5 Reasons Rory Gilmore Is a Terrible Role Model

Frances Katz
Redbook
Photo credit: The CW
Photo credit: The CW

From Redbook

As I'm sure many people have done, I've cleared my Thanksgiving weekend calendar of relatives, Black Friday craziness, and laundry in order to veg out on my couch eating leftovers and watching the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. And, though I'm filled with anticipation, I can't help but think: I really, really hope Rory Gilmore doesn't let me down again.

To be fair, I have always loved Rory. She was my TV best friend. She loved books. She used big words. She drank lots of coffee. I was convinced we were (fictional) friendship soulmates. But she was one of those friends whose actions I couldn't always stand by - I often found myself throwing popcorn at the TV, asking aloud what the hell she was doing.

I am cautiously hoping the reboot will make Rory feisty and organized - a good role model, maybe! - but the trailer implies that grown-up Rory once again has no direction, no plans, and an alarming lack of ambition. This is upsetting, but not surprising. We all really should have seen it coming. Just look at this collection of bad and questionable choices:

1. Years Dreaming of Harvard Leads to Yale

That's not to say Yale isn't a good school (duh, it's damn good), but wasn't this whole series set around brainy Rory going to Harvard? There's even a rare location episode where the Lorelais go to Cambridge for a visit. She loves it. She actually answers a question in a class. Then for no reason at all, she picks Yale. Yale, which was not mentioned once in several entire seasons of this show. She didn't pick Yale because the have a great English department, it's closer to home, or even because they have a darling bulldog mascot. The writers might argue it was just more practical, being in Connecticut and all, but, guys, Harvard is only about three hours from the fictional Stars Hollow. It's not that Yale is inferior to Harvard, but it's this kind of random decision-making without any real reasoning behind it that drives me crazy.

2. Rory's First Time Is With Married Dean

Look, I'm all for spontaneous moments of romance and passion, but this was this wasn't either of those things. It was just depressing. Dean (Bad Boyfriend Number One), is jealous that Rory might get back with Jess (Bad Boyfriend Number Two), which is a tad inappropriate because... Dean is married. But that's on Dean, sure. What's also on Dean is that he throws Rory the classic (bullshit excuse for cheating!) "my wife doesn't understand me" line. This is all kinds of selfish.

However, Rory is complicit here. She fell for it, and even Lorelai isn't happy. Don't you remember? "I didn't raise my daughter to be the kind of girl who sleeps with married men!" Lorelei yells. "I hate you for ruining this for me!" Rory shouts back. Wait, what? Surely there are at least one or two interesting, cute, and available guys (who are not brooding bad boys or, uh, married) at Yale. Why couldn't Rory be the one to have the torrid affair with a much older, tweedy academic like Paris Geller did? Maybe for drama, sure, but that doesn't make Rory a good role model.

3. Rory Quits Her Internship

This one makes me mad. Rory is beside herself with joy at her newspaper internship. Then Mitchum Huntzberger tells Rory she doesn't have what it takes to be a reporter. So what does Rory do? Does she stand up for herself, tell him he's wrong, admit she has a lot to learn, and maybe ask to get sent out on a story? No! She folds like a house of cards and quits the internship. "He's just one guy," Lorelai tells Rory. "He didn't invent journalism. He's just a guy with fancy business cards and a parking space." But Rory keeps trying to explain to Lorelai that she's giving up journalism because one guy with business cards said mean things to her. I just wanted to grab her and shake her and yell at her to stay and fight.

4. Rory Steals a Boat

I don't even know where to start with this. After the mansplaining Huntzberger tells Rory she has no talent for journalism, she meets up with the boss's son and her third bad boyfriend, (so many bad boyfriends!) Logan Huntzberger. She asks him to help her steal a yacht. Of course, he agrees. The two go on to steal the yacht, crash the yacht, and wind up in jail. Why did she do it? "I was upset and I had to do something," she tells Lorelai.

"When I need to do something, I eat a lot of pound cake," Lorelai replies. "They don't have pound cake at Yale?"

Stealing a boat is not cute or edgy. It's a deranged abuse of privilege. She should have done what most other women in her situation would do: put on some yoga pants, grab a tub of ice cream, and rewatch Gilmore Girls Friends (assuming they can't watch their own show in Stars Hollow). Nobody's gone to jail for that. Yet.

5. Rory Drops Out of Yale, Joins the DAR, Rocks a Hermes Bag

I can't even with this foolishness. Because, really, who drops out of Yale because she had a crappy boss at their unpaid internship? Rory Gilmore, that's who. Lorelai, who is supposed to be the flighty one, begged her to stay in school. Meanwhile, her apparently vengeful grandparents offer her a huge, rent-free carriage house to lounge around in with aforementioned bad boyfriend Huntzberger, who drops a Hermes bag on her that's worth more than my car.

For something to do, Rory organizes an awesome benefit for the DAR that I almost wish I had an invite to. This shows us that maybe Rory has some skills that could translate into a successful career. But does her grandmother or anybody point this out to her? Does realize how capable and creative she is? Of course not.

I will never understand how one of the most interesting, intelligent, and promising young women on television wound up so insecure and directionless. Rory, you've got four new episodes to get it together, girl. Do it. Everybody is rooting for you.

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