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‘Gilmore Girls’: What Is the Real Appeal of the Series 14 Years After Its Final Episode?

'Gilmore Girls' fans will still sit down and rewatch the series, 14 years after its finale aired on television. In fact, it is a heavily rewatched series. Its enduring charm can be attributed to three things: the show's flawed characters, its idyllic town, and the desperate need for certainty in an uncertain time.

Gilmore Girls has experienced a revitalization. Several of the show’s main stars have suggested that the series is way more popular today than during its original run. To be fair, the series was pretty popular back in the early 2000s when it initially ran, too. Still, its inclusion on Netflix has certainly given it new life. So what exactly keeps fans enamored with the Gilmore girls and residents of Stars Hollow so many years later? Simply put, psychology and the show’s enduring, endearing qualities.

Stars Hollow feels like a warm hug to fans living in a complicated world

The town that Lorelai Gilmore and Rory Gilmore call home became just as much a part of the story as the main characters. To say Stars Hollow was idyllic would be a bit of an understatement. Nothing bad ever happens in the small, walkable town. And the tight-knit community seems particularly comforting to fans who have spent most of their lives in large, anonymous cities.

The zany characters who live in town are just as appealing as the hamlet itself. While some fans argue that a town like Stars Hollow could feel a bit stifling, for many the notion of a community that looks out for its residents emits a feeling of safety. The town’s adorable gazebo, small businesses, and bustling town square add to its aesthetic appeal.

‘Gilmore Girls’ fans loved the show’s flawed characters  

Gilmore Girls isn’t always light, nor is it always dramatic. Sure, it has comedic moments and scenarios that paint the show’s main characters in an unnaturally good light. Still, when looked at collectively, the series doesn’t try to hide the flaws of Rory, Lorelai, their extended family members, and the town that they call home. Each of the show’s characters is deeply flawed, and that’s OK.

Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore sit next to each other on a couch during a scene from 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore on ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Neil Jacobs/Netflix

Lorelai is desperate to be a good mother, but that often goes awry when she fails to lay down proper boundaries for her teenage daughter. Rory is intellectually gifted but lacks the self-starting gene to make her intellect work for her. Richard and Emily Gilmore, while deeply devoted to each other, are shortsighted and close-minded. Even Stars Hollow’s quirky residents have their problems. The series seems to promote that flaws exist without subtracting from the sum of a person. It’s a comforting thought in a world where cancel culture now exists.

‘Gilmore Girls’ benefited from the pandemic, and it’s not the only TV series that did 

Gilmore Girls isn’t the only show that has staying power. It’s not even the only show that saw a resurgence in popularity in the past year. Shows like Gilmore Girls benefited heavily from the pandemic. The Good Place is often cited as a go-to “feel good” show, too. FrasierSeinfeld, and Friends also appear to have a ton of rewatch value. Reportedly, there is a psychological reason for it.


‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’: Kelly Bishop Isn’t Convinced She’ll Play Emily Gilmore Ever Again

The Washington Post reports people tend to rewatch television shows or movies that remind them of a younger time. According to experts, people gravitate toward shows and movies from their teen years and young adulthood when things felt somehow simpler. Shows like Gilmore Girls and The Good Place have an added bonus. Generally speaking, nothing truly bad happens in any episode. There is a comfort in connecting to a place where things feel certain and tame, especially in particularly uncertain times like one in which a global pandemic is raging.