Like other guys who dig good television and are fine with their stupider alpha-male pals mocking them for crashing prescribed entertainment gender roles, I am happy to announce in public that I enjoy watching Gilmore Girls and did in fact spend several hours this past weekend with the Netflix revival. The show has never been my favorite; I’m more of a Law & Order and Columbo guy, and I wish there were more consequences and reflections of the real world in Stars Hollow. Nevertheless, the writers behind Lorelai and Rory’s clever dialogue don’t simply assume their viewers are invertebrate, and that is something that a highish-middlebrow like me can appreciate.
Before I spill any further, let me be clear that this is not a review of the new Gilmore Girls. Far from it. Rather, it’s just my cheap personal gripe that seemed worth sharing since it isn’t every day there is a good excuse to connect with pop culture consumers about journalism.
Elsewhere in the world of Gilmore Girls-watching, some more vigilant critics have aired considerable worries about Rory’s regressive development, at least in the reportorial sense. As Aja Romano wrote in an essay for Vox titled “Gilmore Girls’ final words change everything we believe about Rory and Stars Hollow,” “The Rory who was eager to work for any major daily newspaper that would have her … apparently wastes an opportunity to write an article about long New York City lines for Condé Nast … The Rory who eagerly leapt at the chance to write about politics for an online media outlet in 2007 is now so scathing and condescending about the idea of working for an up-and-coming lifestyle website that she doesn’t even bother to prepare for the lone job interview she gets.”
I think it’s great that Rory seemingly wants to be more than just a food and travel writer. Lord knows TV journalism needs more muckrakers. So I was excited when, early in the revival, she makes moves to become the editor of the community newspaper, the Stars Hollow Gazette. Nevermind that bad things never seem to happen in the town, I found the protagonist’s support of local media to be endearing. Until it ended, abruptly, with her decision to instead write a memoir. Her interest in saving the paper lasted all of a few days before she got bored, her mission to serve readers local news swiftly undermined by her own ego.
Am I being ridiculous? Absolutely. But I’d be lying if I said that such behavior, of romanticizing newspapers and community media but not wanting to put any actual work in to produce it, isn’t something that disturbs me on a daily basis.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.