Monday, January 16, 2017

Our Learning Curve in Stars Hollow

Back in England I'd been a fan of a couple or three "soaps" (soap operas). British soaps were much different from what pass as soap operas in the USA, much better quality - my husband has confirmed this, having seen a little of both varieties. When I first arrived to live in the USA I did miss the two Brit staples, Coronation Street or EastEnders. They were aired 5 nights a week at around 7.30pm, great to watch after work, while the evening meal was being digested! I'd watched "Corrie" from its 1960s origin, all the way to 2004, apart from the times when I didn't have a TV, or access to one.

Several weeks ago we began watching, from Season1 Episode 1, the old TV series Gilmore Girls, courtesy of Netflix. The series originated in 2000, lasted for 7 seasons, until 2007. Gilmore Girls isn't a soap, but it does have some soapy DNA that often reminds me of British shows such as Coronation Street and EastEnders, due to its skillful character-drawing, witty banter and good-natured humour.

We've now made our way, pleasurably, via a couple of episodes a night as far as the middle of season 5 of Gilmore Girls. The series, set in Stars Hollow a small (fictional) town in Connecticut has well-drawn characters, lots of humour, plenty of under-lying, non-preachy points to make for those with eyes wide enough open to appreciate them.

What comes through often, loud and clear in Gilmore Girls is the "class" thing. Brits used to be under the impression that, in America the great class-divisions we'd grown up with didn't exist because, well...they don't have a Royal Family do they ? There are no accompanying Lords, Ladies, Earls, Duchesses and suchlike. They don't have snooty individuals educated at Eton, Oxford, Cambridge, do they?

Wrong, wrong and wrong!

Gilmore Girls regularly throws light on the fact that the class divide here can be every bit as multi-layered, snooty, smug and occasionally vicious as that in the Old Country. There are other themes in the series: love affairs, parental relationship problems, whacky small-town characters and events, hotel life, school-life, Yale-life, diner life - a never boring mix.

Apart from the show's staple Gilmores, mother, daughter and her daughter: Emily, Lorelai and Rory ( for cast members/characters see Wikipedia page HERE), other known faces pop up, briefly, from time to time in cameo roles, faces more youthful than we've grown used to seeing them - for instance: Norman Mailer, Seth MacFarlane, Jane Lynch (Glee), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Matt Czuchry (Cary Agos in The Good Wife), and several others, unfamiliar to us, who have also gone on to play major characters in successful TV series. There's a run down of these at The Daily Dot.

The catalyst spurring us to watch Gilmore Girls, from its very first episode, was reading of a new four-part mini-series, first aired on Netflix last November: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Each episode was to cover a season of the year, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. The four episodes are set in Stars Hollow, almost ten years after the final episode of the series proper. We decided we couldn't possibly partake of that tempting offering without background knowledge, so began our 7-year trek.

Each episode starts with the show's theme song. It's by Carole King: Where You Lead. Ms King herself has appeared in a cameo role as music store proprietor in a couple or more episodes.

It's Music Monday - so, the obvious choice:


anyjazz said...

An excellent series. Good writing, believable characters. Full of quick humor.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Yep - one of the best of its kind! :-)