It sounds like a premise potentially fraught with angst and trauma, but in reality Gilmore Girls was one of the freshest, airiest, most enjoyable shows to air on the perpetually melodramatic WB network, critically praised once viewers got hooked on its unique brand of humor. Rory's growing-up adventures, including her acclimation to snooty Chilton and romance with townie dreamboat Dean (Jared Padalecki), gave the show a teen-friendly feel, but Gilmore Girls was anchored in the adult by the luminous Graham, a brilliant comedic leading lady who could turn dramatic on a dime and never break stride. The show's hallmark was its rat-a-tat, whipsmart dialogue, delivered perfectly by Graham and Bledgel, as well as a host of wacky supporting characters who would go on to become invaluable cast members. The first season allowed the show--and its lead actresses--to bloom gracefully and establish a deep, humorous rapport that lent itself perfectly to weekly travails both comedic and dramatic. --Mark Englehart
Gilmore Girls has been honored with an AFI Award and two Viewers for Quality Television Awards, and it was named New Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association. Series star Lauren Graham ("Townies," "NewsRadio," and "Bad Santa") was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series and received two consecutive nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series from the Screen Actors Guild. Graham has also won two Family Television Awards. In addition, series star Alexis Bledel ("Tuck Everlasting") has won a Young Artist Award and a Family Television Award. The series, Gilmore Girls, won a Family Television Award for New Series and was named Best Family TV Drama Series by the Young Artist Awards, which also honored series star Keiko Agena in the supporting young actress category.
Gilmore Girls is the first series to make it to air supported by the Family Friendly Forum's Script Development Fund. An initiative between some of the nation's top advertisers and The WB, the program is intended to offer a greater array of compelling family programming on network television. The strong, loving, mother-daughter relationship portrayed in Gilmore Girls reflects the growing reality of this new type of American family.
Set in a fictional Connecticut town called Stars Hollow, The Gilmore Girls follows the lives of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a a single mother and teenage daughter who share a bond that is as much best friends as it is that of a mother and child. The series begins with Rory's acceptance into the prestigious Chilton Academy and Lorelai's frantic desire to make that happen, which much to her chagrin, involves the help of her own mother, Emily Gilmore (played by the excellent Kelly Bishop) and father Richard (Edward Herman). Growing up the rebellious daughter of wealthy society types and becoming pregnant at age 16 didn't exactly endear them to each other. It is Lorelai's relationship with her parents that drives much of her character's motivation.
While life as a single mother might be hard, Lorelai is not without a support system. Stars Hollow is populated with an impressive collection of colorful characters, from the gruff, flannel-wearing diner owner, Luke, to Lorelai's coworker and best friend Sookie and the annoying Frenchman, Michel.
Rory, too, has a group of close friends and even closer enemies. Lane Kim, daughter of a Korean Bible beater is the music obsessed best friend, Dean (Jared Padelecki) is her first boyfriend and Paris, her academic and social rival. As is the case with basically anything on the WB, Chad Michael Murray also finds his way into her life, as do Madeline and Louise, Paris' oversexed friends and Chilton classmates.
Some of the highlight episodes from this debut season include Concert Interupticus - which featured a Bangles performance and hinted that there might be some degree of feeling beneath Paris' chilly exterior, and Emily in Wonderland - where Emily redecorates Rory's bedroom. There are 20 more episodes, each with moments or more of genuine wit and even more genuine heart.
All of this considered, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, as Lorelai and Rory, are the show's driving force. Their chemistry, combined with the clever dialogue and rapid-fire delivery, have made this one of the best shows on tv. And now, at long last, on DVD!