Can we talk about how creepy it is that the entire town of Stars Hollow was so in love with Rory that we, basically, forgot about every other kid that lived there? How was she such a beloved character while being, honestly, not that noteworthy? While smart, she wasn’t gifted. She studied her ass off all the time, which just makes you good at studying. She read A LOT. I can relate to her always carrying a book around, but I still never read as much as Rory did in a single week. She was awkward as can be, and while decently good-looking, not an all-out stunner.
I know, get the Burn Book out, but hear me out. We’ve watched season after season, somehow delighted in a show full of angst — both teenage and adult — watching as the town dotes on a girl that has, really, not much going for her. There is nothing incredibly exciting about Rory Gilmore, and yet, everyone was expected to be in love with her and bow down to her every move. She never held a job, only helping out from time-to-time at her mother’s Inn. She rarely joined in any extra-curriculars, and actually took an absolute fit about it at her fancy prep school when she was forced to. The most exciting thing about her, growing up, was that she knew pretty much every movie ever made, which is actually something that she got/was forced upon from her mom.
She seems like a regular ol’ introvert kid, just hoping to get out of her tiny town and into a big University where studying and smarts is supposed to be seen as the normal. She’s just a pretty smart kid, if she stuck to the track and didn’t think she was better than the rest, could’ve been extremely successful in life.
Some may have been crestfallen right along with Rory, that she didn’t make it as a big-time reporter, that she wasn’t a running writer for the New Yorker, that she wasn’t even a columnist for any local paper. When Mitchum Huntzberger told her she didn’t have what it took to make it to the top, we all shouldn’t have been surprised. Not because he’s an asshole, which I guess he kind of was, but because what makes her so special that she sure beat out all the rest of the candidates? All of the other women and men who worked their asses off to get to the same position, but probably did it with more pizzazz and oomph than she ever did? She has no discernible features or qualities, no wowing personality. She’s simply a reasonably hard-worker who wants to be a writer.
I’ll tell ya, there’s a long line of those.
Instead of taking the time to look into herself and wonder why someone, who is incredibly successful in the business she hopes to one day break into, wouldn’t think that she has what it takes, she spirals out of control. Her mother, a woman with her own insane faults, takes an absolute fit and blames everything that Rory does thereafter on Huntzberger. Because, like we’ve been taught throughout the show, how could anyone say Rory wasn’t gifted? That she wasn’t made for the big time newspapers? Lorelai goes further than any proud parent of their child, believing that Rory is different than anyone else, that maybe she has to be different because Lorelai, herself, is nothing special.
To be fair to Rory, if you’ve lived your whole life having people sing your praise just for walking down the damn street, then you’ll probably be thrown off-kilter when someone tells the truth: yes, you’re smart and talented, but it’s not enough, there are thousands of others just like you. She could’ve had a few days to wallow and cry, get that out of her system, and then make a plan and figure out just how she was going to be successful. Just what she was going to do to prove Mitchum wrong. Taking a fit and quitting Yale isn’t quite the route to making it. When the reboot of Gilmore Girls came around, I breathed a happy sigh of relief when Rory wasn’t off doing whatever she wanted, successful to the letter.
Not only was I still chafed at the fact that she turned Logan down when he proposed (contrary to everyone’s belief, you can get married and still have goals and a career), as he was clearly the best of the boyfriend’s she had. Dean was an absolute douche. Jess, though a mess, would’ve been the only other suitable companion for her, obviously. Besides the fact that she couldn’t figure out her love life, I was still mad at the fact that she was made to be so wonderful.
Things just seemed to fall into her lap. Her grandparents paid for her to attend a prep school, then they paid for her to go to her college of choice. Her struggles felt in the reboot made Rory’s life seem more real, more normal. She wasn’t being coddled by the world, like she had been by her mother, her grandparents, and the entirety of Stars Hollow. She, finally, had to go out there and make it on her own. And, guess what? She realized that it’s kind of hard out there for someone who wants to be a writer, even harder for that someone who thinks that that type of work should just fall into her lap, tied together with a pretty bow.
Doyle and Paris? You knew they were going places. They had the type of personalities that people either loved or hated, but you still respected. Though I loved watching Rory grow up as I grew up, myself, I didn’t hold any respect for her. Maybe because she didn’t seem to actually respect anyone around her. Maybe because everything was handed to her, yet she whined that she wasn’t like the trust fund kids she went to school with. Hell, maybe it was just because I was jealous that her life seemed so perfect. Whatever it was, my thirst for revenge was sated when real life crept in and Rory Gilmore, finally (finally!), realized she needed to figure things out on her own.