Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD)

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Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD)

Set in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, GILMORE GIRLS is a charming television drama that tells the story of a thirty-something single mot...

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Review of "Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD)"

published 01/06/2009 | babycougar
Member since : 27/05/2009
Reviews : 36
Members who trust : 5
About me :
Pro Doesn't stoop to using sex and/or violence to entice viewers.
Cons Over the top characters
very helpful
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"Gilmore Girls - Should have kept it real"

I was given the first series of Gilmore Girls by my sister, who was a big fan of the show. Although rather watchable, I must say I did not enjoy it as much as she did.

The premise of the series is good: a young single mother and her teenage daughter, their close relationship, their romatic relationships, the mother's strained relationship with her parents... Yes, it's very much a people's show. The plot revolves around the mostly banal daily lives of the characters, and what moves it along is how they relate to one another.

The main characters are:

Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham): Thirty-two year old mother of Rory. Got pregnant at 16, which led to her leaving her wealthy but controlling family and moving to Sleepy Hollow, where she has lived and worked at an inn ever since. She has a distant relationship with her parents.

Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel): Lorelai's 16-year-old daughter. Bright, sweet girl, wants to attend Harvard University.

Luke Danes (Scott Peterson): The gruff owner of the diner Lorelai and Rory frequent.

Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop): Lorelai's difficult, haughty mother.

Richard Gilmore (Edward Herrmann): Lorelai's father

Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki): New guy in town who becomes Rory's boyfriend.

Paris Geller: Rory's highly strung shoolmate.

Lane Kim (Keiko Agena): Rory's best-friend. Secret rock-and-roll loving daughter of strict Korean parents.

Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy): Chef and friend of Lorelai, with whom she dreams of opening her own inn.

The show is set in the fictional small, quiet town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
From the beginning it is established that Lorelai Gilmore has a very tense relationship with her parents, with whom she has had minimal contact since she moved out at 17, even though they live in a nearby town. She feels compelled to go to them for help, though, when Rory is accepted into Chilton Academy and Lorelai does not have the money to pay her school fees.

Her parents agree to pay for their granddaughter's schooling as long as she and Lorelai come to their house for dinner every week.

The series than prosegues to show Lorelai's struggles with her parents, Rory's first romantic relationship with Dean, her adaptation to Chilton Academy, Lorelai's love life (or lack thereof), and so on and so forth.

My gripe with this show is not its main plot or subplots, but rather the characters and the way they are played:

Pretty much every character, be it main or secondary envinces at least one obvious defining trait. This is supposed to make them quaint and off-beat, but these traits are so extremely overplayed that instead of the bunch of lovable eccentrics that they are obviously meant to be, they just come across as ridiculous charicatures.

To give some examples:

Lorelai's endless stream-of-conciousness monologues: As long as there is air in her lungs, she won't finish a sentence.

Paris Geller: Her ludicrous hostility towards Rory when she first joins Chilton. This is supposed to show the character's academic competitiveness. If she felt this threatened by every new pupil at the school to the point of inducing such a histrionic reaction, the girl would have had a physical and mental breakdown before her mid term exams.
Also, she is so exceedingly studious that she inevitably has been unable to develop her social skills, has never been on a date and can't stand going to a party - "I study, and study, and study. And then I study some more."

Sookie's clumsiness and culinary perfectionism, which means she almost burns her kitchen down and freaks out when anyone else tries to cook.

Luke: Underneath his unfriendly exterior lies a warm heart who is very fond of Lorelai and Rory. This is manifested in the way he erupts in a violent fury against a teenage boy for having the audacity of breaking up with Rory.

Lane Kim's strict parents: the scene where her mother interrogates Dean when he comes to work on a science project with Lane is simply cringeworthy.

Richard Gilmore's overly critical, obnoxious mother, who visits once in a blue moon, gives horrible gifts with exact instructions as to where and how they should be displayed. Her sudden visit leaves Emily in a panic, because it will be just dreadful if she discovers that even one of her gifts is not where it is supposed to be.

The show's roaster of peripheral characters are equally over the top, as if recruited from assorted pantomimes.

This prevents me from ever really caring about the characters and what happens to them, as I never reach that magical point of "forgetting" the show is not real, as the characters are so contrived.

There is, however, one notable exception to this OTT extravaganza: poor Rory Gilmore, who, be she happy or sad, excited or subdued, only seems to have one facial expression and one tone of voice at her disposal - that of blank neutrality.
This character is supposed to be very clever and on a fast-track to Harvard, but there's never any spark of intellect or personality in her. I could swear sometimes the actress doesn't even move her mouth and just breathes her lines through her slightly parted lips.

Perhaps all this wouldn't be so noticeable and grating if I had watched the series in doses of one episode per week. But I watched the whole first series in one go, when I was away from home without access to a televison or internet and the series' DVDs were all the entertainment that I had, and these things were very much evident.

The show was quite successful, running for 7 seasons, so clearly enough people liked it for it to keep going for that long.
Personally, on the strength of the first series, it would have been much better if they had made the characters more subtle and multifaceted.

I have not watched the subsequent series. I would, if it was on television and I had nothing else to do, but I would not spend money buying the boxset.

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Comments on this review

  • Soho_Black published 05/02/2011
    You've posted this as a DVD review, but not mentioned the DVD features. Are there any extras, what are they and are they any good? You can change it to be posted as a "Film Only" review by accessing "edit review" above the review and changing the drop down menu under the "Which format are you reviewing?" question.
  • fleurdelacour published 02/06/2009
    Good review, I love this show though.
  • becky_tredget published 01/06/2009
    Great Review. E from me :o)
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Product Information : Gilmore Girls - Series 1 (Box Set) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Set in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, GILMORE GIRLS is a charming television drama that tells the story of a thirty-something single mother, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), and her precocious teenage daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), as they navigate their way through the shifting tides of day-to-day life. Lorelai and Rory's relationship is one built out of friendship as much as it is based on maternal love, which allows for more drama and depth than most family shows. This release is a perfect way for fans to remember why they fell in love with the show in the first place, and allows latecomers to discover Lorelai and Rory for the very first time.


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