How Does Gilmore Girls Hold Up 20 Years On?

Welcome back for a new post, this time discussing one of my favourite TV series’- Gilmore Girls!

I love ‘Gilmore Girls’ and I think I must have re-watched it over 6 times! So when I found out the first episode was aired 20 years ago, my Mum suggested writing a post all about the show, what I enjoy about it, and how relevant it is for viewers today.

I started watching Gilmore Girls when I was around 16, and by then the show had already been out for years- so I was definitely not part of the first generation of viewers.

Nevertheless, I instantly fell in love with the show- and my sister and Mum have since watched it with me, showing that whatever age or time it reaches you in life, it instantly becomes a classic. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to watch it on TV for the first time, back in the early 2000s.

‘Gilmore Girls‘ was a progressive show when it first came out, dealing with issues such as teenage pregnancy, unmarried families, and relationships in a way that was a little different to other shows aired at the time.

And I still think ‘Gilmore Girls’ is an incredibly relevant show that viewers can relate to and enjoy- despite celebrating its 20th birthday this year. These are a few reasons why I think Gilmore Girls still holds up as a relatable, fantastic show.

Relatable Themes

This is an important one for understanding why Gilmore Girls is still beloved by new generations of viewers. There are lots of relatable themes in ‘Gilmore Girls’ and I love that even 20 years later, the themes are still relevant for the modern viewer. The show encourages viewers to discuss important issues such as cheating, marriage, career goals, failure, and fractious family relationships.

Focusing on a young single mother and her 16 year old daughter, the series follows their lives, their relationships, and their friendships as they navigate the world together. For a young girl watching this series, it felt like I was growing up alongside Rory Gilmore- experiencing University, romantic relationships, and more.

This show has everything, discussing class roles and prejudice in America, and gender relations in ways that are open and honest.

Lane Kim from the series 'Gilmore Girls' wears a t-shirt that reads "Trust God".
Picture credits here

Strong Female Characters

This show is chock-full of strong, female characters, with Lorelai bringing up Rory from the age of 16, providing for her, and building a life for them both in the town of Stars Hollow. I love how both Lorelai and Rory have flaws, and it’s difficult not to relate to these real, fun, strong female characters.

As well as Lorelai and Rory, there are plenty of other strong female characters. There’s Lane and Mrs Kim, Paris, and the formidable Emily Gilmore (who is definitely one of my all-time favourite characters).

I think one of the best parts of the show is Rory’s high school graduation speech, where she speaks about all the strong female figures Lorelai has filled Rory’s life with, but the fact that it is Lorelai herself who is her ultimate role model in life.

The women in this show make it clear that they don’t need men, and Lorelai never gives into societal pressure to get married. Instead, she leads her life as she pleases, and encourages Rory to do the same.

Lorelai Gilmore from the series 'Gilmore Girls' holds the phone to her shoulder and stares into space.
Picture credits here

Strong Mother Characters

This series features lots of strong mother characters. Lorelai is a single mother who has brought up her daughter on her own from the age of 16, working and saving and putting her through private school so that she can get into Harvard. She eventually manages to open her own inn with her best friend, Sookie, all while managing to enjoy numerous romances and build a life for herself and her daughter.

As Lauren Graham says in her autobiography, the role of Lorelai Gilmore wasn’t the typical “mum” character cast for shows and films. She’s a fun combination between the role of “mum” as well as the role of a woman who is interested in sex, love, and romance. She’s a different kind of mum, and this makes the character so fun, unique, and full of life.

Emily Gilmore, Lorelai’s mother, is also a strong mother character. She can be mean, and she’s very stuck in her ways. She has a plan for Lorelai, and the fact that she hasn’t met this plan causes long-standing arguments between Emily and Lorelai. But Emily is a strong, interesting, and amazing character- and the fact that she is such a different mother to Lorelai makes for a rich show.

Mrs Kim and Lane are also a fantastic mother/daughter duo, and I love that their relationship grows and changes as the show progresses.

Relationships You Can Get behind

The amount of discussions I’ve had with my friends about Rory and Jess vs Rory and Dean, or Lorelai and Luke vs Lorelai and Christopher is crazy, and I love watching and re-watching this series to understand the different relationships.

The realistic and relatable relationships also make ‘Gilmore Girls’ a more interesting show, choosing to show the main characters in numerous relationships throughout the series- all of them real, and rocky, and relatable. Every relationship (and character) has their flaws, and I think this makes for realistic romantic and sexual relationships that the viewer can fall in love with.

The friendships in this show are also brilliant, with Lane and Rory, or Sookie and Lorelai, never failing to make the viewer laugh. Paris and Rory also have a great dynamic, and it’s not just romantic relationships that make this series so interesting, rich, and warm.

Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano from the series 'Gilmore Girls' walk down the street in Stars Hollow and look into each others eyes.
Picture credits here

Fantastic Writing and Acting

I think this goes without saying for such a long-running show- but it all comes together so brilliantly. I think the earlier series’ are definitely the best, but the writing is still engaging and interesting, and you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and storylines over and over again.

This show discusses important topics- but it’s also hilarious. It’s the kind of show you can put on in the background, or watch and re-watch with friends and family whenever you need a cosy, light-hearted, warm watch. The humour is perfect- and those fast-paced conversations between Lorelai and Rory never fail to entertain me.

The writing is also fantastic because it’s intelligently written. The characters are sharp and witty, and the humour is entertaining because of it. There’s so many relevant references from films, well-known songs, and books- you name it, there’s a funny ‘Gilmore Girls’ quote about it.

The acting is also fantastic, and from Paris, to Lane, to Luke, to Lorelai, all the characters are played and cast perfectly.

Paris Geller from the series 'Gilmore Girls' is mid-speech, in her Chilton Uniform.
Picture credits here

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you were considering trying this show- I hope my glowing recommendation has pushed you in the right direction. Don’t forget to check out my series review to read all my opinions when I first watched this excellent show.

Have you watched this series? What’s your opinion of the characters in this iconic show? Do you think ‘Gilmore Girls’ still holds up today?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comment below 🙂

Happy reading x

53 thoughts

  1. My all-time favorite show! I watch part of an episode every night on a loop. And the more I watch it, the more I admire Kelly Bishop’s portrayal of Emily Gilmore. Through subtle reactions, she clearly shows the pain the character feels over the rejection from her daughter and how that leads to her seemingly uncaring ways. And the humor, it never stops being funny no matter how many times I watch it. ❤️. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I rewatched again last summer and I even convinced my husband to join me! Loved it all over again! So I think it does hold up! I also noticed a literary connection that I missed in other viewings….l just reread A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and was surprised to see the sentence “I smell snow”… that famous line in GG is really from a classic!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am such a fan of Gilmore Girls! It’s one of my fave series! I love the small town charm vibe of Stars Hollow. And yes, still so relevant this show even after all this time! In terms of romantic relationships, when it comes to Rory’s, I’m on team Jess then and now. I wish they were able to really get together again. And as for Lorelai, I was first rooting for Christopher when I watched this on TV but when I re-watched it, I could see why Luke is the right guy for her! This series was really good. I love it when Lorelai and Rory make movie and TV references too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so fantastic! I think everyone who likes Gilmore Girls wants to visit Stars Hollow 🙂 I wish Rory and Jess had got together too- and Luke and Christopher are both great choices for her- I think Christopher is one who has grown on me. Thanks for commenting, I’m glad me post helped you relive why you love the show


  4. I remember watching this show in middle and high school and just feeling so drawn to all of the characters! I’ve always identified a little bit with Rory and loved watching her grow. I need to watch it over again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I started watching Gilmore girls when I was at uni after a friend recommended it! But I never got round to finishing it because I was so busy at the time but I did really like it! And this post has defo just swayed me to re watch it from the start again, I love the points you make about strong female characters, mother figures and relationships you can get behind. I also just love how much you love the show! It’s how I feel towards gossip girl haha! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that happens a lot with shows! Aw thank you- I really hope you enjoy it again (and hopefully get chance to finish it) 🙂 haha thank you- I was definitely singing its praises, and I loveee Gossip Girl too x


  6. This is probably my all-time favorite show and I agree with everything you said. It is witty, deals with real issues, and has wonderful relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love watching this show during my teenage years. The memories just came back with this article. Aside from the mother-daughter relationships, Lorelei and Rory are also friends. Remarkable lessons to learn from this series and as well as entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Gilmore girls!! It’s one of my favourite shows ever, it is such a feel-good classic! The latest spin-off episodes of life of the characters into future and the way they ended it was just so so perfect!!

    Liked by 1 person

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