Gilmore Girls: The Complete First Season (Repackage)(DVD)
atypical mother-daughter relationship is at the center of Gilmore Girls
, a comedy-drama that immediately set itself apart from the herd with smarter-than-smart dialogue and an endearing mix of whimsical comedy and family drama. Set in the Capra-esque burg of Stars Hollow, where everybody knows everyone and eccentrics abound, Gilmore Girls
was less a mother-daughter show and more of a screwball buddy comedy in which the two buddies happened to be parent and child. Pregnant at 16, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) left her rich parents to bring up her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) on her own terms; when Rory herself turns 16, Lorelai wants to send her academically gifted daughter to the prestigious Chilton school. The catch is, Lorelai can't afford it on her own, and rather than let Rory go without, the elder Gilmore girl brokers an uneasy truce with her parents (Edward Herrmann and Kelly Bishop), who finally get a chance to bond with their granddaughter while financing her education.
It sounds like a premise potentially fraught with angst and trauma, but in reality Gilmore Girls was one of the freshest, airiest, most enjoyable shows to air on the perpetually melodramatic WB network, critically praised once viewers got hooked on its unique brand of humor. Rory's growing-up adventures, including her acclimation to snooty Chilton and romance with townie dreamboat Dean (Jared Padalecki), gave the show a teen-friendly feel, but Gilmore Girls was anchored in the adult by the luminous Graham, a brilliant comedic leading lady who could turn dramatic on a dime and never break stride. The show's hallmark was its rat-a-tat, whipsmart dialogue, delivered perfectly by Graham and Bledgel, as well as a host of wacky supporting characters who would go on to become invaluable cast members. The first season allowed the show--and its lead actresses--to bloom gracefully and establish a deep, humorous rapport that lent itself perfectly to weekly travails both comedic and dramatic. --Mark Englehart