Gilmore Girls: Pilot   Rewatch 
October 6, 2014 1:51 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Rory is accepted into the elite Chilton prep school. Bad news for Lorelai: she must make amends with her parents to borrow the money for Rory's tuition. The money is available -- with strings attached.

I'm using the episode descriptions out of my DVD sets. If you feel those will be too spoilery for our First Watch friends, please let me know and I will adjust future posts accordingly!
posted by Kitteh (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Also I, for one, would love to know the recipe for Sookie's peach sauce. I don't necessarily want to take a bath in it, but pancakes are a weakness.
posted by Kitteh at 2:00 PM on October 6, 2014

I just rewatched this after seeing this post go up this afternoon. I think the most amazing thing about the pilot is how much this show is itself right from the start. I mean, the first scene is Lorelai asking Luke for coffee, that scene by itself could have been in any episode from the entire run of the show.

I did forget how boring Richard started off, he becomes much more interesting once the show gets going.

Thank you for doing this, I missed these characters since this show has been off the air (really since some time in season 6, but that can wait).
posted by hobgadling at 5:39 PM on October 6, 2014

First Watcher here: omg, this is really good. I tried jotting down some of my favorite quotes and wound up overwhelmed because there were just too many. "Are you my new daddy?" "No, a bank job is robbing a bank..." Love it.

And man, the music choices are bringing me BACK. God, that Macy Gray song was inescapable! The cheesiness of the opening theme totally obscures how snarky and hilarious it all is.

So is Dean like Logan or Piz? Angel or Riley? Brooke or Peyton? I need to know who to root for!
posted by divined by radio at 6:19 PM on October 6, 2014

“I think the most amazing thing about the pilot is how much this show is itself right from the start.”

So true. And yet when I see the pilot again I also notice all the little things that are different. Mostly the interiors (the pilot was filmed on location, while all the other episodes were shot on sets - the difference is especially noticeable in Luke's), but also some of the costuming (like Emily and Richard) and just how young everyone is at the start.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:20 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some of my favorite quotes this episode:
"Are you my new Daddy?"
"How do I look, Korean?" "Spitting image."
"A lot of demerol also went into that decision"
"If you're going to throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle!"*

*Always good life advice, too.

I'm always just so impressed when shows start out strong in their pilot; it's so rare. I feel like we get a strong sense of at least five characters already.

I think Dean is most like Riley, but Piz isn't off either. Though I always liked Piz more than Veronica seemed to and I'm a fan of early Riley.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:05 PM on October 6, 2014

I loved the pilot but I feel it was weighted down a bit with exposition. I don't remember the exact scenes right now but there's a couple that scream "people don't speak like this but we need to introduce the viewer these characters and their relationship to the Gilmores ASAP".

The first scene with the creep hitting on Lorelai and later Rory was also a bit clumsy, like they needed to reaffirm that yes, they are attractive and that apparently in that world Rory looks older than her age.
posted by Memo at 8:09 PM on October 6, 2014

Memo, no one speaks like they do in The Gilmore Girls. Unless they're on speed. And even then, I don't think they're that funny.

(Yes, I knew what you meant.)
posted by Athanassiel at 11:55 PM on October 6, 2014

First watcher here -- I'm already at ep. 4 because once you jump into the rabbit hole you can't stop falling. I originally only watched it to see what Dean/Young Sam looks like. He's such a babyface!

Lorelai and Rory are really kind of irritating (although the dialogue is indeed hilarious) and often Lorelei is just flat-out mean to people, but I am already in love with pretty much ALL the secondary characters. Sookie and Michel and the harp player are all just delightful, and horrible as she is I kind of like Emily. Oh, and the woman who runs the dance school? Love the random little snippets as people go past. This is the weirdest smalltown vibe ever.

When my husband came home and I was watching one of the episodes, he said, "Oh, this is the show where everyone talks really fast, right?"
posted by tracicle at 12:18 AM on October 7, 2014

I just watched this over the weekend, and I was really struck by how well they nailed the characters and general tone from the beginning.

Ugh, the scene where Lorelai starts to ask for money and her father intones "you need money," even after she says what it's for, just makes me so mad. I'd forgotten what a jerk Richard was at the beginning.

One thing I didn't forget: how grating Alex Borstein was as the harp player.
posted by lunasol at 3:19 AM on October 7, 2014

Every time I do a rewatch of GG, I am alway startled by how young Jared Padalecki is. Like, "d'awww, floppy hair, cute smile, and HOLY COW IS THAT DUDE TALL."
posted by Kitteh at 3:54 AM on October 7, 2014

I sometimes like to pretend that he's really Sam Winchester, in one of those "I need to hide from my destiny and be a normal human" phases that he went through. It makes his confrontation with Ican'trememberhisname all the more chilling. "Don't fight me, you idiot. I'll kill you."
posted by Mogur at 6:45 AM on October 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I just finished watching Bunheads a few weeks ago, and hadn't realized just how much Kelly Bishop aged between Gilmore Girls and Bunheads until I rewatched the pilot this weekend.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:43 AM on October 7, 2014

Joining the party! I could never get into this show when my roommates were watching on TV years ago, but maybe it helps to start at the beginning (and have a fun group to discuss with as I watch). The first episode was not bad, I look forward to the next one.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:11 AM on October 7, 2014

“I think the most amazing thing about the pilot is how much this show is itself right from the start.”

Yes, I was going to agree with this too. They really seemed to know what they were going for right from the start. The first episode is a little all over the place, but that's understandable since they were trying to set so many things up, including the unique, unconventional mother-daughter relationship of Lorelai and Rory, and how Lorelai is such a cool, sexy young mom. I thought Dean was creepy in the whole show and he is creepy from the very first scene he's introduced even though he doesn't speak in it! And even though later he professes to watching Rory "not in a creepy way". I also can't stand his voice, the way he speaks, or his floppy hair, and slobby posture.
posted by Blitz at 11:43 AM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I read this last night and decided to watch it again too. I couldn't stop at just one episode.

I have the flu today and still can't stop. Now on episode 10.

I watched it quite a bit when it was first out. I still don't understand why I like it so much. I don't really like Rory and Lorelei all that much. I find them annoying and am always getting irked by what they do. I guess it's a testament to the show that it's so good that I like not liking the main characters. lol
posted by Jalliah at 11:57 AM on October 7, 2014

Yeah, I've watched till episode 4 and stopped myself after that. I only came to it when it was airing at season 6, I'm SO glad I found this show even if I came to it late. I had never in my life been someone to schedule to watch a tv show every week until this. Except for a brief period with My So-Called Life when I was 16. That was a pretty unique show too.

I love all the characters, really almost all of them, or the more central ones. I used to dislike Sookie when it was airing, I think I thought she was a boring adult. But now I love her and think she's such an amazing friend to Lorelai, and really fun. I am a lot like both Lorelai and Rory, especially Lorelai, including her more unfortunate qualities.
posted by Blitz at 12:23 PM on October 7, 2014

One of the things I did in my marriage was pretty much force Shepherd into watching it--"No, seriously, the show is really better than you think it is"--and he too fell in love with it (but more with the townspeople, especially Kirk), but his main complaint about the characters was "People Who Have Terrible Communication Issues and Therefore Make Terrible Decisions."
posted by Kitteh at 1:42 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd forgotten what a jerk Richard was at the beginning.

Totally but yet...

This isn't really a spoiler for the First Watch crowd, I hope, but the best thing about this show is how it sets it up the Gilmore dynamic so much in the pilot as "Lorelai = completely right/Emily & Richard = absolutely wrong" but gives you so many more shades to consider over the rest of the show.

And for those of you new to show show, I believe it is considered an acceptable answer, perhaps even widely considered, that when choosing among Rory's beaus, to be "Team None of the Above"; I actually like every actor who played a Rory boyfriend and always understood why the character of Rory would be attracted to them. But they each trigger a whole lot of "GAH!" from me.

"People Who Have Terrible Communication Issues and Therefore Make Terrible Decisions."

The other alternate title being: "Often Incredibly Likeable People Often Making Stupid Choices"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:48 PM on October 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I can see (via having once been a teenage girl) exactly why Rory's boyfriend choices trigger both "Dude, I would have been so into him" and "WHY GOD WHY."
posted by Kitteh at 1:51 PM on October 7, 2014

All of the above said, Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite shows of the first decade of the 21st century, and the failings of its characters I mentioned are the shows greatest strengths. (Other stuff deleted out because it is too future-spoilerly.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:55 PM on October 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I came into GG pretty late in terms of watching it as it aired (I think I started with season 4 or 5), but the only reason I did was because my best friend swore blind that it was a really good show and lent me the first few seasons. After gorging on them, I was hooked and until the end of it, we'd text back and forth about it as episodes aired. (She moved to another city by the time the series was heading towards the end.)

If anything, one of the things I love most about GG is not so much the show but how it became shorthand for a lot of speak between me and her.
posted by Kitteh at 1:59 PM on October 7, 2014

I started watching episode 2 last night (only in part because Netflix explicitly encourages binge watching by automatically starting up the next episode ~20 seconds after the credits roll on the first one) and was EXTREMELY pleased to note that one of Rory's possible beaus is none other than a terrifyingly young Chad Michael Murray, whom I only know from my reigning favorite teen drama of all time, One Tree Hill, as my ohmygod so dearly beloved Lucas Scott. LEYTON FOREVER!

Then I had to stop watching right away because I got really happy and then really, really sad because OTH is no more, having limped off the air a couple of seasons after becoming a shell of its former self following the untimely departure of the aforementioned CMM (and Hilarie Burton, love u bae).

I am excite!
posted by divined by radio at 2:05 PM on October 7, 2014

*sits on hands because she has spoilery easter egg for divined by radio about CMM*
posted by Kitteh at 2:21 PM on October 7, 2014

I felt like Dean was such a boring dork and it showed how young Rory was how immediately she was flattered by his interest. In other words, he was a very good character for where she was in the show -- a very young teenage girl.

Yeah, people always look at me like I have extremely poor taste when I tell them Gilmore Girls is the best show ever, but maybe that's because I'm usually saying that to men? I wish I could find a guy into the show to cuddle up and watch with. It's such a cuddling show too, potentially.
posted by Blitz at 2:25 PM on October 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's a very cuddling show. Again, my husband will totally sit down and watch it and enjoy it, but he does get irritated by the poor communication issues. He also understands it means a lot to me in terms of comfort TV and connection with a distant best friend.
posted by Kitteh at 2:37 PM on October 7, 2014

Oh my god I've watched 18 hours of this show in less than a week, please help
posted by azarbayejani at 6:50 PM on October 7, 2014 [7 favorites]

Oh my god I've watched 18 hours of this show in less than a week, please help

You have no idea how hard it has been to avoid binge-watching the entire series after watching the first two episodes.
posted by Memo at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2014

azarbayejani, I'm so proud of you!
posted by Blitz at 7:43 PM on October 7, 2014

"People Who Have Terrible Communication Issues and Therefore Make Terrible Decisions."

OMG seriously. I love this show so much, I love every character (except, controversially, Jess) and this is the one things that makes it hard for me to watch. How often could all this heartache be avoided if everyone just said what they meant! Or even just stopped pointlessly withholding information from the people they care about? And that makes it so hard because I just want them all to be happy and these are characters who constantly sabotage themselves.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 7:43 PM on October 7, 2014

Oh my god I've watched 18 hours of this show in less than a week, please help
Oh good, we've sucked another one in...

Seriously, though, this is how I watch it normally. When I get to the end of the show, I try to obtain Bunheads from somewhere before starting over again at the beginning. (If only Bunheads would be released on DVD, this would be a perfect cycle.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:58 PM on October 7, 2014

I haven't seen Bunheads and it keeps being mentioned in parallel with GG. Is there a particular reason?
posted by tracicle at 10:54 PM on October 7, 2014

tracicle: Amy Sherman-Palladino.
posted by dhartung at 11:58 PM on October 7, 2014

It would make me so happy if Alexis Bledel showed up on The Good Wife.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:43 AM on October 8, 2014

Or, better still, Liza Weil.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:44 AM on October 8, 2014

As well as having the same show runner, Bunheads and Gilmore girls share a lot of cast, including Kelly Bishop, Liza Weill, Sean Gunn, and the woman who played Gypsy. Plus similar tropes - there's a shlubby cafe guy, witty banter, and a female-dominated cast.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:47 AM on October 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I started watching GG last week with my spouse, who's ordinarily not into this type of show at all, but he likes it. I'm guessing it's the snappy dialogue and offbeat characters. I did feel like the pilot was introducing a bunch of caricatures but the dialogue was good enough that it wasn't too annoying. I think Michel is my favorite character, though he's like Sophia on Golden Girls, best in smaller doses.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2014

Before it was released on Netflix, I got the first season on DVD from the library because I wanted to see if my 14-year-old daughter would like it. She was hooked after the first episode. Sadly, we haven't really been able to watch more than about three shows (school, theater, extra-curriculars, friends) but she has a fall break coming up. We'll binge watch the way we binge-watched Dr. Who last winter break.

posted by cooker girl at 11:54 AM on October 8, 2014

I watched the pilot Monday, since I was home sick, and more episodes.

I loved this show from the moment I realized that Carol King was singing the theme song. My true love character, however, is Paris, who seemed totally unique to me when I started watching. I was the same age as Rory and Paris and I'd never seen a teenage girl on TV who cared so little about their looks (not "I don't care but I'm still sexy" but "yep I'm wearing another turtleneck"), who was openly and unashamedly ambitious.

I also love Luke, though I feel like they emphasized his environmentalist side a little more than usual in the pilot and the early episodes.

I notice Daniel Palladino was not writing a lot of the episodes in season one, which...explains a lot.
posted by chaiminda at 4:42 AM on October 9, 2014

Carole King is singing the theme song *with her daughter*!!!
posted by danabanana at 8:00 AM on October 11, 2014

God, that Macy Gray song was inescapable!

I totally forgot about what a huge crush I had on Macy Gray back in the day until that song came on!

posted by Juliet Banana at 10:08 AM on October 11, 2014

Well I'm a guy and I was a fan of Gilmore Girls from the start. I only watched initially because I was already a fan Lauren Graham although back then I thought her name was "that good looking girl who fired Matthew on NewsRadio and was still so charming."

It seemed like every new season she was on a new show that failed but then GG came along.

I still boycott the Emmys because of this show. Never a nomination for Lauren Graham or Kelly Bishop (who was spectacular).

Speaking of shit that pisses me off.... A few months back when Melissa McCarthy's last movie was coming out there were a bunch of magazine articles, online stories and a few TV profiles of her and every one tracked her career the same way. From her humble upbringing to the Groundlings to finally getting her big break... on Mike and Molly.

Fuck the Hollywood PR machine amiright?
posted by Bonzai at 3:26 PM on October 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

I love Sookie's character so much! I'm also very glad they mostly eliminated the clutziness she had in the pilot episode. Her marriage just seemed so real to me - especially the story about "Colgate"!

Even my 60-something DAD loves this show. I think it stems from Lauren Graham being in Bad Santa, but he would watch this all the time on daytime tv when he was between jobs a few years ago.

Ugh, I never really liked Dean. Not my cup of tea. Jess had his charms, but I really liked Logan.

Now I must look into this Bunheads you are talking about!
posted by jillithd at 2:06 PM on October 13, 2014

Okay, I'm really behind everyone else because my wife just started watching this out of the blue. And I will doubtless lose continuity soon because she'll start watching them when I'm not around. But I've seen three episodes so far and I like it.

But then I like Aaron Sorkin and so far the show basically strikes me as Aaron Sorkin for girls. How fair an assessment is that?
posted by Naberius at 8:20 AM on October 29, 2014

But then I like Aaron Sorkin and so far the show basically strikes me as Aaron Sorkin for girls. How fair an assessment is that?

I like Aaron Sorkin too, but I'd prefer not to limit Gilmore Girls to women or West Wing/Studio 60/etc to men.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:39 AM on October 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Okay, I was being a little too facetious there. How about Sorkin by and about women?
posted by Naberius at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2014

And yes, this may well change - I'm only three episodes in - but so far this show seems to divide its characters into two very distinct types: real people - and there are precious few of these (The three Gilmore women and... well, that's pretty much it) and very narrow slices of people spun around through 360 degrees so they look like actual physical people. (Sookie, the guy who argues with Sookie about fruit, Patty the dance instructor, Michel, the harp player, Luke the coffee shop guy, Sally Struthers (??!), and Richard - though the third episode shows hints that he is becoming a real person, no doubt through his long exposure to Gilmore women). They're not even characters so much as... tulpas. They do the one thing you expect them to do, and that's all they are.

One hopes the show will eventually work on this. And yeah, most shows have some of this when they get started because there just hasn't been time to explore those side characters in more depth. But the very stylized reality - the part that screams Sorkin to me - really emphasizes their unreality somehow. The overall experience for me ends up being more about admiring the complexity of the inner workings of the story and how they make all these gears mesh together than about the actual characters. I like it, but in the same way I liked Sports Night. Very different from the way I like other longform TV.
posted by Naberius at 11:43 AM on October 29, 2014

Three episodes in? Jeez, give it time. I could list off all the characters that end up being very complex, fully-formed people (it gets into double-digits), but that would be a bit spoilery, so as long as you're enjoying it, just keep watching.
posted by lunasol at 7:29 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's problematic to focus on the gender of the creator as though that's the most important thing -- perhaps "Amy Sherman-Palladino is like another Aaron Sorkin -- they're both known for their witty and rapid dialogue."

I'm glad you're enjoying it -- and I find most of the characters become more relatable as you spend more time with them. Even Kirk, who is one of the most cartoonish, makes more sense the more seasons you know him.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:48 AM on October 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okaaaaay, so first time seeing this because my friend wants to borrow my Netflix to watch when the wrapup movies come out and thus I'm going to have to watch it all. In my rare spare time, HAH.

* It takes like thirteen minutes to start the plot.
* Wow, Sookie is just fucking dangerous with no regard for placement of anything such as hot pans or frying pans to the face. Which nobody notices?!
* "I'm going to be in a Britney Spears video?" Yes, excellent reaction to that skirt. Also "You look like you were swallowed by a kilt."
* God, all these famous people look so young.
* I'm amazed that someone not noticing exploding chaos around her is a turn-on. You're a strange kid there, future Winchester.
* Cranky coffee dude really doesn't sell his products well At All, does he?
* Wow, this woman really wanted a clone, didn't she?
* "I made that dish a hundred times, it never exploded." I HIGHLY DOUBT THIS.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:37 PM on September 20, 2016

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