Gilmore Girls: The Complete First Season (review)

Is it churlish to suggest that one of the most beloved and popular dramas currently on television is really kind of dull? The domestic and romantic adventures of the Gilmore girls — 32-year-old Lorelai (Lauren Graham: Seeing Other People) and her 16-year-old daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel: Tuck Everlasting) — are deliberately positioned as “family programming,” which in the current cultural environment translates as “mushy, insipid, and unchallenging.” They’re frequently mistaken for sisters by visitors to Stars Hollow, their quaint little New England town, where Lorelai runs the twee inn and Rory must contend with the snobbish old-money teens at her tony private school — every single one of their wacky, oddball neighbors, of course, already knows all their business and all their history and doesn’t mind offering unsolicited advice on life, love, and coffee. It’s all a bit too self-consciously precious to be genuinely charming, these 21 episodes full of minor mother-daughter tussles — some between Lorelai and Rory, and some between Lorelai and her own mother, Emily (Kelly Bishop: Wonder Boys), a stuck-up pain in the you-know-what — but this calculated comfort food clearly touches a nerve with many viewers, who’ll surely gobble up the bonus features: trivia popups, cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes, a collection of Gilmore-isms, and more. As a counterbalance to the crude, witless junk that dominates prime time, however, it goes a bit too far in the opposite direction.

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