Rory Gilmore is Bad at Her Job

Anyone that knows me understands my “Gilmore Girls” addiction. Well, maybe not understands, but acknowledges. Has been made aware of. I have literally watched each episode around five times (some waaaaayyy more) and still find the show enjoyable. I still laugh at Michel’s snarky comments. I still get irritated by Rory’s crappy relationship decisions. I still find Lorelai’s quick wit and sarcastic humor worth emulating. When I visited the WB Studios in 2005 after high school graduation, I nearly peed my

My sis and I on the front porch of Lorelai’s house.

pants when we got to tour Stars Hollow, highlights including Luke’s Diner, Miss Patty’s, the Town Square, the neighborhood that features the Kim’s house, the interior of the Gilmore’s mansion (and the pool, which was actually only 4 inches deep), and the exteriors of Sookie and Lorelai’s houses, which are actually the same house—walking through Sookie’s front door and through the house will lead you to Lorelai’s front door. (I don’t know if revealing that information breaks some kind of secret WB-visitor’s code, but oh well).

So your question about my addiction is probably: why? Why “Gilmore Girls”? Why do I continue to watch a show that ended in 2007 when there’s plenty of new show material to take pleasure in (I think Rahul wonders this daily). And to answer your question, I do watch other shows. I soaked up “The Office” in one month, finishing soon after I graduated with my Masters in English. “Parks & Recreation”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “American Horror Story”, “Weeds”, “Arrested Development”, “Parenthood”, “New Girl”, “Psych”, and a few other randoms are currently on my docket. If I could watch TV shows all day, I would. But then who would read Absalom, Absalom for me for my 20th Century English Literature class?

But back to “Gilmore Girls”. When I was teaching, we had a discussion once on TV shows and how different shows resonate with different people. I can’t remember now why we had this discussion, but I do remember mentioning my belief that the TV shows a person would call his or her favorites can often be based on that person’s life and what he or she can find easily relatable. So for me, I have a really

Miss Patty’s.

great relationship with my mom, thus finding “Gilmore Girls” relatable—whereas, per se, someone who has a crazy family might find “Arrested Development” relatable, or ??? if he or she has been arrested a bunch of times.

My mom, sister and I would watch “Gilmore Girls” together every Tuesday night.  I remember being so caught up in the storyline that I literally couldn’t do anything else on Tuesday nights, even when the show started going down the drain in the 7th season. This was a show that very cleverly and intelligently created its characters and plot movements, and one that built upon what you had already learned in previous episodes pretty decently. The show counted on you knowing the characters and the history of Stars Hollow.

That’s why the Rory in the beginning of the 6th season confuses the hell out of me. Things we’ve learned about Rory Gilmore up to this point:

  • She loves academics, books, writing, school, and basically anything academic-y.
  • She is a hard worker.
  • Set lofty, but achievable, goals for herself to attend Harvard University. Ends up at Yale University instead, her grandfather’s alma mater. Either way, NOT SO SHABBY.
  • She loves Christiane Amanpour and wants to be a journalist.
  • She is reserved, makes pro/con lists for everything, and generally takes a long time making any sort of life decision.
  • Has a great relationship with her mother (who had her when she was 16, one of the show’s major plot points) and a sometimes rocky, but mostly decent relationship with her grandparents.

So when Rory suddenly decides not to return to Yale after her sophomore year following a bad internship experience, and steals a yacht with her boyfriend, landing her with 300 hours of community service hours, a bad relationship with her mom, and a new residence in her grandparent’s pool house, the new phase in her life was believable at first. But then she starts pretending she doesn’t love school at all. And letting her life become consumed by community service. And continuing not to talk to her mom. And joining the D.A.R. just so she can work there at the front desk.

That’s what brings me to the whole reason I started writing this in the first place. RORY GILMORE IS BAD AT HER JOB. Miss Hardworking, Could take on the world if she wanted to, potentially bad-ass, sucks as the D.A.R. receptionist. There’s one scene in particular that comes to mind:

Season 6, episode 3: The UnGraduate. She receives a phone call from a woman applying to be a member of the D.A.R., Sandra Tarkington. After talking to her for about 30 seconds, putting on her best snooty, posh attitude to tell Sandra she probably won’t be able to become a D.A.R. member, she puts her on hold when her grandmother enters to essentially fill her in on meaningless gossip. And during that conversation, she takes a cell phone call from her friend Paris, while the whole time you’re thinking WHAT ABOUT SANDRA TARKINGTON!?! The scene ends without ever finding out if Rory remembers she put someone on hold.

I know what you’re probably thinking now: I just spend 891 words (thanks, word count) essentially complaining about a character’s actions on a TV show. And hey, maybe the whole purpose of a scene like that was to advance Rory to the place in the plot where she finally decides to return to Yale. But if you’re going to make it just merely a plot piece, make it less ridiculous and unbelievable. And for the love of God, take Sandra Tarkington off hold next time.

(If you think I had a lot of time on my hands to write this post, check this out; complete history of Stars Hollow on Wikipedia.)

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5 thoughts on “Rory Gilmore is Bad at Her Job

  1. Lady. You’re forgetting about when she totally kicks ass organizing the D.A.R. WWII benefit thingy. Come on, you know Rory isn’t going to be bad at any job for long before she figures out how to conquer that biz-natch. (that’s business for those less informed)

    • haha, ok, true, true. She does kick some ass there. And when she returns to being editor for the Yale newspaper. But still! Get better with your phone calls! (p.s. miss you lady!)

  2. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! I have the same thought you do when Rory talks to poor Sandra Tarkington!

    I didn’t get to do the Studio Tour while Gilmore Girls was still being filmed, but I do plan on going to see the Midwest Set (Stars Hollow). I also plan on asking lots of Stars Hollow-themed questions when I go, and pretend that the gazebo is still in the middle of the town (instead of where it is now – behind Lorelei’s driveway).

    Great post!

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