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During its seven-year run, Gilmore Girls
consistently delivered as one of the smartest-written shows on television. It was nearly as perfect as the idyllic New England hamlet of Stars Hollow in which it was set. A story about how a 16-year-old gets pregnant and flees her life of privilege to raise her daughter on her own isn't going to make Gilmore Girls
a favorite of the Parents Television Council. But Gilmore Girls
was heartwarming, wholesome family entertainment because it was a story about complicated mother-daughter relationships and it showed that the family you build with your community can be even more supportive than the family you are born with.
This kind of surrogate family was showcased beautifully in the series finale when the entire town of Stars Hollow came out in the pouring rain to join Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham
), who remains one of the best TV moms ever, to say good-bye to Rory (Alexis Bledel
) before she goes off into the world. I cried the entire hour, even during the kind of icky part when Kirk (Sean Gunn
) presented Rory with a sash made from his mother's satin nightie. It was a triumph over conventionalism when Richard (Edward Herrmann
) and Emily (Kelly Bishop
), Rory's WASPy, blueblood grandparents, and commended Lorelai on raising her daughter so well. Half a year later, I'm still tearing up just thinking about it.
The final shots of the final episode were of Lorelai and Rory enjoying breakfast together at Luke's (Scott Patterson
) for the last time before Rory takes off. It's the quintessential scene, and the perfect way to say good-bye to the Girls.
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(Image courtesy of the CW)