With the Gilmore Girls revival, everyone and their mother is stoked beyond belief at the chance to revisit Stars Hollow, as many viewers felt the last season of the show didn't end quite right. Most Gilmore fanatics are millennial aged or perhaps older, which means a lot of those fans now have children of their own. But should your kids watch the Gilmore Girls revival?
The short answer is: it's really up to you. Netflix and the WB (now known as The CW) didn't create this as a children's show, and many themes of the series are definitely on the mature side (hello, teen pregnancy). That said, the overarching theme of female ambition and independence was certainly a great influence on me as a young teenager. As with any programming, parents are free to decide what's appropriate for their kids.
If you do choose to watch the show with, say, your teen, there is a lot of good stuff to point out as you go. While there has been a steady uptick in recent years of television shows and movies featuring women in high-powered jobs, thanks in no small part to Shonda Rhimes, the truth remains that images of women in power and taking control of their own lives are still relatively few. And there are even fewer shows about ambitious teenagers who care at least as much about their studies and career goals as they do about boys. In fact, it was a classic struggle between Rory and Dean in the early years when he seemed to resent her desire to study above hanging around town with him. Gilmore Girls did this in a way that felt both aspirational and achievable, and was certainly more relatable to young girls than Olivia Pope (marvelous as she is).
This is a show that centers around women living independently, whether they were born with that freedom, as Lorelai struggled to make sure Rory was, or chose it, as in the case of Lorelai and Lane. It is a show that prizes female friendships that were never petty. There was a beautiful scene when Rory and Paris were taken to the headmaster's office for fighting and he asked if they were fighting over a boy. "We're girls so we could only be fighting about a boy, right?" Paris muttered, before Headmaster Charleston suggested then that they've been involved in a power struggle, suggesting he's far more astute than we realized.
Lorelai, Rory, Emily, Lane, Paris, Sookie: the principle and most-beloved characters on the show were women who wanted only to live exactly as they wanted, and their ambitions, goals, faults, and mishaps were well-rounded and perfectly human. They felt like people, and the male characters took a back seat.
In today's post-Trump America, positive role models for women and girls are more important than ever. Women didn't get to watch their daughters witness seeing a female become president, and that is utterly heartbreaking. Too seldom are they shown images of women really working towards something. Lorelai's story was not glamorous. It's a story of courage and years of steady, hard work.
That said, again, it's up to each parent to decide whether and when their children should watch the show. If you're comfortable, you could watch with your teen daughter, since it hits a lot of important notes relevant to young women. But, Netflix has never called the show a children's show or youth programming, so it is ultimately at the parent's discretion.