Everything I Know About Relationships, I Learned From Gilmore Girls

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I hate everyone in Stars Hollow. They're all immature, narcissistic, power-hungry, ego-fuelled maniacs - some of whom border on psychotic. I hold them in such contempt that I would gladly abandon them all on a deserted island and let nature take its course. There isn't a single one of them who isn't a complete failure of a human being. Their collective brain power wouldn't even light an energy efficient bulb. They all display a startling lack of emotional intelligence.

Well, OK, Lane Kim is a reasonable person. But the rest of the characters? Despicable!

So why am I watching this show? Partly because lockdown has sent me mad, and partly because it contains some excellent relationship advice. No, seriously, hear me out!

In every conceivable situation, just imagine what Lorelai Gilmore would do - and then do the complete opposite.

Have a conversation with your partner about your thoughts, plans, fears, and feelings. Don't wait until you are emotionally overwhelmed. Treat other people as autonomous humans. Respect your friends and lovers and let them know you trust them. Be honest about what's causing you pain. Understand that, sometimes, "because I want to" is a valid reason. And don't use food as an emotional crutch.

I don't recommend Gilmore Girls. It is a soul-sucking experience, which will drain your very will to live. But, if you do find yourself watching it, talk to the person you're watching it with.

Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report. The study, involving 174 couples, is the first long-term investigation to compare different types of early marriage intervention programs.
The findings show that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple movie-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods—reducing the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years.
Divorce Rate Cut in Half for Couples Who Discussed Relationship Movies

There used to be a brilliant blog called "Polite Dissent". In it, a proper doctor reviewed all the diagnoses from the TV show House MD. It was wonderful to read about what the characters got right about medicine, and what they flubbed. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a relationship counsellor review all your favourite shows to explain how the characters should have behaved?

And that's kinda what I like about Gilmore Girls. My wife and I get to shout at the TV screen "OMG! Just tell her!" or "FFS! Just ignore his attention seeking!" or "You've had a dozen Martinis! Why are you driving?!" or "If you're going to enable them, don't be surprised by the consequences." or... Well, you get the picture.

The Rochester research has a full list of its recommended movies - they're slightly outdated now, but the questionnaire is still useful.

So that's my excuse for watching crappy TV and movies. They're excellent fodder for discussing your own relationships.

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4 thoughts on “Everything I Know About Relationships, I Learned From Gilmore Girls

  1. I have a soft spot for Rory most of the way through (although she makes some terrible decisions) but, yes, most people in the show are terrible. 1/2

  2. Anonymous says:

    Growing up is rewatching Gilmore Girls as an adult and realising how much Rory was screwed up by the golden child role Lorelai put her in.

  3. Alex Gibson says:

    My wife and I are currently going through Breaking Bad doing exactly the same thing.
    We've lost all patience with the main protagonists, the most promisingly healthy looking relationship in it died rather dramatically, and now the bulk of the drama is based on the main characters' poor, not necessarily forced, choices and even worse communication - and everything we think is wrong with the American system and attitudes. Maybe that's the point. But when the only character we're left with real respect for is the top villain, for his attention to detail, it's a bit odd.


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