‘Gilmore Girls’: 2 Things About the Pilot That Wouldn’t Fly Today

Gilmore Girls is one of the TV shows from the 2000s that doesn’t quit. It has a firm place in pop culture. Not only that but the Gilmore Girls fandom continues to grow even years after the show’s original run ended. Despite the program’s popularity, there are parts of the series that haven’t aged well. Take a look back at the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls and see what wouldn’t fly about the show’s debut today.

‘Gilmore Girls’ premiered in October 2000

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham on 'Gilmore Girls'
Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

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The world first met single mother, Lorelai (Lauren Graham), and her teenage daughter, Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel), on Oct. 5, 2000. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, Gilmore Girls focused on their relationship as best friends.  

Living in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, they were surrounded by quirky friends and neighbors. When they weren’t drinking coffee or eating a burger at Luke’s Diner, Rory and Lorelai were having Friday night dinners with Richard (Edward Herrmann) and Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop). And despite the show’s simple premise, the relationships between the characters were anything but. 

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The slow pace of the ‘Gilmore Girls’ pilot

A point made by Graham, the first-ever episode of Gilmore Girls is slow-paced compared to other TV shows. In a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor discussed the pilot with series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. Graham, who now stars on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, said she watched the pilot and noticed not much happens. Something that certainly wouldn’t fly today. 

“I watched the pilot [recently] for research for something I was writing and I said to Amy, ‘Nothing happens in the first 20 minutes,’” she told the publication. “Like I give someone their keys at the Inn, and I’m tasting Sookie’s soufflé. I get some coffee, and then I get some more coffee.”

She continued, saying it isn’t until Rory gets her acceptance letter to Chilton that things are set in motion.

“It’s really, really charming but it’s until like 20 minutes in that she [Rory] gets into school and things kick in,” Graham said. “People would laugh at you today. But I think there’s something so fresh in a weird way about that because it’s still kind of rare. It’s not just nostalgic but it can speak to a new audience because it’s so different than what’s on.” 

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The lack of diversity on ‘Gilmore Girls’

When Gilmore Girls debuted it was one of the few television shows focused on women. Namely, a single mom who eventually owned her own business and a daughter who worried more about school than boys. But when it came to diversity, Gilmore Girls fell short. If the show were to be reimagined in 2021, chances are there’d be more diversity in casting. 

A lack of diversity has been a critique of another Sherman-Palladino series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It’s another fast-talking show with pop culture references and a predominantly white cast of characters. Despite the shortcomings of the Gilmore Girls pilot, it’s still relevant. At the core of the show is relationships and those are timeless. 

Watch Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix.

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