Back in early February, I finally watched the first few episodes of Gilmore Girls.
Most people I tell this to have the same reaction I had when someone first mentioned this show to me: "Wait, you mean that sitcom about older women in Florida?"
To which the answer is, no, you're thinking of The Golden Girls, and that's a completely unrelated and very different show. (Also, Golden Girls ran in the '80s and early '90s, while Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 through 2007.)
(Also completely unrelated: the movie Happy Gilmore.)
Gilmore Girls is about 32-year-old Lorelai Gilmore (yes, her name is spelled that way) and her 16-year-old daughter Rory, and their lives in the small fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. (Well, those are their ages at the start of the series; the characters age normally over the seven-year run.)
It's not a sitcom; it's a comedy/drama, with each episode about 45 minutes long (without commercials).
And it's one of my favorite TV shows.
It's funny and charming and sweet and romantic and sad and quirky and compelling. It's occasionally annoying; there were weak spots now and then. But not many, and they never lasted very long.
It has some great writing, and some of the fastest dialogue ever spoken on TV. I haven't compared words-per-minute between Gilmore Girls and His Girl Friday, but it wouldn't surprise me if the dialogue ran at similar speeds.
And, above all, it has a bunch of great characters, most especially the two at its heart, Lorelai and Rory. And a wonderful mother/daughter dynamic that I'm told provided some common ground for some real-life mothers and daughters who could sit down and watch the show together even if they didn't have a lot else in common.
I watched the first few episodes from Netflix; somewhere partway through season one, I got tired of having to wait for new episodes to arrive and bought the whole seven-season run in seven DVD box sets.
And for the past eight months, I've been watching an episode every day or two, on average. Twenty-two episodes per season times seven seasons adds up to 154 episodes.
Tonight, I watched the final two episodes.
There were a few plot choices I wouldn't have made, including one major significant one that I was sad about. But overall, I'd say they provided a fitting capstone to a superb seven-year run. I cried a lot, especially in that last episode. I'm guessing that a lot of people who watched the show while it was running (from 2000 through 2007) had even stronger reactions, after spending seven years of their lives with these characters.
I've been taking notes along the way, including writing down some of my favorite dialogue; I may eventually put all that into some blog entries. But not tonight; time for me to go to sleep.
Thanks once again to all who recommended the show to me over the years before I finally watched it, especially Karen (who still has never recommended a movie or TV show to me that I haven't liked) and Susan.
And thanks also to Mary Anne and Michael for comments (and some discussion) along the way.