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'Gilmore Girls' uplifts with loving relationships

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

There is no better television comfort food in these unsettled times than The WB's "Gilmore Girls," which begins its second season at 8 tonight on WCWB with a two-hour premiere.

"Gilmore Girls" reassures with its depiction of a loving mother-daughter relationship, disarms with its realistic portrayal of conflict between a grown child and her parents and endears itself with its setting, fictional Stars Hollow, Conn., the friendliest, most fairy tale-like town you could imagine.

At the end of last season, thirtysomething mom Lorelai (Lauren Graham) received a wedding proposal from high school teacher Max Medina (Scott Cohen) along with thousands of daisies. The premiere picks up the next day with Lorelai and her teen-age daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel), walking through Stars Hollow, which has daisies on every street corner, no doubt courtesy of Lorelai.

"Gilmore Girls"

WHEN: 8 tonight on The WB.

STARRING: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel.


It's obvious to most viewers, though, that Lorelai belongs with Luke, owner of the local diner. Tonight, during her extravagant wedding shower in the town square, stoic Luke stays at work, refilling ketchup bottles until Lorelai encourages him to join the festivities.

"They keep making that ketchup slower and slower," Lorelai sasses.

"It's the Heinz family joke," Luke replies.

Rory has her own reason for happiness. Once again she's dating Dean (Jared Padalecki, now a series regular), who last season seemed like a black sheep but this year looks like a popular jock.

As cute, funny and sweet a show as "Gilmore Girls" is, the series doesn't shy away from conflict. Tonight Rory's grandfather (Edward Herrmann) becomes way over-protective of his granddaughter, while Lorelai and her mother, Emily (Kelly Bishop), have communication problems of their own.

Despite being set against the backdrop of an impossibly sunny town, the relationships on "Gilmore Girls" are utterly grounded in reality.

Emily takes offense when she learns of Lorelai's engagement from someone other than her daughter. When Lorelai finally tells Emily the news, she's met with a chilly reception. Both are hurt and both have good reasons for their reactions. Both are right, both are wrong, both are flawed people with the best intentions.

How wonderful it is to have "Gilmore Girls" back with new episodes.

There's just one problem: The show's move from Thursday to Tuesday has created another conundrum for viewers. Last season, "Gilmore Girls" faced off against "Survivor" and "Friends." Now the show takes on other series with similar appeal, UPN's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Fox's "That '70s Show" and "Undeclared."

Tonight, VCRs will whirr into action. And when viewers sit down to watch their tape of "Gilmore Girls," their hearts will be warmed.

You can reach Rob Owen at rowen@post-gazette.com Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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