February 09, 2005

Gilmore Girls: Pilot Episode

About six months ago I "discovered" The Gilmore Girls, and pretty quickly I became hooked. I think the things that appeal to me most are, the character Lorelai (Lauren Graham, who I think really is that cool in person), and the charming small town life of Stars Hollow (which, sadly, is actually a studio backlot, I'm pretty sure).

A few days ago, the Gilmore Girls syndication on ABC Family, restarted with the pilot episode. I've already seen some of these early eps, but now I'll be watching from the start, in order. My TiVo is recording them, and I'll be writing here about them. I'm always fascinated, with a TV series that has been evolving for many years, to go back and see how they portrayed the characters in the first few eps. What traits were there from the start, and which ones occurred over time?

BTW, a good episode guide can be found here.

"The Pilot"

  • An establishing shot of the small town charm of Stars Hollow was the first thing we saw.
  • Lorelei's coffee habit was the first thing we learned about her.
  • In the pilot, Luke's Diner is not on a corner, and there is much more of the former hardware store motif.
  • Luke as curmudgeon, established early.
  • When the guy is hitting on Lorelai and Rory, Lorelei announces Rory is only 16, and Rory says, "Are you my new daddy."
  • BTW, I'm pretty sure Rory is actually 15 at this point.
  • Independence Inn was quite an operation, big staff
  • Lorelai wore more serious business suits when working
  • The grumpy harp player annoyed me from the very start.
  • Rory offering to tell all the women what a stud Michel is. I see this as an effort to establish him as not-gay.
  • The incredibly accident-prone Sookie was pretty over the top. I'm glad they toned it down. Although, to this day Sookie will occasionally be wearing unexplained band-aids.
  • Lorelai and Sookie's dream to own their own Inn, established from the start.
  • Originally Lorelai was shown to be a skilled seamstress, which fades, but doesn't disappear, over the years. eg. she's good with wardrobe.
  • In the pilot, a picture on the mantel shows L&R standing in front of a "Blacksmith". Where are all the anvils?
  • We meet Richard and Emily. Another thing I really like about the series is how complex their characters are. They're not simply self-centered rich folks. But we didn't get to see that in the pilot.
  • We meet Dean. Even when speechless, Rory makes with the pop references "Chicago... Windy... Oprah."
  • Stars Hollow is a 30 minute drive from Hartford
  • Luke's backward cap and 5-clock shadow, were established early.
  • Patty refers to "Taylor Doosie" as if he's not a well known member of the community, which later we see he's been for some time.
  • Their house is structurally different. eg. there is a step up, into the kitchen.
  • The scene of Richard handing part of the paper to Rory, has always puzzled me. It's not totally a throwaway, cause they use it in the title sequence. Is it showing that Richard knows that Rory likes to read? But the look on her face is puzzlement. And later we see that they are only then starting to bond, and appreciate each other.
  • Luke giving little looks at Lorelai. His attraction to her was established from the start.
Posted by jackhodgson at February 9, 2005 06:46 AM