people stay because of the deeply meaningful relationships.  There’s a lot of fighting (especially amongst the Gilmores), because drama sells.  But I am so encouraged by the way the people in Stars Hollow fight.  They have no problem sharing their frustrations, and sometimes this leads to broken relationships.  But not for long!  Lorelai is so good at apologizing and reconciling with those she has offended.  She makes me want to yell and apologize more often.

And then there are all the awesome friendships!  Lorelai and Rory, Lorelai and Sookie, Rory and Lane, Rory and Paris!  Girl being friends, supporting each other, encouraging each other, starting businesses with each other, fighting with each other, helping each other grow–it’s awesome!  I love seeing girl best friends, and it makes me so grateful for all the girl best friends I have in real life (when I’m not binge watching Gilmore Girls, that is).

I think those are enough emotions.  I need to get back to the very important task of watching the remaining three seasons of this wacky and endearing television show!

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