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Paris Geller Is the Most Sympathetic ‘Gilmore Girls’ Character

And 17 other extremely hot takes

(Netflix/Ringer illustration)
(Netflix/Ringer illustration)

Gilmore Girls is an important show that inspires devotion and happiness in many people with Netflix subscriptions. It also inspires a lot of passionate, possibly insane opinions. These are our Gilmore Girls hot takes.

Logan Is the Only Acceptable Rory Boyfriend

Amanda Dobbins: This was a hot take circa 2005, and then it became a more acceptable opinion, and then the four new episodes threw it back into the fire again. Listen, Odette or no Odette: Logan is by far the best boyfriend. He was entirely committed and faithful; he supported Rory’s career and her dreams; he understood her relationship with her mother; he happened to be cute and rich and fun; he wanted to goddamn marry her, unlike your beloved Jess, who just disappeared on a bus one day after reading On the Road. (Gross.) The secret squirrel fiancée puts a wrench in Logan’s 2016 standings, but my understanding is that Odette + Logan was covered in all the rich person tabloids, which means that Rory had plenty of warning and knew exactly what she was doing when she let that magic sperm into her life. Also, she rejected him; Rory is your ex-boyfriend who dumped you after college but still texts you at 2 a.m. when he’s drunk to be like “ohh sometimes I think about you when I listen to LCD Soundsystem.” You’re not the problem — Rory, like always, is the problem. Protect Logan.

Dean Is Only Awful Because Jess Made Him Awful

Michael Baumann: Before Jess showed up, Dean and Rory were happy, and to some extent Dean had come to terms with how Rory’s pretentious family and Chilton friends would always look down on him. 
 
Then this tiny punk whose voice was permanently stuck in the tone normally reserved for “Oh yeah? Well … umm … your mom” shows up and thinks he can do whatever he wants and treat everyone like shit because (1) he actually finished Infinite Jest and (2) everyone’s too polite to literally punch him in the face. And because Dean is a 17-year-old boy and in love — and therefore a moron — he doesn’t do the smart thing, which would be to realize that if Rory (who is what you would get if Cristin Milioti’s baby talk character from 30 Rock got a five on the AP English test) wants to be with this loser, he might be better off in the long run. 
 
Dean’s problem is that he’s a townie. (Sorry if that sounds elitist, but the title of this show might as well be My Daughter Will Literally Die If She Goes to Public School, so …) Instead of moving on, maybe striking out on his own, Dean marries his second-ever girlfriend right out of high school, is emotionally abusive, cheats on her, and is sad and angry. 
 
It doesn’t make what Dean did right, because Dean still had the capacity to turn into something other than a total douchecanoe, but it would not have happened if Jess had never shown up. Jess has that effect on people — he did it to Logan, too, and Logan’s way more self-possessed than Dean ever was. Finding out the woman who loves you is also capable of loving Asshole Jess is a long look in the mirror. 
 
Some men can bounce back from emotional trauma like that, but it fucked poor Dean up for years afterward.

The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Soundtrack Is an Abomination

Alison Herman: The la-las are Teletubbies for adults. They make me want to stick a knitting needle into my eardrum. They are more sugary than Lorelai’s diet, more insipid than the entirety of the Stars Hollow musical. They suck, and the show would be better off without them.

It Is Impossible That Richard and Emily Gilmore Are That Rich

Dobbins: Not to be all Captain Finance but … Richard left his old insurance firm, tried the startup life, and then sold his startup back to his original firm within a year. One year of insurance-startup earnings does not get you impulse oceanfront Nantucket money (IN CASH), even if Richard successfully navigated the crash of 2007 and preserved all the money that his mother earned from renting to Korn. The thing about old money is that it’s old and it runs out; meanwhile, Richard was funding Emily’s porcelain apple purchases, plus Rory’s tuition, Miss Celine’s retainer, constant European vacations, multiple pool house renovations, Luke’s franchise trust, and whatever 45 charities they supported. This does not add up, literally.

Rory Gilmore Has Always Lived Beyond Her Means and Continues To

Juliet Litman: How did this bitch afford all of those well-tailored, flattering coats? And if money was so tight for Rory and Lorelai, why didn’t Rory ever get a job in high school? Apparently pecuniary rules don’t apply in Stars Hollow. She continues her flagrant disregard for financial prudence in the latest Netflix season. There’s simply no way that Rory could afford all of her transatlantic flights. She’s unemployed, and she previously worked in media. She’s no former investment banker living off of a generous severance package. As someone who follows @AirFareWatchdog, I can say with certainty that she’s spending at least $600 each time — at a bare minimum! If she’s too poor to even pay for a storage unit, why is she throwing money at airlines?

Rory Gilmore Sort of Had Good Style!

Allison P. Davis: In Episode 5 of Season 7, Rory Gilmore attend a dinner with her then-beau, Logan, and his colleagues from the London office. She wore a dress — black, scoop neck, looked vaguely Marc Jacobs-y, but they didn’t mention him for once. Anyway, it was incredibly flattering and covetable; even watching that episode in 2016, I thought to myself, “I would like a dress like that.” It occurred to me, that while the Gilmore Girls were never praised for their style — in fact, Lorelai’s demented teenager looks ruined all of their style credibility — Rory Gilmore actually had pretty good fashion sense! Yes, she wore “flared jeans” with cropped blazers, but this was the early 2000s; it’s not her fault. Even on her most annoying days, she usually earned a “cute top!” (for 2006). It is possible that she also benefits just from standing next to Lorelai.

Mr. Kim Was Actually Dead and Buried in the Kim Furniture Store and Mrs. Kim Was So Mean Because She Had Gone Mad With Grief

Kate Knibbs: I realize this is an extra-spicy take considering Mr. Kim, who mysteriously never appeared in the original series, finally makes a cameo in the reboot, but I’m sticking with my grim Psycho explanation for Mrs. Kim’s persistent, deranged hostility: Mr. Kim was dead, his corpse was in the vintage-furniture store, and Mrs. Kim was insane with sadness. The strictness and attempts to keep Lane, a promising, intelligent woman, circumscribed to an insular life in Stars Hollow was all a means toward the end of keeping the Big Secret safe.

The man Lane points to in the reboot is merely a hallucination, a signal that the Kim madness has tragically progressed. And while Lane turned to music to cope with her deeply disturbing upbringing, she didn’t turn out OK, and it’s finally time we process a horrible truth: Dave Rygalski didn’t go to California. The Kims killed him when he threatened to reveal the truth to the town.

The only reason Zack is still alive is because he’s too much of a dolt to notice anything amiss.

Paris Is the Most Sympathetic Character

Baumann: I learned what empathy was when I stopped hating Paris and realized that she was only trying to live up to the impossible expectations set by her overbearing tax-cheat parents. She’s terribly mean to pretty much everyone but Michael York (because who doesn’t love Michael York?), but all she really wants is to be loved and respected.

The Face of ‘Gilmore Girls’ Should Not be a … Guy

Herman: This isn’t really a take about the show itself, but while we’re at it: Why is the Netflix thumbnail for the original series fucking Jess? Whatever your feelings about whether he should’ve ended up with Rory — he shouldn’t have — Jess’s last name is not Gilmore, and he’s definitely not a girl. And when Amy Sherman-Palladino herself has complained we’re all way too obsessed with Rory’s love life, the last people to enable us should be her newfound collaborators. Just let a show about matriarchy present itself as such, goddammit!

The Water in Stars Hollow Would NOT Have Been Fluorinated. Yet They All Have Great Teeth? What Gives …

Knibbs: Taylor would’ve called at least 30 town meetings to explain how fluoride is the tool of communism. He insists that the town remain on its old untreated well-water system. “The well was good enough for the heroes of the Revolutionary War, and it’s good enough for me,” he says.

One of the main reasons the Dragonfly Inn succeeded is because Sookie insisted on a private water supply from a spring rather than the well. “The well water makes my cakes taste like they died,” she told Lorelai.

Lorelai’s Biggest Fault Is Her Hatred of Indian Food

Baumann: Rory’s not allowed to eat Indian food in the house unless Lorelai’s away for the weekend, because Lorelai doesn’t like the smell, and I can’t figure out why. Lorelai is a Brad Pitt–in–Ocean’s Eleven–level eater, so why would her love of food exclude the best food?
 
The only explanation I can come up with is the writers realized their main character had no flaws, and scrambled to add some midstream, like how Matt Saracen inexplicably started banging his grandmother’s nurse in Friday Night Lights. I just wish they had chosen anything else.

Stars Hollow Would Have Voted for Trump

Knibbs: Taylor led the voter outreach; he told Luke that Trump would outlaw man buns. Lorelai obviously forgot to vote. “Oy, with the politics,” she said when Luke pulled his backward cap around to reveal the MAGA slogan.

Lane Had the Best Relationship in All of Stars Hollow

Davis: Sure, Rory had multiple boyfriends, but where did that get her? She’s still pining after her college boyfriend, and her possessions are all scattered all over the world like she’s damn Voldemort planting horcruxes. Lane, on the other hand, has always had the show’s only example of a loving, mutually respectful, fun relationship, and she lives in one place. Lane and Zack started as friends and bandmates and grew into lovers. He always supported her and patiently engaged with her devout Seventh-day Adventist family; she supported his weird banjo thing. They were genuinely stoked to marry one another. In the revival they’re rewarded by having the most aspirational life — not a fancy Huntzberger sort of existence, but a solid, stable one, with trips to the local pool and a part-time gig at the local secret bar. Zack has gray hair and a dad paunch and a corporate job which sounds depressing, but it’s not because they play in Hep Alien and enjoy each other’s company. They have it all: love, family, shared passions, and two cute kids who aren’t around too much.

Roy Choi Would Literally Never Set Foot in Stars Hollow

Herman: If you’re Ina Garten — or even Rachael Ray! — I get it. You’re a white lady who likes to cook for other white ladies, so why not get paid for that while also vacationing at a scenic Connecticut inn, a place where you, a white lady, would realistically vacation? But there is nothing on God’s green earth that would convince a big-city chef with tattoos and a side hustle in selling affordable food to low-income communities to set foot in WASP Disneyland, let alone put up with getting yelled at by a cranky hotelier several commas below his pay grade. Besides, no way the milquetoast masses of Stars Hollow would ever go for the bulgogi burritos Choi made his name on. The real-life chef may like Gilmore Girls enough to be a good sport, but the fictional one sticks out like a sore thumb.

It’s Not April’s Fault

Dobbins: April is not a person; April is a plot device. She was born not of idiocy but out of the medium’s demand that TV seasons continue past their natural conclusion. Also, she was good at science, which is an important example for young women. Don’t hate the sweet young woman who inexplicably has the same mother as Jess’s dad’s new wife in that spinoff episode. Hate the network!

Luke Is Terrible

Davis: Just think, if Lorelai Gilmore was your friend. I know, you would be really exhausted and about to friend-dump her ass because she’s so self-centered and still hasn’t asked you how your mom is doing after her minor surgery — but go on, imagine it. She would be telling you all about her “relationship” with an emotionally unavailable dude who works in a diner and who looked hot in a baseball cap, but a little less hot when he took it off. A guy who’s bad at communicating and hid having a child from her and was sort of sarcastic toward and dismissive of her quirky personality a lot of the time and didn’t help her plan the wedding. What advice would you give her? It would not be, “Marry him after proposing twice.” It would be, “He’s terrible, marry Christopher, or go back and find Max Medina and see what he’s up to.” I rest my case.

Rory’s Not Really Pregnant With a Baby

Knibbs: Screwed up to lie to your mother like that, especially on her wedding day, but then again, when hasn’t Rory been a screwup?

A Rory pregnancy makes very little sense. Her Wookie hookup was too long ago to fit into the timeline, and Rory and Logan had only one night together. Rory is 32 fucking years old. She’s not that fertile!!! One time with Logan is a far-fetched way to conceive, especially since you KNOW old Lo wouldn’t risk getting a poor-person STD. Logan wears condoms every time he bones people who don’t own boats.

Also, Rory spends all season downing Scotch, and she’s sitting next to an empty bottle of Champagne when she tells Lorelai the “news.” Yes, while the girl is a well-documented moron, I doubt she would really risk fetal alcohol syndrome to that degree. She’s probably just “pregnant with possibility” or something lame like that.

The Show’s Narrator Is Unreliable, and While What We’re Shown Is a Bunch of Charming and Colorful New England Townsfolk, the Reality Is That Michel Is the Only Sane Man Trapped in a Colony of Nosy, Amphetamine-Addled Yokels

Baumann: Through the Gilmores’ eyes, Stars Hollow is an idyllic, beautiful town populated by friendly and interesting white people. The residents’ quirks are played for laughs, as if they’re harmless hijinks, and anyone who doesn’t play along, or resists the constant meddling of the town busybodies — Luke and Michel in particular — has their objections treated like just another oddity to be worn in the open and subjected to examination and good-natured laughter.
 
Have you ever noticed that Stars Hollow’s residents spend their whole lives there, often settling in for multiple generations? With the exception of Jess’s sadly temporary exile to California, people never make it farther than Boston or Philadelphia. And is anyone else disturbed by how much power rests in the sole control of Taylor Doose — Nurse Ratched in a beard and a green apron?

But what if Lorelai and Rory weren’t our POV characters? What if Michel were the protagonist? We would see Stars Hollow through the eyes of one of very few outsiders, one of very few people who doesn’t play along with Taylor’s iron-fisted weirdness? We know that Michel is French, and therefore frequently vain, rude, lazy, and recalcitrant, because that’s what Lorelai sees. But viewed through the eyes of someone who’s willing to go deeper than stereotypes, he’s a man crying for help.

What are Michel’s complaints? At their most basic level, there are two: (1) Leave me alone, and (2) let me do my job. We laugh because those complaints are delivered in a funny accent, but those are entirely reasonable things to want. Why would a man not only live somewhere like Stars Hollow, but cross the ocean to do so?
 
The most likely answer is that Stars Hollow is not a charming upper-middle-class New England hamlet festooned with antique kitsch. New England’s dark secret is that much of the region resembles nothing so much as the Florida Panhandle, only cold — why is Stars Hollow painted as a haven for kibitzers who fear the future?
 
Probably because it’s an illusion, a fantasy veneer for an asylum or a penal colony of some kind, and Michel is the only sane man in the city. Taylor’s the cruel warden, prison psychotherapist Miss Patty, and talks so quickly because they’re stuffed to the gills with drugs. Except Michel, trapped forever in this torment, crying out for a rescue that will never come.