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must-see dvd tv: the west wing, gilmore girls  by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

Life as a single mom hasn't been easy, but Lorelai's done a good job without sacrificing her own sense of self. Rory's grown up to be sweet, sensible, pretty, and very smart, and mother and daughter have a great relationship built on love, mutual respect, and plenty of clever quipping. In Stars Hollow, the Gilmores have made a nice little life for themselves, and are much adored by their (deeply eccentric) fellow townsfolk, who form a sort of surrogate extended family. But when Rory gains acceptance at the prestigious Chilton School, Lorelai finds herself having to revisit her real family, as she reinitiates contact with her still-angry parents, and brokers a deal where they'll foot the pricey prep school bill, provided that Lorelai brings Rory to their place for a weekly dinner.

Jam-packed with witty allusions -- pop-cultural and intellectual alike -- and a fun cast of appealingly quirky characters (my personal favorite is Rory's indie-band-loving best friend Lane, who's constantly struggling to assert her independence under her Korean mom's strict rule, and is quite possibly the only Asian-American TV character that has ever seemed remotely believable to me), Gilmore Girls offers genuinely compelling, intelligent drama without ever degenerating into the cheesy melodrama embraced by so many other WB shows (Dawson's Creek, I'm looking at you). The dilemmas that Lorelai and Rory face are ordinary, real-life sorts of problems -- communicating with a mother who drives you nuts, learning to get over your awkwardness when talking to a boy you like, not fitting in at school -- and the plot develops naturally out of who the characters are. Sure, Stars Hollow is the sort of adorably perfect small town that only exists on TV, and the dialogue is way smarter than anything real folks could come up with on the fly, but hey, sometimes a little fantasy is good. Lorelai, Rory, and the rest of the Stars Hollow gang might be just a bit too wonderful to be true, but it's still a lot of fun to spend some time in their company.


more must-see dvd tv:
twin peaks, the sopranos, buffy the vampire slayer | six feet under, my so-called life, sex and the city | firefly, freaks & geeks


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