Gilmore Girls: Season 1
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People often mistake Independence Inn's manager, headstrong single mom Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her equally willful teenage daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel) for sisters. Lorelai and Rory cope with the same emotional ups and downs, including Lorelai's overbearing, old-money parents and the joys and frustrations of the male gender. But when Rory's attention turns from dreams of private school and Harvard to thoughts of boys and adolescent self-reliance, single mom Lorelai begins noticing more of her own rebellious youth-only 16 years ago-in Rory. This heartfelt, humorous drama appeals to young and old alike with its blend of traditional family issues and hip, contemporary attitude. Reacquaint yourselves with television's most appealing mother-daughter duo in this collectible six-disc DVD set, which contains all 21 episodes from the first season including the pilot episode.
Gilmore Girls has been honored with an AFI Award and two Viewers for Quality Television Awards, and it was named New Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association. Series star Lauren Graham ("Townies," "NewsRadio," and "Bad Santa") was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series and received two consecutive nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series from the Screen Actors Guild. Graham has also won two Family Television Awards. In addition, series star Alexis Bledel ("Tuck Everlasting") has won a Young Artist Award and a Family Television Award. The series, Gilmore Girls, won a Family Television Award for New Series and was named Best Family TV Drama Series by the Young Artist Awards, which also honored series star Keiko Agena in the supporting young actress category.
Gilmore Girls is the first series to make it to air supported by the Family Friendly Forum's Script Development Fund. An initiative between some of the nation's top advertisers and The WB, the program is intended to offer a greater array of compelling family programming on network television. The strong, loving, mother-daughter relationship portrayed in Gilmore Girls reflects the growing reality of this new type of American family.
A very 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
- All 21 episodes including the pilot on six discs
- "Welcome to the Gilmore Girls" - making-of documentary of the first season
- Gilmore-isms - montage
- Gilmore Goodies & Gossip - fan facts viewing mode on one episode
- Additional scenes
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-Packaged beautifully, all 6 disks in one booklike case.
-The included booklet has all kinds of good information-show names, original release dates, directing and writing credits, episode summaries and chapter listings.
*"Welcome to Gilmore Girls" is a cute behind-the-scenes kind of look at what went into making Gilmore girls happen. Nice interviews with cast members about auditions and the show's obscure references. It'd be nice if they continued this for each season's set.
*"Gilmore Goodies and Gossip" haven't watched it all the way through yet, but this feature is a "Pop Up Video" kind of feature on the "Rory's Dance" episode that gives us extra information. (You can also watch the episode without the goodies, they're on 2 seperate disks.)
*"Gilmore-isms" is a montage of cute little phrases/references said in Gilmore girls.
-Clarity. This is a big Duh since it's a DVD set, but I've been watching old, VHS-taped episodes, so it's nice to see them with the right colors!
-Shipping through Amazon was practically overnight, very impressed.
-And the biggest Pro of all...Gilmore girls on DVD, period!
-Additional Scenes: There are only three. I wish there were more of them.
-Special Features: They're all nice, but I would have really liked to see something like bloopers/outtakes. I bet they'd be hilarious.
-No episode listing anywhere besides the little booklet. Meaning, to figure out what disk to put in to watch "Kiss and Tell," you have to look in the little booklet. No listings by or on the actual DVDs.
All in all, this set is great! I can't wait til Season 2 comes out.
Nevertheless the first season is a gem, capable of being viewed as a self-contained story in its own right. More than any other season in the series, the episodes from the first season display a level of craftsmanship and directing that are rarely seen on television, particularly network television. Many of the episodes are like five act plays, intricately constructed and choreographed. Witness the cooking scene in the first episode, or note how both the first and last episode conclude with Yo La Tengo's "My Little Corner." Perhaps because the renewal of the series may have been in doubt, the season builds to a dramatic climax in the season finale that brilliantly works both as a finale and as a springboard into later episodes.
Gilmore Girls combines witty dialogue, comedy, drama, sentiment, quirky characters, social satire, and even a little bit of the surreal with an ambitious directing style more often seen in cinema than on television. At its best (i.e. its first two seasons), it is a kindred spirit of "Northern Exposure" that carries the torch of inspired writing about unique characters living a kind of idyllic, literate, Bohemian existence. Stars Hollow, like Cicely, is the kind of place and lifestyle you dreamed about living in when you were young and idealistic, and allows you to return to those ideals and live them vicariously through Lorelai, Rory, and the rest of the colorful characters of Stars Hollow.