Why Stars Hollow is my happy place
I’m an unabashedly huge fan of the Gilmore Girls. I’m pretty sure that I love the Gilmore Girls as much as any straight male possibly can.
At first, I fought it. I remember watching that first episode with my then-girlfriend, now-wife, Alex. Lorelai said something incredibly cheeky and I chuckled. Mid-chuckle, I had to stop myself…
Wait a minute. I’m a dude. Dudes aren’t supposed to laugh at this stuff (she’d just made a joke about her period or something). Looking around, it didn’t seem like anyone noticed. I can’t castrate myself in front of this hot new girlfriend of mine. I am the alpha male here. Give me some bloody red meat, some beer, and turn on the game. (Even though I hate football, in that moment, I felt like I should spark up a love for it — to reclaim what little dignity and masculinity I had left. My father would be so disappointed knowing I was actually taking a liking to this show.)
But then I chuckled again. Lorelai’s rich, bourgeois father is hilarious in a subtle kind of way. Hey, that’s Wilson from Home Improvement. Yeah. I like that guy.
I was still hooked. The next scene brought us to Luke’s diner in downtown Stars Hollow. Old, Victorian buildings, perfect fall colors, everyone knowing everyone, clean, quirky, kitchie — a little on the white side, but we can’t all be perfectly diverse, I suppose.
I saw Luke to be a good man. Solid. Sturdy. Stubbled. With a “I-don’t-really-give-a-shit-about-what-you-think” solid blue, non-branded baseball hat flipped around backwards. Luke is a no-nonsense man. Not one to mince words. He has honest work, provides for himself, takes no shit from anyone, supports the ones he loves, and lives in the perfect town. Luke is an American. Through and through. And I envy him. Plus, there’s clearly sexual energy between him and Lorelai, played by Lauren Graham (ever since that one scene in Bad Santa, I tell you what…), which is cool.
And then there’s Rory. Smart. Beautiful. Cheeky. Slightly stoic. Well-adjusted but crazy enough to be a human. If I ever had a teenage daughter, I hoped she’d carry Rory’s characteristics in some fashion.
Before me, much to the chagrin of my quickly crumbling male ego, was a nearly perfect show. Fun, rich, diverse characters. Catchy dialogue. The perfect combination of drama and comedy. And it was set in a town that embodied all the qualities of a town I’d want to live in.
Stars Hollow. This is where I want to live. It’s storybook perfect. I want to sit in on town hall meetings held at somebody’s barn. I want to walk everywhere and not have to drive 20 minutes to get to everything like we do out west. I want to experience all four seasons. And I want to have the simple dramas of a well-connected, intimate small town.
I think my love for it stems from the fact that it’s the opposite setting from the one I grew up in. I grew up in the armpit of California among — along side well-meaning others — thieves, junkies, and derelicts. Downtown was somewhere you didn’t dare go unless you wanted to score and I remember seeing the mayor on the news caught up in scandals with local farmers and factory owners.
I think there’s a little love for Stars Hollow in all of us. That happy place where everyone knows everyone. Where people check up on people and have people over to dinner. Where they hang out on front porches and shop at the same town market.
Years later, my wife and I had a little girl. And we named her Rory. After the show.
I must proclaim that I fell in love with Stars Hollow and the story that surrounds it well before it was cool — yes, I’m hipster like that. And I can’t wait for the installment series Netflix revival.
Jonas shares short, whimsical daily meditations on Medium and around the web — particularly on his daily publication, Higher Thoughts. To get his musings delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.