Our Feminist Wish List for the Gilmore Girls Revival
Although neither of us grew up watching Gilmore Girls back in the early 2000s, we’ve still become hardcore fans of the series, proving our dedication by waiting in line for a Luke’s coffee cup sleeve and planning our own Friday night dinner-themed parties. But, being two intersectional millennial feminists (say that three times fast, Lorelai) we often find ourselves talking about how a lot of the humor and storylines simply would not fly today. So when Netflix announced a Gilmore Girls revival, we were both excited and wary. While we wait (im)patiently for the new episodes to air November 25, here are some ways we think the revival could reach its full intersectional feminist potential.
Better Representation of Characters of Color
While there were a couple characters of color in the series, they were left playing the sidekick, most notably in the character of Lane Kim, Rory’s best friend. When we first saw the show, we were so excited to have a Korean family be on such a popular series, but ended up being disappointed with how her character, as well as her “tiger mom” Mrs. Kim, developed. Instead of being relatable, they were tired and played out – with Lane ending up with a dud for a husband and children she wasn’t planning for. Here’s hoping that Lane is now doing something awesome like managing a record label and being the boss woman of color we know she is.
Better – or Literally Any – LGBTQ Representation
There are no characters who openly identify as LGBTQ in the show, and to be quite frank, the show is pretty rampant with homophobia and transphobia. There are occasional references to queer people, like when a student at Stars Hollow Elementary bring up that he has two moms, but other than that – nada. However, it’s clear that we’re supposed to read one character as gay – good old Michel, the testy concierge of the Dragonfly Inn. His sexuality is never confirmed or discussed, but sadly in the 2000s this could pass as queer representation. But it’s been 10 years since Gilmore Girls aired its final episode, and a lot has changed for the LGBTQ community in that time. There are more queer and trans characters on TV than ever, and the revival could be a chance to give real representation of a queer person. Whether we find out Michel has a long-term boyfriend, or perhaps that GiGi (Rory’s half-sister) has come out as gender-nonconforming, there a a few opportunities to show representations of the LGBTQ community in Stars Hollow, and we hope they’ve worked that in.
Rory’s Love Life
Is it #TeamDean, #TeamJess, or #TeamLogan (or #TeamMarty!)? Even Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is tired of people obsessing over Rory’s romantic prospects. Let’s spell it out: Dean was controlling, Jess was absent, and Logan was manipulative. All really not great boyfriend material, and one of the major drags of the show – that Rory seemed to go with guys who didn’t match up to her potential. Though we know Rory’s many beaus will make an appearance in the revival, we hope that in spite of them, Rory has had a full career and life outside of her so-so romantic interests. And that if she is partnered up with one of her past boyfriends, that they’ve turned into someone worthy of her.
Proud and Loud Feminists
Though it’s sort of implied that Lorelai and Rory are feminists, they have their moments of weird gender stereotyping. (Who wants to do a round-up of all the times they said “Of course I ______, I’m a girl!”?) We would love to see them pull a Beyonce and proclaim themselves as feminists – and of course acknowledge what all of us as feminists should: we aren’t perfect, but we want our feminism to be intersectional and inclusive, and we’re going to work to make sure it is.
Despite their shortcomings, we still love those fast-talking Lorelais – so while we eagerly refresh our Netflix queues on Friday, aided by our giant cups of coffee and serving trays full of take-out containers, we hope they’ve taken their time off to reflect, improve, and give us a show we can truly love and be thankful for this holiday.