I think this is the best series on TV, a thoughtful, funny, beautifully written and well observed show about the relationship between a loving mother and daughter. At the same time, if features the quirks and tics of a fictional town with the kind of appeal that is unrealistic, but makes us nostalgic for a sweet and picaresque hamlet that has taken the two formerly outsider main characters and claimed them as one of their own.
Lorelei Gilmore (the stunningly beautiful and hugely talented Lauren Graham) is a young, single mother in her early 30s who is raising her daughter, Rory (a sweetly restrained Alexis Bledel) on her own. Lorelai got pregnant when she was sixteen, dashing the ambitions of her wealthy, snobbish parents (Kelly Bishop and Edward Hermann) for a fine college and a brilliant marriage.
Lorelei has moved away from her parents home in Hartford, CT, taking her daughter with her to Stars Hollow, where she eventually becomes a manager of a bed and breakfast inn. Lorelai is determined to raise her daughter in a loving, if bohemian atmosphere. Most of all, she wants her daughter to be her friend and encourages this amazingly close bond. The town, composed of eccentrics and other comic types, has accepted them, watching over both women with love and affection.
When it becomes clear that Lorelei will need financial help in order to put her daughter into Chilton, a local private school in order to prepare her for Harvard, Lorelai swallows her pride, and hat in hand, goes begging to her parents. They agree, but on one condition. The girls are to have dinner with them at their stuff home every Friday night. Lorelei agrees.
This forms the basic story outline of the show. We see Rory blossom into a lovely and smart teenager. Lorelei, though responsible and a fine mother, is still a young and vibrantly sexual woman, so there are the complications of her love life, including an unfinished attraction with Luke Danes, the town's cranky, but hunky coffee shop owner (well played by Scott Patterson).
Lorelei's best friend, is Sookie, a cook at the inn. Rory's best bud is Lane, a gawky Korean girl who lives under the absurdly strict iron rule of her judge mental mother, who thinks Lorelei is a loose woman who should be keeping a more watchful eye on her daughter. Rory has fallen in love iwth Dean, a young man she goes to school with (before she switches to Chilton). That love suffers a number of tests, most disastrously in the third season with the arrival of Luke's nephew, Jess, who asserts his own romantic mystery.
Well, I'm going on and on. The entire cast is first-rate. It's fun watching series veterans, Sally Struthers and others as the townspeople. I love the pompous character of Michel, the asst.
manager. He's a riot. The tension between Lorelei and her mother often explodes in angry confrontations that are very real indeed (Kelly Bishop, an original CHORUS LINE cast member is outstanding).
But make no mistake about it. Lauren Graham is the glue that holds this show together. Sexy, funny, she handles the smart dialog with all those cultural references like a virtuoso. She deserves to be a movie star. P.S. I bought the first year on DVD and have been having a great wallow. This show is that good.