To many quiet, introverted, bookish teenage girls, Rory Gilmore was their idol. Sweet, smart, and extremely attractive. Whilst capable of being loved by everybody whom she encountered, without needing to attend any of the hot high school parties or be the loudmouth of the class. No, instead she would spend her lunches sitting alone, reading, while at weekends she would hang out with her Mum. And it was all ok, because, unlike her “frienamy” Paris, she would never say anything that would provoke any conflict between her and her more outgoing peers. Yet there is another side to her, which made fans of the later seasons and the revival, absolutely despise her. As they watched her character develop from a young, innocent, overachieving teenage girl to an entitled, callous, failing young woman, many may have realised that the innocent little princess was not so wonderful. But did none of us stop to ask ourselves, what on earth went wrong?
The “Perfect Little Angel”
One of the things which provoked a little jealousy was that everybody really did adore her. Living in a small town, the community was more like family to her, rather than fellow neighbors. Nothing that she did could have been wrong, because of course she was the successful little girl who managed to get into a prestigious private school, Chilton. It was without question that afterwards she was going to attend one of the absolute best universities in the USA, then afterwards it was expected that she would go on to do wonderful things career wise. Furthermore, she would very frequently attract male attention, once again partly thanks to her easy-going nature but more importantly thanks to her good looks.
The Family’s Favorite
Rory’s Grandparents, who she had not really seen before the age of 16, immediately bonded with her, and to them, she was the model of a granddaughter. Subsequently, she would receive endless compliments from them at Friday night dinners, often in contrast to the endless criticism that her own mother would get. Which leads on to the most important person in Rory’s young life, her mother. Like best friends, with only a 16-year gap between them, they would spend the weekend evenings cooped up on the sofa, binge watching movies, eating food that had been ordered from about 4 different takeout’s, where miraculously neither of them ever seemed to gain as much as a pound. There were also the cute moments, where Rory would confront Loralai about what is going on in her love life, and whether Loralai approved, she would always stand by Rory. Yet, in her Mum’s and everyone else’s eyes, Rory really could not do anything wrong.
Where Things Began to go Wrong
As Rory transformed from a cute high school girl to fourth year college student (then a 32-year-old jobless journalist), we can see where things began to go wrong for Rory. For a start, her love life was not much less than a disaster, and we cannot really think of who else to blame, but Rory (and her upbringing). I would say that the worst two incidence were when she referred to her ex as Her’s, practically encouraging him to cheat on her while he was married, and when she was aged 32 yet she kept on forgetting about the boyfriend she was supposed to have. She was never there for her close friends, yet they always had her back whenever she needed something. But what really demonstrated her weakness, was that when she was told by her boyfriend’s Dad that she did not have what it takes to be a journalist when on an internship, instead of dismissing the comment as being made by one of the biggest cunts in the country, or reconsidering whether Journalism would be the best career for her to go down, she instead decides to steal a Yacht and drop out of university. Before taking the mature approach, it would have been more than understandable if she had decided to get extremely drunk, binge on all the junk food that could fit in her stomach, or rant endlessly about what happened to anyone who would do as much as reluctantly listen (I certainly would think of all three as being reasonable coping mechanisms). Yet while this reaction demonstrates her lack of maturity, and the way that she was practically setting herself up for failure, it also reflects the impact that her upbringing was now having on her. Because being told that she could do anything when she was younger practically led to her believing it in the end.
So, why was she like this?
One of the main subjects which made many fans of Gilmore Girls despise Rory, was her treatment of men. Now I do not want to dive too deep into this, but she would cheat yet feel incredibly entitled, despite her actions which she often seemed rather oblivious to. Nevertheless, one of the issues which was not addressed enough was the absence of her father, who enjoyed popping into and out of her life at his convenience, often showing up and then disappearing on a motorcycle. This correlates with her strong fear of abandonment. And this, mixed with the unconditional love which she received from everyone else, could help explain why she thought that she could grab who she wanted at her disposal. Again though, if anything, younger Rory was more aware of her wrongdoings than older Rory ever was. Yet, when she confronted her Mum about this, it was never Rory’s fault. But despite the way one’s parents behave, I am sorry but as an adult it is your job to make yourself as aware of this as possible, and work on yourself as much as you can accordingly. Yet, she most certainly had not made any progress at the age of 32!
The 30 Something Gang
Something which appeared funny to me, yet as a bit of a brutal warning in the revival, was the appearance of a new group in Star’s Hollow, known as the “30 something Gang.” These were a group of millennials, around the same age as Rory at the time, who had been to university, got jobs, then ended up returning to their childhood bedrooms in the town that they were born in. Jobless, they would instead occupy themselves with bowling and drinking milkshakes. Or as the town phased it, they had been “spat out” by the real world. Apart from anything else, this, as anyone now between the ages of 16 and 40 would know, provides a joke yet a stark truth about the reality that many young people of working age face. Yet, let us now put Rory into the equation. Instead of her admitting her fate, she shares no humor at all with the “30 something gang”, even refusing to acknowledge them. To me, this indicates that Rory believed she was above them, yet there Rory was, back in her hometown; jobless, homeless, and apparently without underwear! This again, shows how Rory was unable to confront some of her failures, even though being part of the group could have made her feel less alone, and make her realise that she too had made mistakes career wise, and considering different economic circumstances, this may not have even been at a fault of Rory’s capabilities. Yet, the message of the show could have been that Rory could and should have been better than them, not having to return town to join a gang of people who had established similar things to her career wise, yet thankyou to her attitude, she was unable to do so, instead being far worse than them, reflected by her rudeness in not even responding when they waved at her (in the friendliest of ways). Because while Rory’s career or lack of stunk, if her attitude had stunk even more, and if it had not been for the latter, then her career would have looked prosperous.
What Should We Think Overall About Her?
What a lot of fans of the show commonly perceive is a prefect teenage girl transitioning into an unbearable young adult. Yet, there were some earlier signs which were easy to spot. For a start, when she was younger, she was still entitled, however not necessarily realising how similar she and the other girls from Chilton really were. Which resulted in her sometimes holding an unpleasant attitude. It could also be seen how she was not a good friend toward Lane or toward some of her other peers. It is true, however, that her negative traits certainly did become more prominent as she grew older. For example, she became more possessive concerning relationships, more self-centered, and full of herself. However, even as a 32-year-old in the revival, we did have some reasons to symphysis with her. For a start, she had never really addressed her problems, which resulted in her becoming more entitled to mask her low self-esteem. She had never really confronted her Mum about the way in which their “perfect” relationship was not perfect, and she did not realise the impact that her childhood may have had on her, leading her to put extra pressure upon herself (as well as the pressure which she was already under). Considering that we saw her lost in life, she had reached a turning point, realising that she was destined to become an author, while she should soon find out who the father was to her upcoming baby. Therefore, maybe there was still some hope. Alternatively, her desire to write a book was more of a projection of the extent of her selfishness considering that her Mum was strongly against this idea. While at 32, she was not going to choose to reform her character, and instead, having an extremely selfish character as a biological father, we can point the finger at her for the way her life had turned out, and more importantly, for the way in which she treated other people.