Because I was in a bad mood tonight, I turned on some Gilmore Girls. Feeling the need to revisit the series’ origin story, I decided to return to the very beginning (again) and was moved to write a play-by-play of the very opening scene, because I will take any excuse not to write what I need to write. With out further ado, I bring you minutes 1-3 of the show premiere. That’s right. The very first fucking episode. This is such a good premiere!!! I can’t even. Thus, I’ve boiled it down to a “fun size” treat for y’all. Three minutes and twenty-six seconds of pure magic.
Here we are. Lord, what a bold decision to open on our titular Gilmore Girl (ahem, Lorelai) while the oh-so-literal The La’s song plays in the background: “There sheeee goes, there she gooooes again….”
So there she goes (again, presumably) into Luke’s, which has an epic cubby wall that doesn’t make it past the first few episodes, and she’s wearing an oversized average blue puffy coat, which she removes, and she either grabs a coffee mug from somewhere in the restaurant or she has brought her own mug (but not a travel mug, because it’s 2000).
After giving an unaware Luke what I, and genre romance writers everywhere, like to call “a speaking look” (that’s a stretch, but it could also be called portentous as she zeroes in on her prey… Luke or coffee, but one can’t tell at this point which is her primary target.)
She approaches Luke at the counter. Our modern-day Oliver Twist holds out her mug and begins what will become one of her major riffs: asking for more coffee.
Not even asking, begging. Let’s review the transcript.
“Please Luke. Please, Please, Please.”
“How many cups have you had this morning?”
“Five. But Yours is better”
“You have a problem.”
“Yes I do.”
“Angel. You’ve got wings baby.”
I should add that with this rejoinder about our crotchety angel Luke, Lorelai does something most women would be too nervous to do: she blithely and without hesitation pulls up on her beanie and removes her tight knitted cap while walking backward and holding a cup of hot coffee.
She is then hit on by a young creeper (“You make that look really good…”) and we quickly learn these other things about Lorelai: she is attractive but uninterested; she name drops Jack Kerouac; she is not afraid of her femininity as she acknowledges that she likes being called a mystery woman and is not averse to flirtation, even when from an undesirable source.
Enter: Lil Gil. She’s so rosy-cheeked and precious! And she’s so cold! It’s freezing! Literally, those are her first words. Sorry, Lil Gil, but you are second fiddle, and you’ll always be second fiddle.
Now we get to see—whoa, the hottie not only has a junkie side, a flirtatious side, a witty side, an educated side, she also has a maternal side. Quick to respond to the potential emergency that is Lil Gil “freezing,” she asks what she can do for her! Perhaps some hot tea?! Coffee?! Global Warming?!? Anything for her baby girl! But, nope, psyche, Lil Gil just needs some lip gloss! Duh!
Our mama bear reverts to her still-a-teen side and whips out a travel case size of make-up, etc., and offers a veritable smorgasboard of lip gloss flavors (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and toasted marshmallow). Oh, that Lorelai! Rory, the straight man, Dean Martin to Lorelai’s Jerry Lewis, pithily inquires whether she has anything not resembling a breakfast cereal. Ha! I’m more concerned here with the quality of cereal being consumed. Those are more like candy or dessert flavors. Oh, but Lorelai isn’t finished!
She also has a scentless option, but it changes colors with your mood. Now, for our second cultural reference—this time, low brow—Lil Gil, our plucky understudy, name drops Ru Paul, suggesting that Lorelai has more makeup than a drag queen! Scandalous?! So, be aware, these wiley women will ping back and forth between high and low brow cultural references. We’ve learned so much in these first 150 seconds!
But, her snarky Ru Paul comment is just do to her being a grumpy pants. You see, Lil Gil is crabby because she lost her Macy Gray CD (I’m crabby just thinking about how I don’t have that CD… IT’S CLEAR, MY WORLD CRUBMLES WHEN YOU ARE NOT HERE, MACY GRAY.) Oh, but wait, Lorelai also confesses to having her CD! Mystery solved! Problem fixed! All is right with the world.
To further help Grumpy Wumpy’s mood, Lorelai springs up (always ready to approach Luke’s counter for any reason) to get coffee for her offspring. She is keen to provide for her young during the harsh winter months.
More glares from Luke and an air of reticence over encouraging the young female’s coffee addiction. At which point, we have a nice set-up for the audience, in case they still didn’t get it, because creepy young dude has now approached Lil Gil, using the same pick up lines, and Mama Bear aint havin it. She asks him if he’s met her daughter—a look of befuddlement quickly followed by horror passes over the unsuspecting man caught in what seems to be some sort of whacky alternate universe!
But, this does give Rory an opportunity to use those acting chops as she employs perfect wide-eyed innocence, asking this poor young buck, “Are you my new daddy?” Lorelai stands with one arm protectively behind her daughter, holding back a full smile, yet grinning rather maniacally.
He makes one last valiant effort to score (at a diner? in the morning? what??) by suggesting that he is “traveling with a friend…” but Lorelai cuts him off with a “She’s sixteen you dumb fuck creep, get the hell out of here before I go grab my shotgun and remove those good for nothing testicles.”
Or, she at least says the “sixteen” part. The two men make a hasty retreat from the den of inequity (translation: diner) and Lorelai squats down at the table by Rory, looking into her younger and better, if more boring, self’s eyes, giggling in soft, dulcet tones.
Those two put the mother-daughter in teamwork!!
And that’s how your Gilmore Girls sausage is made! Two parts cultural references, one part sisterly mother-daughter banter, stir in coffee with a heavy dollop of Luke, add a little lip gloss, and bam, end scene. Fade to black.
Your first three minutes with the Gilmores are over. You’ve just been Gilmored.