Once television finds its foot hold, it’ll keep going for as long as possible, changing and evolving (sometimes devolving) from where it started. Look at Supernatural. Look at Bones. Look at The Simpsons! Sometimes a show becomes unrecognizable from where it started. In Coming Up With the Middle, Dave & Amelia decided to watch only the series premiere and series finale of Gilmore Girls and tried to work out for themselves what happened in between.

Stars Hollow won’t know what hit it!


What We Know About Gilmore Girls Before Watching a Damn Thing

Dave – I knew absolutely nothing about Gilmore Girls. I have heard of the show, I knew it was on either the WB or CW. I never really watched any of those channels, I still don’t really watch either of those channels (no, I don’t watch The Flash). Gilmore Girls sounded like it would be a bunch of sisters growing up in suburbia, dealing with suburban problems like not leaving enough hot water for the next sister to take a shower, and getting stood up by the coolest guy in the school because he chose the hot cheerleader instead… I mean, who wouldn’t?

Amelia What I know about Gilmore Girls is that my aunt and older cousin loved it. My mom and I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer together. They watched Gilmore Girls. Clearly, me and my mom were the superior mother/daughter duo. Anyways, I was forced to endure Gilmore Girls once before when I was spending my March Break with them. It was still airing and it was a new episode and all I heard about before, during, and after was how great it was. I don’t remember a single thing about that episode besides being bored to death. I want to say I was eleven? Twelve? Apparently too young to care about it even though it was clearly being marketed at me and my ovaries.


Dave – Today, I hear Gilmore Girls and I wonder how this show was on TV for SEVEN SEASONS. How the hell did this happen? I plan on going back to see what shows were cancelled during the Gilmore Girls run. How did seven seasons of cliches and two fast talking chicks drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee happen? I only had to sit through two episodes, if you made it through all 154 episodes, then you deserve the same party that I had to suffer through at the finale.

Amelia Nowadays I hear the name Gilmore Girls and imagine a mother and daughter talking way too fast and coming up with way too many quips for me to believe that these two are human beings. Not everything has to be a reference to everything else. That makes me feel like they’re giant lizards in human skin trying to blend in before an invasion.

“Yes, look how human we are with our knowledge of *insert reference from television*. Please let down your guard and don’t fight back.”

And even though I’m now in the age bracket that it was originally intended to appeal to, I still find myself not caring. Like, AT ALL.

This article should be a cynical, sarcastic nightmare for actual Gilmore Girls fans!

Thoughts on the Series Premiere

Dave – Right off the bat, the very cliche “There She Goes” is playing as the mother is walking across the street to get her 80th cup of coffee before 9am. Then we are introduced to the bad boy diner employee. I know he’s the bad boy because he wears his hat backwards like I do. He probably makes garbage sculptures in his spare time. You earn a cup of coffee if you caught that reference. Moving on, I see the cliche foreign guy, this one is French! Oh la la! Dammit! There is Melissa McCarthy. No, this isn’t one of those “Ghostbusters remake ruined my childhood” moment. This is a “I really don’t like Melissa and think she is highly overrated” moment. And then the grandfather shows up and it’s Max from The Lost Boys! I was hoping he would start biting people because I needed some excitement at this point. To sum this episode up. No. No Thanks. Too many cliches that don’t try hard enough to be unique. And then you gotta love Rory who decides she doesn’t want to go to college after talking to the Chicago stalker boy that watches her from afar. The only thing missing was the floating plastic bag. You’ve earned more coffee if you get that reference.

Amelia And we open on Sixpence None the Richer with “There She Goes”. There’s a scene in a coffee shop that I know they spend like, what? 90% of the show in? And then the opening credit song plays and it made me want to weep with how terrible it was. Touching, melodramatic audial nauseum. Honestly, I feel a little ill. Can you get a stomach bug from sound? Because I’m nauseous and have broken out in a cold sweat. The delirium this fever is causing must be what’s making this so tedious, right?

I mean, let’s look at it point by point and see what plot points could be pulled from a fevered dream. Idyllic little town with a heart touching name, history, and neighbours? Check. Clumsy best friend? Check. Rich parents with a poor relationship to their daughter? Check. Attractive boy that’s charming, sweet, and into the nerdy girl that always has her nose in a book? Check. Liking that boy because he’s good looking and blocking out he’s been watching her for weeks? Check. A snooty French man? A surprising check. Both the mother and daughter have the same name? Check. The only way I know this isn’t a fever dream is because it went on for seven seasons!

Our first look at this show opens with the song There She Goes. Is that a record for fastest cliche? Because it should be!
Our first look at this show opens with the song There She Goes. Is that a record for fastest cliche? Because it should be!

Thoughts on the Series Finale

Dave – My first thought is that fashion doesn’t really change in this town except for diner boy’s backwards hat. The French guy is still there, he didn’t get deported, so he has to be pretty excited about that.

Amelia I have been informed that the French guy is from Quebec, not France. You try telling someone from Quebec what to do and see how well it goes. He’ll rip up your warrants and spit in your face! I speak confidently as an English Canadian in the province right beside French Canada. Though what I will say about the Frenchman is that his accent seems to have left him. So now he’s just an asshole without an accent. What’s even the point?

Ah, the Quebec motto. Something everyone can get behind!
Ah, the Quebec motto. Something everyone can get behind!

Dave – Rory graduates from Yale and they’re still rambling! There has to be meds involved, I probably missed the rehab and intervention episodes from a previous season. Max has a mustache, he is the sophisticated vampire grandfather now. Melissa McCarthy… sigh.

Amelia Let’s talk about the townsfolk. Now, in the first episode you see a few. The Asian girl’s mom who hates white people, or at least Rory. The dance instructor that no one in real life would send their children too. She’s outside smoking the whole time she’s teaching a class. We get Luke who seems crazy straight laced and uptight. Like, you don’t want people eating chili cheese fries? Don’t have it on your menu, guy! They all seem regular to a degree though. Come the last episode, the town is full of fucking crazy people! Just a town full of caricatures. The Flanderization of these characters is ridiculous!

Dave – The townspeople killed me! They are so cheesy, two dimensional, and I wanted to smack a few of them.

Amelia How did they go from eccentric townsfolk to a mob of idiots that got all mopey and pouty when a party was cancelled?

Dave – More cliches follow with a townwide surprise party planned over the course of a day, closure between lost lovers, the “touching” ending with the typical zooming out with soft music and, of course the most inevitable conclusion of all, me dying a little inside.


Amelia Don’t forget about how the daughter is fresh out of journalism school and landed a job her first day looking for one. And it’s a good job following around Barack Obama on his first campaign trail. Do they just hand those to twenty-two year olds and say have at it? Speaking of Rory, let’s be bitches for a second and talk about how big her fucking head is! I don’t know if it’s the haircut, or maybe it’s a tumour caused by seven seasons of talking too fast, but I literally couldn’t stop staring at it the whole episode through! What did I miss as her giant head eclipsed the scene? I’ll never know because I’m not going back to watch it again.

Dave – That’s something that deserves a cheer if I’ve ever heard one.

Amelia Isn’t it fun to be a mean girl?


What Happens in Between

Dave – My first question: what happens to the Chicago Stalker? Did he go back to Chicago? Did he find another girl to place the lotion in the basket? That dude came across kinda creepy. He is probably in jail with the local deputy keeping an eye on him so Chicago doesn’t grab the big ring of cell keys from the wall with a broom.

Amelia This is an easy one! Mister Chicago was Sam Winchester from Supernatural working an undercover gig. Surely somewhere between episode one and episode one hundred and fifty four, Dean Winchester shows up to help Sam (aka Chicago) slay whatever supernatural malady is plaguing this town. I’m thinking it’s gotta be something really nasty for Sam to go this deep undercover, dating this girl for months to years, as a guy named Dean. I could imagine this is a Supernatural season one thing when they were really awkward and doing most things on the fly.

Dave – But choosing his brother’s name for going undercover?

Amelia At season one levels of their brotherly relationship, Sammie probably did it to piss off Dean when he headed back to his crappy motel room every night. Let me spin you a quick bit of season one dialogue that could have easily existed:

Dean: Hey Sammie. Undercover at a high school. No doubt as the out and proud gay kid, huh?
Sam: Yeah. How’d you know?
Dean: What undercover name did you choose? Cecil?
Sam: I thought Cecil was too macho. I went with Dean.

Dave – How many hats does Luke go through?  He had a different colored one in the finale. Did he wear a different hat for each season?

Amelia Wait, does it change colour? I thought it was blue both times? How come I didn’t notice? Oh, because I was in a near comatose state of boredom. So if his hat did change, can we agree on… let’s say a gypsy curse?

Dave – Sounds good to me.

Amelia Now, my big thing concerning Luke is why he doesn’t seem to provide the coffee cups that the mother hands him to be filled with her thirty necessary gallons of coffee a day. She seems to bring him the cups. Combine this with his dickish attitude to his customers by criticizing their eating habits and how does he stay in business? He does seem a lot friendlier in the end than in the beginning. I’m chalking that up to him having gotten laid somewhere in the seven seasons, whereas he never had in his whole backwards baseball cap life up to the premiere.

Dave – My third question: how does this town celebrate Christmas? Do they have a town hall meeting where the mayor throws a damn fit each time about permits for cooking on the grill? What year is this supposed to be anyway?

Amelia It’s 2007. Barack Obama is on the campaign trail, what other year would that be? C’mon man, you’re even an American! Get your head in the game!


Dave – Listen, all I’m getting at is I could not live in this place and I’m guessing the Chicago Stalker said the same.

Amelia Now David has yet to mention this, but there’s a part in the last episode where Rory has a big toy rocket and she seems kinda sad about it.

Dave – Yeah, what’s up with that?

Amelia I’m thinking that rocket has significance to Rory because she spent a season training as an astronaut before she switched her major to journalism. I assume she dropped astronaut training for something safer after witnessing, I don’t know, her lover die in a training simulation. That thing that spins around real fast malfunctioned and he was trapped on it for just long enough to turn into a puddle of ooze. And that’s why she’s so sad to see that rocket. Obvious right?


Dave – I’d watch that.

Amelia Me too! And I’m also super interested in the story arc where the brains from Futurama come to Stars Hollow and stupidify the townsfolk with their stupidification brainwaves. If a Gilmore Girls fan could let me know those episodes, I’d love to see them!

A crude but accurate photoshop of what happened to this town's people
A crude (but possibly accurate?) photoshop of what happened to the townsfolk

What We Think About Gilmore Girls After Watching a Damn Thing

Dave – I don’t know what I think. I still have a lot of questions… like how did this become so popular? I tried not to be as negative as I have come across but seriously, I couldn’t sit through all 154 episodes. The characters were too bland for me. And those townspeople… ARRRGGHHH!!!! What else is there to do in this town? Was there an episode where they got a 7-11? The town reminded me of the movie Groundhog Day. And then I got even sadder as I realized that Bill Murray would have made this show better.

Amelia Let me end this article by saying that I would never take Gilmore Girls away from anyone. People must have related to it for it to go on for seven seasons and now have a Netflix revival. It’s just if someone said to me that I was going to sit down and watch more than these two episodes, I’d burn Stars Hollow to the ground before relenting to that! I’ve never been one for media that’s just about characters. Give me character development in the midst of vampire slaying or mystery solving or being lost in space. If I wanted to see a mother and daughter talking in a coffee shop, I’d invite my mom out for coffee. And neither of us want that. Not with Buffy on Netflix.


Amelia Wellman
I read, I write, I play videogames, Ghostbusters is my favourite thing in the known universe, but quasars come in at a close second. I've been known to cry at the drop of a hat over happy and sad things alike. I've also been known to fly into a rage if things don't go my way, leading to many a fight in high school and breaking someone's nose on the TTC one time. I'm an anxious introvert but also a loud-mouthed bad influence. Especially on my cat. He learned it from watching me, okay!

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