A dedicated fan base broke out in cheers on Twitter when Netflix announced recently that, as of October 1, all seven seasons of the WB show “Gilmore Girls” will be available to stream. Though many of us have been able to re-watch the show on DVD, the possibility of spending time with the fast-talking, trivia-filled titular duo anytime, anywhere fills us with glee. If you’re new to the family and their perpetually-autumnal home of Stars Hallow, let me be your guide into this (sadly fictional) little corner of the world.
Welcome to Stars Hallow
Stars Hallow, a half hour away from Hartford, Connecticut, is a municipality so small most of its residents fit inside a dance hall for incredibly frequent town meetings but still manages to hold an inordinate number of festivals. Celebratory occasions range from the changing of the seasons to the successful fundraising for the restoration of a town bridge. Stars Hallow consists of small-town gems like Al’s Pancake World (purveyor of international cuisine), at least two inns, Doose’s Market, and Luke’s Diner. But there are also many quirky residents in the town. If you’re new to “Gilmore Girls,” where the coffee flows and everyone talks too fast while name-dropping authors like Hillary dropping hints, consider this your primer.
Lorelai: Now 32, she was 16 when she had her daughter and ran away from home, leaving behind her wealthy parents (and the baby daddy) to make it on her own working at an inn. Rocks amazing coats, owns many vintage 80s tees.
Rory: Turns 16 at show’s start, and is a sophomore in high school. Straight-A’s kid with ivy league aspirations; constantly carrying a minimum of three books at any time.
Emily: Lorelai’s WASP-y mother in Hartford, long-estranged but back in the Girls’ lives after Rory gets accepted into a pricey private high school. Way into gardening, proper manners, and the DAR.
Richard: The lone Gilmore Boy. Well-connected real estate man. Cigar-aficionado. Proud Yale alum who loves doting on Rory (and not Lorelai).
The Residents of Stars Hallow
Luke: Grumpy owner of the aforementioned diner and key to many plot lines. Know him. Love him. Don’t listen to him when he tells you to turn off that cell phone in his diner.
Kirk: One of the show’s best gags stems from the pilot, in which we first see the actor who plays Kirk playing a cable installer — one who doesn’t seem to go by the name Kirk, nor who is he recognized by Lorelai, who’s known Kirk for years. This blip of discontinuity goes unmentioned but as the show goes on, Kirk’s list of occupations grows well beyond the point of absurdity.
Sookie: Lorelai’s best friend and co-worker; the two work at the Independence Inn, where Sookie is a chef. Pre-“Bridesmaids” Melissa McCarthy is the same goddamn gem she is today and you will love her in this role.
Babette: Lorelai’s and Rory’s cat-loving, raspy-voiced next door neighbor who is friendly but borderline-obsessed with the Gilmore Girls. I can relate (Sally Struthers rocks this role).
Lane: Rory’s best friend; daughter of an overbearing Korean American mother; hoarder of “banned” CDs like The Dead Kennedys and The Clash, which she keeps hidden beneath the floorboards in her room.
Dean: Rory’s dull first boyfriend with floppy hair. Great first boyfriend for a 16-year-old, but the worst character on this show. The worst. I will not spoil for you who is the best but you will know him when you see him.
That’ll get you started as you embark on season one. Think of me weeks from now when you’re plowing your way through season seven. It won’t be long now, so enjoy it.
It’s fitting to me that the show comes to Netflix the first day of October because it’s always this time of year that I get the urge to curl up under a blanket, drink apple cider, and watch some “Gilmore Girls.” Major kudos, as always, to my best friend Brittany back home for introducing me to it way back when.