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Opinion: 'In a post-Trump world, we need Gilmore Girls more than ever'

Lorelai and Rory are returning to our screens for four 90-minute films on Netflix and it couldn’t be more timely, writes Lorraine Courtney.

Lorraine Courtney

IT’S BEEN A difficult month to be a woman. But the ‘Gilmore Girls’ reboot is on Netflix this weekend, just when we need a female-led television show sending positive messages about women.

As a rule, I’m not a big fan of remakes – they’re usually the sad product of Hollywood’s favourite intersection of greed and predictability. But if, like me, you came of age with the Stars Hollow crew, you’ll remember how this show set you up to be the feminist you are today.

‘Gilmore Girls’: The plot

If you didn’t, here’s what it’s all about: Lorelai Gilmore is a single mom raising her exceptionally bright daughter, Rory. The mother and daughter spend their mornings drinking coffee at Luke’s — the local diner — and their evenings unapologetically eating whatever they want in their peak-hygge sitting-room.

They live in the charmingly offbeat Stars Hollow – a town full of kooks who care about each other in a warm, lend-a-hand kind of way. It wasn’t this escapism that drew me in every time though, it was the entire feminist universe which Amy Sherman-Palladino, brought to life, smashing more Bechdel Test records than any other series, ever.

Lorelai supports Hillary

Netflix Source: Netflix

Days after Trump’s win Lauren Graham (she plays Lorelai), who was a vocal supporter of Hillary Clinton, told the Press Association:

“I think this show and the world it created and the town is a happy place and we need that so much now. It always stuck out as old fashioned at the time, it’s not about zombie vampire policemen. It’s unique and kind and I feel proud to put that into the world, especially now.”

You see this show is unusual in that it was made by, for and about women. Naturally, guys will always have their roles in the show, but that role has never been at the centre. That central spot has always been reserved for Lorelai and Rory.

The show’s casual feminism

Here’s a television show that presents a world where women are at the centre and where intelligence is valued which, unfortunately, isn’t something that’s found very often in life, or on our screens. The show touches on Rory and Lorelai’s love lives, but their aspirations, their states of mind, and their relationship with each other is what it’s really about.

Lorelai is a bit of an inspiration – she left her parent’s house at the age of sixteen to provide for herself and her newborn, and worked her way to the top. And in this quaint Connecticut town, more women than men own businesses.

Women work in jobs normally gendered as more stereotypically masculine. From inn owner Lorelai to town mechanic Gypsy, women are firmly in charge of Stars Hollow. Finally the show celebrated Melissa McCarthy’s sheer brilliance before the world knew who she was.

Stepping into the world of Stars Hollow is a bit like stepping into the world of the Care Bears. It’s pure fiction and often borders on cosy fantasy. But this cosiness is vital to the revival’s relevance in the Trump era.

An antidote to Trump

Once again, their sunshine-filled, banter-driven bubble will accompany a Republican president (last time it was Bush). Once again, it will be born into a world where outsiders are increasingly viewed with suspicion.

We’ve taken such a battering during this US election campaign that it’s like women have been set back in our efforts for equality. We are now living through times where members of different marginalised communities fear for their physical safety, while tensions between different political ideologies, religions, and race seem to be growing.

It’s too much to ask ‘Gilmore Girls’ to fix our world or even to seriously grapple with it — but this reboot could provide the perfect comfort slanket against 2016.

Lorraine Courtney is a journalist.

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