In my post-election blues, I’ve been turning to things that comfort me, like ordering a week’s worth of takeout in one night and binge-watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the series revival, A Year in the Life, coming out Friday on Netflix. But, while watching the cult TV show I once loved as a teenager, I’ve realized one crucial thing most people seem to forget about Rory Gilmore, daughter of Lorelai and the younger of the titular Girls: She fucking sucks.
I’m sorry—I know it hurts. I struggled to come to terms with it myself while I powered through episode after episode. Alexis Bledel’s character was an easy heroine to look up to in the early 2000s for those of us who also loved books, pizza, and concerning amounts of coffee in an era before those things were personality traits to attach to your Twitter bio or Bumble profile. And watching her leave her small town of Stars Hollow to pursue her Ivy League aspirations at Yale was inspiring. But once you step out of the fever dream of nostalgia and shitty viral listicles praising her, you realize Rory is terrible. Let’s count the ways:
She’s a Shitty Daughter to Lorelai
We all know Lorelai (Lauren Graham) isn’t just any mom—she’s a cool mom. But the friend/parent dynamic often gets blurred, and Rory takes advantage of their relationship. Whether she’s inviting her grandparents to Lorelai’s graduation or going to Anna Nardini’s store after being asked not to, Rory’s like, Boundaries? What are those? Not only does she not respect Lorelai’s limits, but she’s selfish and hypocritical. She throws tantrums when her mom doesn’t take her dating advice—remember when she told Lorelai to slow down with Christopher (David Sutcliffe) in season seven, then got mad when they married in Paris?—yet freezes Lorelai out when she voices concerns about the many, many questionable decisions Rory makes with her own love life.
Rory’s Known for Her Love of Books, yet Weirdly She Picks the Worst Ones to Read
Ayn Rand? The Da Vinci Code ? George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President?? For someone who’s supposedly such a book nerd, you’d think she’d explore literature outside of the standard high-school reading list that doesn’t include the musings of the erstwhile Decider-in-Chief.
Not Only Does She Have Bad Taste in Books, She Also Has Mediocre-at-Best Taste in Men
The Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) thing I kind of get. But Dean (Jared Padalecki)? Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry)?? Her first mistake was dating a guy whose last name sounds like an overpriced ketchup brand you’d find at Whole Foods. Her other mistakes involve sleeping with a married man (see below) and continually having drawn-out relationships with flighty guys who continuously hurt her.
She Got Mad at Her Grandfather for Setting Up a Special Meeting with the Dean of Admissions at Yale Because She Wasn’t Wearing the Right Outfit
I understand wanting to be prepared for a meeting of this kind, but also, can you just shut the fuck up and be happy your grandfather went out of his way to do this for you? I never related to Rory and Lorelai less than when they stormed off Yale’s campus because they just “couldn’t believe” Richard would have the audacity to do such a terrible thing like making sure she got into an Ivy League school.
She Went All the Way Back to Stars Hollow to Have Sex with Her Married Ex
Really? She couldn’t find anyone in college? She had to settle for Dean, her slightly remedial married high-school ex with a bad haircut, to lose her virginity to? And then she played “The Candy Man Can” from Willy Wonka afterward. Because, “What is more hot than candy?”
Also, a rich Yale student who sleeps with a married townie and fucks up his life in the process may be an appropriate heroine for an Ayn Rand novel, but an odd choice for a feel-good TV show.