PERFORMING ARTS

Gilmore Girls: A Cultural History

Rowman & Littlefield. (Cultural History of Television). Sept. 2019. 216p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781538112830. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781538112847. TV
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A standout show amid the soapy teen dramas in the early aughts (think The O.C. and One Tree Hill), Gilmore Girls gained a cult following owing to its quippy dialog, cultural references, and portrayal of an endearing nontraditional mother-daughter relationship. Originally airing from 2000 to 2007, the series enjoyed renewed interest when it was brought back by Netflix for an ultimately disappointing four-part miniseries in 2016. The show follows Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), a loquacious single mother in her early 30s, and her Harvard-obsessed teenage daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) as they both navigate familial and romantic relationships in the quirky small New England town of Stars Hollow. Authors Stache (communication, visual, & performing arts, Governors State Univ., IL; Breaking Bad: A Cultural History) and Davidson (communication, Hanover Coll., IN) examine the show’s depictions of parenting, feminism, and class clashes through a cultural studies lens, while still reveling in Dean vs. Jess deliberations.
VERDICT Gilmore Girls is a worthy subject for this series, but only readers with a serious enthusiasm for the show will want a book-length study of the its themes.

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