When you are the dad of girls, you do things you had not planned on doing. For instance, when Thing 2 was in middle school, she and I bonded over “Gilmore Girls.” We never finished watching the series, but when Netflix began streaming the show, I had the chance to nostalgically walk through Stars Hollow one more time.
A few years removed from focusing on Rory Gilmore as the touchstone of the show, I realize that the real heroes of the show are the characters of the musty, crusty, waspy grandparents, Emily and Richard Gilmore. Get over their wealth and privilege and entitlement the same why you got over how Stars Hollow is not Grover’s Corners.
OK, back to Emily and Richard. They are badass. Here’s why:
- In the middle of the series, Richard grew a mustache.
- Emily and Richard threw a birthday party for the illegitimate child of their daughter, and they invited all of their musty, crusty, waspy friends. They make these people accept Rory.
- In their college days, Emily stole Richard ‘s heart after he was engaged to another woman.
- Richard works on restoring cars. In the driveway.
- Emily and Richard show up for everything, including Lorelei’s graduation from the local community college. It wasn’t Vassar, as they had planned, but they cried anyway.
- Richard always seems to show up with a check in an envelope.
- Emily takes Rory on the Grand Tour and convincingly flirts with Italian men in front of her granddaughter.
- Emily likes Lorelei’s friends more than she likes her own friends.
- Emily and Richard are not perfect. They can be downright dreadful at times (c.f., Richard manipulating Rory to Yale, Emily manipulating Lorelei to Christopher).
- Emily and Richard are unconditional in their love of Lorelei and Rory. When Rory is arrested for stealing a yacht, Richard’s first instinct is to get her a lawyer, not admonish her over the obvious.
- Emily and Richard are the only characters in the show who demonstrate the ability to learn from their mistakes.